What are safe temperatures??

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by gavinp, Aug 5, 2008.

  1. gavinp

    gavinp Hatching

    May 12, 2008
    I am wondering what exactly are safe temperatures for chickens. I live along the coast in Central California and the temperatures are about 50degrees at night in the summer and high 40's at night in the winter. I have never had frost on my lawn or roof in the 7 years I have lived here. Many people here say to add a heater or light when it get "cold". My version of cold is probably a lot different than what someone from the midwest would call "cold". Just looking for actual temperatures. I put a thermometer in the coupe last night and it read 52degrees. Sorry if this has already been answered, I searched but couldn't find it. I would like to know.
    I also have a local feed store that has 5 week old chicks that they have in cages outside, with no heater. They say they are ready for the coop. That seems to go against the advice I have read here. Isn't that too young for the coop? Please advise, thanks!
  2. Wildsky

    Wildsky Wild Egg!

    Oct 13, 2007
    The only ones needed added heat are baby chicks not yet feathered.

    We went down to -26 last winter and well - the chickens are still running around the yard.
    I imagine -26 is not the most comfortable, but with the number of chickens and their coop - they made it!
  3. dustbath

    dustbath Songster

    Jun 26, 2008
    Washington County, NY
    I'm not an expert by any means but I have struggled with this issue in a very different part of the country. I live in upstate New York, where it goes down to below zero (F) at night in the coldest part of the winter. I've had a very small flock of 4 chickens four a few winters in an uninsulated coop with no problems.

    I consulted with our local cooperative extension, who told me not to worry about cold. On their advice, I added an incandescent light (not a heat lamp) that I have on a timer to turn on in the morning and burn until sunrise. I adjust the timing so that the total daylight hours are about 13, so it comes on earlier as the winter progresses. I divided the coop so that the birds have 4 square feet each, which the books say they need to produce enough body heat to keep warm at night in winter but the Extension warned that with so few, they aren't throwing off much heat anyway. I also add extra straw in bedding in the winter.

    According to the Extension, in my area it only becomes a problem when the temperature drops below zero. When this is threatened, I keep the birds in all day to avoid cooling off the coop as much as possible. As I said, I haven't had any problems yet.

    It doesn't sound to me as if you need to worry about adult chickens where you live. I don't know about chicks.
  4. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    Nov 18, 2007
    My Coop
    Quote:Mine were in their brooder for about 6 weeks. I made a small run that I put the brooder in which was outside during the day but had to cover it as they would get up on the brooder and try to fly out of the run. It was really funny to watch and somtimes one would make it over. and then back into the brooder at night. Until they started to get their feathers, I covered the brooder and put an incandesant bulb in with wire over it so they could't get too close, as a friend of mine had some of his chicks get close enough to overheat them, and they died. He lost several chicks. I have never lost any so far. At 6 weeks they were introduced to the coop. I put the brooder in the coup for a couple of days.

    I do keep a low watt light in the coop as chickens don't have good night vision. On very cold nights I put a higher wattage incandesant light on and on extremely cold nights when it gets around freezing I put a heat lamp on.
  5. Hangin Wit My Peeps

    Hangin Wit My Peeps AutumnBreezeChickens.com

    Apr 20, 2008
    Birnamwood, Wisconsin
    In WI last year our coldest day was -40 (not wind chill)...we DO have a heat lamp in our coop because this will be our first winter with chickens so I will see how that all works out. My friend who has chickens say they do just fine but if it's below 0 they should have a heat lamp.

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