Frigid temperatures

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Goldstein, Feb 9, 2016.

  1. Goldstein

    Goldstein New Egg

    Oct 25, 2015
    Hi everyone! I have two "flocks" -- three hen in a five by five by four henhouse, and two girls by themselves in a three by two by two house. Both lots have access to large runs. So far they've been fine in this Central Pennsylvania winter, but we're expecting an Alberta Clipper this weekend, with lows at night in the single digits, and on one night -1. I've plugged all holes, and put a thatch of a foot of hay on the roofs. Will they be okay? Should I try to rig a light bulb in their houses? Any suggestion/advice would be appreciated...I love them all dearly! Thanks.
  2. 21hens-incharge

    21hens-incharge Flock Master

    Mar 9, 2014
    Northern Colorado
    If you have not been heating you should NOT heat. They are tougher then people give them credit for.
    What breeds are they as some do not do well in the cold??

    With the size of your coops there is no room to safely place a heat lamp. They can bop their little heads on it and they also would not have any way to get away from it if they were to warm.

    Just to ease your mind a bit..... I frequently have temps that get well below 0 and do not heat my 8x14 coop. There is room for it but there is no need for it.

    OH and open them vents back up. Ventilation is very very important in avoiding frostbite. Chickens poop a lot when sleeping and it is wet. Their breath also has a lot of moisture in it. That moisture MUST have some place to get out of the coop so it does not settle in the combs and cause frost bite.
    This article is very good at explaining the ventilation.

    This is my coop. The entire long side you can see has hardware cloth on the bottom of the soffit. It is open now and has only been closed off one time during some high wind that was blowing snow into the coop. This winter we have had temps dip to -10 and no frostbite or health worries from the cold. Last winter we were hitting -16 and only one hen had slight frostbite.

    Best wishes
  3. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Shazam Premium Member

    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    We are having that same cold weather before you get it, 21hens has given great advice, don't seal up your coop too tightly, chickens are very cold hardy and don't require extra heat, block the winds, keep the water warm and unfrozen, give a little extra scratch to get them moving and pecking, and maybe a nice warm moistened oatmeal ration mix. I give mine hay to pick at and to stand on, especially outside. Adding extra heat will cause more stress. Don't get worried, it's normal for chickens to fluff up and even shiver on cold days, it's how they get their muscles warmed.
  4. Goldstein

    Goldstein New Egg

    Oct 25, 2015
    Thank you so much for the info/advice. My girls are Rhode Island Reds, and so far they've been fine this winter. I'll unblock the vents. I always make sure their water is not frozen. By Tuesday the temps are supposed to be above freezing, so hopefully we'll make it through. I really appreciate the reassurance! Thanks again.

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