On the chicken front: I’ve found I really don’t have to worry about my girls when the temps are in the 20’s. My Polish hen Phyllis sleeps on one of the outside roosts even when the temps are in the 20’s. I think she’s crazy but she looks perfectly comfortable. Even when we had stretches in the low teens last year they were just fine. I just wrap a sheet of frost cloth around the upstairs coop so that wind doesn’t get in if we’re going to be in the low teens. Early on, I’d worry about them a lot when it got cold, so I’d run a ceramic heat emitter (intended for reptiles—there is no light, so it doesn’t stress the girls’ endocrine systems in the winter) above their roosting area. But, I think that was more for me than necessary for them!
The real danger for us here in Texas is with the heat in July/August. Stretches of temps above 104 with night temps close to 100 are really difficult for chickens, especially certain breeds. So now I run a fan with a misting system in the summer…quite a hoot. —Leslie Halleck, Dallas, Texas