Is my coop to cold? HELP

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by ChickenyChickeny, Nov 8, 2017.

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  1. ChickenyChickeny

    ChickenyChickeny Songster

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    I live in central alberta so it gets reallllly cold here like -20°. I have an insulated coop but one of my young chickens ( 4 months old) is shivering alot and standing on one leg with the other in her feathers. should i turn on the heat during the day? I only have it on at night right now. should I keep the tiny chicken door closed during the day? are the vents to big and are letting in drafts? HELP
     
  2. ChocolateMouse

    ChocolateMouse Crowing

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    4 months old is a little young to be handling those temps. Chickens are pretty small and developing still at that age.
    Make sure your coop is dry. Dryness is more important than heat. Check tips of combs for freezing. Do you have any moisture build up anywhere? Are the chickens out of the breeze inside the coop?
    How are the other chickens doing? Are they roosting together and seem warm? Is it just this one bird?
    Can you post some photos of your coop, inside and out?
     
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  3. azygous

    azygous Free Ranging

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    -20C I assume. That's pretty cold for humans, but chickens that are acclimatized to it feel only a little discomfort. They're well outfitted in down and feathers to trap body heat. As long as they consume quality calories and are well nourished, they can generate the heat they require.

    If you do choose to add a little heat at night, add only enough to raise the temp to slightly above freezing, keeping in mind that chickens experience more discomfort going from a heated environment to a very cold one and then back again. It's more stressful than adjusting to one temperature.

    Also be aware that adding heat to freezing air can cause condensation leading to frostbite if the air is stagnant and doesn't circulate. Ventilation is key as long as care is taken to prevent cold drafts.
     
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  4. ChocolateMouse

    ChocolateMouse Crowing

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    Oh, hahaha! Yeah, a clarification on the degrees would be nice. I presumed -20*F which is dang chilly but not entirely unexpected for something that far north and could be rough on smaller chickens. We get about 1 week a year in the -5*F/-20*C where I live in the US and that's substantially warmer and most chickens, even small ones, are OK in that.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2017
  5. ChickenyChickeny

    ChickenyChickeny Songster

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    So, in response to the questions, I don't think there's moisture buildup though I do keep the water in the coop or else it freezes outside. it freezes in the coop to though, sometimes. I still gotta get a heated water dish.... yes they are out of the breeze. I always check their combs for freezing, none have frostbite. it's just the one chicken shivering. the others seem fine. the pictures are attached. the brown chicken is the shivery one 1510173407008-1043268570.jpg 15101734766531150001849.jpg 1510173565046884992661.jpg 1510173578236-1489370866.jpg
     

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  6. ChickenyChickeny

    ChickenyChickeny Songster

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    oh and yep -20 Celsius. whoops sorry about that
     
  7. azygous

    azygous Free Ranging

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    Not all chickens shiver in response to cold, and it's really not known if it's really of any significance when they do. Chickens have such marvelous responses to coping with cold, they really aren't in any real danger of freezing to death unless they don't consume enough calories or they're exposed to chill wind.

    You've more than taken all the right precautions to protect your chickens from exposure, including the heated water dish. If you haven't already, try a warm breakfast of cooked oats, and a bedtime "snack" of a high calorie food such as corn and occasionally canned mackerel. But don't overdo it. The majority of their diet must still remain a balanced feed.
     
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  8. ChickenyChickeny

    ChickenyChickeny Songster

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    yep i give them the cooked oats 4 breakfast sometimes and corn
     
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  9. azygous

    azygous Free Ranging

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    Your chickens are set, as far as I can tell. You should worry more about keeping yourself warm in those frigid temps!
     
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  10. ChocolateMouse

    ChocolateMouse Crowing

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    Yea, I would also try a nice snack of cracked corn in the evening. I AM seeing some icicles on the underside of that board which would concern me, personally, but might just be because of the water dish. Still, I'd watch that. Since it's just the one hen I suspect it's got very little to do with coop design/cold and more to do with the individual bird. Make sure that she's not getting picked on and roosting in wet/cold spots and is getting plenty to eat, especially right before bed.
     
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