One hen, a 4'x2'x'2 coop and 20 degree weather... Will she be alright?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Luclin999, Jan 6, 2010.

  1. Luclin999

    Luclin999 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 2, 2009
    Houston, Texas
    Right now I am concerned for Holiday, the chicken that wandered into our yard last year.

    This is the first time we have had "cold" weather here in Houston which will be staying below freezing for more than 24 hours and I am concerned for her.

    Her coop is 2' wide, 2' deep and 4' high with her perch being about 2' up off of the floor. It's not insulated and I know that the temps can get cold inside as her water froze a few weeks ago when the temps dropped to about 28.

    The weather is calling for the temps to stay between 18-30 from Thursday afternoon until sometime on Saturday and I am concerned to leave her out there alone. I'd bring her into the garage and set her up in our large dog crate but the last time I did that she was upset for days afterwords.

    I'm thinking of trying to set up her coop with a ceramic heater/lamp and maybe one of those heated pads that go under a lizard tank to set her water on but frankly I really have no idea what I am doing and just want to make sure that she stays warm enough and safe with whatever I put into the coop.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2010
  2. Hillsvale

    Hillsvale Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hillsvale, Nova Scotia
    she needs a freind or two.... [​IMG]
     
  3. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Quote:I totally agree....they're flock animals. Have you considered adopting another bird or two?
    Too bad she doesn't have anybody to huddle with. Personally, I would bring her in, but I'm a worrier. In such a small space, if it's not drafty and has lots of dry bedding in it, I'm sure she'll survive okay. Could you stack some hay bales around the sides?? Because it's such a small space, I'd be hesitant to put a lamp in it. If her roost is 2 feet off the floor, then that doesn't leave a lot of clearance space for a lamp. I'm not sure about the pad heater...
     
  4. Luclin999

    Luclin999 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 2, 2009
    Houston, Texas
    Quote:I totally agree....they're flock animals. Have you considered adopting another bird or two?
    Too bad she doesn't have anybody to huddle with. Personally, I would bring her in, but I'm a worrier. In such a small space, if it's not drafty and has lots of dry bedding in it, I'm sure she'll survive okay. Could you stack some hay bales around the sides?? Because it's such a small space, I'd be hesitant to put a lamp in it. If her roost is 2 feet off the floor, then that doesn't leave a lot of clearance space for a lamp. I'm not sure about the pad heater...

    We found her wandering in the yard a year ago, injured and abused by what we have guessed was someone with one of the immigrant lawn mowing crews that work in our area. She somehow managed to get away from the back of the truck she was on and hid in our back yard until after they left.

    After talking to the owner of a feed store in a nearby town we found out that there are a lot of people in the area breeding the birds to fight (even the hens) and that based upon her appearance that is likely what had been happening with her.

    The local "fight clubs" took to fighting the girls after too many people got wise to their activities from hearing dozens of roosters crowing at certain houses every day. When that happens, animal control gets called out and the place is raided. The hens don't make as much noise and apparently some of the heritage hens like the Red Jungle fowl (like Holiday) can be trained to be territorial and aggressive towards other birds.

    That is the main reason we don't want to get another hen, frankly I don't think she will socialize properly and don't want to risk the well being of another bird just to find out.

    Also, we live in a fairly upscale suburban neighborhood and I'm breaking the HOA rules just by having her. Fortunately my neighbors who know her history are understanding and don't complain but if I start raising a flock of birds then that would be another situation altogether.

    So for now she will be a flock of one, and I just need to make sure that she is kept as safe and warm as I can.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2010
  5. mamaKate

    mamaKate Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 9, 2008
    SE MO
    I think she'll be ok. The only issue might be comb damage. Can you put her in the dog crate just for sleeping? She might not get upset if she can run around in the daytime.
     
  6. purpletree23

    purpletree23 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Can you give her a heat lamp or even a heating pad that she can lay on if she wants? She also has to have enough room to be able to leave the heated area if she wants. Give her access to scratch. I've read that it helps the chickens stay warmer when they eat it.

    I would get her a few companions (usually free or low cost at animal rescue leagues) and a heater called a sweeter heater. I have one and love it. No fire danger and very energy efficient. I think she will be much happier with a few friends.

    Thanks you for taking her in. That is very kind of you.


    People who fight animals should be.........................................everyone can fill in the blanks in their own heads. Dirty rotten no good blah blah blah!!!!!
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2010
  7. phalenbeck

    phalenbeck Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Canton, N.C.
    I am hitting 8 degrees at night, and the small flock is fine, as are the chicks just born, and the Frizzle anti social sleeps alone Roo. My point is that my alone guy and non-cold hardy breeds are doing just fine. I would guess that this would be different in northern states, where cold tolorent breeds would be the way to go, but I am north of and colder than TX, and all is well.
     
  8. greenpeeps

    greenpeeps Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 15, 2009
    Greenford, Ohio
    Can you put her coop in the garage??
     
  9. Poulets De Cajun

    Poulets De Cajun Overrun With Chickens

    Stick her in a pet carrier with fresh shavings and put the carrier in the garage....
     
  10. AmyBella

    AmyBella Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Western MA
    Since she has no one to snuggle with, I would give her a couple of hot water bottles and maybe put vaseline on her comb if you are concerned about frostbite. She will probably be fine with no assistance at all, but these are a couple of simple, no-cost things that will make her more comfortable.
     

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