It's cold here at night! Do they need a heat light?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by kimboolah, Aug 7, 2009.

  1. kimboolah

    kimboolah Songster

    My clucks were born in mid April and are giving us eggs now on an irregular basis ....but we haven't had much summer here at all and now it's in the 40's at night. The are in a partially insulated coop but the window is open (because I broke the glass trying to get it open) with a screen on it. No predator problems, but I am worried about them being warm enough. Some roost, and some sleep in the nest boxes (i know, I know but it's all about their comfort and security around here.....) and some make big ditch nests in the litter on the floor, some so big, you know there are more than one snugged in there at night.

    So the question is, do you think they are warm enough? We are in northern Wisconsin/UP of Michigan area.
     
  2. jqs birds

    jqs birds Songster

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    They are old enough to be without a heat lamp.
     
  3. miss_thenorth

    miss_thenorth Songster

    Dec 28, 2007
    SW Ont, Canada
    I'm just a ittle south of you, but on the Canadian side, and Ionly use a heat amp in the cold of winter ONLY to keep the eggs from freezing. this time of year--they definately do not need heat. [​IMG]
     
  4. Cuban Longtails

    Cuban Longtails Flock Mistress

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    I'd say they're fine, but they really shouldn't be ground roosting (but that's my personal preference). When they roost on the ground they become susceptible to moisture which leads to pneumonia and other respiratory issues.

    Chickens are pretty cold hardy. A friend of mine lives up in Michigan and he only has barrels with hay (lays them on their side, hole cut in the middle for access, kinda like a large nesting box, sets them up high on boards) for his chicken to shelter in and they do fine.
     
  5. kimboolah

    kimboolah Songster

    How do I get them up off the ground? They have a wooden ladder nailed to the wall--horizontally, and three big nesting boxes. I covered the nesting boxes at night because someone here said that is bad and will result in dirty eggs, but I am a super coop cleaner so I decided to leave them uncovered--keeping them covered was to get them on the roost. First, I had it up high--like shoulder height, but was told it was too high, so now its about 2.5 feet off the ground. ugh. I don't know what I am doing wrong! How do I get them up off the ground?
     
  6. Cuban Longtails

    Cuban Longtails Flock Mistress

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    Quote:Go in each night and put them on the roost. They will eventually learn that's what they're supposed to do. It's very odd for them not to roost though. I've never had one continually stay on the ground, unless they're setting eggs.
     
  7. kimboolah

    kimboolah Songster

    They are setting eggs, but usually in the morning/early afternoon only and so far in the nest boxes except for one I found by the door. There are 9 who are laying age--born mid April, then I have a baby giant cochin, a silkie banty (most adorable chicken EVER!), a splash wyandotte and a black sexlink who are still pretty young--born probably in June. Maybe they are the non roost girls?

    I did go out and put them on the roost, but it really seemed to upset them and they all got flappy and bokky and upset. This was when I covered the nesting boxes.
     
  8. Cuban Longtails

    Cuban Longtails Flock Mistress

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    They'll be upset at first, but they'll get over it and learn. Trust me. [​IMG]
     
  9. kimboolah

    kimboolah Songster

    ok, but I hate freaking them out!!!!! I try to be so calm and move slowly, but they just flap all over and it's a major hissy fit. Major flappy-ness.
     
  10. Cuban Longtails

    Cuban Longtails Flock Mistress

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    I know, it's best if you wait until it's really dark. They do not seem to freak out as much since they can't really see. Just talk to them while you do it, that tends to help sometimes. I like to use one of those headlamp things and set it to the red light as it doesn't seem to alarm them as much as shining a flashlight.
     

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