How cold is too cold to keep mom and new chicks in the coop

ChickenTenderNow

In the Brooder
Oct 11, 2020
17
18
23
My 6 month old hen recently went broody in late september IN COLORADO... AND NOW HAS 11 chicks a weeks and less under her. We have been keeping them outside with her in the coop with 1-3 headlamps depending on the day. Tonight is supposed to be our first really cold night. It is WINDY and suppposed to be getting down to the low 20's. I I can normally keep the coop 30-40 degrees warmer than the outside bu tg bbn I am wondering at what point if any, I should just bring them all 12 inside.

The momma is a silkie (so small)
but she did astonishingly manage to keep all 15 eggs under incubated and alive till she was done sitting on them. We did help her out with a single heat lamp on cold 30-45 degree nights then.
 

chickenhappy1233

Chirping
Oct 15, 2020
139
247
70
I personally would bring them inside for a little bit. The chicks should almost be fully feathered in a couple weeks but I would personally still sleep better if I knew for certain everyone was warm. But this is just me :D
x2 if the chicks are not under her for the whole time they could die in 20 degree weather. i would bring them in and let them back out to the coop when they have a full set of feathers
 

ChickenCanoe

Crossing the Road
Premium Feather Member
Nov 23, 2010
32,154
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St. Louis, MO
I wouldn't worry too much. A hen can keep the chicks warm to very cold temps. Add that chicks just aren't that fragile. If they can occasionally run under the hen to warm up, they can run around in the cold for extended periods.
I had a hen hatch chicks in November once and it got down to low teens. I wasn't worried about the hen being able to keep them warm but I did add a heat lamp above the food and water so they could eat and drink in peace.
Eventually it got down near zero and I took the chicks away to brood them indoors. I don't know if it was a mistake or not but after it warmed up about 10 days later, I moved them back outside. I took them out in a cat carrier. At the time, the mother hen was off foraging with her flock. I'm sure she thought she'd never see her chicks again. She heard the chicks and came excitedly running to the carrier. She never forgot them and I could tell she was ecstatic to have them back.
 
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ChickenTenderNow

In the Brooder
Oct 11, 2020
17
18
23
Even though it is low 20's outside... the coop is buttoned up and cozy and chicks are running around. Relieved that 76 degrees is the lowest it got in there last night.
 

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21hens-incharge

Nuttier than a squirrels stash
Premium Feather Member
Mar 9, 2014
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Northern Colorado
Even though it is low 20's outside... the coop is buttoned up and cozy and chicks are running around. Relieved that 76 degrees is the lowest it got in there last night.
That is way to warm to be keeping the coop. No one will be ready if power fails.

Running just ONE heat lamp is risking a fire. Running 3 is beyond comprehension.

How big is the coop?
How are you hanging these heat lamps?

Are the birds able to get completely away from them?
 

ChickenTenderNow

In the Brooder
Oct 11, 2020
17
18
23
I rarely put all three lamps on at once but if super cold temps are here I am ready. Lights are clamped at the highest points. Also that warmth is because several of these chicks are only a few days old and one of the chicks was just hatched weds evening. They all seem to be doing great.
 

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