Help! Will this make them sick?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Patoot, Feb 3, 2011.

  1. Patoot

    Patoot Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 20, 2010
    I have 4 RIR. We have had massively cold temps the last three days. They are not used to it. I live in Albuquerque and it's in the negatives right now. School was canceled because busses wouldn't start. My neighbors' pipes froze. It's VERY cold. I didn't heat the coop and the girls got frostbite just a little bit. Last night was supposed to be even colder so I set up a Costco heater outside the coop pointed at the door. I didn't want a fire issue inside and I wasn't sure what to do. I set up a thermometer inside and the heater only raised the temp 5-7 degrees. Better than nothing. The girls did well. No further frostbite and everyone was okay this morning. Hubby checked on them at 3am and I checked on them at 6am.

    So I opened their door and decided to leave the heater on. It's outside the coop pointed at the door. Right next to it is very warm, but the coop is not hot or anything. The girls are staying right near the heater. They are kinda puffed up and I saw one shivering. Is the heater a good or a bad idea? I don't want to make them more chilled, but they seem to like the heat. I can shut them up for the day and just do what I did last night. It's still only -3 right now. I know lots of people have birds that do just fine in even lower temps, but the girls aren't used to this.

    I just want to do what's best for them. They've only had the heater yesterday and today and only one night total. I worry heating will make them more chilled for when they aren't right next to the heater.

    Please help!

  2. Knock Kneed Hen

    Knock Kneed Hen California Dream'in Chickens

    Feb 15, 2010
    So. Cal.
    I'd provide heat if they haven't acclimated to the cold.
  3. Love my Critters!

    Love my Critters! Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 15, 2008
    Carlsbad, NM
    I am down in Carlsbad and it is very cold here too. I don't think the heater will cause any issues. I know some people say it "spoils" them to where they can't handle cold on there own, but it hasn't hit these temps in over 20 years. I put a heat lamp on my flock. The next time it gets this cold again, these chooks will be in chicken heaven. I think these drastic temperatures call for drastic measures. I have entertained the idea of bringing my nigerion dwarfs into the garage today. Hubby would probably put me in there too when he got home from work and found that [​IMG]
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2011
  4. jbowyer01

    jbowyer01 Just Me!

    Aug 29, 2008
    Hogansville, Georgia
    I dont think it will hurt them but I dont have a lot of experience with really cold weather. I'm more concerned with a possible fire hazard. Are there any drafts in your coop? That could make them shiver. I hope someone with a little more experience can help.
  5. Ema

    Ema Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 4, 2010
    N. Ontario CANADA
    well If the birds are not acclimated to the cold temps then providing heat would be your best choice. However I wouldn't allow them to get real close to the heater as they could get injured. if you have some left over chicken wire you could do a quick wrap around, loosely. so they can't snuggle right next to it or on top of it.

    We are used to cold temps and my girls are doing fine, a few little spots of frost bite on their combs but with -30F weather lately I knew they wouldn't get through this winter unscathed.
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2011
  6. Patoot

    Patoot Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 20, 2010
    They are next to the heater, but they can't get near the heating element. It's this heater here:|1||P_SignDesc1&lang=en-US&Sp=C

    It's outside the open door pointed into the coop and a couple of them are standing just inside the door to be right in front of it. I have it on med/hi. I'm not worried at all that they will get burned. They can't get to the hot part and if it is knocked over (or even on uneven surfaces) it buzzes and shuts itself off.

    I'm just worried they will be toasty in front of it and even more cold when they aren't right in front of it. Today is supposed to "warm" up to 25, but it's still only -1 right now.

    Do I need to worry one of my girls (my fav) was shivering a little? I picked her up and she wasn't shivering. Her comb is not pale, her eyes are clear, and she's acting fine. I gave them heated up brown rice and they LOVED it. They attacked me for raisins. They seem to be okay. I just want to do the right thing.

    I appreciate all the help.

  7. 7L Farm

    7L Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 22, 2010
    Anderson, Texas
    I have 11 RIR"S & live in Texas. It's fricking cold . The night before last it was 19 degrees in the coop. My coop is designed for hot weather. I added more tarps to block off the wind & also found out that the auto pop door wasn't working so I closed that nemonia hole as well. Checked temps at 330 am last night & it was 26 degrees. They seemed fine. I haven't used any heat because I'm also scared of burning the coop down. I've been giving them warm water & warm mash. Snow is next then warm up is forcasted Yee Doggies.
  8. jbowyer01

    jbowyer01 Just Me!

    Aug 29, 2008
    Hogansville, Georgia
    If you have the heater blowing from outside could that be causing a draft? I like the chicken wire idea and maybe having it inside or maybe you could get a brooder light and set it inside for warmth. Just make sure its secure so they dont knock it over.
  9. chuckzoo

    chuckzoo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 20, 2009
    Tuscaloosa, Alabama
    If I were in your shoes I would do exactly what you are doing.
  10. sheila3935

    sheila3935 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 10, 2010
    Stonington, illinois
    I have a heat lamp secured in my coop. Last night it got down to 5 below with wind chills to 20 below. Inside their coop this morning was 14. They did just fine. The roos do have a little frost bite but that was my fault. I shut the vents down too much about a month ago and they got some frostbite. Since opening it back up they havent got anymore. Also last night DD and I went out and greased eveyones combs and wattles up. We did bring the ducks into the garage because the stupid little buggers wont go into their house. They cuddle in the straw next to it and with the windchills we decided to bring them in. So long as your coop is draft free a little supplement heat they will be fine. I agree that maybe with the heater in the door that is causing a draft.

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