New Chicken Owners & It's Supposed to be Really Cold This Week

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by SpokaneWA1988, Nov 10, 2014.

  1. SpokaneWA1988

    SpokaneWA1988 In the Brooder

    Jun 10, 2013
    Hi Everyone- it's supposed to freezing this week (highs of 20-32 during the day and in the teens overnight) and I'm worried about our chickens. They haven't made the transition to the coop yet so they're still outside on their roosting bar in the run all night. Their water heater is all set up and we're not using heat lamps so that they'll grow their necessary feathers but I'm worried because normally its not this cold until mid December.

    Any suggestions on how to transition them into the coop where it's a bit warmer or is that unnecessary? Also, is there anything I need to do for them when it's colder? I did heat up some warm oatmeal for them this morning :)
  2. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Songster

    Dec 15, 2011
    SE Pa.
    They should be alright braving the teens if they the roost in the run is out of the wind. They would do better in the in the coop. To get them roosting in the coop start putting them in at night after sun down for a few days to give them the idea, this is the place to sleep.
  3. Julia62

    Julia62 Songster

    Jun 18, 2014
    Reno, NV
    How old are they? This is my first winter as well. I think being dry and free of wind is most important. Can you take the outside roost away so the need to go in the coop? I never had that problem. I got mine at 10 weeks old and they went in on their own as soon as the sun went down. They are now 29 weeks old and still march themselves right in. I do close the coop door if it's below 35 or so at night. Their run is completely covered so it will stay dry.

    I never thought to feed oatmeal. They like it?
  4. threescompany

    threescompany Songster

    Aug 3, 2014
    Mine love oatmeal, I mix a little feed in it and some raisins and they dive right in!
  5. SpokaneWA1988

    SpokaneWA1988 In the Brooder

    Jun 10, 2013
    This is our first winter too. Yeah, the roosting bar in their run may have to come down, which would leave them with a roosting bar only in the coop. I tried putting them in the coop one night about a month ago and they all just went back outside. Their run has a roof but just chicken wire on the walls. Luckily it doesnt get overly windy here but one day this week its supposed to be a high of 22 and windy. Maybe I'll lock them in tonight and just keep the door closed and let them back out in the morning. We have a light in there and they still dont seem to gravitate towards it!

    Yes, they loved the oatmeal! I heated it up and mixed in a scrambled egg and some cheese and they devoured it!
  6. Denwendairy

    Denwendairy Chirping

    May 31, 2014
    Alberta Canada
    We faced the same dilemma last week as we prepared for our cold central Alberta winter. All summer they roosted outside in the pen instead of roosting in the coop. It gets too cold here for them to roost outside in the winter so we needed to find a way to change their habit.
    I removed the roosts from the pen and was able to call them all into the coop, with the help of some favourite treats! It took two or three days of bribery and they all head inside at roosting time on their own now. All I have to do is close the door to keep them inside and they're all set for the night!
    Temperatures are getting cold tonight, well below -20 Celsius. It was such a beautiful fall but I guess it had to come to an end eventually!
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Hopefully they have enough roosting room and good ventilation in the coop...lock them in there for a few days/nights and they'll get the idea.

    Feeding warm food in cold weather seems like a good idea, and they'll eat just about anything with gutso...
    Warm food in cold weather will create condensation/steam, adding humidity to the coop which you really should avoid.
    It can also cause condensation to form on their skin(combs, wattles, face), moisture on skin in freezing weather=frostbite.

    Keep their coop as dry as possible, with lots of ventilation to get rid of moisture and ammonia from breathing and pooping - but no strong drafts blowing on the roost area. If their feathers are moving, the air movement is too strong

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