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Can chickens stand the cold weather? - Page 3

post #21 of 246
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheReadyBoys View Post

There is only insulation in the roof.

Don't Worry about it :)

 

Tonight is going to be really cold, and my birds have windows open, planks with tiny little gaps all over their coop. They survive no problem. 

 

Hi there neighbour! frow.gif

Breeding: Silkies, Barred Plymouth Rocks, Ameraucanas, Naked Necks, Buckeyes, Welsummers, Marans and Mottled Houdans. 

 

Pictures by Les Farms are not to be used without written permission from me first, and never for any commercial gain. Thank you.

 

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Raising CX Free Range ~ Poultry Sexing Tips ~ Raising Chickens Naturally 

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Breeding: Silkies, Barred Plymouth Rocks, Ameraucanas, Naked Necks, Buckeyes, Welsummers, Marans and Mottled Houdans. 

 

Pictures by Les Farms are not to be used without written permission from me first, and never for any commercial gain. Thank you.

 

Visit our COOP Page! 

 

Raising CX Free Range ~ Poultry Sexing Tips ~ Raising Chickens Naturally 

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post #22 of 246
Question: we're getting a ton of rain here in SC and my chickens are soaked. Tonight it's supposed to get down to 30 degrees with some ice and snow. Our henhouse is not very well built and one "wall" is just some outdoor fabric. It seems to be getting wet inside even though I put plastic over the metal piece we used as a roof. I'm wondering if I should put the chickens in our crawl space so they can dry off. is tyere chance of freezing or frostbite if the temps get below freezing and they are wet?
post #23 of 246
Quote:
Originally Posted by wyan5 View Post

Question: we're getting a ton of rain here in SC and my chickens are soaked. Tonight it's supposed to get down to 30 degrees with some ice and snow. Our henhouse is not very well built and one "wall" is just some outdoor fabric. It seems to be getting wet inside even though I put plastic over the metal piece we used as a roof. I'm wondering if I should put the chickens in our crawl space so they can dry off. is tyere chance of freezing or frostbite if the temps get below freezing and they are wet?

I think I'd like my chickens dry going into a cold (30 in nice for us) snowy night. Chickens do produce and oil that sheds water so they may look wet but they might not be other than a little damp on the outside. They do need a place that is out of the wind and rain if they are wet but I never worry about ours. I have a chicken who is molting and almost bald who did well in our last cold snap, -5, without a problem. Chickens put off and amazing amount of heat.
Hens: 16 Leghorns or California Whites, 5 Trader Joe's Leghorns, 14 Red Stars or Gold Stars, 10 Buff Orpingtons, 2 Rhodes Island Reds, 4 Silver Laced Wyandotes, 4 Ameraucana, 7 Barred Rock, 1 Silver Laced Wyandote X Barred Rock, 1 Leghorn X Barred Rock. = 64 Hens - chicks 89
Roosters: 1 Trader Joe's Leghorn Rooster, 1 Leghorn X Barred Rock Rooster
Nursing Home hatch-a-long
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Hens: 16 Leghorns or California Whites, 5 Trader Joe's Leghorns, 14 Red Stars or Gold Stars, 10 Buff Orpingtons, 2 Rhodes Island Reds, 4 Silver Laced Wyandotes, 4 Ameraucana, 7 Barred Rock, 1 Silver Laced Wyandote X Barred Rock, 1 Leghorn X Barred Rock. = 64 Hens - chicks 89
Roosters: 1 Trader Joe's Leghorn Rooster, 1 Leghorn X Barred Rock Rooster
Nursing Home hatch-a-long
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post #24 of 246
Quote:
Originally Posted by centrarchid View Post

JackE,

 

I do not advocate heating or insulating for adult chickens but do you see a decline in eggs produced when temperatures in coop get really low.  I do see a depression in egg production with my birds housed in pens with minimal protection from wind.  I also remember declines in egg production with birds in chicken house holding about 200 hundred hens during periods of extreme cold.

Sure, I see a decline in egg production during the winter months. But I put that down to the shorter days/daylight in the winter. I could put a light in the coop to simulate longer days. I only have 19 birds, I'm getting anywhere from 5 to 8 eggs a day on average. That's enough for me and my family.  I had a bunch of them go through a molt, so I'm expecting the production to pick up as they recover from that, or heads will roll. (Just kidding of course)  I don't really believe I get extreme cold here either. I can get temps down into the single digits, not including windchill. I don't get the 20, 30 below I've read about on here. But in saying that, I know people that travel out to Montana in the winter, and they said it feels much colder here than out there, even with -temps. Out there they say it's a much drier cold, it doesn't affect you like the cold we get around here with the ocean and the bays. But, that's what they say, I've never been out there to see for myself. 

