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Chicken owners: Can chickens stay in an uninsulated coop?


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Okay, this winter crept up on me and I never did get around to insulating the coop. We converted an old wooden shed, but no insulation. Temps dropped today and it will be below freezing tonight (21 degrees or so). Will they be okay? Should I bring them in the basement for tonight? Experiences?

 

Thanks!!

Lisa

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it depends. My hens have spent the last week in our uninsulated coop. I think the coldest night was -13.

We do have it covered with three layers of tarp to keep the drafts out and it has a nice this layer of wood chips on the bottom. Hens are warm little creatures. When its really cold out, I make sure to feed them extra corn - it helps to up their metabolism so they keep themselves warm. I also give them warm water to drink in the mornings and if its really cold, I'll make them oatmeal for breakfast. I think they'd be really happy to have a night that was 21 degrees. They would probably start laying again if it were that warm. btw, they survived last winter here in the same coop.

 

However, if your coop is all open and breezy, you may want to cover it up to keep in all of that hen heat.

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Our lows this week have been around 4 degrees. My coop is uninsulated. I have some fully grown chickens as well as some fully feathered babies out there who are about 10 weeks old. Everyone is doing fine.

 

Same here (after asking this same question last week, LOL). It's been about zero degrees here overnight this week and they're still clucking!

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It got down to -40 the other night. It routinely gets that here in winter. I have chickens who are normally in a coop, but are moved to the barn in winter. The key is plenty of straw and a good heat lamp. If you can run electrical out to their coop, you could install a heat lamp there.

 

I would recommend buying a real heat lamp (like from your tack & farm supply store) instead of trying to gerry-rig one on your own.

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I have thought about this, but I'm afraid of the heat lamp starting a fire. How do I setup a heat lamp in or near my coop and not worry about fire? And -40? That is insanely cold.

 

The heat lamps you get at the farm supply have a safety cage. Also, the bulbs are a certain kind too, not just a regular old lightbulb. You do need to be duly cautious placing and wiring them, but we've always used them and never, ever had a problem. They don't get super hot, but even a 100W makes a big difference to the animals' ability to cope with the weather.

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Wow, you ladies live in some cold areas!!! Audrey, 40 below, really???? What am I whining about, lol.

 

Thanks for the info!!

 

Blessings,

Lisa

 

 

Yes, really 40-below. I keep telling myself "love will keep warm, love will keep me warm," but really, I think love just made me crazy enough to come here, and crazy enough to stay. :blink:

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Thanks, I'll go talk to the guy at the farm store next week. I was surprised by the week of freezing temps so early in the year. I think my girls will be happier on those subzero nights if they had a heat lamp - and it beats my other plan of putting them in my bathroom if it gets much colder. :)

 

They will be happier. You'll find that they will huddle under the lamp, which not only gets them their heat from the light, but they're sharing more body warmth, too. Plus the extra light & warmth seems to help them with egg production. It still won't be like summer laying, but they'll lay a bit more than they would otherwise. I don't know if there's any science to this, but I think they feel better when they're laying. They seem more agitated an picky when they aren't. Just my unprofessional observation. :)

Edited by Audrey
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