How cold is too cold for my chickens?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by LucyBO16, Dec 15, 2016.

  1. LucyBO16

    LucyBO16 Out Of The Brooder

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    I live in the Charlotte, NC area. This is my first Winter keeping chickens. I have 2. It is getting down to 19 degrees Fahrenheit tonight. We put the heat lamp in if it gets below 32 degrees Fahrenheit. How cold is too cold for 2 chickens in a small coop at night with a heat lamp?
     
  2. micah wotring

    micah wotring Overrun With Chickens

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    WV boy here!
    I am in West Virginia and have no problems with it being too cold. If you don't have any drafts in your chicken coop than they should be fine.

    Here is a recent thread where we talked about it.

    The thread is only a couple pages and shouldn't take long to read. It should explain everything nicely.

    The only thing you may have to worry about is if you have chickens with large combs. They may get frostbite on their combs if it gets too cold. You can prevent this by rubbing Vaseline on it. I'm going to do this to my birds after lunch here today cuz it's supposed to be down to 0 tonight.

    If you have any other questions feel free to ask!
     
  3. LucyBO16

    LucyBO16 Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 13, 2016
    Charlotte, NC
    Thanks! I appreciate the response! I'll go look at the thread.
     
  4. micah wotring

    micah wotring Overrun With Chickens

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    WV boy here!
    Sure!

    Okay, cool.
     
  5. wamtazlady

    wamtazlady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My chickens have done well down to the lowest we got last year, -12 F. They don't need heat. This morning it's 8 degrees outside and they are all out in the run scratching around as usual. They are not even puffed up. They only go into the unheated coop to sleep or lay eggs.
     
  6. micah wotring

    micah wotring Overrun With Chickens

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    WV boy here!
    They may have trouble walking in deep snow though depending on where you are. I'm kinda on the side of a hill on the top of a mountain so we get pretty deep snow. I sometimes have to shovel out their run but the cold is never a problem. Someday, I'll have a covered run with steel roofing on top. :)
     
  7. LucyBO16

    LucyBO16 Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 13, 2016
    Charlotte, NC
    We don't get snow much. We usually only get 1/2 inch each year!
     
  8. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

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    My Coop
    Be very careful using a heat lamp in a small coop..every spring BYC has several threads started by people who had coop fires. I raise chicks outdoors in the run when our springtime temps are in the teens and twenties and I won't have a heat lamp within miles of my setup.

    32 is not really cold, especially if you have breeds or varieties that are suited for colder weather. We will see 22 below zero for the overnight low on Friday night with more snow. I don't heat or insulate. I know I risk being called a "tough bit' but that's the way I do it. If you want to provide heat (and it's not necessary for most chickens as long as they are kept dry and out of direct drafts) there are much safer alternatives, like a Sweeter Heater or other small heaters that give off just enough radiant heat to keep the chill off, and they attach directly to the wall of the coop. Bear this in mind - a heat lamp does NOT need to fall directly into the bedding to start a fire. Especially in a small coop, dust can accumulate on the bulb or housing and that can get hot enough to burn. Chickens can panic and fly into it, and their feathers are flammable as well.

    So please, if you are going to heat, be sensible and avoid a heat lamp at all costs. And be prepared with a plan B for power outages. Good luck!
     
  9. micah wotring

    micah wotring Overrun With Chickens

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    WV boy here!
    Good grief! 1/2 inch? It's barely December and we've got 2-3maybe4 inches.

    I guess I just never realized how much farther south NC is than us.

    Anyway, sorry for pulling everybody off topic.
     
  10. LucyBO16

    LucyBO16 Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 13, 2016
    Charlotte, NC
    Yes, I have seen the coop fire threads. They are very sad. Thank you for the advice!
     

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