single digit temps non insulated coop

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by ctjim, Dec 13, 2007.

  1. ctjim

    ctjim Songster

    Jun 9, 2007
    this weekend its supposed to dip into the single digits and my coop is uninsulated. so far my birds have been ok and its been down to about 12. i plan to put some vaselin on their combs and wattles for when they go outside if they go out its also supposed to snow today and sun. i have a heated dog bowl for their water, but i'm worried they will be too cold. i have also acquired a nice electric heater from work which i may put on a timer to come on at about 2 or 3 am and run it for about 45 min to 1hr. the heater can only run 1 speed and the heat can't be adjusted for temp its like a big square hair dryer. my neighbors have said they will be fine and they have some small 4x4 coops w/ no insulation and just some metal bars over the window opening. they've had chickens for years like this and said have never had problems.
  2. Hi, that sounds really chilly.
    Im not sure what breeds you have there but if you can get some old hessian or old blankets and nail them to the walls and ceilings, that works well for a makeshift insulation.
    If only the chickens could talk, wouldnt it be nice if we could make them little coats!!! I would make it as snug as possible for them.
  3. peepkeeper

    peepkeeper Songster

    Jul 5, 2007
    upstate New York
    If they can get out of the weather and drafts they'll be OK. Chickens are pretty weatherproof. I wouldn't put a heater in a coop not made for a coop, on which I couldn't control the temperature or speed. It sounds dangerous. Coops hve caught fire that way. They're better off without it. To give your chickens a hand in the cold, feed them scratch morning and evening (the corn warms them up) and give them plenty of bedding.
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2007
  4. Yes LOTS of hay!!!
  5. AtRendeAcres

    AtRendeAcres Songster

    May 23, 2007
    Clarion County
    I am thinking of just screwing a thick piece of plywood to the outside of north wall!
  6. tiffanyh

    tiffanyh Songster

    Apr 8, 2007
    I am in CT too---waiting for the weather! This is my third winter with chickens and an un-insulated coop with no extra heat. I have never had a prob, no frost bite or anything. I give them hay usually. This year, instead of putting hay in the coop (1st winter only 2 chickens, 2nd only 6), I placed it strategically around the outside the coop to cut down the wind moving around it. I have shavings in it. Also, I have a small coop with 8 birds now so I am sure this will keep them warmer. I also but hot water in their water bowls before a cold night to get some steam going in there.

    If you are close by and need a bale of hay, you are welcome to steal some of mine! My chickens have always done great despite the low temps.

    PS, my girlfriend down the street has an even less insulated coop with wire openings and her 20 chickens always are fine too!
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2007
  7. NS2A

    NS2A Songster

    Jun 11, 2007
    Do not put that heater in there. It's dangerous and the 1 hour of heat you will give them won't help a bit.

    What did people do 50 years ago for a chicken coop? My grandparents never insulated, never ran lights, and never lost chickens and they laid all during the Minnesota winters.

    They'll be fine. They're animals with thick feathers, not pink hairless animals like we are. :)
  8. cajungal

    cajungal In the Brooder

    Sep 18, 2007
  9. Alleyoops25

    Alleyoops25 Songster

    May 14, 2007
    I agree with peeperkeeper. Chickens are very hardy little guys. As long as they have time to aclimat to the weather they will be fine. This year is the first year they have had insulation. Before they had plywood between them and the weather. And I would go out to check on them and they were huddled up and with all of their body heat it was actually pretty warm in there. If you have chickens in side you home I would wait to put them outside. If you want I would put a heat lamp in with them. It will keep them warmer, and it will keep them laying steady as well. AS long as they are not directly in the weather they will be fine.
  10. spottedtail

    spottedtail Songster

    Aug 5, 2007
    ctjim...the advice on this particular thread is excellent.
    Chickens are quite hardy if kept draft-free and adequately ventilated. I'm in MN and have never used heat, even when it's gotten below zero. The hens are all healthy and hardy.
    My thinking is not to compromise their natural hardiness by giving unnecessary heat. Sometimes our inclination to pamper works to our animals disadvantage.

    Good luck,

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