Will my Hens Freeze To Death?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Wish I Had A Farm, Dec 8, 2007.

  1. Wish I Had A Farm

    Wish I Had A Farm Hatching

    Oct 7, 2007
    Pendleton, OR
    I live in Eastern Oregon. It's been getting down in the teens at night and will do so over the rest of the winter. I have 6 hens who pile on top of each other in their coop, I think they stay warm enough but not for sure? Their coop is about 3' Tall 4' Wide and 4' Long. They have tons of hay in there too. I worry so much about them staying warm enough without heat lamps. My husband says it would be silly to put a heat lamp in there! Any info on this would be appreciated.

    P.S. The one hen I worry most about is a very small, lean Australorp (?), but she is always at the bottom on the hen pile when they sleep.
  2. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude

    With that small space and that many hens, as long as you have plenty of bedding, I think they'll be fine.
  3. 3peeps

    3peeps Songster

    Jul 4, 2007
    I have three hens in a henhouse just a bit bigger than yours. I do not add a heat lamp and they have been doing very well. It has gotten below zero here. What I do make sure to check is that there are no drafts. I have a guillotine-style chickie door that doesn't always close well, so I throw some of the bedding up near the bottom every night and have a sock tucked up behind the top...no drafts. Also, the house is inside our garage, but the henhouse is not made of really well-insulated materials. I think having no drafts is key.

    Australorps are very winter-hardy chickens.

    Also remember that if you give them too much heat, they will be shocked when they go out into the cold morning air.
  4. 3peeps

    3peeps Songster

    Jul 4, 2007
    Oh, another thing I do is throw them some scratch just before bed-time. If I'm particularly worried about a frigid night, I go in before I myself go to bed and give them a little "midnight snack." The whole grains and cracked corn really help them generate their own heat.
  5. johnnyjack

    johnnyjack Songster

    Oct 21, 2007
    maybe it will get cold here one day but it was 76 here today. when an if it dose get cold my chickens will freeeze. naaaaaaaaaaaa ill keep the light on a few nights..
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2007
  6. hinkjc

    hinkjc Crowing

    Jan 11, 2007
    I'm assuming because you said hens, that these are full grown hens able to sustain their own body heat. If that is the case, then they do not need any support. This is especially important if you are planning to live there with them for ever (which is a good assumption as well). [​IMG] They need to be able to acclimate to your climate and by providing supportive measures, you will make them weak. Full grown hens will not get smothered, especially in a small group like that. I would say your little aussie is the smart one and letting everyone else keep her warm. As long as her head is out, she'll be fine. The recommendation for a little scratch grains before bed is a good idea. It does help them produce internal body heat.

  7. rooster-red

    rooster-red Here comes the Rooster

    Jun 10, 2007
    Douglasville GA
    I wouldn't put a heat lamp in a coop that small, too much danger of fire or the chickens getting to close to it.

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