Getting cold out ... what now?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by SarahF, Oct 13, 2007.

  1. SarahF

    SarahF Songster

    So, here in Niagara, it's getting down to 7 degrees at night...and only up to about 13 during the day. At what point is it too cold for the chickens? Their coop is not insulated and they have hay on the floor.
    My DH seems to think they'll be fine without a heat lamp, and I think they will eventually need it, atleast a night. [​IMG]
    Any suggestions?
  2. tomdeggeater

    tomdeggeater Songster

    Sep 20, 2007
    Rocky Hill, CT.
    Sarah. I'm a new guy here on this site, and noticed you posted this back in May '07. How'd they do?
    TomD [​IMG]
  3. Tuffoldhen

    Tuffoldhen Flock Mistress

    Jan 30, 2007
    She posted the question today Tom [​IMG]...She became a member of this site in May [​IMG]...just thought I could help .....I've had to look twice at posts too to see when it was written....

    Sarah, its really up to you if you feel the need to keep your birds warm in the henhouse in winter...I only use a heat lamp in the winter when the windchill and temps dip in the teens or zero...Lots of people don't heat their coops at all and their chickens do fine in winter....a deep layer of woodshavings...straw...and feeding them cracked corn or scratch feed in the evenings helps to keep their bodies warm...they snuggle on the roosts to keep warm...Also you don't want them to depend on a heat source if the electric would happen to go off....just keep drafts off of them...
  4. chickbea

    chickbea Songster

    Jan 18, 2007
    It's a matter of your choice, and of what breed you have.
    I live in Vermont, where it is very nippy in the winter. My girls live in their summer coop with an attached run from about April to mid-November, then at night I start moving them into the winter coop. They move into that full-time once there is a lot of snow on the ground. I have a heater in the inside coop that keeps the temps at about 40 degrees F. I give scratch every night before bed, and in the morning to get them warmed up.
    If you have a breed with big combs and wattles, you may need to heat a bit. I know some people don't heat at all, but frostbite is painful for any living critter.
    If you don't plan to heat, the big things to remember are to block all drafts, and control the humidity. A wet coop in the cold can be miserable!
    One of the big reasons I heat the coop is that it is nicer for me when I am visiting my girls [​IMG].
  5. buc

    buc Songster

    Apr 20, 2007
    Best advice I have is to get the chickens out of any wind, give them a place to roost and give them fresh water at least three times a day, don't give them hot water with the hope it will keep from freezing, it will , but the birds may be damaged by drinking it when it is hot.
  6. SarahF

    SarahF Songster

    Buc, how can i change the water 3 times a day? My husband and I both leave at 7:15am and I'm the first home at 5:30pm...the coop is draft free and they have a roost. but i am concerned about the water! what should i do?
  7. Cuban Longtails

    Cuban Longtails Flock Mistress

    Sep 20, 2007
    Northeast Texas

    Don't sweat the water changing. You could do it once in the morning before you leave and once in the evening when you get home. The best waterers are the hanging ones because they tend to get less trash in them than the ones that sit on the ground.
  8. peepkeeper

    peepkeeper Songster

    Jul 5, 2007
    upstate New York
    You can also pick up electric waterers that keep the water from freezing. I got two, for about 30 bucks each. Each holds 3 gallons of water so I'm set without having to go thaw water throughout the day.
  9. justusnak

    justusnak Flock Mistress

    Feb 28, 2007
    South Eastern Indiana
  10. SarahF

    SarahF Songster

    Justusnak, thats a great idea! I didnt even think of that yet, I have a glass waterer...that's not going to work now! I printed it out and let's see what the DH thinks of that open water system. Knowing my chickens, they'd jump RIGHT in!

    Now, off topic a little bit...but I'm almost out of the Oyster Shell I was given by a local chicken there something better than Oyster? I have to go buy it soon, so any opinions would be great!


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