temperatures that are ok for chickens

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by caosesvida, Jan 16, 2009.

  1. caosesvida

    caosesvida New Egg

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    Mar 20, 2008
    I have read a lot of posts here about the cold snap, some with very cold temps don't do much others do. As a rule, if there is one. What is a reasonable temperature for the chickens, to let out. If its about 15 degrees, and protected from the wind? Is there some ball park figures so I know I am being kind to them? I have an insulated chicken house 22 hens. The water has frozen in the coop, but I doubt it gets below 20 in there. We are getting around 5 above or so here tonight. I wonder should I put a light in there with them, and or, keep them in for the day to help heat the house? thanks.
     
  2. Chipper

    Chipper Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Your chickens should be fine without extra heat.The most important things are no drafts in the coop,low humidity and wide perches so they can cover thier toes.If your chickens want to come out,even when it's cold,go ahead and let them,they will be fine.[​IMG]
     
  3. SD Spike

    SD Spike New Egg

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    Dec 24, 2008
    I have a drafty old building I use for my coop. It hit 39 below zero outside last night. they're all still living and laying. I do have 3 -250 watt heat lamps for them. Plenty of feed and a heated waterer kept always full.
     
  4. whudson

    whudson Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 5, 2009
    I had a few drafty spaces between the frame and tin roof that I sealed with insulation, then stapled a tarp to help hold heat in.

    Then I hung a panel heater directly in front of the hanging plastic waterer.

    I went outside this morning and the water was frozen!

    I guess I'm wasting electricity with the heater out there. The coop isn't insulated at all.

    I was just worried since it got down to 10 last night, but the chickens are all outside this morning and don't seem to mind it.
     
  5. mistylady

    mistylady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Right now its -11 with a windchill of nose-drip-freeze cold. [​IMG] The waterer in the coop was hard frozen and will have to be replaced every two hours today (we have a pair of waterers for swapping) but the chickens are up and eating and complaining. Everyone seems annoyed but alive. Last night it got welll below zero. I do have some waddles and combs with small frostbite black spots from earlier cold snaps this winter but everyones feet are ok. I worry about feet. A bunch of the hens are molting now too. I noticed some chickens standing on one foot and pulling other up into their feathers and then switching. First thing this spring I'm having electric run to the coop. [​IMG] DH doesn't know yet. It will be a surprise. [​IMG]

    I have been throwing lots of corn o ut for them to scratch and eat and the straw on the floor is about 6 inches deep. Today they got some suet bars for a treat.

    Edited to add: I piled snow up around the bottom of the coop to keep the air from getting under it on the side and put a tarp on the run fence to keep the wind from hitting the coop on the north as much as possible.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2009
  6. joebryant

    joebryant Overrun With Chickens

    I have two coops. Both are being heated with black heat bulbs. Everything seems to be okay even with its being -10*F outside here in central Indiana. Right now the four Orpingtons' coop is +5*F and the silkies coop is 0*F but the silkies are staying under the heat lamp that's directly over their heads, so they're nice and cozy.

    I'm going to find some way to prepare for these horribly low temps the next time. I want to do it with light bulbs and thermostats that will turn the bulbs on and off at different temperatures.

    If I can keep my coops about 15*F with light bulbs no matter how cold outside, I'll be happy..
     
  7. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Quote:Unfortunately it depends SO much on your chickens and your climate, I do not think that a general rule of thumb is possible.

    The more humid your air, the sooner frostbite becomes a problem (that is, chickens can stand colder air without frostbite if it is *dry* air).

    Also, the more frostbite-prone your chickens are, uh, the more frostbite-prone they are [​IMG] This includes body size, comb type, comb size, whether the chicken is ill or has previously had frostbite, and quite probably breed as well (over and above the comb type issue I mean).

    Also also, it depends how well protected from the wind your run is.

    Sorry that doesn't help, but unfortunately I think that's just the way the world is sometimes [​IMG]

    Good luck, have fun, stay warm,

    Pat
     
  8. caosesvida

    caosesvida New Egg

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    Mar 20, 2008
    Thanks for the response. I checked the house and the water was not even frozen, it got down to about 10 last night, so I guess I was worried about nothing. They are out now and having fun its in the upper teens. thanks again. kevin
     

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