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Open air coop

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by chickgirl66, Mar 2, 2014.

  1. chickgirl66

    chickgirl66 In the Brooder

    Oct 29, 2013
    I live in Oklahoma. Right now we are in a Winter Storm Warning. There is two inches of sleet and ice on ground. I have an open air coop. Meaning there is no hen house. My five RIRs are exposed to the wind. I have a board over the north side and a tarp over the top. I have put out a box with straw in it. Do I need a heat lamp? They have survived this harsh winter so far, but I lost a chicken in the last storm( I think she was sickly anyway) but I'm afraid of losing another one.

  2. chfite

    chfite Songster

    Jun 7, 2011
    Taylors, SC
    If they have made it this far in the winter, the best thing for them is to prevent drafts. I seriously doubt a heat lamp would matter much in the open. Chickens are tough in the face of cold, it is the draft that drains their energy.

  3. Chicka and Co

    Chicka and Co Chirping

    Jan 4, 2014
    I don't think you need a heat lamp. As long as drafts are being kept out, there's a good amount of clean bedding and they're sheltered well (you could put some more straw in and maybe another board or tarp over) and they've got plenty to eat which will keep them warm and give them more energy (which they'll need for the cold), then I think you're fine. Chickens do surprisingly well in the cold. Just make sure their water doesn't freeze over. Hope this helps!
  4. ChickenLegs13

    ChickenLegs13 Songster

    Sep 4, 2013
    Lower Alabama
    Mine have open air coop too, just a 2x4 under a sheet of tin and whatever wind and dampness gets on them they just deal with it. Several weeks ago we had ice & snow and 16* temps which is unusual in my tropical climate and I didn't do anything different for my birds. I knew they'd be all puffed up with their heads & legs under their wings and be ok. I was going to hang a tarp off the north side for them but it was too cold for me to want to go outside & do it.
    If you're going to get below 0* I'd put some tarps up and dose them up with some corn if I were you.

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