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do chicken's feet feel the cold temps?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

I'm wondering if chickens feel the cold temps of the snow and ice.  We get a lot of snow which of course means ice too but they don't seem to mind it too much.  My husband thinks they don't have nerves in their feet.  Does anyone know for sure?

Iliamna in S. Poe Valley
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Iliamna in S. Poe Valley
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post #2 of 11

good question

IT is what it IS... Just relax and cool chill...
http://www.lookoutchickendecals.synthasite.com/
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IT is what it IS... Just relax and cool chill...
http://www.lookoutchickendecals.synthasite.com/
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post #3 of 11

They sure do have nerves. They're just a little less wussy than us people about running around in snow and mud.

I did wonder the same thing, but have seen a hen react immediatly to a mosquito landing on her leg. They'll limp if they get a splinter or hurt themselves and if you've ever had to treat a foot injury you'll see just how sensitive those feet are. smile

"I'm a lyrical gangster. I'll use some colorful vernacular and if necessary will engage in fisticuffs."
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"I'm a lyrical gangster. I'll use some colorful vernacular and if necessary will engage in fisticuffs."
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post #4 of 11

Yes they feel the cold on their feet.  sometimes they stand there with one foot raised trying to warm up one foot at at time.  when its really cold they'll walk a few feet then set down to cover both feet then get up and walk some more.

Iliamna any chance your from Alaska?  I worked over in Iliamna for a while and used to hunt near there every fall.

It's hard to soar like an Eagle when you're surrounded by Turkeys!
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It's hard to soar like an Eagle when you're surrounded by Turkeys!
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post #5 of 11

welcome-byc  Welcome to BYC!!!  yippiechickie

post #6 of 11

Yes, they do have nerves and feel cold temps. That's why it's important to have proper roosts depending on your climate.   Will

There are three kinds of people in this world-Those that do what ever they're told-Those who control them- and those who refuse to play that game,envied and hated by the other two.
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There are three kinds of people in this world-Those that do what ever they're told-Those who control them- and those who refuse to play that game,envied and hated by the other two.
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post #7 of 11

While a chicken doesn't have as many nerves and blood vessels in their feet and legs, it is like Will said, extremely important that roosts be designed to allow them to sit it such a manner that they cover their extremities.  They were originally jungle birds and their physiology is evolved around that origin.  Roosts need to be wide enough to allow them to sit not perch.  If you watch chickens of round roosts they grasp if with their feet and their bodies are raised.

When having problems with chickens stop and think, what would Harlan do?
I've dealt with many thorns in my life and the flower is always worth the effort.

6 Nest rollout nest box plans  http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/287684/new-rollout-nest-design-picture-heavy-edited-1-21

Smoker plans http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/721017/opas-recirculating-smoker

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When having problems with chickens stop and think, what would Harlan do?
I've dealt with many thorns in my life and the flower is always worth the effort.

6 Nest rollout nest box plans  http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/287684/new-rollout-nest-design-picture-heavy-edited-1-21

Smoker plans http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/721017/opas-recirculating-smoker

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post #8 of 11

They can feel the cold in their feet. They also have a system designed to help them handle it.

Birds legs, including chickens, geese, ducks and wild birds, have a network of arteries called "rete mirabile" (miraculous net) that minimizes heat loss. The arteries that transport warm blood into the legs lie in contact with the veins that return colder blood to the birds heart. The arteries warm the veins.

Of course, they do still need proper roosts, etc.

Other species that have rete mirabile include fishes and whales.

Try googling "rete mirabile" to learn more...lots of articles out there.

post #9 of 11

Interesting info.  I know my spoiled babies won't walk in the snow.  They stay inside the coop on cold days.

Mommy to a 8 yr. old girl, 4 yr. old boy, one fat cat,  one dinky dog, polish, buttercups, hamburgs, waydonettes, and cochins, 10 silkies, a sizzle, Barred Rock and 2 d'uccles.
Need a chicken,duck, goose, parrot diaper or chicken saddle?  I also make harnesses for leashes.  Check in the Everything else for sale. Lovemychix.
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Mommy to a 8 yr. old girl, 4 yr. old boy, one fat cat,  one dinky dog, polish, buttercups, hamburgs, waydonettes, and cochins, 10 silkies, a sizzle, Barred Rock and 2 d'uccles.
Need a chicken,duck, goose, parrot diaper or chicken saddle?  I also make harnesses for leashes.  Check in the Everything else for sale. Lovemychix.
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post #10 of 11

I know mine do, White Boy hates having cold feet and when I get low enough he'll jump up onto any part of my body he can to get off the ground! His feet are like little icecicles!!

If you aren't living for something, you are dying for nothing.

Don't trouble Trouble until Trouble troubles you!
My lady be wary and heed to the lines of this verse: To let a fool kiss you is stupid, to let a kiss fool you is worse.

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If you aren't living for something, you are dying for nothing.

Don't trouble Trouble until Trouble troubles you!
My lady be wary and heed to the lines of this verse: To let a fool kiss you is stupid, to let a kiss fool you is worse.

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