Need some insight

Crack N' Egg

10 Years
Jul 29, 2009
Flemington, NJ
So many people have different opinions, and being new (9 weeks) with chicks I need some help.

We live in NJ. The weather is turning colder and we will be moving our 10 chicks ( 6-9 wk olds, 4-7 wk olds) out to their coop. We have a 4x6 raised coop with a 20 foot run attached.

Do they need a heat lamp on during the winter? The weather can get quite brutal in Central NJ. The coop is really well sealed though. And how often do you feed? Should you have feed and water available 24/7?


1. Heat lamp in coop??

2. Feed and water 24/7??

Thanks for the help!!!
I think chickens are pretty well insulated when they are fully feathered. If you have them in a ventilated but non-drafty coop they will probably be fine. I'm sure someone with more cold weather experience will chime in to help you though.
Until they are fully feathered though you will need a lamp, especially on those 4 week olds.

As for food, it should be provided all the time that they are awake.
Some people either take it away or lock it in the coop at night to keep rats out of it. If food is provided then water should be as well.
Some people who put up the food at night just have water in the coop for early morning thirsts before the humans wake up. Water without food is OK, but never have feed wtihout water available.
I know your winters-former VT kid hated that weather and taxes so moved South

drafts are the enemy much more than cold weather.That said ventilation is so important for keeping them healthy.9 weeks or fully feathered should be fine without heat in most winters..the way this weather patten is changing all the time I'm now ready for anything.If you get into the well below zero range for long periods you may want some heat those days otherwise they should be fine.
I do keep food for my chickens 24/7 outside but how I'm set up they never get locked inside they can go into their Fort Knox run at will..this winter they will have a water heater on...glad we only have a few weeks of winter normally but this has been a far from normal weather year here so far.
Thank you for your inputs.

My 9 week chicks are fully feathered and plump. The others are almost fully. They are actually 6 weeks. We will probably keep the heat lamp on when it gets bitter for longer periods.

HBuehler, I'm a VT'er too. I've practically grown up there. For 30 years I've been there almost every weekend, and summers. My parents have a house in Peru. And yes, we are trying to get out of Jersey too. Taxes are ridiculous!!!! Hate it. We looked a TN.

We also have the ability to have the coop opened all day/night. Ours is like Fort Knox too. No way for anything to get in or out. Not even rats or mice. But if the door is open then there will be a draft.

I'm getting so nervous since they will be going out soon into their own house.

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom