For those who DON'T heat in the winter....


11 Years
Jul 30, 2008
Westchester, NY
Hiya folks!

Just a few questions - how cold does it get inside your coop in the winter?
I am wondering what temps the birds can stand, so what breeds do you have & how many?
Where do you live (if you don't have it listed under your name)?
What is the coldest indoor temp they have done ok in?

I don't live in an extremely cold winter location, but it can get real cold depending on what kind of winter we have... Just wanted to know what my breeds could withstand.



Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast
Premium Feather Member
14 Years
May 14, 2008
North Phoenix
My Coop
My Coop
Yeah, you live in an extremely cold winter location.
... anything north of the 40th parallel.

Sorry I can't help you as I live in Phoenix... My birds survived 116 this summer.


11 Years
Mar 3, 2008
Endless Mts, NE PA
I live in northeastern PA and have never heated. Up until this year, our coop was a small corner of our old barn. On the coldest nights, we stall 10 horses in there and it isn't all that unpleasant. Our chickens free range during the day, and go about everywhere, as long as there isn't a lot of snow on the ground, then they tend to stay inside the barn. All the chickens have wintered well, with decent egg production, even!

This year we have a new coop with 50 blk star on the other side of the property. We insulated the roof and installed electricity so we can have a heater on the waterer. I don't plan to heat the coop, but we'll see how it goes.


11 Years
Jul 30, 2008
I live in Eastern Missouri our winters lately have not been all that bad. Temps can get into high single digits to teens at night mainly in Jan. Feb but generally we do not have long stretches of this type of weather.
I do not heat or use heat lamps or water heaters.
My winter coop is 8 x 12 with a 10 foot peaked roof, I currently have 24 birds. I simply keep all the doors and windows closed during the day during really cold stretches.
I keep a good layer of bedding since my coop is elevated, use 2x4's with 4" side up as roosts and feed extra cracked corn.
I have never lost a bird due to the cold weather, but generally lose at least one bird during extreme heat (these birds are generally over 5 years old).
Chickens can tolerate the cold pretty well as long as they are not in a draft and have plenty of fresh water and extra food.
I do have issue with frost bit on combs though.


11 Years
Mar 16, 2008
Southern Columbia County NY
Ive been reading for combs that get frost bitten, to rub some Vaseline or thick moistrizer on the combs to prevent it.

I have Lt. Brahmas, Salmon Faverolles, Silkies, Silver Sebrights, and now some Old English Game Bantams.

It gets very cold her in upstate NY. I dont use heat. But if it gets lower than 30 degrees, I put in a light bulb to give them so more heat. I had no problems last year. My sebrights are in an all wire cage, with an inside area to roost. And I wrap the whole cage in plastic sheathing, to keep them out of gusts and snow. I also combine my birds in the winter. So that they stay warm from eachothers body heat.


Flock Mistress
12 Years
Jun 29, 2007
Kansas~50+ yrs of chickens
We get into the single digits and below zero sometimes. The wind chill is the main issue here most of the time. The only ones who've ever gotten heat in the winter are youngsters. The main coops never get heat. I line the north sides with big round bales to cut down on the wind chill. I don't have a thermomter in the coops, but I can tell you the pans I use for water in the winter are 5-6 inches deep and they freeze solid over night.


11 Years
Jan 29, 2008
southern tier,NY
I have never heated my coops as long as they are feathered out you shouldn't have a problem.Sometimes the ones with big combs and wattles may get frostbite.
I just keep their water on a heated fount base to keep from freezing.They know how to fluff their feathers to keep warm.
I think with most animals kept outside,you'll have more problems with them getting sick if they are put in a heated building and turned out too. good shelter from the elements is all they need.


Premium Feather Member
13 Years
Jan 21, 2007
Thousand Oaks, California
We get frost one or two times a year but DH insisted on putting a heater in their coop.
Honestly, after going through 100 degree summers, I think they like the 40 degree winters.


Premium Feather Member
12 Years
May 7, 2007
Forks, Virginia
In a properly kept house you will note a temp difference from outside to inside when you walk in. We could see by the thermometer as much as a 15 - 20 degree temp difference in our barn last winter. We close down the windows. The chickens have at least 12 inch deep litter and plenty of places to snuggle in and hunker down in sever cold. I have metal waterers and I hang a heat lamp for the super cold night to keep the water from freezing. This year I switch over to drum waterers and plan to use a stock tank floating heater by rubbermaid fo their rubber stock tanks. I don't have running water down at the barn and I do not plan to carry water daily in snow storms or ice.


11 Years
May 19, 2008
East Bethel MN
Im in northern MN and the winters get real cold. My coop is poorly insulated (hubby is more like tim allen then bob vila) I use a 250 watt heat lamp in the coop and a heated dog bowl for water out in the run which is covered by tarps to keep the drafts out. The only problem i had was a few frost bitten combs but nothing really bad. Mine refused to go outside the coop and run unless i shoveled them a path into the yard. The inside of the coop stayed above freezing with both doors closed overnight when it was really cold (-40 with the windchill sometimes colder) During the day the little coop door stayed open so they could get into the run for the day. IN the run i had about 6 bales of hay stacked in various places for them to perch on or dig a nest in. I also suppliment their diet with warm scrambled eggs, lots of scratch grains, and bread as well as veggies and fruit.

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