need hand-holding re: cold temps

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by prairiepearls, Nov 23, 2010.

  1. prairiepearls

    prairiepearls Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 2, 2010
    Wichita, Kansas
    I'm probably just being a baby about this, but it's keeping me awake at night worrying.

    I wanted to keep the coop just above freezing, but last night it got down to 25F here in Kansas, and the coop (inside) got down to 27F. (And yes, I know that's not that cold -- I'm from Wisconsin.)

    I only have 3 birds and the coop is 24 sq. ft., so their body heat isn't enough to keep it above freezing. I have a heated water bowl, so their water's fine. I keep reading that I don't need to/shouldn't heat the coop, but is it REEEEEEALLY OK??
  2. Rare Feathers Farm

    Rare Feathers Farm Overrun With Chickens

    What breeds do you have? One solution is MORE chickens! [​IMG] At those temps, they should be fine...feed them some corn, make sure they're dry and out of the wind...
  3. Uzuri

    Uzuri Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 25, 2009
    Build them a "hover" or small box within the coop, over the roost. You can bet that they'll catch on immediately and start huddling in there.
  4. Cargo

    Cargo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 28, 2010
    Farmington, NM
    Yes, it is really ok.
    well ventilated with no drafts is all they need.
  5. prairiepearls

    prairiepearls Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 2, 2010
    Wichita, Kansas
    @Rare Feathers - one gold sex-link, one "amber link," and one black Australorp. The sex links have the big single combs. :-(

    @Uzuri - I don't get what you mean by the "hover." Their roost is 20" below the ceiling of the coop (the whole coop is only 4' tall). Pictures?
  6. JoAnn_WI_4-H_Mom

    JoAnn_WI_4-H_Mom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 17, 2009
    West Central WI
    The idea is to create a small area they can get into and warm with body heat. You do not want the body heat to disapate into the large coop area.

    You could pick their favorite high-up roosting spot and enclose it a bit more by suspending blankets around it like a small open-bottomed tent. The birds fly up to the roost from below and are able to keep it warmer because of the added insulation.

    These work well if you have quiet birds that like to spend a lot of time hanging out. Mine are more active and won't hang out in the warmer area.

    Good Luck! Those big single combs are really a challenge!
  7. Uzuri

    Uzuri Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 25, 2009
    That's good -- they're probably in the warmest part of the coop, then, since heat rises. What could help more, though, would be to wall in part of the roost so that they've got a smaller area to heat with their bodies. Without knowing exactly how the inside of your coop looks it's hard to explain more. My "hover" is just a flattened carboard box hung right over their heads to lower the roof, but some get really fancy and are insulated, or have walls. Generally the idea is just to keep the chickens' warmth closer to the chickens. There's a million and one ways to do that, so be creative and do what works in your space!
  8. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
  9. Nana2KJS

    Nana2KJS Chicks-n-Ahs

    Mar 21, 2009
    SE Kansas

    I'm just a couple hours east of you. My four ladies did just fine last year. I did insulate the roof of the coop with 1/2 rigid foam, and hung an infrared light in the pen. We ended up covering all four sides of the pen with clear plastic. They had a cozy dry pen and coop all winter long.
  10. prairiepearls

    prairiepearls Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 2, 2010
    Wichita, Kansas
    Oh my, Tammy, I thought my coop was cute, but yours is blinkin' ADORABLE!!

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