1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Questions about cold temps and 9 wk old chicks

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by PlantJoySeeds, Jan 13, 2012.

  1. We are new chicken owners (near New Orleans, LA), having had our now 9 wks old chicks since they were 5 days old. We've just moved them out to the new coop from the brooder on New Year's Day and they love it. Now that cold weather is here, though, I'm worried that, even though they're fully feathered, my girls might get too cold in the coop. We've closed it up but there are still vents all up around the top and two more triangle window/venta on the upper walls (I'm attaching a photo of the coop, which is still a work-in-progress). They have a ton of pine shavings in there and a 250 watt heat lamp. I'm wondering if the heat from that is just going out the vents! I just checked the temp and it's 39 degrees in that darned coop now at 11:30 p.m....it's bound to get colder in the wee hours, too. I also just went out and peeked in on them and they were all up on their roost and seemed fine. Do I need to put something over those vents when it's this cold out? I have a neighbor who's been raising chickens for 40 years (he has about 300 now), and he poo poos my concerns...says that if they have a roof and walls and no draft, they'll be fine in our louisiana winters. What do you say here? [​IMG]
     
  2. americanvalkyrie

    americanvalkyrie Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,056
    55
    171
    Nov 20, 2011
    Reno, NV
    They may not be smart animals, but they go by instinct. They fluff out their feathers and huddle up in the cold, conserving heat with each other. You have better shelter than my birds have, and right now it gets down to about 10 degrees at night here. Maybe put some extra straw in there to hold in the heat, and make sure they have enough food to keep creating their own warmth.
     
  3. kbreak

    kbreak Chillin' With My Peeps

    224
    7
    93
    Nov 1, 2011
    Columbia, MS
    I am next door in Mississippi. This is some cold weather we are having. My 10 week old Buff Orp are outside with no light. Actually mine are in a make shift coop (a dog run with tarps on top and 3 sides). They have seemed fine. They do have a large pet carrier in the pen but they choose to roost on top of the dog run. We had to elevate the tarp in the center when all the rain came thru and they decided that was a better place to roost. I do worry about them though. I also have 8 Lavender Orps and 5 silkies in an outside brooder that I check on frequently with these low temps. I have 2 lights in their brooder and they seem fine. I am ready for the cold to go away!!
     
  4. Oh, thanks for replying so quickly! Now I'll be able to sleep tonight w/o worrying! I'll go down and pick up some straw tomorrow to put in there, just to make sure . I've got their food and water in there until we finish the coop/run this weekend.

    With Gratitude,
    Denise
     
  5. A huge concern is that the coop doesn't seem to be retaining the heat from the heat lamp very well (with all that ventilation!). I have a weather station inside with a monitor sitting on the inside wall of the coop, and it says it's 39 in there...and the temp outside is 29, so it's not warming it up very much. Is that normal?

    If you ladies' girls are doing okay in colder temps, I guess I'm just being a mother hen :)
     
  6. americanvalkyrie

    americanvalkyrie Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,056
    55
    171
    Nov 20, 2011
    Reno, NV
    If there's a ton of ventilation, you could probably close those up a LITTLE but you want the moisture to be able to leave. Frostbite is one of the big worries with cold hardiness, and it's usually caused by excess moisture in below-freezing temperatures. What breeds do you have? Most American breeds were developed in cold areas with unheated coops.
     
  7. kbreak

    kbreak Chillin' With My Peeps

    224
    7
    93
    Nov 1, 2011
    Columbia, MS
    I know how you feel. I baby mine to much. They are in a separate pen because I am afraid to put them in with the big chickens. I got 3 new BCM's this week and one of them still had a baby about 7-8 weeks old and it is in with the big chickens with its momma and I worry about her. But she seems to be doing alright too. My husband thinks I am crazy !! He says they are chickens and will be fine.
    Where at in Louisianna do you live.
     
  8. hemet dennis

    hemet dennis Chillin' With My Peeps

    Take the heat lamp out they don't need it. Like your neighbor said it will be alright believe it or not they will be fine
    good luck
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2012
  9. >What breeds do you have? Most American breeds were developed in cold areas with unheated coops.<

    We have 3 Rhode Island Reds, 3 Buff Brahmas, an Amercauna and a Buff Orphingston (well, the person who gave them to us *said* she was a Buff Orphington, but she's not really looking like the photos I've seen; she's mostly white with a bit of buff feathers on her neck, and some black specks on her wing and tail feathers.

    >Where at in Louisianna do you live.<

    We live in Lacombe, LA, across the lake (Ponchartrain) from New Orleans. Here we call our area the Northshore, and New Orleans area is the Southshore.


    >Take the heat lamp out they don't need it. Like your neighbor said it will be alright believe it or not they will be fine<

    You don't know how good that makes me feel tonight to hear you agree with him. [​IMG]Stil, I think I'll feel better since they're so young yet, to give that extra 10 degrees of warmth :) My husband agrees and also says the heat lamp is expensive to run, too, so he'd prefe if I wanna put warmth out there, to use a regular light bulb.. but we'll see. Maybe next winter when they'll be older I'll also be older and wiser. [​IMG]

    With Gratitude, you guys!!!
    Denise

    P.S. I'm gonna have fun with these cute little emoticons, I can TELL!![​IMG]
     
  10. hemet dennis

    hemet dennis Chillin' With My Peeps

    If you put a regular light bulb that will be worse. you will upset their knowing when day and night are. Let them be chickens. [​IMG]
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by