Chicks in winter?
This id the current forecast hahah ridiculous for December. Normally 30s and 40s. But we did just have a few very cold nights.
I guess maybe that's why they're worried.
But yeah, he's just saying I think about their feathers not being enough yet or something.
But yeah, I think he was.more talking about when real winter hits - this weather's a bit of a fluke. It normally should be those same temperatures - high 30s low 40s - by now. Instead it's set to be 63 on Christmas Eve.
Even if the temps are fine, will the quick switches from lows to highs to lows be okay?
When real winter eventually hits it can be in the 30s, 20s, 10s/Teens, sometimes, though not too too often, it will get to negatives or single digits and lots of blizzards and snow, at least year. Last year broke records. Though by then they should be bigger and basically adults anyway. That's usually January and February. Though it should normally be colder now.
Today was VERY windy and gusty though.
Should I maybe put something up to block the wind?
This is a weird el nino year so obviously it's not overly cold and we haven't hardly gotten any snow but normal years see snow accumulation by mid November to early December and we are snow covered from then until mid April. Least year we were getting unseasonably cold temps overnight of -10 to -25 overnight in early November. Or normal winter day in December is probably mid tend to mid 20s above zero for highs when it gets cold at night is easily 0 and have numerous extended cold days of -10 to -38 is the coldest I've recorded myself in recent years. Any my chickens have no heat and no insulated coop.
Just be sure to always have access to a coop and that it's large enough for them to stay in because when you get snow accumulation or high winds and stormy weather the chickens will likely prefer to stay inside the whole time.
Just remember ventilation is key to healthy winter chickens, you cannot have to much air movement unless of course it is causing a draft on the birds, sometimes it's hard to accomplish maximum ventilation without drafting the chickens in a small coop. Try to keep ventilation across the top of the coop well above the roosting birds that will keep the moisture and ammonia gases out, no moisture equals no frost bite on the comb
Edited by blucoondawg - 12/21/15 at 1:36pm
They have access all day and you're right - they were in a lot today and a few days ago when it was raining. The coop is definitely not big enough though so I'm going to have to maybe add a roof on one side and/or walls of the run so they can still have a little bit of outdoor space without being rained on or frozen. Maybe put something around 3 sides of the inner run so they can huddle under there if they want without being fully inside. Only problem with that though is the door on one side which I usually like to leave open so they can run straight through instead of always having to go around and they love that feature. I guess I could always just cut a chicken size hole though where the door is and/or leave room for the door to shut. Or just make them go around and put it on anyway.
The ventilation in the coop though is where it might be challenging. It's small and a kit so the roosts are those thin square bar things and low so harder to not have drafts. That said, it is actually pretty well vented. There's a small area above the pop door and then a square inside the back door, both covered in HC, then a small plexiglass window on one side. Not ventilation but looks nice. The back one I think is sort of bird height. They often cram in the nest box (singular cause though there's 3 it's always in one) though though may be starting to use the roosts. Also between the doors and walls appears to be tiny gaps that may let drafts in. The kits a cheap Chinese made thinf so that's probably why haha it's fairly nice though but yeah.
They'll be fine, and if you want to give them a fast fix that puts an end to the argument, you could do what I do, I live in a place colder than you and raise the chicks outdoors. I use an old fridge with a chook size hole in it to give them shelter from ice, snow, and the freezing effects of exposure from the sky. Ice forms on pans of water outside, but the tiny chicks are all fine in a fridge, which after all, is designed for separating warm from cold.
The fridge looks like a fridge, nothing to see there, it is laid down on it's side or it's back, I have done both. It depends if you want to hose it out with or without a drain or lift it up to hose it out, that sort of thing. Here is detail of the entries, which are overdone because I am paranoid about them eating insulation. Other solutions to that are probably out there and easier to do.
yes, you see it right in that second one, those are fridge shelves used as an attached small yard for the brooder.
I did see this debate on the other thread earlier today so I won't start it up again
That said, even if this works for you, which maybe it does if your birds are healthy, I would definitely be worried about the ventilation thing even if yours vents (how does yours smell? I know from the cat's litter box and now the chicks if it smells that's the ammonia). But not even just that but I think it would be too small for them and especially when they got bigger. But maybe you just mean as a huddle type thing to go in instead of wrapping the run?