What temps can a chicken survive in?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by suburbanchick, Jan 13, 2008.

  1. suburbanchick

    suburbanchick Songster

    Apr 7, 2007
    Raleigh NC
    I always leave a light on in the small chicken tractor when it gets less than 40 or so. But I'm wondering if this is necessary. I know lots of people have chickens in the North where it gets a lot colder than that. I'm in NC.

    And do they need to stay inside the coop all day if it's in the 20's or 30's? The reason I'm asking is bc the coop is really small, so I let them out into the large run. When it's rainy, I put a covering on it.

    Thanks in advance!
  2. johnnyjack

    johnnyjack Songster

    Oct 21, 2007
    its been in the teens here and i have no heat for my chickens. i use the deep litter tho.
    i never close the door to the run.
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2008
  3. Wildsky

    Wildsky Wild Egg!

    Oct 13, 2007
    Don't leave them inside - they can be out so long as they have a way to get back in.... ?

    We have had very cold days and nights, I don't use heat - I use deep litter method in the coop and their door is opened every day for them to go out if they want... and they always come out even if just for a few minutes at a time.

    Our lowest temp in the coop at night has been 6. VERY VERY cold....... I also have a cover over their run - till spring it will stay covered unless the wind takes the tarp. I put that up to keep snow out of the run, so they still have dirt to fluff around in. And they do the little fluffing even when temps are in the 20's - in fact they have made HOLES in the dirt, and they lie in the holes - catching the sun and keeping warm!
  4. suburbanchick

    suburbanchick Songster

    Apr 7, 2007
    Raleigh NC
    Yes, the door is always open except at night after I put them in. Basically, they are closed up in there from 7PM or so till 6 AM. Their water and food are inside.

    But they WON'T go inside on their own. That's why I put them in. They like to sleep outside, even if it's really cold or wet. It is safe and secure in their run though, so I don't worry about it unless it's cold.

    Seeing as how chickens survive in MUCH less than 30 or so though, maybe I won't worry about putting them up unless it's wet outside. And I don't think I'll leave the light on anymore... of course I'll get fewer eggs, but that's OK.

  5. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    Yeah, they are hardier than you may think. Mine sleep outside in a secure area (tractors) and a few only think about going in when it dips into the upper 20's.
  6. Tuffoldhen

    Tuffoldhen Flock Mistress

    Jan 30, 2007
    Chickens are tougher than people give them credit for...As long as they have a draft free, dry shavings henhouse they are fine in winter...I have never used a heat lamp inside my coop unless the windchill and zero temps are below 10....and thats just for a day or so....getting them use to a heat in my opinion causes problems with their health, they have feathers to keep them warm or power outages can happen... throw alittle scratch or cracked corn in also to help keep their bodies warm in the evenings...
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2008
  7. picklespickles

    picklespickles Songster

    Oct 27, 2007
    the teens here and a couple sleep in the trees. the others sleep under their favorite pile of branches and sticks. they have lots of options but that's where they like to go.
  8. kayri

    kayri Songster

    Jul 6, 2007
    We here i n RI, also went down to 6 at night and in the low teens during the day. I don't know what temp it was in the unheated, deep litter method coop, but the water did freeze. I open the door to the coop everyday, and they do go outside although they complain about it to me. . .
  9. wischickenlover

    wischickenlover Songster

    Mar 5, 2007
    Ladysmith, WI
    I live in northern Wisconsin...where temps can get really, really cold during a bad cold snap. We have had temps as low as -30 to -40. My chickens, I suppose may be used to it by now (this is their 5th winter here). However, if it gets down to -10 or so, we usually try to have a light for them to help keep the temps up a little. They are all closed in at night and seem to generate enough body heat to stay reasonably warm. I know there are some members here from Alaska, where it is even colder, and they fare just fine-without a heat source! You would be surprised how hardy they are. The worst that's ever happened is that two of my banty roos got some frostbitten combs this year-their first winter. Other than that, they have been just fine. So I wouldn't worry too much!
  10. picklespickles

    picklespickles Songster

    Oct 27, 2007
    i knew they were hardy but that's HARdy.

    i will tell mine how lucky they are. [​IMG]

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: