Very Cold this week, should I be worried?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by FourandSix, Dec 4, 2013.

  1. FourandSix

    FourandSix Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 28, 2012
    Eugene, Oregon
    This week it is supposed to be very cold, tonight it may get down to 16 degrees. I have one chicken who was recently sick, and has lost a lot of feathers. I don't think it has ever been this cold since I've had chickens. I have some ceramic heat lamps and was wondering what people's opinions on those were. My coop is pretty small, I only have four chickens.
  2. thomasboyle

    thomasboyle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 28, 2013
    Northwest Hills of CT
    I don't use heat in my coop, and we get down to 15-16 on a regular basis. That said, if a chicken does not have all their feathers, they won't be able to keep warm. I have used ceramic heat emitters if I have a sick bird who is low on feathers. Make sure you set up the heater so the chicken cannot touch it - they get to 500 degrees or more according to my laser thermometer. I have mine in a metal lamp fixture, and I have a shield of hardware wire that prevent anything from touching the bulb. A small coop will stay warm with a 60 watt ceramic bulb. Make sure it is places in such a way that the birds can get away from the heat if they are too hot.
  3. tlcarnes2176

    tlcarnes2176 Chillin' With My Peeps

    When it gets in the 30s here in Florida I put a heat lamp on for my chickens, but I also keep a window cracked for ventilation. I have 40 chickens(spoiled of course) and a pretty good size coop and use just the one heat lamp for them. I'm sure they would probably do just fine without the lamp, but I just want to make sure my babies are warm enough. I'm not sure how hot ceramic heat lamps get so I would test the coop during the day and see what the temperature difference would be with it on. Then you can find out how many you would need to keep your chickens warm. Hope this helps you, but maybe someone that lives in the northern climates can help you better than me.
  4. BMD17553

    BMD17553 Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 3, 2013
    it recently got to 26 degrees down here and my three birds were fine i went out to check on them and they were all sitting on their perch huddled together.
  5. Black wallnut

    Black wallnut Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 23, 2013
    It has been getting into the low teens here and mine are doing just fine. 13 chickens in a large coop with about 12 square feet total of hardware cloth openings on two sides that are sheltered from normal winds.
  6. beththornton

    beththornton New Egg

    Sep 16, 2013
    Northeast Texas
    My Coop

    I'm in East Texas. This week-end, unusually cold temps are invading Texas from the North. We could drop from 78 degrees today to 15 degrees at night by the weekend. So....We just ran a heavy extension cord to our coop to use for heat. Should we use a red heat lamp, a white heat lamp or just a light bulb? Our 6 barred rocks are NOT accustomed to cold weather anywhere near this cold. The front half of my coop is open air, screened in porch-like. We've covered up all but the South side with heavy plastic. Should I cover the south side too? (That's where the door is.) This cold weather thing is not part of my experience, esp with Chickens. The dogs and cats just sleep in the house. Husband doesn't want chickens in the bed with us. O well. [​IMG] What's the next best plan? Please advise.
  7. Primo

    Primo Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 1, 2013
    Beth, your chickens will be fine. no need for heat lamps. There are folks from Canada on this forum who do not heat their coops in any way. As long as they are not out in the open with winds blowing right on them they will be fine.
  8. JackE

    JackE Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 26, 2010
    North Eastern Md.

    X2, A heatlamp with an extension cord. Sounds like a great recipe for a coop fire. Put the heatlamp back in YOUR house. Leave the south side of the coop fence OPEN. Do not seal them up in plastic.
  9. beththornton

    beththornton New Egg

    Sep 16, 2013
    Northeast Texas
    My Coop
    What about frozen water? I've really never raised chickens in a freezer before. [​IMG] Beth
  10. Hokum Coco

    Hokum Coco Overrun With Chickens

    Dec 6, 2012
    New Brunswick,Canada
    For along time I used heater tape around a bucket with chicken watering nipples. It worked excellent. However me being me I neglected to change the water as often as I should. This is what it looks like and it thermostatically controlled to come on at just above the freezing temperature. You would have to wrap it to suit your particular application if it is viable for your set up. It is available at Home Depot in Canada.


    Last year I switched to white rubber contains the wife found somewhere. They freeze solid every night but the ice just pops out of them in the morning and I replenish them with fresh warm water. They have black ones at the feed store that are similar but large than mine.

    The chickens congregate around them like people having their morning coffee. The only draw back is my yard is pepper with small ice bergs the size of the buckets.

    April looks after that however..

    I have been around the sun 63 times.
    I live in Canada (Indian for COLD).
    I do not heat my coop.
    Feed extra corn for extra cold.
    Works for me.
    Lost birds to heat never to cold.
    Do what you think is best.
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2013

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by