Forecast is -18 deg ... coop is not heated ... too cold 4 my biddies?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by MyBlackHen, Jan 22, 2011.

  1. MyBlackHen

    MyBlackHen Songster

    Jun 26, 2010
    Upstate New York
    Hi all,

    Tomorrow night's forecast is -18 degrees. We've had a few -8 degree nights so far but none near -18. This is my first winter with chickens. Our coop is not heated or insulated. The girls have been doing just fine up until now, but I'm wondering if -18 degrees is going to be a problem for them? Input from anyone else with experience in these temperatures would be greatly appreciated!

  2. chickiedoo

    chickiedoo In the Brooder

    Sep 28, 2010
    It doesnt get that cold where I am so this isnt going to be super helpful. But if it were me I know I would worry about them all night so I would probably bring them in just for the peace of mind.
  3. magoochie

    magoochie Songster

    Dec 26, 2010
    Grantsburg, WI
    It is been close to -30 windchill here in NW WI. My birds only have 1 heatlamp in the coop. However, they usually roost out in the run. Only a couple hens have gone in a slept inside.

    Depending on what breeds you have, and if they are cold-hardy you should be fine. Especially if its only for a day or two. Just give them a little extra corn/scratch. Maybe make them some oatmeal. [​IMG]
  4. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Crowing

    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    Extra feed is what you need, not extra heat. They will be fine! We have had very cold days here, and mine are doing good. They may slow on the laying. But they will live through those temps pretty easily.

    I have fed mine warm oatmeal or cornmeal, but it freezes solid so quick when it is that cold. Mine much prefer cornbread.... hey it was left over from supper.... and if it seems like we eat a lot of corn bread during the cold spell... I am not really spoiling my girls.[​IMG]
  5. Zoomom

    Zoomom Certified Cackleberry Consumer

    Jan 22, 2009
    Ontario, Canada
    It was minus 18 here today...warmed up to minus 10 now and snowing, lol.
    My coop is not heated but it is insulated, but the door in the floor to the run is open all the time. I do have the windows closed, but the ceiling vents are all open. My girls have been fine. They are 3 bantams in a 4 x 6 coop with the run the same size. The Silkie sleeps alone on a shelf, and if she feels too cold she sleeps in the nest box. The two Mille Fleurs sleep snuggled together on top of the nest box.
    Hope this helps.

  6. new chick 203

    new chick 203 Songster

    Feb 8, 2010
    Ridgefield CT
    We're not as cold as that here, but the coldest I can remember. I've been giving my girls a hot water bottle the past couple of nights. It's a 1 gallon milk jug filled with hot water and I put a lid on it and put it in the back of the coop. I don't know how much it helps, but it makes me feel better, and it's something you can do without electricity.
  7. Louieandthecrew

    Louieandthecrew I am actually a female!

  8. MyBlackHen

    MyBlackHen Songster

    Jun 26, 2010
    Upstate New York
    Hi there, thanks for responding. They are cold-hardy breeds, although the RIR's have pretty big combs. I put some vaseline on the chickens with big combs this morning. They weren't too happy about that LOL! They all have plenty of feed and I do give them some scratch too. We gave them hot oatmeal this morning but it sure does freeze up quick! I'll make them something extra-special for tomorrow morning.

    Thanks for the link from the folks in Alaska. If they don't need heat, than neither do we!

  9. LindenLiving

    LindenLiving In the Brooder

    Jan 10, 2011
    Upstate New York
    Upstate New Yorker here. Getting pretty cold tonight and tomorrow it is supposed to be even worse. I added extra straw into the coop, gave them warm water at around 4 and they had some corn cobs from dinner to bulk them up for the night. Still getting four to five eggs a day (5 Buff Orps & 1 Ari) except from the Ari as I believe she went into a molt due to the stress of relocating to my coop from another farm. Also found that my girls love bird seed, so instead of scratch, every time I fill up the bird feeders, I throw them some seed as well. I do need to uncover the straw in the run so they will come out of the coop, but as long as it isn't frozen this takes just a bit of work. At this point the girls don't show any ill effects from the cold. At first I was going to heat my coop, but after reading the various posts, I realized I would be making the situation worse for my girls and it would be adverse for them. Thanks to everyone on that bit of info.

  10. hencrazy

    hencrazy Songster

    Mar 5, 2009
    A few nights ago it got down to -36 actual temp, plus it was really windy. My chickens were fine. Make sure they have free choice food and water and you have nothing to worry about.

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