Sudden temperature drop?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by chalidobrenz, Nov 10, 2014.

  1. chalidobrenz

    chalidobrenz Chirping

    Apr 6, 2014
    My chickens have acclimated to highs in the 40s and lows in the high teens/low 20s, but tomorrow the temperature is supposed to dip down to -12 with a high of 10 degrees Fahrenheit. Is this ok, or do I need to provide a bit of heat supply for them as they acclimate to this sudden drop in temperature?
  2. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    No heat needed, they should be fine as long as they can get out of any winds.

    Hopefully you have a nice roomy, dry, draft free coop with good ventilation.
    It's hard the first winter until you experience what they can endure.
    They might be less active, mine snuggle down into the shavings on cold days and I provide some corn and or sunflower seeds to keep crops full and for some activity in the coop on those frigid days.
    Avoid the illusion of warm foods, they can cause condensation on skin(comb, wattles, face) and that can result in frostbite.

    Where do you live?...brrrrrr! Won't get that cold here for another month..I hope.
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2014
  3. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Crossing the Road

    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    What aart said. I'm wondering, too, where you live?? Our coldest forecast is for -7 on Thurs. night, and even that seems early for here in MN. I hope it's not a sign of things to come for the rest of the winter...
  4. chalidobrenz

    chalidobrenz Chirping

    Apr 6, 2014
    I live in Wyoming! The next two days are going to be record breakers I'm afraid!! :( Thank you! I do have a big, dry, well ventilated coup for my girls. I just have two white crested polish hens that are littler than the others who don't like the cold so much. :/ Their little feets get chilly! I have deep shavings and I feed scratch every morning and night. I just feel bad for the little troopers.
  5. TaraBellaBirds

    TaraBellaBirds Songster

    Jul 13, 2013
    SW Kansas
    As Aart said they won't be as active and they will eat a LOT more! Watch for frostbite on big combs and make sure they have plenty to keep them busy. I hang fruits and vegtables up so that they have to work for a nibble. I really want to build mine a chicken swing! Activity keeps fights and squabbles down!

    We are in for super cold here in KS too.
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Deep DRY bedding that they can nestle down in and wide flat roosts(2x4 wide side up) to keep their feet warm are essential.

    Got something to keep the water liquid?
  7. MikeTheGardener

    MikeTheGardener Chirping

    Sep 3, 2014
    New Jersey
    Thanks for the information ... so far we have not experienced those low of temps here in NJ, but I have a feeling it's going to be a cold one this year.
  8. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida

    Feb 25, 2014
    Northwestern Wyoming
    My Coop
    Yep, me too. 63 degrees yesterday, 55 when the girls went to bed. Then the rain came, followed by the sleet, and then the snow. Woke up to howling winds (but it's Wyoming so that's an almost every day thing) and 18 degrees, now down to 14, and temps are supposed to be below zero by late tonight. Here wind is the enemy - the kind of wind that does this to icicles:


    Ken went out to check the chickens and they are all just fine - even little Scout, who will be 2 weeks old on Wednesday. They were all puttering around in their covered run except for the two who are on the nests at the moment. We have lots of ventilation in the coop, and left ventilation openings when we covered the run. No supplemental heat, no insulation, and no direct drafts on them and they should be fine for the next 6 months of winter. Have a heater in their 5 gallon waterer and when Ken checked, every one of the horizontal nipples worked just fine. We put a brick next to the waterer on one side and yesterday I taught baby Scout how to get up there to drink. I knew his baby waterer would freeze - it was just a small iced tea container with a horizontal nipple on it, so he had to be able to get water from the unfrozen source. A few minutes later he hopped back up there by himself, got a drink, then hopped back down. Eased my mind tremendously. Same with the feeder - put a brick by one side and he hopped right up. So we are as winterized as we can get, and with the winds blocked and plenty of deep litter to snuggle down into, 2x4 roosts in the coop with the flat side up, they are all going to be just fine. Yours will be fine, I'd dare to bet.
  9. Fletch83

    Fletch83 Chirping

    Jan 27, 2013
    Those icicles! Someone told me that Wyoming was expecting in the double-digits below zero? I'm in Texas and we are expected to go from a high of 77 today to a high of something like 55 tomorrow. Definitely not as frigid, but still a steep drop!
  10. Fletch83 what part of Texas are you in. We are in West Central (south of Abilene) and today we are supposed to be low 80's then tonight dropping to the mid 30's and stay freezing through next Thursday. One weather source has us in the mid to high 20's for at least a week as this Polar Express blows through. I know it is not as bad as some up north of us where -10 and lower are expected but where winter normally comes in Jan or Feb this is going to hurt.

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