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getting ready for the winter

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by huevosfritos, Oct 20, 2008.

  1. huevosfritos

    huevosfritos In the Brooder

    May 5, 2008
    We live in Central Texas and nights are starting to get a little chilly (around 50 degrees). Should I provide my chickens with a source of heat? I have noticed that the egg production is going down and maybe if they are kept warm they will continue to lay.
  2. jmeeter88

    jmeeter88 Songster

    Aug 18, 2008
    New Hartford, NY
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2008
  3. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm 10 Years

    Nov 18, 2007
    My Coop
    I live in Florida. I put a heat lamp on when a frost is forcasted or when it gets below 40 degrees. I'm a softie. I do keep a red sign light bulb on in my coop. for every 6 birds I get 4/5 eggs a day.
  4. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    I live in SW Arkansas, so our temps. are not that far off of yours in central Texas.
    I've only closed the windows on our coop twice so far; two nights when it got down to 40.
    I intend to only close the windows when it's 40 or below and I definitely won't be heating their coop; other than a heater for the waterer.
    My chickens are loving this cooler weather. The slight decrease in egg production I've noticed I'm sure has more to do with the decrease in daylight hours than temps.
    IMO, it's better to let the chickens acclimate to colder temperatures naturally than to provide them with artificial heat when they don't need it. Electricity to power those heaters does go out in the wintertime and if your chickens aren't acclimated to the cold, that's when they'll have trouble.
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2008
  5. notsooldmcdonald

    notsooldmcdonald Songster

    Oct 14, 2008
    Lempster, NH
    I had this same question, but was reassured when MissPrissy posted a comment about how well feathered birds will be just fine in all but the very coldest weather without extra heat. What I have taken that to mean for me (in mid-western NH) is below 0 degrees a heat light would be ok, and below freezing (in the coop mind you) a heated waterer would be a good idea. Keep food and liquid water in front of well feathered birds in deep litter and they should be ok. In fact, they should be comfortable.


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