How cold is to cold?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by watsonlane, Dec 13, 2010.

  1. watsonlane

    watsonlane Out Of The Brooder

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    We are in the panhandle of Florida and the coop is basically an open coop with nesting boxes....how cold is to cold for the girls?
     
  2. sixxchixx

    sixxchixx Chillin' With My Peeps

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    i dont know the exact temp but from all that ive read here on BYC is that chickens can handle pretty cold temps. i live in San Diego and some of our nights get in the mid-upper thirties and i have an open coop too. theyre always fine in the morning. I saw a post once from someone who lives in Alaska with chickens... Im sure Floridian chickens will be fine [​IMG]
     
  3. shellie003

    shellie003 Out Of The Brooder

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    Today we have wind chills of -25 and high temps of 15. Tonight temp -8 not even sure on wind chill. We keep a light on in the coop and their run is wrapped with poly/plastic with vents at the top. We need to keep the wind out, we are pretty wide open here. We use the deep litter method in the coop too. We just got done with blizzard on Saturday night/Sunday and had a record day of 9 eggs from 13 birds. We only got 9 eggs once in late summer early fall. Crazy Ladies. We do have cold hardy birds though. I checked on them this morning and everyone is doing good. We give them BOSS too regulary cause I guess that is supposed to help. This is our first winter with birds so I hope they make it!! [​IMG]
     
  4. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    With good ventilation, somewhere around minus 25 F. I somehow don't think yours will have to worry about that.

    If you just can't stand it, hang a tarp or some plastic to cut down on the breeze on them. Won't hurt, and you will feel better. Just don't cover all the open areas.

    I checked mine the other night when the low was around 18. They were all spread out on the roost as if it were summer and they were too warm. I have a 4 sided coop but one wall is half hardware cloth, literally, plus the eaves which are on the long walls are open to the air. Pretty breezy in there on a windy day. Am thinking of hanging an old rug over part of the hardware cloth to cut down on the wind. After all, there are two week old chicks running around in there all day.... no they don't have a heat lamp.
     
  5. chics in the sun

    chics in the sun Chillin' With My Peeps

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    There was another thread about this last week, I believe from someone in Southern Georgia. Several Southern posters made a good point - many of our Florida birds - like us - are not acclamated to the cold well. One day it's in the 80s, the next in the 40s. I've worried about mine in their open coop, and am going to throw some extra blankets over it to try and keep the heat in for them. I'll just leave the opening to the roost area (the only mostly-covered area) open but try and block the wind. 'Cause MAN has it been windy!!
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2010
  6. GAchick

    GAchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Same up here in Georgia. Really cold, and really windy. Big gusts of wind, too. up to 30+ mph... And my birds insist on roosting up in the tree above their coop.... I don't get home from work until way after dark, either...
     
  7. Chicken.Lytle

    Chicken.Lytle Chillin' With My Peeps

    I am in Texas. The temperature got to 26F (just a little below freezing) last night. All I did was rig my coop for winter and let the chickens do the rest. They are little organic space heaters.
     
  8. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Quote:How interesting that it's the Leghorn that went broody!

    Most of mine have been through at least one winter already. If we literally went from a high of 80 to a low of 20, I'd be out there checking on them, and doing something to cut the wind on them, for sure. I really don't think a spread of 80 to 40 is hard on them. And usually if it's below freezing at night, the day was more like 50 than 80.

    I do have two heat lamps in my coop -- on the waterers, not the chickens, out of pure laziness on my part. I have yet to see a chicken anywhere near the area being warmed by the heat lamp except to drink; even the babies are not interested. Of course the babies use mama to warm up -- but they stayed out in the coop for a full hour this AM, and similar periods other days, never once going under her to warm up. I've even seen them digging out a dust bath in the coop floor, which they could do under a heat lamp, but they were nowhere near it.

    I worry about them, too -- and have the feeling they are laughing at me as they relax into their good down coats.
     
  9. Mrs MIA

    Mrs MIA Chick Magnet

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    Chickens in Florida do not need heat. [​IMG]
     
  10. chics in the sun

    chics in the sun Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:How interesting that it's the Leghorn that went broody!

    Most of mine have been through at least one winter already. If we literally went from a high of 80 to a low of 20, I'd be out there checking on them, and doing something to cut the wind on them, for sure. I really don't think a spread of 80 to 40 is hard on them. And usually if it's below freezing at night, the day was more like 50 than 80.

    I do have two heat lamps in my coop -- on the waterers, not the chickens, out of pure laziness on my part. I have yet to see a chicken anywhere near the area being warmed by the heat lamp except to drink; even the babies are not interested. Of course the babies use mama to warm up -- but they stayed out in the coop for a full hour this AM, and similar periods other days, never once going under her to warm up. I've even seen them digging out a dust bath in the coop floor, which they could do under a heat lamp, but they were nowhere near it.

    I worry about them, too -- and have the feeling they are laughing at me as they relax into their good down coats.

    Yes, and she's been a great Mama - too great, I think. She is still so skinny from being broody (she started off skinny!!), and now she NEVER STOPS foraging and taking care of her babies. She FINALLY started eating treats herself instead of just calling over the babies and letting them all pig out. The sacrifices a mother makes, I swear. So it's the leghorn and her babies I worry about the most. Although I'm sure they are fine, too.
    The forcasted low is 29 tonight. It got into the 20's last year at one point, and I swear in the 18 years I've been here I don't remeber it EVER being in the 20s. Now two years in a row!! I agree, they don't need a heat source- just some work to try and 'tighten up' an open-style coop.
     

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