Winter is coming

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by JakRat, Oct 12, 2009.

  1. JakRat

    JakRat Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 22, 2009
    Dover
    Hello,
    This will be my first winter with my girls... when should I put the heat lamp on??? I worry that they will get to cold... Their recent behavior has been weird too... for some reason they wont sleep on the roost, instead they sleep up stairs aroung the hole where their ramp goes up into... they just sit there and sleep and they seem happy... weirdos...
     
  2. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    28,907
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    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Are they full grown? What breeds?
    I'm am one of those against adding heat in the wintertime unless you live somewhere that has extreme winter weather.
    Healthy adult birds can accilimate to the cold just fine given the chance.
    Add heat, get birds used to being nice and warm and have a power failure. Your birds will be in trouble.
    And yes, we do have winter in Arkansas, although not nearly as bad as up north.
     
  3. MaggieRae

    MaggieRae Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 12, 2009
    North Texas
    Quote:So if we live in Texas and the temp only drops under freezing occasionally at night, we don't need to add extra heat for them?
     
  4. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    28,907
    114
    408
    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Quote:So if we live in Texas and the temp only drops under freezing occasionally at night, we don't need to add extra heat for them?

    I have a draft-free coop and I do nothing special for wintertime. My birds have been acclimating to the change of seasons since they were five weeks old and we turned their heat lamp off for good.
    Last winter we had several days in the teens (daytime temps.) and they were fine. Out free ranging every day. If you have birds with large single combs, you may want to keep the combs greased with some vaseline to protect against frostbite, but that's about all I can think of. A draft free coop with good ventilation and they are all set.
     
  5. MaggieRae

    MaggieRae Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 12, 2009
    North Texas
    Thanks gritsar!

    Sorry I hijacked...
     
  6. HappySlappyFarm

    HappySlappyFarm Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 4, 2009
    Massillon, OH
    This is my first winter as well. I live in the NE & it gets pretty cold here. It's already in the 30's at night. I hooked my heat lamp up 2 days ago. Mine were acting cold & shivering. I was also told to let them get used to it but I have breeds that don't do well in the cold climate. I feel I have no choice but to use SOME heat. I have the runner now wrapped in tarps & plastic but it's still getting warm enough during the day where I let them out in the fenced area. When it gets REAL cold they will only have access to the wrapped up runner with the heated coop. Here we have temps fall in the 9 below with the wind chill & ice storms. I will protect my chickens from it! I think it depends on your breeds & preference. I do agree that if your power goes out etc it would hurt them but I've never had a power problem & I'll be watching that coop like a hawk in case something goes out. If I had an emergency they can always come in my basement. I am already prepared for that. I bought a large collapsable swimming pool & my husband is collecting XXL boxes from work. We also have another source of heat besides gas & electicity. It would really suck if it had to come to this (which I'm sure it won't) but I will be ready!!
     
  7. JakRat

    JakRat Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 22, 2009
    Dover
    I had RIR i think... or NHR... anyway they are full grown, and they are goofy, and not to bright as they dont sit in the dry when it rains, but try to get as wet as possible... so I think I might have to put a heat lamp in and also wrap up the bottom cept for a vent part... is it true that a heat lamp will mess up their egg laying?
     

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