Jack


 

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post #25 of 246
Quote:
Originally Posted by what did I do View Post

I think I'd like my chickens dry going into a cold (30 in nice for us) snowy night. Chickens do produce and oil that sheds water so they may look wet but they might not be other than a little damp on the outside. They do need a place that is out of the wind and rain if they are wet but I never worry about ours. I have a chicken who is molting and almost bald who did well in our last cold snap, -5, without a problem. Chickens put off and amazing amount of heat.
They are quite soaked. It's windy and VERY rainy and they don't have much protection. I don't think we've ever had rain like this here..almost constant since Monday. It's flooding the yard. I think I'll try to put them in the crawl space. Maybe they'll eat some of the thousands of crickets living under there!
post #26 of 246

Some of my birds roost in trees and stay there even when temperature near -10 F.  I do not get concerned about frostbite until temperatures drop below 10 F.  Conditions that really cause concern involve a freezing rain event followed by extremely cold temperatures with lots of wind.  Extremely low means less than 10 F.  Wet feathering has reduced insulatory value and ice does not help.

Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it.
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Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it.
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post #27 of 246

JackE,

 

I see decines even with supplemental lighting.  COld stress I think is reason.  Cold snaps result in temporary declines in egg output.

Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it.
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Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it.
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post #28 of 246
Quote:
Originally Posted by wyan5 View Post

Question: we're getting a ton of rain here in SC and my chickens are soaked. Tonight it's supposed to get down to 30 degrees with some ice and snow. Our henhouse is not very well built and one "wall" is just some outdoor fabric. It seems to be getting wet inside even though I put plastic over the metal piece we used as a roof. I'm wondering if I should put the chickens in our crawl space so they can dry off. is tyere chance of freezing or frostbite if the temps get below freezing and they are wet?

I think there is a relative chance that your birds can get frost bit with added moisture that goes into the air as that water evaporates off your bird.  Especially if they are enclosed with that moisture still on them.  I've had problems with some more superficial frostbites this winter have been after a warm up in Northern Minnesota (32 + degrees) in which we get rain or freezing rain and then it switches fast to bitter cold.  Almost as if that moisture off their feathers doesn't have half a chance to dry it can set you up for frost bite. Superficial or what have you.  That's why ventilation is key to release out that moisture. I also don't give wet food like warm oatmeal in subzero temps as it stuck to my Roos wattles and that created a superficial frost bite.

 

Currently my set up is this and it seems to be working but I'm always learning, watching my birds and making mental notes:  Coop has 2x4 boards with the 4 inch side face up to cover their toes and legs thoroughly.  Insulated my roof only to hold down their accumulated body heat.  Our winters are dry winters here so I imagine you might feel your cold a bit more on the Atlantic seaboard.  I do use a 25 watt red light for 0-31 Fahrenheit temps . 0- minus 20 Fahrenheit(our coldest so far this year) I use a 75 watt black light.  And I keep them in.  I've given them chances to go out in the run by leaving the pop door open but they end up staying in or roosting alot during those Sub zero days anyways.   Depending on the day of course but if it's in the single digits the coop inside stays about 20 degrees at roost level-- pop door open. We had a -18 degree day and the coop maintained at 4 degrees Fahrenheit.  I was pretty impressed with that. The light needs to go off at 32 degrees though.  We had 40+ degrees in the coop with a warm up one day last week... and I guess I'm fickle: I didn't want my birds going soft on me!  Despite my other high maintenance ways with the different watt light bulbs.  Ha!

 

Their outdoor run is covered as they don't appreciate walking in the snow much.  I've got Plastic on the North and West sides of the Run for prevailing Winter winds. East and South Ends are open.

 

Today is a colder day here for us. I didn't pay attention to my weather.com app this AM and didn't realize it was -4 this morning.  Nobody anxious to hop off the roost this morning when I opened the pop door.  Ha.  Should have figured.  I think they know and can feel of course when it's a good day to hunker down for a sleep-in until it gets a little warmer.  And so far today I have 0 eggs for 3 that are laying now.  Other 6 hens have shut 'er down for the winter.  I do think that in colder temps they do drop their overall production.  They're using and burning their nutrients to stay warm...Probably?  So that gets diverted from the egg production..?  My thoughts only.

 

Experiment a little and keep an eye on your birds.  They'll kind of show you what they like and don't like. But I think they're tougher in those big fluff down coats than what we realize.

post #29 of 246

I think cold is such a relative term....about a week ago my friends and I had a good laugh when it was a frigid 55 in L.A.....There were news clips all over facebook while today it is a balmy 40 in good old South Dakota and I wore only a fleece jacket outside all day (there is no wind).  So just because you are cold doens't mean you chickens are and when someone from Canada asks about the cold you know they mean COLD....Not to insult anyone but I find humor in people from lets say Florida giving advice to someone from a place like Alaska on cold weather but it may just be me...  Anyway stay warm everyone wether that be 40 or 80 F lol

 

 

As far as adding heat have you ever been in your car with the heat on then gotten out and it feels crazy cold or went outside where its hot for a bit and then when you go back to A/C it feels like it is freezing in the house.  That is what happens to chickens with supplemental heat.  They get used to it so of course it feels cold when they go outside and then they never will. Also, you have to account for what happens if there isnt any power to warm them....do you then just leave them to their own devices?

post #30 of 246

This is what happened to my rooster when we had a cold snap. got down to minus 35. His comb froze and i almost lost a hen due to a big ice ball that formed on her butt. she got a warm bath and blowdry and was happy again. I quickely put a heater in there and insuated all the walls best i could. Ceiling isn't insulated and im using the deep litter method so didn't have to insulate under floor. Heres some pic of their house before the insulation job and my poor rooster.

 

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