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Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by kmaxwell, Nov 20, 2009.
What tempature is good for outside so that my chicken's waddles and combs don't freeze?
Assuming they've got a comfy draft-free well-bedded coop they can go into whenever they want, and they don't hate it excessively much for any reason (darkness, stinkiness, too-small-ness, etc) there is really not much likelihood of them getting frostbit outdoors. They will come in when they're cold, generally.
Indoors, you want to make sure you have a DRY AIR (well ventilated to prevent humidity buildup) coop with no drafts blowing at the chickens, and adequate food supply, and a wide enough roost for them to cover their feet with their tummy feathers (wide side of a 2x4 works well). If that is your setup, and you have reasonably cold hardy breeds, they will usually be fine well down into the single digits and often considerably into the minuses.
Best plan IMHO is to keep an eye on them (combs, behavior, etc) and use that as your guide.
Good luck, have fun,
My Flock like to play outside even at -30, I still can't get them all to stay in the hen house! lol.
Yep, they're all wearing little warm down coats under those feathers and as long as their coop is dry and draft free, frostbite is rare, though Mediteranian breeds with really large combs may have a little more trouble. Outdoors when they're being more active is rarely the problem though, it's inside at night as others have said that is more likely to be trouble and then it's dampness and/or drafts more than the cold.
OK... this is where I must be confused, if there is a door open for the bird during the day for them to come and go that to me equates to a draft. How can you make something so the birds can come and go daytime without a draft?
Quote:If there is always a strong wind blowing right into the popdoor in a small coop, that actually *would* be a bit of a problem. (If the popdoor is on the usually-upwind side of the coop, you can knock together various sorts of windbreaks or baffles to prevent that from happening; ideally you locate the popdoor on the usually-downwind side, though)
Generally however, the point is "can they easily get OUT of the wind". If it is windy outside, a little breezy around the popdoor area, but there's plenty of nearly still air in the coop, it is no problem. Your problem is more things like "open vent in northern January right next to roost", or "air leaks or open windows all 'round the coop so there is substantial air current everywhere in coop".
mine will be 8x8 6' tall plus the roof.. the run will be I think about 40 x 60 or so which I want to partially cover over though accomplishing that may be interesting! I want the peeps to be able to go out during the day rain, shine or snow (I am a few minutes from LynnP) I really wish the beasts would use a cat door but I guess I will use the doors that slides up that the racoons can't get their fingers in at night to steal dinner.
I am once again amazed This morning it is -27 out and this is my first winter having chickens they all did great!! and they all came outside to greet me this morning. I have insulated coop and so far no frost bite.During the day I use a think towl over the opening of the chicken door that way they can come in a out when they want. At night lock it up.
Depends on the moisture level in the air and the breed of chicken. If it's really wet out you can have frostbite at barely less than 32F. If it's really dry out you may not have frostbite at all even when it gets well into the negatives. I also had no frostbite on any of my standard breeds but every japanese bantam roo suffered frostbite last year. They just couldn't handle the low temps as well as the standards. My standards don't care if it's -30 out.
Thank you for your advice. Our girls like to be outside no matter what the weather seems to be doing. When I do make them
stay in coop, they just seem to make a mess with their food, water, and the straw. I will let them out until we get more snow, which could be any day now. I appreciate you all answering my question. As you can tell, we are very new at this. I had no idea what we were getting ourselves into (especially since I said no when our daughter asked for chickens). We have five hens who are now giving us five eggs a day. I am trying to see some at least to pay for bags of food.