Think it's too cold for your chickens? Think again...


9 Years
Sep 20, 2010
West Lebanon, NY
Quote:I'm a CA girl living in the wonderful midwest USA where today the high forecast is for 17degrees. Now at noon it's almost there at 15, with a wind chill of 2. I've lived here for going on 42 yrs I wouldn't trade this for anything you get in California. Glad you're having those temps this time of year if you like it, but there's NOTHING like getting to live where you have the four seasons of weather. The only thing I miss about CA is the ocean. Ohhh I do miss that!!

I agree with you. Mostly I like the long growing seasons...and yes, the ocean. My favorite season is fall and that seems to last all winter here. Nothing makes one appreciate spring and summer like a nice cold winter.

Do you mean nice LONG cold winter?


9 Years
Mar 9, 2010
broke 60 degrees yesterday, and it barely got below freezing last night. next three days will be at least above 50 if not warmer with the nights barely freezing. maybe there is an end in sight.


9 Years
Dec 27, 2010
The lowest temperature it's been here in Nova Scotia is -13F (that's -25C). It was freaking cold. I shut the coop early. Made sure I had banked it well with straw and covered up any cracks. There was a little bit of frostbite in my flock. I have a Rhode Island Red rooster but he got his frostbite outside during the day, I'm almost certain. He learned and on days like that he stayed inside. But anyway I don't have a heat lamp in my coop. The first flock my husband had he did but he found it was keeping them up at night and they were really flighty. It's been looking decently warm lately. Today it's 5 degrees celcius! No wonder I was having dreams of riding my motorcycle. And no wonder my chickens are so pleased.


Barnyard Beckie
8 Years
Feb 11, 2011
Roxboro, NC
:yaThank you, thank you, thank you! I've been telling my hubby that I think it's silly to "heat the coop" in the winter; especially with the milder winters we have in North Carolina! I had him read your post and we BOTH are glad we won't have to spend more money on electricity!


Goddess of Good Things
9 Years
Jul 6, 2010
Joliet, IL
Had to segregate out an injured hen along with one for "company". The mini-coop is in my unheated but well insulated garage along with the cars, snowblowers, tractor, lawnmower, 23'christmas tree, firewood, camp freezer, etc. Then I had to leave them in DH's care for 3 days - haven't seen them for 3 days
. Hope those 2 can keep themselves warm. Spring can't come soon enough!
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Chick Magnet
11 Years
Mar 3, 2008
Time to resurrect this thread with the coming winter. 26*F here this morning, and have already had a couple of hard freezes. I had three 4-5 week old chicks in the coop without heat... got down to 34*F inside, and they did just fine. They were brooded under a silkie, but at 4 weeks they were too big to fit under her. I found them sleeping in the tree branch I had in the pen more than snuggled up to mom, so i just took mom out. They feathered out MUCH faster without the heat, and at 6 weeks they're big enough and fully feathered to go outside.


9 Years
May 5, 2010
Chickaloon, Alaska
All that being said, I did an experiment on some of my NJ boys that I'd hatched recently. At a week old the girls went to a new home, and I was going to cull the boys. Instead, I got a 4 week old cochin/polish mix that was in my coop already and put her in the brooder bin with these 6 boys with NO HEAT LAMP. It was easily getting down into the low to mid 30s here at my place. I lost one right off, but he wasn't thriving as well as the others anyways. A week later I lost another. At 3 weeks old I took them out of the bin and placed them in the coop with 4 adults and 5 junior birds. Now, at a month old I have 2 boys left.

So, is heat over rated? Most definitely. I'd make a bet that if I end up keeping these two boys they'll be more cold tolerant than the rest.


8 Years
Jun 27, 2011
N Seattle, WA
My Coop
I don't understand the discrepancy about chick temps. My birds are now nearly six weeks old, and I think the guidelines say to keep the brooder at about 70 or so? I've not raised chicks myself (until now), but they look as though they have enough feathers to stand it a little cooler. Temps here lately have been about 60 during the day and 45-50 at night. A couple of days ago, I stopped using the lamp during the day, and in a few days, I figure they should be good for night without as well. The brooder is sitting in a shed - no insulation and not a lot of ventilation per se (but not really sealed up tightly either). Does that sound reasonable? In another week or so, the coop will be done, and I'd like to move them in without a lamp.

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