should we get more?

HSerChickLady

Songster
7 Years
Feb 12, 2012
275
3
103
upstate NY
Our current flock is down to only 8 hens in an 8'x8' coop. This past winter there were 10 birds in there and i had a terrible time keeping them warm enough. I had to run the heat lamp many nights and this was a mild winter. So we were thinking of getting a few more to add in with them thinking it might help keep them warm since we have so much space in there. We have plenty of space. Do you think adding 6-9 more birds would help them stay a bit warmer? I have an order arriving in July that i can add to and put the additional chicks into the current coop when they're big enough. Thanks for the help. Can't believe i'm planning for winter already. LOL!
 

Achickenwrangler#1

Songster
8 Years
Aug 7, 2011
2,431
106
183
west virginia
That's what the summer is for, getting ready for winter!!! I am already working on my coop, since my planks have shrunk I need to batton the north and west side at least, you certainly have room enough for more but if the coop was too cold, even with heat, why? Remember chickens don,t mind the cold so much, it's too hot that's bad for them since they can't take off their coats.
 

ChickenCanoe

Crossing the Road
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Nov 23, 2010
31,156
23,219
937
St. Louis, MO
Was the coop too cold for you or the chickens?
What breeds do you have or are getting?
More birds will help but ventilation is a much bigger concern than heat. The more birds you have, the more humidity will build which is a big source of frostbite.
I shoot for 1 sq. ft. per bird.
Birds die from bad air - not cold.
 

HSerChickLady

Songster
7 Years
Feb 12, 2012
275
3
103
upstate NY
I know a large part of their being chilly was due to lack of feathers from rooster damage. We've removed all the roosters so they should be all feathered up by fall. I had plugged all their vents except for 2 or 3 of them so it wasn't drafty but also not too stuffy. Our coop isn't insulated either which we may look into doing before winter arrives again. On the nights it was below zero outside the heat lamp could heat the coop to about 12 degrees but no warmer.

We're building a second coop for this years chicks and there will be about 20ish hens in that coop which we're planning to build to 6'x10'.

I'm mostly worried about adding in new birds to my current flock. I don't want them to hurt the newbie's. I figure i'll put them in a pen in the coop for a few weeks before letting them loose in there. Maybe that way they'll adjust easier. I'm also hoping that by adding 6 or more all at once that there will be less bickering than if there were only a couple newbie's for them to pester. I've never added to a flock before so i'm kinda nervous.
 

HSerChickLady

Songster
7 Years
Feb 12, 2012
275
3
103
upstate NY
Was the coop too cold for you or the chickens?
What breeds do you have or are getting?
More birds will help but ventilation is a much bigger concern than heat. The more birds you have, the more humidity will build which is a big source of frostbite.
I shoot for 1 sq. ft. per bird.
Birds die from bad air - not cold.
My current birds in there are Golden Comets and an Ameraucana. If i add to them i'll be adding in Wyandotte's, RIR, Welsummer, Delaware, and Plymouth Rock.

Ventilation isn't a problem in my coop. We have vents the full length of two walls.
 

ChickenCanoe

Crossing the Road
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Nov 23, 2010
31,156
23,219
937
St. Louis, MO
Perfect.
Those birds won't need any heat at all. Adding heat is more stressful for cold hardy breeds. They need to acclimate to the temps. Having warmth at night and going out into a cold wind in the morning is much harder on them than no heat.
If they get used to heat and you have a power outage - what then?
Also heat is very expensive.
 

ChickenCanoe

Crossing the Road
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Nov 23, 2010
31,156
23,219
937
St. Louis, MO
I'm mostly worried about adding in new birds to my current flock. I don't want them to hurt the newbie's. I figure i'll put them in a pen in the coop for a few weeks before letting them loose in there. Maybe that way they'll adjust easier. I'm also hoping that by adding 6 or more all at once that there will be less bickering than if there were only a couple newbie's for them to pester. I've never added to a flock before so i'm kinda nervous.
You're right. Like numbers and like sized birds is the best way to add. Introductions like you plan work as does letting them free range together. Finally place them on the roost at night and eventually they'll still have to work out pecking order after they're together.
 

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