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Do chickens KNOW how cold is too cold?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Well, it's official, I am OBSESSING about cold weather management!!!  I really need to get off this computer, and out of these threads!!

There is just no way around it, it's bitter cold outside.  So far, with temps dipping down well below zero F, my girls are proving to be cold weather superheroes!  They get locked up tight in the coop at night, but refuse to go back in during the day except to lay.  I worry about them endlessly AROUND THE CLOCK, but I'm starting to wonder if they are even aware of just how cold it is!?  I have Rhode Island Red's and Barred Rocks, which I'm told are pretty hardy breeds, but even with these temps? 

I need to leave for the day, so I won't be out there every other hour making sure they are okay, coddling them.  They have a heated water dish in their run (finally got one 2 days ago - works great!), and I leave out plenty of food.  But, I keep reading about people's chickens who refuse to go out in the run.  I'm starting to realize that mine PREFER to be out in the weather.

Is it safe to assume that if they start to get way too cold, they'll know well enough to go back inside?

"If I ever go looking for my heart's desire again, I won't look any further than my own backyard because, if it isn't there, I never really lost it to begin with."  ~Dorothy - Wizard of Oz
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"If I ever go looking for my heart's desire again, I won't look any further than my own backyard because, if it isn't there, I never really lost it to begin with."  ~Dorothy - Wizard of Oz
Reply
post #2 of 5

I have 3 pens with chickens in them.  Two pens -all the chickens are inside their coops refusing to come out.  Pen #3 all the chickens are out flying the coop, rumaging and foraging the ground.  They aren't letting the bitter cold bother them.

Wife to a DH, slave to 1 Chihuahua, 1 mini Dashound, 1 Dorky,1 Rott, 3 House cats,3 feral cat , to many chicks and chickens to count, bunny rabbits, 1 Pygmy goat, 11 Nigerians.
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Wife to a DH, slave to 1 Chihuahua, 1 mini Dashound, 1 Dorky,1 Rott, 3 House cats,3 feral cat , to many chicks and chickens to count, bunny rabbits, 1 Pygmy goat, 11 Nigerians.
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post #3 of 5

Well, this is our first bout of truly cold weather here in Colorado. It was around -12F at my house this morning. Our three hens seemed to be okay this morning - since they forcasted sub-zero temps last night, I put petroleum jelly on the birds combs (for the first time) and it seems to have done the trick. I didn't see any frostbite signs this morning... Out small, reach-in coop is insulated and not heated.

When the cold snowy weather hit on Sunday, our birds wouldn't come out of the coop - this was the first time they voluntarily stayed in the coop all day and they've been in the coop since then. Since it's now clear and sunny, I'm hoping they venture out today, but temps aren't expected to get much higher than 20F.

I can't wait until Saturday when we're supposed to get above freezing!

post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 

Ahh.........Saturday........can't wait!!  Guess where I'll be?  That's right, out working on the coop!!  Ripping down all the cardboard I've stapled up everywhere in the coop.  With the warmer temps, I'll  feel okay with locking the girls out of the coop so that I can screw up actual plywood sheathing over the insulation.  You'd think I would have done this in the summer time, when I was building the coop.  Oh well, always a day late and a dollar short..................

"If I ever go looking for my heart's desire again, I won't look any further than my own backyard because, if it isn't there, I never really lost it to begin with."  ~Dorothy - Wizard of Oz
Reply
"If I ever go looking for my heart's desire again, I won't look any further than my own backyard because, if it isn't there, I never really lost it to begin with."  ~Dorothy - Wizard of Oz
Reply
post #5 of 5

I have Barred Rocks, Light Brahma, NHreds, & Black Sexlink- I was told they are cold hardy.....they proved it -30 outside and they were foraging and playing in the snow. I have some that refuse to go to roost at night they prefer to roost outside.

So I have a covered (tarp) run and they do as they please, when they have had enough cold, they go warm up in the coop.

We only have Large Fowl: Light Brahma, Barred Rock,  NHR, Black Sex Link, EE, Light Brahma x Barred Rock (F1) Columbian Rocks
2 Rottweilers, 1 newfie cross!  Exotic Aviary, & Betta Fish. http://rtpoultrynthings.weebly.com/   http://www.facebook.com/RonnyTaylor
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We only have Large Fowl: Light Brahma, Barred Rock,  NHR, Black Sex Link, EE, Light Brahma x Barred Rock (F1) Columbian Rocks
2 Rottweilers, 1 newfie cross!  Exotic Aviary, & Betta Fish. http://rtpoultrynthings.weebly.com/   http://www.facebook.com/RonnyTaylor
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