How to keep chickens warm

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by LY, Jan 4, 2009.

  1. LY

    LY Out Of The Brooder

    10
    0
    22
    Jan 2, 2009
    Edgewood
    My chickens are in a coop. Any suggestions for keeping them warm? The temps have been in the teens at night. We're okay letting them rest a bit during the winter and cut down on the egg production. Maybe I'm a wimp but I want them to be comfy.

    Thanks for any help.
     
  2. henloverinmaine

    henloverinmaine Out Of The Brooder

    52
    0
    39
    Mar 27, 2008
    Downeast coastal Maine
    I live in Maine where it's pretty cold in the winter. I use shavings to line the coop and toss in some straw for insulation. I also feed some cracked corn on very cold days as that helps them to produce their own heat. My small flock did just fine last winter, and it was a cold one!!
     
  3. 2468Chickensrgr8

    2468Chickensrgr8 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 7, 2007
    Ontario
    Alot of information on here to help you out .....I live in Ontario Canada and it has been cold here...my coop has shavings and has insulated walls...also use 2 by 4's as roosts so they can tuck there feet up close to their bodies..if your coop is big I have heard of people lining the wall with bales of straw to block out wind....I only use a heat light when the temps dip down to -20 c .....and then only in the wee hours of the morning from 4 am to 7am . I have had no problems...I have only used the heat light one or two nights. so far this winter ...if you keep it on all the time the birds will get use to it and if the power should go off you may have a problem....well thats my 2 cents....check out the coop construction thread alot of info there...thats were I learned some stuff...well everywhere on this site really...
     
  4. LY

    LY Out Of The Brooder

    10
    0
    22
    Jan 2, 2009
    Edgewood
    Thanks so much for the advice. I'm a bit of a novice and I guess a wimp as we live near Seattle, WA. So we don't compare to Maine or Ontario. We do have shavings in the coop so I think they're okay.
     
  5. tackyrama

    tackyrama Chillin' With My Peeps

    460
    1
    131
    Aug 14, 2008
    Central Minnesota USA
    I'm new with chickens this summer with a new coop/barn I built with lumber I made with a chainsaw mill. It is a large coop (see my web page(s) https://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=14471-coop-layout
    and
    has 6" insulated walls with a loft filled with hay/straw. In Minnesota we have very severe winters and I was worried about my chickens freezing. I shouldn't have been so concerned. We have been having one of the worst winters I can remember and I'm 62 yrs old. I'm finding out how tough chickens are. I was having a wood fire for them when it got down in the single digits. I missed a few nights and they didn't even seem to notice. I now believe they would not need any heat at all, even when it gets down to -17 deg like tonight. A friend of mine has been feeding a chicken esaped from one of those huge commercial chickens barns. It has been living in a wood box all winter and doing just fine. I talked him into capturing it and bringing it to my place out of mercy.

    I have to say however that my coop is the Fort knox of coops. I know many other's coops may not be so well built. From what I've learned here on BYC is that ventilation is very important along with keeping the coop dry. I have wood chips and shavings on the floor to help them out. Roosts should be flat 2x4s or 3s with rounded edges. That way their feet are flat and protected by their feathers when they squat when roosting. Beyond that about all I can say is give them a good diet so nothing is lacking to keep them in good health. I give mine polyvisol in the water as an extra during the winter.
     
  6. Superior Chicks

    Superior Chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    tackyrama:

    What about those vitamens (polyvisol) you give? Could you elaborate? Aren't they a childrens vitamen?

    I just never heard of giving them to chickens.

    TIA

    Ma (Looks like I'm your elder tackyrama,[​IMG])
     
  7. 2468Chickensrgr8

    2468Chickensrgr8 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 7, 2007
    Ontario
    Okay tackyrama I am not going to show my chickens your coop because they'll want to move in....It's fantastic !!! Man I'd like a room like that !!! ha ha ha!!!
    Yes Last winter was my first winter with Chickens and I was very surprized on how cold it was outside and how they got through it okay....
    I forgot to mention that I also put a thermometer at the roost height so I could always check to see what the temps where in the coop....hot weather also...
     
  8. tackyrama

    tackyrama Chillin' With My Peeps

    460
    1
    131
    Aug 14, 2008
    Central Minnesota USA
    Quote:Yes it is a childrens liquid vitamin. We gave it to our children when they were small. I got the idea right here on BYC. It helped nurse back to health two of my chickens that were very sick. I gave it full strength to the sick ones right in the mouth (beak) and put some in the water for the rest. What ever it did it worked. Thanks for the kind words 2468!
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2009
  9. Kbruce

    Kbruce Out Of The Brooder

    45
    0
    32
    Oct 28, 2011
    North Carolina
    Has anyone ever heard of putting cayenne pepper in the chickens water during winter to help them to keep warm? It supposed to increase circulation but I'm afraid it will be cruel!

    Kbruce
     
  10. Davian

    Davian Chillin' With My Peeps

    298
    3
    99
    Sep 8, 2010
    Vermont, USA
    Just give them a clean, draft free coop with plenty of pine shavings or straw to keep warm.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by