Need help with keeping coop warm torn on what to do!!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Mrsfoote, Dec 6, 2013.

  1. Mrsfoote

    Mrsfoote Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 19, 2010
    Laurel Montana
    So I thought I'd consult the experts. I have a converted horse stall that is the coop with 11 girls 2 boys and two roosters. This week in Montana we've been nailed with the worst weather. Last night was -15F. My coop is not insulated, but I have a thick layer of shavings down as well as a straw "Hut" Shelter I made.

    I had to tarp the door last night because I know air was coming in, even then the coop is reading 0F.

    I don't want to use a heat lamp for all the obvious reasons, power outage, fire hazard. I want them to acclimated to the Montana weather.My only issue is we just moved in the beginning of october from Northern Caliornia so is it too cold too quick and should I add a bit of Heat and then work them down. Tonight and Tomorrow are suppose to be our last and coldest nights.

    What else do you guys suggest I do. I brought our Polish Hen in because she managed to get her entire crest wet and frozen [​IMG]. I think this is her way of getting herself inside.

    Our coop is connected to our shop which I have the heater cranked on but it isn't warming the coop as much as it is the shop/ rest of barn. PLEASE HELP ME!!

    Thanks!
     
  2. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    They will be fine as long as they're able to be out of the wind. I'm in MN, and our temps have dropped from the 20's to -11 last night, and it's supposed to get down to -20 tonight. Your chickens have had a couple of months to acclimate. I would not add heat - then their bodies will not adjust by growing the extra feathers they need. They won't have to because it's warm in the coop. You can turn the heat down in the shop, too. If it's not helping, why waste the energy and money? One other thing. Don't seal your coop up too tight. You need some ventilation so excess moisture can get out and fresh air can come in. There is a difference between drafts and ventilation. Ventilation does not allow air to blow directly on the chickens as drafts can do.
     
  3. Mrsfoote

    Mrsfoote Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 19, 2010
    Laurel Montana
    The coop side has too windows that slide open the one closest to the door but farthest from the birds is slid open some to allow air circulation through there. I tried luring them out it was a giant no go. Even the horses aren't doing much. I know they'll be okay. Everyone says they will be but. At 1:30 am when its freezing out I couldn't help but worry. With mixed info I get from time to time Its hard not to be paranoid. Thank you!
     
  4. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    On the MN prairie.
    I don't even bother trying to lure them out. The pop door is open and they can make their own decision. They usually opt out of going outside. They have plenty of room in the coop to hang out.
     
  5. iheartMT

    iheartMT Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 4, 2013
    Montana
    I feel for you, Mrsfoote. I was feeling torn on what to do as well. It comes down to listening to your gut and making a decision that you're comfortable with. We also live in Montana and decided with this first serious cold snap to turn a heat lamp on at night. This morning the outside temperature was 5 below and even with the heat lamp it was only 15 in the coop. The wind is really blowing this morning and none of the girls were interested in venturing outside. They have food and water in the coop and we already got two eggs before I left for work at eight.

    My plan is to heat at night through Monday when it is supposed to warm up a bit. Then we'll probably leave the lamp off at night. I know there is a lot of debate on heating or not, but it comes down to what you feel is best for your birds. Since you are a transplant from a warmer climate, I would heat the coop at least till this cold snap is over. Then the birds should have the rest of the winter to acclimate.

    I've lived in Montana my whole life and I can tell you that a cold snap this early isn't all that common. At least not one that lasts this long.

    Good luck!
     
  6. Mrsfoote

    Mrsfoote Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 19, 2010
    Laurel Montana
    Thanks iheartMT I've lived her once before but without the birds, a few of my girls are actually from here we bought them just before moving to california where my family was. I'll see how they do today its suppose to be bitterly cold all day our highly only being -3 and our low -15 everyone seems to be annoyed with the cold but functioning the only one who i brought in was the polish like i said she likes to head dunk. I'll see how I feel tonight and weather I should place a heat source , even though I really want to stay away from it. I don't mind the cold but this is miserable, for everyone. We have neighbors calving down the road and I know they've been worried too.
     

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