Should I keep them in coop when it's below 32

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by dumbcluck, Jan 11, 2009.

  1. dumbcluck

    dumbcluck New Egg

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    Jan 2, 2009
    south central ky
    I'm new at this and am not sure how cold is too cold. Will they automatically return to the coop if they get too cold?
     
  2. Wildsky

    Wildsky Wild Egg!

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    Oct 13, 2007
    California
    They'll stay in or go back in if they're cold. I open up every day and let them figure it out - mostly they'll come on out, they are not happy with too much snow or high winds... that normally keeps them in most of the day
     
  3. chicken stalker

    chicken stalker TOS Rocks!

    Aug 31, 2008
    Binghamton, NY
    mine do...it's in the teen snd 20's here.
     
  4. dumbcluck

    dumbcluck New Egg

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    Jan 2, 2009
    south central ky
    They're 10 weeks old and a couple have yet to climb the walkway to the coop, I still am having to put them in at night even with a light on in the coop, I just worry they'll freeze before figuring it out.
     
  5. pattycake

    pattycake Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 7, 2007
    fingerlakes, ny
    Mine go in when it's cold, windy, or snowy. Or if it rains hard. I used to worry about them freeranging in bad weather, but I found they're pretty good at taking care of themselves.
     
  6. Wildsky

    Wildsky Wild Egg!

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    Oct 13, 2007
    California
    Quote:Perhaps some shelter area in the run would work. You close them up every night ? ? at that point you would see any that didn't go in and could take them in - are you away during the day?
     
  7. lizard7

    lizard7 Out Of The Brooder

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    May 14, 2008
    Kansas
    I'm no expert but at 10 weeks old I would keep them in if it's below freezing.
     
  8. Wildsky

    Wildsky Wild Egg!

    11,973
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    Oct 13, 2007
    California
    Quote:They should be feathered out - and as long as they're not going from WARMED UP coop to freezing out they'll be fine.

    I've seen chicks 3 weeks old out with momma hen on a day in the low 20's!
     
  9. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    They're young and not fully feathered, so I'd err on the side of caution. You folks aren't used to this and neither are your chickens! Is someone at home to watch them?

    A good idea is to have two thermometers, one in the coop, one outside.

    If they were adults and fully feathered and I were home to observe them, I'd say to watch how eagerly thy go out, or not. Do they fluff up or huddle? What breed(s) are they? My birds are cold-hardy but I do watch closely and if they're active indoors and not showing signs of discomfort I leave the pop door open. At about -9C with winds, they tend to avoid staying out. You need to study your flock as they reach adulthood. But the babies? I'd never take the chance.

    You may not have had to think about water outside before, but in freezing temps your birds will be more vulnerable to wattle and comb damage if they get wet. If the temp inside the coop is dipping below 32F/0C you may need a heated waterer or electric dog bowl. I love the dog bowl, the cord has a wire spring to protect it and the birds prefer it, too.

    Some other thoughts here-

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=7693-seasonal-concerns
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2009
  10. dumbcluck

    dumbcluck New Egg

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    Jan 2, 2009
    south central ky
    I'm home during the day and usually don't let them out until 9am. When I open the door they can't wait to get out, start jumping out (3 1/2 ft off ground). I have 2 orps, 2 brahma, 1 cochin.
    I go out several times during the day to check on them and their water, the coop has a 60 watt bulb enclosed in a glass cover. I usually turn the light off at 9 when they go out and back on at 5:30pm when the sun is starting to set. It's going to get in the single digits here this weekend and into the next week. They are fully feathered and have small combs at this time. Three of them go up and down the walkway throughout the day but the other 2 I am still having to gather
    every evening to put up. If I didn't go out with their treats I don't think they would go in for the night on their own. I tried it last night, they were huddled together in the back of the run when it got dark, the light was on inside but no one went in. I gathered them up and put them to bed.
    Keep the thoughts coming I need all the help I can get- I've had them since they were 3 days old and I'm the only mama they know.
     

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