Should I consider adding some heat?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by JNorth, Jan 17, 2013.

  1. JNorth

    JNorth Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 7, 2012
    Western New York
    I live in WNY, directly between both lakes. Weather forecasting here is well, a crap shoot. We rely on the forecast for the major cities to the east and west of us, add in the weather channel and take the average. For the next week or so they are forecasting single digit highs and lows. Which means we will have single digits highs with negative digit lows. We have 8 hens in our wood shed, moved there because my short legs couldn't make it through the 3-4ft snow drifts on the way to coop. It is not insulated and has a tin roof and it's huge, 10+ft x 30ft, the hens occupy the back quarter of this. Their floor is divided into two parts, sand (with thick rubber mat underneath) and gravel (the "normal" wood shed floor). For a better idea of what I am describing, look here (I'm doing an awful job with words today lol).... For right now they have no option to get outside.... we are working on that and hope to get that up soon.

    It is well ventilated (we store our fire wood in there and it's nice and dry), maybe too well ventilated for the chickens considering it's size. Seems to me that any heat they produce is going to disappear in the depths of the rest of the shed.

    To this point they have had no supplemental heat or light. We check the water am and pm, it's never been frozen solid but we always refill with warm water to last the day/night. Should I consider having the heat lamp (from their chick days) on during this cold spell? Maybe just over their favorite roost? Or should I just add a nice pile of hay and hope they snuggle in if it gets too cold?

    What about Vaseline on their combs and wattles to help prevent frostbite? Just curious really since I read it in a magazine but have never seen it mentioned here.
  2. kota1369

    kota1369 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 17, 2009
    Kansas City, MO
    I took a look at the pictures you had posted and your ladies should be fine. They are designed to be outside. The main things are keep them out of drafts and plenty of ventilation to prevent condensation.
    I sure wish my coop was that nice and big.

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