Ideal temperature in nightime coop - pics included

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by cherylcohen, Dec 4, 2009.

  1. cherylcohen

    cherylcohen The Omelet Ranch

    Sep 18, 2009
    SF East Bay CA
    It's been getting down to freezing here in northern California and when I went down at 6am to let the girls out this am it was so cold inside where they roost. I had added an addition because I thought they needed more room to this area, but now I'm thinking I should make it smaller again because it just seems so darn cold. Maybe to many vents? They will walk around in the addition but really don't even sleep on the roost in that area.

    What is the ideal inside nighttime temperature for the coop...anyone. They all snuggle on the roost together but still they are cold when i pick them up in the am. Here's a pic of my current coop/run - we have 9 pullets 23-31 weeks old - the bottom pictures of the coop before we expanded....

    Last edited: Dec 4, 2009

  2. The Chicken People

    The Chicken People Songster

    May 4, 2009
    Smithville, Mo
    Looks like to much ventilation by the roosts...and I changed from rounded roosts to 2 by fours laid sideways so they can cover their feet with their wings and not have to curl toes to stay on roosts atnight. Chickens are pretty hearty animals and will survive the cold. [​IMG] At least thats what everyones telling me!
  3. hilandfrog

    hilandfrog In the Brooder

    Sep 28, 2009
    I'm just a dumb guy and have little experience...

    My 7 chicken don't get heat till the single digits.

    once my inside coop temp reached 7.4F this week I started w/ the 250 heat lamp, it has since stayed around 21F at it's coldest and 32.4 at the warmest.

    1 gal would not come out from under the coop so she spent the night outside... -8F this am... she was happy to see her friends but appeared fine.

    3-6 eggs a day

  4. foweler

    foweler Songster

    Mar 10, 2009
    Chico, CA
    I a softy/chump!

    I have a 100W ceramic reptile lamp screwed into the barn fixture hung over the roost.

  5. chookchick

    chookchick Songster

    Aug 18, 2008
    Olympia WA
    Akane has explained this very eloquently on another thread "how to warm your coop".

    If it's above 32F it's not even cold yet. Cold is when we hit -20F. tongue Chickens won't care about temps above 0F. Not even sensitive breeds really care. I have seramas and so far they've been fine with 10F. We'll see what happens when we hit subzero. I have a space heater ready to go in the small coop or the screened porch which I covered in plastic. Hardy breeds don't care if it's -30F not even counting windchill. I was shocked last winter to see my standards wandering about an uninsulated old grain bin turned chicken coop with the door open on one of the coldest days we've ever had. To top it off they wanted to go outside and were only being stopped by the 4' snow drift that formed between the coop door and barn.

    Ventilation is far more important than heat. You need to vent the moist air. You will get more frostbite at just below freezing with an air tight coop than you will in the negatives with a well ventilated coop. Also lack of air flow will lead to respiratory illnesses from the dust and ammonia coming off their waste. We had our herd of horses all get sick one year when we had some accidental foals in winter and my grandma thought to cover all the door ways and open areas with tarps. Another problem is if you make it too much warmer in the coop than outside they can get sick. People have killed rabbits and made livestock very sick by either heating their stable or taking the small animals in to the house on cold days thinking they were helping them. They can't adjust to the big difference in temperature and the stress on their bodies allows illnesses to take over easier.

    moi again--there is no "ideal temperature", they need to adjust to the temps that you have. I would close off the one vent that is right next to the lower roost, since you have plenty of other ventilation and you don't want wind blowing on them. Then I am sure you will be fine.
  6. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    I would close off the "windows" where the roosts are...that looks like total draft to me... They basically have cold air blowing on them while they're trying to roost, or at least it would appear so...
  7. chris_m90731

    chris_m90731 Songster

    Nov 19, 2009
    Los Angeles, CA
    great looking coop. i like the natural tree branches inside their gonna borrow that idea! [​IMG]

  8. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    Got down to 33 here in Phoenix this morning and I was felling badly for the hens but we got 17 eggs today.
  9. Soccer Mom

    Soccer Mom Songster

    May 5, 2009
    West of Crazy
    Being in California, you probably have the same issues we have here in Texas. It's more of a concern to be able to beat the summer heat than to deal with serious cold. We do get into the teens, but only for short periods. Like you, we build our keeps for maximum ventilation. Our solution for the periods of hard cold is to make panels of siding that we simply hang over the windows. They block the wind, but still don't seal up the coop. Young birds get a heat lamp at night.

  10. cherylcohen

    cherylcohen The Omelet Ranch

    Sep 18, 2009
    SF East Bay CA
    I kind of closed of some of the ventilation (with tarps etc just as an experiment) - i think we have too many ventilation vents and now it's 48 degrees in there vs 32 from last night. What do you guys think?

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