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Intense Cold on the Way!

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by SandyC, Jan 10, 2009.

  1. SandyC

    SandyC Songster

    I looked at our upcoming forecast and saw that we have night time temps of -25 in the forecast for next week. My birds are by themselves in a small horse barn and roost in the rafters. They seem to do fine, but have never been tested by temps this cold. Any advise from any of you who deal with temps like this on a regular basis? I don't want to put them on heat lamps.
  2. Heidi

    Heidi Songster

    Mar 18, 2007
    Northwest Michigan
    It's pretty cold here in Michigan too. I have been layering the floor of the coop w/ about 5 inches of wood shavings and then another 4 or 5 inches w/ straw - they all seem to be content. I've also been feeding them some scratch every other day in the evening to warm their bodies up for the night. Good luck and just think only 2 more months of this!
  3. Chickenaddict

    Chickenaddict Songster

    May 19, 2008
    East Bethel MN
    Sandy we are looking at subzero temps next week too. I use a heatlamp in the coop but they spend the days out in the run which is not heated. The run does have about 6 inches of straw down tho which does help alot. Maybe you could put a heat lamp out there just for the week? Or just use more bedding so they can burrow down in it when they get tooo cold
  4. maine chicks

    maine chicks Songster

    Nov 10, 2008
    the main thing is have a spot where they won't be in a draft or wind? I know it is hard in a barn . Is there a warmer corner where you could put some scratch that might encourage them to roost there? Chickens are pretty hardy but you might hang a tarp to make a smaller area where they can huddle.
  5. maine chicks

    maine chicks Songster

    Nov 10, 2008
    Oh and make sure they can get water-I put hot water in my coop a couple times a day when it is brutally cold.
  6. Macitypeeps

    Macitypeeps Hatching

    Dec 20, 2008
    Madison, WI
    We too here in WI are getting reqady for the deep freeze! Hubby and I just layered our coop with 6 inches of fresh hay, set up a second heat lamp and made sure the heated dog water bowl was working well. The girls seems to still enjoy being outside as much as possible. They always have access back into the coop where it is warm and out of the wind. They have even taken to hanging under a shed......silly chickens!! They seem pretty happy. I do worry that they will get too cold. We are new to the ways of the chicken( 6 months) and this is our first winter with them:). So I am sure we are going over board but I want to make sure they are safe!!! [​IMG]
  7. Sandy, for your setup you could easily provide bales for shelter, assuming you have some older ones you'd be prepared to sacrifice because of droppings. Make them a little 'fort', if possible up off the ground a distance, and provide some 4x4's or 2x4's flat side up as roosts. Be sure everything is knock-proof and wind proof because even a barn cat can get something unstable to fall. They'll feel safer at some elevation in a barn so take that into consideration.

    My heart goes out to you, we're just coming through this and 14 snow storms. We got through without losses, but it was a battle.

    Another option is to baffle their roost space with sheets of *heavy* clear vinyl, such as 12 ml, or tarps. If you have any spare OSB or plywood it might be possible to build them an elevated platform or 'house' with baffled sides. It *will* make all the difference.

    The other thing of course is keeping the water liquid. It's a must, even if someone has to go out there several times daily with warm water. They are going to eat,. eat, eat- you will be very surprised, they should not be without food and water at any time through this.

    Some other thoughts here:


    Stay safe!
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2009
  8. I hope everyone reads LynneP's "Winter Wise Chickenry", it should be must reading for us in severe cold weather climates!

    Well done LynneP!![​IMG]

    I'm on Lake Superior on Chequamegon Bay. We are bracing ourselves for this weeks predicted artic air. I don't mind a night or two of this stuff, but when it sticks around for a week it gets pretty awful.[​IMG] And this is supposed to be around for about a week. Sigh.............

    Hang tight everyone--------------68 days till spring!!![​IMG]

  9. A Lake Superior lady? Oh wow, I drove north of Superior in August one year and it was chilly! Also met a moose on that highway that tried to demolish our VW Beetle. You know about cold!

    We've had a dreadful winter, today we're getting winter storm #14 and I believe you've been getting all of this too. Hunker down, keep the comfort foods handy and the spirits high.

    Thanks for your comments on the page-let me know if it needs specific upgrades, okay? [​IMG]
  10. chickiebaby

    chickiebaby Songster

    Jan 2, 2008
    western mass
    I'm a little worried, too, and I usually am not at all. Going down to -10F this week and some serious wind expected too. I have added a lot of bedding, do bring out hot water minimum twice a day. Think I'll pick up some bales of hay today. More ideas?

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