Wow, is it ever cold around here!!!! I have a few chickens and I am new to this. They are so entertaining and I enjoy them very much. I worry about this cold weather and would appreciate suggestions on how experienced chicken folks keep their birds in this cold weather. I have 2 heat lamps that I am afraid to turn off at night so they can sleep. What to do?
Well I don't have chickens myself but I do petsit for someone who does. I think in the winter time she gives them extra shavings in their coop and leaves a heat lamplight on them 24/7. I did have to care for them one winter and thats all that was different between their summer and winter care. I don't recall her doing anything extra. There are several discussion forums out there, like this one, that are devoted to chickens. you may want to ask your questions there for more accurate information.
From what I know, chickens are not cold weather animals. They originate from Fiji which is a warm weather climate. Your chickens will be most happiest with 65 degree or more weather.
Depending on how big your coop is and how many chickens you have, you should be fine with 2 heat lamps. You dont want them on all the time because if you have too many chickens it will get sweaty in there. You will want to have it on at night for when the temps drop. They will sleep when they are ready to. Light is reccomended in the coop anyways.
Try googling it. As Scout advised, there are plenty of forums out there just for chickens.
From the little research I've done, depending on the breed, chickens do just as well in cold weather as warm, although they may lay less. They have no sweat glands, so they don't sweat, but release heat in other ways, mostly through breathing. From what I've read, a heat lamp is not necessary unless you have prolonged periods of below zero weather (I'm assuming they're cooped). Chickens bunch together to keep warm, and I guess that does a pretty good job for them in the majority of cases. The only reason for keeping light in a coop (unless you live in Canada or somewhere like that) is to prod the hens into laying more, so if your goal is to sell eggs...
***Edited By: gbroxon on 9/22/2011 8:32:36 PM*** Reason: Typos
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