How cold is too cold?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by desertchicken92, Nov 13, 2014.

  1. desertchicken92

    desertchicken92 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have 4 hens in coop roughly 7by8 and 7 feet tall. Its uninsulated. I secured a 250watt red heat lamp in there. I know some Don't use a heat lamp but im going to regardless. Anyways my question is that its been in the teens to twenties at night and so far they seem alright but tomorrow nights gunna be 1 degree. Whats a good judgement of temperature to go ahead and use the heat lamp?
     
  2. MeepBeep

    MeepBeep Chillin' With My Peeps

    Your best course of action is to monitor your humidity in the coop as well as temp, if the humidity in the coop is above 60% you don't want the temp in the coop to drop bellow 33°F or else you risk frostbite due to the combination of high humidity and moderate freezing temps... Find a way to lower humidity if this is the case, generally this is done with more ventilation...

    On the other hand if the humidity is bellow 60% (the lower the better) then most breeds can handle temps down to zero without much hassle, although I would recommend as the temp gets further down towards zero you aim to lower he humidity towards 40% or lower or there is still a potential for frostbite...

    As the temps fall into the extreme negatives say -20°F and below, exposure loses and frostbite will happen regardless of humidity levels, especially to less cold tolerant birds, young birds, sick birds or elderly birds...

    Remember this is the temp and humidity in the coop, not the temp/humidity outside... Chickens packed in a small coop will warm it up a bit, but they will also drive up the humidity...
     
  3. birdlady79

    birdlady79 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm so glad you posted that about humidity... My DH put a themometor in the coop night bf last.... We live in TN & ole man winter has arrived... The temp in my coop was 30 this morning & humidity was 70%.... So humidity obviously needs to come down....
     
  4. MeepBeep

    MeepBeep Chillin' With My Peeps


    Yep, get that humidity down, you are risking frostbite with that combination...
     
  5. annabelle12

    annabelle12 Out Of The Brooder

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    Ventilation is key to lowering humidity. The birds respiring at night release a surprising amount of moisture, as do their droppings. As long as there is no wind blowing directly on the birds, don't fear letting some air in there! I use a hole low on the coop and a hole high on the coop to draw out moist air. I leave the pop door open through winter (with a wind block outside it in winter) and I have a roof vent on the coop but any combo that makes sense on your coop can work (low and high vents). Also of course dry bedding and making sure the waterer doesn't spill, or is not even kept inside the coop will cut down on moisture.
     
  6. LogCabinChicks

    LogCabinChicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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  7. birdlady79

    birdlady79 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I was wondering if I could open the pop door bc it's not underneath them.. I'm trying not to hijack this thread, so I didn't ask this morning... Lol. . I noticed tonight when I got off work, the humidity was lower... But I closed them up ... Tomorrow night I'm going to leave the door open... Then I'm going to wrap the run with plastic for winter.... We get ALOT of wind & at least they could hang out in run when it suites them.... Lol. Thx for posting this....
     
  8. MeepBeep

    MeepBeep Chillin' With My Peeps


    I would suggest (run design dependent) you only wrap the bottom say 4 or 5 feet leaving the top open so that humidity doesn't build up in and around the coop or in the run that can be just as bad as humidity build up in the coop...
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2014
  9. birdlady79

    birdlady79 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thx I should've clarified.. Lol..., I'm going to wrap but not top bc it has a composite roof on top but roof doesn't cover the whole length of run. I'm only going to wrap back & sides and leave whole front & top open.
     

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