Yikes! -17 deg Tues night! How to keep coop warm enough?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by telehillco, Jan 30, 2011.

  1. telehillco

    telehillco Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 15, 2009
    Front Range, CO
    The arctic air is heading to Colorado and our forecast for Tuesday's high keeps dropping. Now the high is posted at -1 deg F and the low (Tues night) at -17! We have a heat lamp in our uninsulated coop and usually turn it on if the temperature drops below 20 deg F. We find it probably adds 10 deg or so, but that won't be enough if the temperature drops that low! Any creative ideas about how to keep them warm enough Tuesday night???? Help!

  2. happyhens44

    happyhens44 BroodyAddict

    Apr 25, 2010
    Northern WI
    they will be fine as long as the bitter winds of them my temps range -30 to above 30, and I have one heating lamp and my coop is *not* insulated....mine are always fine. they will be ok [​IMG] good luck
  3. mommyofthreewithchicks

    mommyofthreewithchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 25, 2010
    I too am hoping they will be fine...

    I didn't heat our coop/barn when we had -30's a week or so ago and all of mine were fine. Good Luck!
  4. telehillco

    telehillco Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 15, 2009
    Front Range, CO
    Thanks. It's good to hear from you northerners! We only have 4 chickens in the coop so I'm hoping they do ok. We're mostly concerned about frostbite. Two of our girls got a little on their combs last year when it dropped to -10.
  5. tenderkat

    tenderkat Chillin' With My Peeps

    I'm in the same boat you're in. There is really no way I could/would put a heat lamp in, plus as you say it wouldn't matter much anyways with temps so low. My coop is only partially insulated, with alot of ventilation up top, and fairly draft-free. It's 4x8, and 6/5 tall, with only 6 hens. I'm sure I'll be scrambling tomorrow, but here's my gameplan:

    1) Add an additional bale of shavings.

    2) Create a sort of 'baffle' over/around the roost area with cardboard, to help conserve body heat.

    3) Feed/water inside the coop in the interim to try and encourage more coop-time during the day. I have a heated dog-bowl to keep the water from freezing, hopefully it can keep up, if not I'll shuttle warm water out there periodically. This will be removed at night to lessen the humidity factor.

    4) Hang heavy-mil plastic over the front outside of the coop where the door and window is, to try and 'buffer' any draft

    5) Make sure I'm stocked up on warming treat food, such as BOSS, scratch, and oatmeal. I'll probably also make some Shepherd's Pie for the girls - I just want to encourage them to eat. For whatever reason they seem to eat quite a bit less of their regular feed during cold snaps, and I want to make sure they have enough calories to keep their little furnaces going. Even if this means them eating 'junk food' for a couple days.

    Well, these are just a few things I'll try, maybe we'll get some more suggestions? I just read through all 65 pages of Mrs. AK-Bird-Brain's post - "Think it's too cold for your chickens? - Think again..." There were temps up to -30 and the chickens survived, save for some frost-bite. Not sure what else I can do, but I'll hope for the best for all of us!!!
  6. JodyJo

    JodyJo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 27, 2010
    Your post sounds like you live in the same town as me...I live in southern Colorado, and we are always competing with Gunnison for the coldest in the state....I added some insulation to my coop, and lots of shavings, they tend to sleep in out boxes, meant for laying...they seem plenty warm and comfortable....they are fine so far! Good luck!
  7. imthedude

    imthedude Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 9, 2010
    telehillco - i'm also on the front range of CO. when we had the cold weather back around the new year, we had -14 at our house three mornings in a row. the girls did just fine. i didn't apply any vaseline but kind of wish i would have. a couple of the girls got a little bit of frostbite on their combs. i will apply some vaseline tomorrow night for sure but nothing else besides giving them a good dose of scratch before bedtime.
  8. Talihofarms

    Talihofarms Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 4, 2010
    I'm here on the N. Il/wis border.

    We see temps. simmular to yours.
    Below zero has never been a problem. So far this tear -9 has been the lowest.
    The combs are always getting frost bite.
    We give the birds a little extra corn to heat them up before bed time.
    We also keep the coups tight.
    Keeping moisture low can be an issue when the coups are too tight.,

    Best of Luck
  9. cochicks

    cochicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 25, 2010
    Colorado Springs
    I'm in Colorado Springs, and the next couple nights are going to be awful. We have a mostly insulated coop that has a covered vent on top. It's 5x6 and we only have 5 hens (three mature and two that are about 18 weeks old). I heated some bricks in our oven, wrapped them in an old towel, and placed them near the nest boxes (where the girls sleep when its cold). I figured they would last for a while. I'll warm them again in the morning and add some feed/scratch to some boiling water. Thank goodness for two-hour delays!
  10. ryanhodapp

    ryanhodapp Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 5, 2010
    St. Louis
    there is a great thread on here started by women from Alaska. Basically they make fun of us southerners for pampering our chicks.
    they dont do anything special. Make sure they dont have drafts, good water and food supply.

    I wish I had saved that thread now...
    It saved me from moving mine into the basement when it got to zero a few weeks ago.

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