How cold is too cold?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by justduckie, Dec 13, 2008.

  1. justduckie

    justduckie Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 30, 2007
    Tonight it's suppose to be around -15 and the wind is blowing about 20-30 mph. My coop is a 8X16 shed converted into a coop and is pretty well draft free. I have it divided in half and at night I shut the inside door along with the outside door to keep my 10 birds in a smaller area with the belief that if they are kept closer to each other, they'll keep each other warm. They usually can free range during the day, but I keep them locked up at night.

    So, back to my question......how cold is too cold? I've had one heat lamp shining on their roosting area since it started freezing at night and since this artic front was suppose to come thru, I put another one in there that shines on the waterer and the area around it to hopefully keep it from freezing. Or at least keep good water for most of the night and I'll bring it in in the morning and refill it.

    They seemed happy and it was definitely warmer in the shed than it was outside when I went in to feed and water this afternoon but the temp hadn't dropped yet. Now it's about -5. Do you think they'll be ok? Or should I be worried? I don't want to wake up to frozen chicken.....at least not chicken that aren't in my freezer!
     
  2. Wildsky

    Wildsky Wild Egg!

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    I think they'll be fine.

    Last year we went down to -26 with wind chill, it was VERY cold and I don't have heat in my coop - there is also a small window (OPEN) going into the horse barn - which is open to the outside.

    Your birds will be fine.

    (my coop is 20x7 also a converted shed, very old with a dirt floor, last year winter I had only 8 standards and 4 bantams in there.)
     
  3. AngieChick

    AngieChick Poultry Elitist

    Thank you for the timely question. I was wondering this myself as we are expecting some extremely cold weather (for us Pacific NW peeps), like down to 12 farenheit. I was contemplating getting a red light, but now I won't fret about them as much.
     
  4. Wildsky

    Wildsky Wild Egg!

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    Woke up late this morning, I woke at 9am it was -8 outside, with windchill its -34.
    Hubby already opened the chickens, I saw a couple of ducks out and a couple of guinea's close to the door. No chickens outside yet - [​IMG] But they're not frozen to the roost.
     
  5. columbiacritter

    columbiacritter Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The only time my ducks really show any response to cold weather is when their pool freezes and I don't get out to break the ice fast enough.

    My chickens are not thrilled iwth the snow, but they are out and about scratching around under the trees where there's little or no snow accumulated.

    We did move our two very small banty roos from their bachelor quarters to the greenhouse. They are predicting single digits temps and not getting above freezing until next weekend! Unheard of for here.
     
  6. 6chicks

    6chicks New Egg

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    Sep 13, 2008
    Fort Collins, Colorado
    I, too, worry incessantly about my little 4 month old flock... the dread of finding frozen chickens in the morning after some of these night temps we've been having... but I keep reminding myself, back in the day, before electricity/heaters, chickens lived through the cold, right? But boy, they sure don't like the snow, do they? They won't even come out of their house into the yard - they just keep taking turns poking their heads out the door and looking around but they're not venturing out of their house...
     
  7. justduckie

    justduckie Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 30, 2007
    Well, they did fine last night. It was -20 last night without the windchill. AND the wind was blowing about 10-15 mph. I haven't looked to see what the windchill would be with that.

    I went out first thing this morning and they were all fat and happy! The water did freeze, so we brought it in and defrosted it and gave them some more. I even had 4 eggs waiting for me.

    Guess my chickens are tougher than my diesel pickup. It wouldn't start this morning......and niether would my diesel tractor.

    [​IMG]

    Good thing it's suppose to be in the 40's by Wednesday![​IMG]
     
  8. Wildsky

    Wildsky Wild Egg!

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    we're not going over freezing for at least a week. with windchill we were down to -36 today [​IMG]
    My DH opened up for the chickens this morning - they did step out once or twice, I made oatmeal with leftovers mixed in and closed the coop at around 2pm. Poor biddies, its going to be VERY cold tonight again. (the weather site says -12, but its ALREADY -12)
     
  9. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

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    My Coop
    Quote:I think they will be fine, 10 birds. If your's are like mine they all huddle together in one area of the roosts.
     
  10. Freebie

    Freebie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 4, 2007
    Bloomingdale, MI
    About 2 winters ago, we had quite a cold spell. (below 0 for a few weeks in a row it seemed.) I put a heat lamp above the roost and my hens started sleeping in the nest boxes. I thought it was weird, since they were getting away from the heat. Now I just keep the water thawed.
     

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