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

heatherindeskies

Songster
9 Years
May 23, 2010
614
2
119
SE Minnesota
I have my birds in a big pole barn... no insulation, but I do use straw. On the colder days I offer one heat lamp to be used if they want. sometimes they do, most of the time not. I also use heated dog bowls... about 4 of them. When it drops below 0 I put a heat lamp on over the water bowls or I find they freeze up too, and shut that lamp off asap.
My birds do fine on this arrangement.
 

vmdanielsen

Songster
9 Years
Sep 20, 2010
2,603
55
182
West Lebanon, NY
Mrs. AK-Bird-Brain :

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.


Isn't this where we say to the newcomers, please go back and read the first page!!!​
 

Mrs MIA

Chick Magnet
11 Years
Mar 3, 2008
7,988
62
303
Quote:I don't understand it, either, but I'm finding that it's VERY overrated. If you watch free-range momma hens with their chicks, the chicks are out and running around a lot after only a couple of days. They duck back in under mom to warm up, but pop right back out again. And when they're too big to be under mom, they certainly don't have heat lamps out in a field! My little silkie could only brood about 5 chicks, and after 3 weeks they were way too big to all fit under her. But they seem healthier, more feathered out, and more active than the chicks I brooded in wire cages with lamps at the same age.
 

Mrs MIA

Chick Magnet
11 Years
Mar 3, 2008
7,988
62
303
Quote:Isn't this where we say to the newcomers, please go back and read the first page!!!

Oh yes! You must have read it all! LOL!

Newcomers...Go back and read the first page!!!

 
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Mrs MIA

Chick Magnet
11 Years
Mar 3, 2008
7,988
62
303
Quote:And there are times y'all in MN are colder than those of us in parts of AK...

I use the heated dog-bowls in the winter, too. No other heat, though.
 

HHandbasket

The Chickeneer
9 Years
Jun 2, 2010
3,319
58
241
El Dorado County, California
We just moved this past spring to an area that gets snow. It is my first time living in snow, much less living in snow with chickens. We expect we'll have our first snow sometime in the next 4-6 weeks, if not sooner. We've had a couple of chilly, cold, wet rains already.

I am thinking the heated dog bowls for water might be a good idea in our new digs. Where might one find one of those? Anybody have a link to a vendor they'd recommend? I see many on Google, but it's always nice to deal with vendors/sellers that are recommended by the good folks here on BYC.
 

Mrs MIA

Chick Magnet
11 Years
Mar 3, 2008
7,988
62
303
Quote:Where are you located, HHB? We got ours at our local feed store. This time of the year they switch their floor display to items to help winterize pets.
 

HappyPlace

Chirping
8 Years
Jul 31, 2011
130
4
93
Middle of the Mitten
My parents didn't think it was a good idea to let my (19) soon to be 3-week-old bantam chicks stay in their coop at night. I sought out advice from the folks here and was warned against it still. Everyone was saying that it was too early to put them out and that it would be too cold without a heat lamp. So what did I do...? I put my chicks outside on a nice day and left them there.


My little chicks are now almost 7 weeks and have been enjoying the weather without any heat. Even on mornings when it was cold enough to frost and even freeze their water, they were out sunbathing later that same day.
Their coop is uninsulated and there are two holes in the side for entrances. They have plenty of wood shavings for bedding. Once it starts snowing, my dad and I plan on putting up tarps on one side of the run to prevent a huge drift of snow that happens in that part of the yard every year. We don't want the birds to get buried on windy days. I have been using dog bowls for water which will be easy enough to pop out ice and refill. I have a feeling they will be just fine...


One thing that I think most of us forget is that for the most part, "wild" and "farm" animals spend their time outside. They are constantly exposed (if only partially) to the elements and adjust. If humans weren't indoors all the time with heaters and electric blankets, and spent most of the day outside, we would adjust the same.
 

Yay Chicks!

Songster
9 Years
Apr 15, 2010
3,784
65
213
Forest Grove, OR
Mrs. AK, I've been pointing people in the direction of this post as I come across people wanting to know if they should heat the coops. It is such a great thread for giving some perspective and allowed me to calm down about the affects of cold weather on my birds. Although it's rare for it to get below freezing here, we usually do get some single digit days. I have an uninsulated, unheated coop and they did just fine last year through their first winter.

So, thanks again
 

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