Should I worry about cold?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by ashedd, Dec 6, 2010.

  1. ashedd

    ashedd Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 3, 2010
    So it's like 10* outside and has been for a few days. I have a Rhode Island Red and Comet(? cross between RIR and something else) and they would rather sit on the ground in their pen instead of hiding out in their coop. The coop has two heat lamps and has been sitting at 42*. I have a couple CFL's on a timer and as soon as the lights go out at around 10pm they go to bed in the coop for the night. I spread some straw out in their pen to make it more fun/comfortable.. they just sit there next to each other like they are nesting.

    Is this ok? I am assuming they would go up in the coop if they got too cold... or are they too stupid for that? Combs look fine, no frost bit. I am a bit concerned.
  2. math ace

    math ace Overrun With Chickens

    Dec 17, 2009
    Jacksonville, FL
    They should be going in the coop where they normally go. If you recently made changes to the coop - - - they may be afraid of the changes.
  3. The Fairy Godmartyr

    The Fairy Godmartyr Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 7, 2010
    We have been in the teens and 20's the past couple of days, and my chickens have spent most of their time outdoors, too. They did spend more time in the coop today (the coldest day so far--I don't think we ever cracked 20 and had wind chills in the single digits). When out, mine spend a lot of time huddled together under the coop.

    I have been worried about the cold since this hit before I had a chance to insulate the coop (this is unusually cold for us for this time of year), but they must be able to hold their own pretty well. My mom is a local politician, and she was telling me tonight that they are going to try to catch and relocate the FERAL chickens living in our small town (I'm fairly rural). If we have chickens running around town living in the trees and drinking out of the creek and still thriving, I suppose ours will do just fine being able to go into their coops whenever they want.
  4. wbruder17

    wbruder17 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 7, 2010
    Portland, OR
    Considering chickens are animals, I would think that they learn to adapt pretty well to their conditions. With my horse, I learned that if you blanket them, they will not grow the coat necessary to keep warm, but if you do not blanket them, they grow nice, thick coats. I would think it would be virtually the same for chickens. Let them grow the feathers they need, without the aid of heat lamps, and they will be ok. I would hope they've retained some instincts through human breeding.
  5. ashedd

    ashedd Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 3, 2010
    I have not made any changes to the coop. The living quarters are insulated and has heat lamps. The coop is in a pen and is elevated. There is a door/flap on the coop always open(can close it if it gets too cold) and the hens travel via a ramp down to the pen area. They seem fine and are doing typical chicken things. They come up the ramp to the coop to see what I am doing if I have the big door open... they are always willing to help me maintain the coop, even if it means pecking at my fingers while I am working.

    So I guess the consensus is they will go "home" to the coop if they are cold?
  6. ella

    ella Chillin' With My Peeps

    Yeah unless something is seriously wrong with the coop (hidden wolves in the corners) they will go in rather than freeze. It seems like they spend a ridiculous amount of time out and they should be chick-cycles but they're tougher than you think. It sounds like you have the perfect setup. [​IMG]

    I've had chickens for 6 years in Minnesota. Never had one freeze, and I have small breeds like Phoenix & Sumatras.
  7. cottage19

    cottage19 Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 20, 2010
    Eastern PA
    We always had chickens at home (more years ago then I care to admit to). Their coop was dry and they spent most of their time out and about. I remember having less eggs in winter but have no memories of frozen chickens. My present coop is draft-free and secure. I don't use a heat lamp. It dropped down into the 27 degree range over the past few nights but it was about 35 in the coop. The coop is 6X6X7 for 7 hens with a secure 6X8X7 run attached. We did hang a tarp against the run as a wind block and also put plastic over the 3 coop windows. Fresh air and venting is accomplished via the coop door which is joined to a small barn. The girls are free range for most of the day but I notice that they stay close to home or in the barn when the wind is blowing. I don't believe they need heat as long as they are dry and have a draft free roost area.
  8. blueskylen

    blueskylen Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 3, 2008
    i've read on here that as long as they are dry and don't have a damp breeze running thru the coop they will be fine.
    Mine are all about 5 years old now, and when it gets under 20 degrees the heat lamp goes in the coop. it only heats the area under it, so I have 12 chooks setting on the floor under the light - they might not need it, but sure like it.

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