Weather??

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Kimberly K, Oct 26, 2016.

  1. Kimberly K

    Kimberly K Just Hatched

    11
    0
    14
    Jun 4, 2016
    Hello, I live in Southern California. I have 2 hens left of my 5. Unfortunately I lost 1 to heat and 2 to respiratory issues.
    My 2 remaining hens are healthy and happy.
    They are 8 months old. 1 laying one not yet.

    My question is about weather. At what temp should I be using a warming lamp? It's not that cold in Cali but when you consider last months high temps of 105 to this months low of 50 degrees that's a big difference in range. Should I be using a lamp?
     
  2. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

    12,748
    5,707
    436
    Feb 25, 2014
    Northwestern Wyoming
    My Coop
    Nope, nope and nope. They don't need any supplemental heat. I raise my birds here in Northwest Wyoming, not too far from Yellowstone Park, and I don't use heat or have an insulated coop. Most chickens do better in the cold than they do in the heat. I don't even use a heat lamp for chicks, and here our springtimes consist of temps in the teens and snow! I raise my chicks outdoors in a wire pen within the run using just a heating pad over a wire frame, forming sort of a cave, and they are off all heat by 4 weeks old and integrated with the flock.

    That is a big range in temperatures, but they acclimate very well. That's what the down and feathers are for. So I think they'll be just fine as long as you can keep them dry and give them some wind protection.

    Edited to add: On the subject of temperature swings, my first year with chickens (gosh, was in only in 2014?) we went from the upper 60s and low 70s to -17. Yep, that's 17 degrees BELOW zero, and it happened within 48 hours. And just this year we we were in the 70s on the weekend, and by Tuesday we had this:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    By the way, I don't believe we've met! Very nice to meet you!!
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2016
  3. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    31,451
    3,545
    538
    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    [​IMG]

    Agree with Blooie. In your area, the answer is never.

    Your hens will be much happier and more comfortable at 40-50 degrees than at 90+. Remember, they have a custom down jacket they can never take off. Try it yourself---put on a heavy ski jacket or something like that, go outside and do your chores. Come in to your nice warm house, but leave the jacket on. For a few hours. It's not very comfortable....you'll likely be heading back outside or shedding the jacket ASAP.

    I know the instinct is to treat chickens like pets that need to be coddled, but they're really and truely livestock. They've lived outdoors in all weather for many years. Be sure they're out of the wind and the rain, and they'll thrive. And hopefully you'll start getting eggs from that freeloader [​IMG]
     
  4. Kimberly K

    Kimberly K Just Hatched

    11
    0
    14
    Jun 4, 2016
    You guys are the best. Thank you both so much for the info. It makes complete sense and I am grateful for your input.
    I am loving my chickens. So much fun. I was starting to think I had defective chickens till a few weeks ago:) Now that one is laying I am enjoying all of my efforts. I need to have a squat down with my other girl. She needs to start carrying her weight. Lol.
    Great to meet you both. I'm so glad I found this site. I'm new to having Chickens. Only since April and I have gotten great advice here.
    Take care
    Kim
     
  5. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    31,451
    3,545
    538
    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    Ha ha ha....another convert to the Dark Side [​IMG]
     
  6. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

    20,260
    8,878
    596
    Nov 7, 2012
    CENTRAL MAINE
    Chickens are a gate way animal. Only the strong are able to resist the temptation to move to the more potent animals. Unfortunately, Donrae is one of our weaker members. But, we love her anyways, and do our best to enable her. [​IMG]
     
  7. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    31,451
    3,545
    538
    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    Awww, thanks LG!

    I think........


    Says the woman who is driving herself nuts looking for a new property to house the triple digit chickens, the goats, horses, cows (thinning the herd Friday!) and wanting to raise pigs again next spring.
     
  8. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

    12,748
    5,707
    436
    Feb 25, 2014
    Northwestern Wyoming
    My Coop
    Yeah, we rock, don't we? [​IMG] The hardest lesson for me to learn was that it was possible for me to simply "love" my chickens....almost literally to death. Yeah. Took me a long time and getting some much needed straight advice to go from raising divas to raising chickens that were content and healthy. So been there, Kim, believe me.

    As for donrae....well, let's just say if she keeps this up she'll have to buy the state of Oregon just to have enough room! But as my super good friend LG says, we love her just the way she is. And Oregon isn't too far to travel......

    What a wonderful, wacky world you are becoming part of! Glad to have you!
     
    1 person likes this.
  9. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

    20,260
    8,878
    596
    Nov 7, 2012
    CENTRAL MAINE
    Never been to Oregon, but it would be tops on my list of places to visit, have to make a detour through Wyoming to get there.
     
  10. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

    12,748
    5,707
    436
    Feb 25, 2014
    Northwestern Wyoming
    My Coop
    Sure - pick me up, then we'll swing up and pick up donrae and head down to Kim's in Southern California from there.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by