How cold before you'd be worried?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by plethora, Oct 18, 2015.

  1. plethora

    plethora In the Brooder

    Oct 8, 2015

    I've read a lot about dealing with winter when having chickens, and I gather that most people don't heat the coop because the birds deal with cold weather pretty well. Just wondering how low the temperature would have to go in the coop before you'd start getting nervous?

    There are always those few days at some point during the winter when you get the lowest temps of the year -- around here that tends to be in the 0-5F range. So far the coop stays about the same temperature as the outside due to all the ventilation holes. Just wondering if I need to be prepared to offer supplementary heat for a few days should the temps plummet.


  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Chicken tender Premium Member

    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    Here in Wisconsin we will get some spells of -20's with wind chill in the -40's, which can last for weeks on and off, my chickens will look a bit cold, but I get them some warm water to drink and make a warm mash and oatmeal mix, throw out some scratch and they get moving around, the good news about really cold weather is it's usually sunny so they sit in the sun and warm themselves.

    As you can see I don't worry about them, I have never had a chicken freeze, a few roosters get frostbite on their comb points, but that's all I've seen. Mine are in an uninsulated pole building with some cracks and holes, my birds find the best places to roost, and there's a door open to the east. The main thing is to block the winds.
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2015
  3. dekel18042

    dekel18042 Songster

    Jul 18, 2013
    And try to keep the humidity down so they don't get frostbite on their combs. Some breeds are more cold resistant than others.
    I've had temps down to -10* with not problems just taking the ordinary precautions.

    I've chosen cold hardy breeds. Make sure they have unfrozen water. Give them warm mash or grains at least once a day. Keep the coop dry, and they are fine.
    I think heat can cause more problems.

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