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Temps are starting to drop outside

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by bobbieschicks, Aug 15, 2011.

  1. bobbieschicks

    bobbieschicks Chicken Tender

    Jun 24, 2011
    King George, VA
    My Coop
    I'm new to chickens. I've looked but couldn't find a temperature range/chart for the inside of the chicken coop. Should the coop stay at a particular degree or should the chickens just stay inside during cold weather? I noticed the temps went from 84F to 65F during the night. I had closed up all up a few of the windows before I went to bed. Should I leave the windows open to allow for venting of air or keep closing them down to keep the chicks warm as they are only 4 weeks old right now.


  2. Hollywood Chickens

    Hollywood Chickens Songster

    Mar 12, 2009
    Last year there was a thread with people putting in how cold their coops were and how the chickens were doing (some had frozen eggs!) for like it above 30 because I am afraid that my leghorn will get frost bite on her comb.
  3. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Crowing Premium Member

    Goodness. There are a lot of threads on this subject and the Home Page here has great Basic 101 information to read as well.

    Chickens have been kept in northern European countries for a 1000 years. The hardy breeds most of us know and love were developed right here in North America, most of them in the far northern states. No heat. No insulation. No electricity in those days. RIR, Plymouth Rocks, New Hampshire, Buckeyes, Wyandottes, etc, all cold hard breeds from bitter cold temperature states.

    The chicken has a feather down coat. If you keep them dry and if the coop isn't humid (condensation is the cause of frostbite), ie ventilated to allow the humid gasses to escape, the chickens do fine in even sub zero weather with no issues. Yes, one has to collect eggs with regularity in cold weather, they don't freeze as quickly as you might think.

    Last edited: Aug 15, 2011
  4. kareninthesun

    kareninthesun Songster

    Jul 1, 2011
    Breathtakingly beautiful shot!
  5. Alethea

    Alethea Songster

    May 23, 2011
    I think they should be ok. If it gets to below 65, you might consider putting in a heat lamp. They will cuddle up under it together if the rest of the coop isn't warm enough for them. Once they get all their feathers, they'll be fine down to colder tempertures. Bok.
  6. Time-Out

    Time-Out Songster

    Jun 29, 2011
    The Peak District, UK
    I've actually been wondering the same. People tend to have larger flocks than I (planned for two birds), so the birds all huddle together to sleep. In an uninsulated coop, with sub-zero temperatures, would hens still be ok? I don't know, but I've been practicing my puppy eyes just in case I want to bring them indoors [​IMG]
  7. bobbieschicks

    bobbieschicks Chicken Tender

    Jun 24, 2011
    King George, VA
    My Coop
    Quote:Thank you for the helpful info! I'll get the heat lamp ready just in case [​IMG]

  8. bobbieschicks

    bobbieschicks Chicken Tender

    Jun 24, 2011
    King George, VA
    My Coop
    Quote:From what I've been reading - older hens with all their feathers would be fine in a coop that keeps the weather out and isn't insulated. I don't know if you do DLM - but I do know the pine shavings got really hot in the brooder when they were layered with DE & poop - so my guess is that could help keep them insulated against the cold.

    I will have 8 in the coop by the fall - we don't usually get very cold or snowy winters in VA but sometimes we might. I think mine will be fine even without insulation by then b/c they'll have their feathers & each other. But I think with that kind of cold you'll have to watch for frostbite on their feet and combs. I read Vasoline is good to help w/winter combs - I don't know what to do for their feet other then I read to have the roost 2x4 wide side so they roost on top of their feet to keep them warm.

    This is my first time of raising chickens - and winter will be a learning time I'm sure. I have a shed I might be able to move them to - but DH told me mine can't come back inside unless they're on a plate [​IMG]
  9. BoltonChicken

    BoltonChicken Songster

    Apr 14, 2011
    Bolton, Mississippi
    1. Always, always always have ventilation. Not drafts... ventilation.
    2. Most breeds are very cold tolerant. I am talking down to zero. Keep them out of wind and provide a lamp. Make sure the water doesn't freeze.
    3. In heat, keep them in shade, dirt and moving air with lots of water and they can tolerate temps over 115 degrees.

    Chickens can stand a lot more temperature variations than a human.

    Don't worry too much and enjoy the little dudettes.

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