When is it too cold?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by lbartsch, Nov 8, 2011.

  1. lbartsch

    lbartsch Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 3, 2011
    It is going down to 43 degrees here tonight. I have two hens in the coop right now. I'm thinking they'll be ok, right? What is too cold for them? They are both 18 weeks old. One is a Rhode Island Red and the other is a SL Wyandotte. Our EE is still at the vet recovering from leg surgery she needed after we saved her from a predator attack. She'll warm inside tonight at least.

  2. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    They'll be fine. Chickens in a protected coop with no wet or wind are good below freezing, at least.
  3. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    They'll be just fine. They are covered by a down coat and have layered feathers on top of that. The often tuck their heads under their wings when they sleep and crouch their bodies down over their feet. Nothing is exposed. Just a down ball of feathers. The 30's just isn't cold to a chicken. Not at all. They MUCH prefer it to 90F.
  4. lbartsch

    lbartsch Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 3, 2011
    Thanks for reassuring me. Wish I had feathers and down. I'm freezing!

  5. Yonaton

    Yonaton Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 28, 2007
    West TN
    We've had guinea's that roosted in a tree and were literally covered with thick ice and snow the next morning from a storm overnight. As soon as it got light enough for them to see, they shook off the ice and snow, flew down, and proceeded to be the noisy pests that they are...and guinea's are *not* a temperate breed of bird, they're a tropical breed. This particular flock lived on average about 10 years of those winters like that...unfortunately (I really hate guinea's!). Chickens will do fine.
  6. maurerwerks

    maurerwerks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 29, 2009
    It got down to around -20F here last winter and all the chickens were just fine. As long as they have a place to roost out of the wind and precipitation they will be fine. The one worry is to make sure you provide some ventilation. Lack of ventilation in the cold leads to condensation of any moisture that rises from their manure and that condensation can lead to pneumonia.

    We shut them up in the coop at night and in the winter we leave one space about a foot square open in the south peak of the building. During the day I spread a little hay on top of the snow and they toddle around out there all day stretching their little chicken legs. They know when they need to go in. There's a reason why chickens have survived from their dinosaur ancestors so long.
  7. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Our high yesterday was not 43F. Just sayin'. [​IMG]
  8. AKEric

    AKEric Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 1, 2011
    Anchorage, AK
    It was -2 at our house when I got home from work last night. Our 4 hens were huddled up on the roost for the night and when I went out this morning to open up the pop door and let them out, it had warmed up to a balmy 9 degrees already. A little scratch out in the run and they came out like it was sunny and 70. We were nervous as this is our first winter with chickens and last night was our first really cold night, but they did great! So yours should be good at 43 degrees!
  9. Mom2Five

    Mom2Five Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 9, 2011
    Stuarts Draft, VA
    It's in the upper 20's here at night and all my girls are doing fine. No extra heat (which I understand can do more harm than good). I also watch all the other wild birds outside in the snow and the squirrels and they just don't seem to notice that it's cold like we humans do.
  10. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member

    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    We have already had temps in the teens at night here and the day before yesterday had a windchill of 13 degrees. My 9 month old Australorps didn't even notice the cold! And yes, as long as they can get out of the wind and cold and have adequate ventilation in the coop, they can take the cold.
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2011

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by