Will my birds be ok in this weather?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by abooot99, Oct 14, 2009.

  1. abooot99

    abooot99 Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 12, 2009
    New Ipswich
    I live in NH
    I have an 8x4 coop that is 7 feet tall down to 6 feet tall because of the slanted roof.
    Its insulated with shingled roof and we provided 2x4's to roost on. I have 12 of my own birds that are ranging in age from 12 weeks up to 23 weeks.
    My breeds I have-3 guineas, 2 polish, 2 bantam cochin, 3 silkies, 1 showgirl, and two silkie mixes.
    Two of the above silkies (just 12 weeks old), I just got from my cousin who kept them in his basement until they came to me. It was warmer I am sure than the temps right now.

    I feel like they have not gotten a chance to acclimate to this weather which its 45 F High during the day and down to 28 at nite.

    The last two nights - I gave them no heater. Now its around 28 and I felt bad so I went out and set up a heat lamp just for them.

    First of all- are my chicken breeds winter hardy without heat lamps?
    Second- did I do the right thing having a heat lamp set up for the young 12 week old silkies that are new?

    I know they are packed in there tightly but they have access to free ranging during the day but they have kept it with their body heat in the low 40's tonight with all that body heat in a small space.

    Some one give me some guidence as I am a new chicken owner. Dont want them sick on me.
  2. wombat

    wombat Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 23, 2009
    Adult birds should be fine at 28 degrees in an insulated coup. It's best if the lower areas are draft-free, and the top of the coop has some ventilation. You need to make sure that moisture escapes up high. Cold+damp=frostbite, and chickens put out a lot of moisture.

    If you've got that covered, you should be fine.

    If your coop is large, you might also want to put a "huddle box" on the floor of the coop for them to crowd into for warmth. You can also stack straw bales as a wind break on the windy side of your coop, and make a wind break at your pop door.
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2009
  3. Snakeoil

    Snakeoil Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 10, 2009
    SE Iowa
    I live in Iowa where along with your area gets very cold for a long time. I raise, chickens, ducks, pheasants and quail with no heat other than for the water. I put vasiline on my roosters combs during the dead of winter but thats it. As far as my memory can remember I have never lost a bird due to the cold. They are allowed ourside everyday and will readily run out in the snow
  4. abooot99

    abooot99 Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 12, 2009
    New Ipswich
    I guess I am paranoid because my cousin said he kept roosters and hens in an insulated coop and one day he went out there and one of the chickens froze to death on the roost.
    That freaked me out a little. I really don't know the circumstances but he said it was like 10 degrees outside.

    I freaked a little being a newbie and all.
  5. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    I was worried sick before my first winter with my hens, and now I relax. They like the cold, actually, provided you make provisions for their feet. Some thoughts to comfort you


    I hope some silkie owners will comment, I have no experience with them and I understand they are the ones most in need of watching.
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2009

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