How cold is cold for the chickens?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by broken08, Sep 13, 2011.

  1. broken08

    broken08 New Egg

    Sep 12, 2011
    First time keeper. I have 15 javas around 4 months old. They are noted to be "cold hardy". I live in northern Illinois, where the winter is usally in the 20's down to -20f at times. How warm should the coop be? I've never found a solid answer. Everything says to heat until they stop huddling. I'm looking for a temperature range. At the moment I have an automatic switch to turn the heat light on at 35 and off at 45. Good enough?

    I know I wouldn't like that temperature range!

  2. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Hope some folks with Java birds comment. I only keep winter hardy, stout, turn of the last century American breeds. We're much colder than you and our birds do just fine in the winter without heat.
  3. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    As long as their are no drafts, chickens will be fine in the cold. There are members in Alaska and Canada that don't offer any heat for their chickens.

    If you do give them heat, and the power goes out, that will cause issues because they aren't acclimated to the cold.
  4. JodyJo

    JodyJo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 27, 2010
    I live in Colorado, -25+ at times in the winter, I have an insulated coop, and use a heater for the waterer...that is all...they are out of the wind and have food 24/7...that will keep them warm also, full tummies! I feed a bit more corn in the winter as well...they say that helps keep them full longer/ thus warmer....
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    You might read the Ventilation and Cold Coop articles. Pat's in Ontario so she should have some credibility for cold climates. I'll include the other article just because I think it is also very good.

    Pat’s Big Ol' Ventilation Page

    Cold Coop (winter design) page:

    Big Ol' Mud Page (fixing muddy runs):

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