Getting chickens in the coop when cold

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by midnightblue69, Nov 2, 2009.

  1. midnightblue69

    midnightblue69 New Egg

    Nov 2, 2009
    I have 10 Rhode Island Reds now 22 weeks old, full grown and producing eggs well. It's now getting cold at night in the Virginia mountains and the chickens would rather roost tightly together on a perch I have set up in their run than go into the coop with a heatlamp. When I first turn the lamp on, they go inside to investigate but then eventually sleep on their perch. At what temp do you really worry about their well being? and has anyone ever seen this? Is there a way to coach them into the warmer coop?
  2. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Remove the perches/roosts that are in your run and then lock them in the coop for a few days, all day and night. It will usually re-program their little brains.
    In a draft free coop, grown chickens don't normally need heat; if allowed to acclimate gradually.
    Our winters here involve temps. down into the low teens, occasionally lower. Not much snow, but lots of ice. I don't add heat.
    Some folks add a light above their waterer to keep it from freezing.

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