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How cold is TOO cold for a chicken? - Page 49

post #481 of 496
Quote:
Originally Posted by shortlid View Post
 

Featherz, how much of there combs can get frost bite and fall off before, I have to start being concerned about gang green? Of the four NH Red hens all have at least one black tip to there comb, two have every tip white or black!  I have a Decon at my church that lives on the East side of Derry (Southern New Hampshire). His Roos every winter would get frost bite on there comb or waddle.  He said eveery time Spring rolled around the frost bite would get to them they would start acting crazy, running in circles, attaching walls etc.

 

Tell him to get more ventilation in his coop and he'll start seeing less of that.  Ventilation up above and also down below...he'll want to create an updraft of fresh air to move the stale, humid air out. 

 
A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast: but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.  Proverbs 12:10
 
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A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast: but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.  Proverbs 12:10
 
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post #482 of 496

Ok have some 1/2" by 3" in slots near the floor.    The coop is above part of the run so it sits about two feet off the ground.

post #483 of 496

Update on the subject. After reading all of the advice people so kindly shared... I opted not to provide any heat in my coop. I have to state that I do not think humidity / moisture is an issue, as I have adequate ventilation (described in an earlier post) and there is not one stitch of frost or ice on the insides of the coop windows. When I did have moisture earlier in the year, I saw it on the glass.

My ladies got frostbite. Only my poor leghorn Pearl has it badly. Her comb is just SO BIG. I have been keeping chickens in Vermont for over 5 years, using two different coops and have concluded that -20 degrees is just pushing the limit. Not only are her comb and wattles frostbitten, but the back of her comb is actually frozen. I discovered this when I was massaging Vaseline onto it.  When ordering chicks, I assumed that she would have a rose comb, but it wasn't specified. My mistake.

Factors: I only have 4 hens in a 4x6 coop. Pearl has a single comb.  There is cold, and then there is twenty below zero. 

The next day I went out and bought what I needed to set up a ceramic bulb (porcelain socket fixture) and put it in the coop. It doesn't "heat" the coop, but kept it closer to 10 degrees above. I know that there is a risk of fire. I totally support the fact that down into zero degree weather, chickens can take care of themselves given appropriate housing, but at -20, there may be a need for a little help - especially if you've got a single comb bird.

I will only turn this heat source on when it is significantly below zero for a substantial amount of time. 

I used to use a red brooder bulb, but this flock gets aggressive and pecks Pearl if I light them all night.

Now on to my project of rehabbing my leghorn!

Trying to create a backyard chicken situation.
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Trying to create a backyard chicken situation.
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post #484 of 496
Half my birds are large single comb including my rooster. -25'F was our lowest here with windchills far below that. No problems. One 4x8 wall of the coop is totally open, with nothing between the birds and the world but hardware cloth.
post #485 of 496

All my birds are single comb, got to -17 below last year here and not a smidge of frostbite here either.  I think folks don't really know what we mean by good ventilation?  It's not a few vents here and there at the roof top and such, I've got half a door open, square foot openings below the roosts and across from the roosts at floor level, huge gaps at all levels~particularly back by the roosting area~ and my roof vents are 4"x 12" right at the level of my biggest single comb bird~the rooster~as he roosts....and that opening is a foot from his face. 

 

We raised leghorns and RIR here when I was growing up and never once did one get frostbit...and they didn't even have a real coop, just a shelter under which to roost but completely open air to the elements. 

 

When we say "lots of ventilation" we mean LOTS of ventilation.  :D

 

The Wood's style coop, typical of the style of coop used in northern states, Maine, Wisconsin, etc. during the early 1900s ....  http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/445004/woods-style-house-in-the-winter

 

 
A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast: but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.  Proverbs 12:10
 
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A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast: but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.  Proverbs 12:10
 
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post #486 of 496
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beekissed View Post
 

All my birds are single comb, got to -17 below last year here and not a smidge of frostbite here either.  I think folks don't really know what we mean by good ventilation?  It's not a few vents here and there at the roof top and such, I've got half a door open, square foot openings below the roosts and across from the roosts at floor level, huge gaps at all levels~particularly back by the roosting area~ and my roof vents are 4"x 12" right at the level of my biggest single comb bird~the rooster~as he roosts....and that opening is a foot from his face. 

 

We raised leghorns and RIR here when I was growing up and never once did one get frostbit...and they didn't even have a real coop, just a shelter under which to roost but completely open air to the elements. 

 

When we say "lots of ventilation" we mean LOTS of ventilation.  :D

 

The Wood's style coop, typical of the style of coop used in northern states, Maine, Wisconsin, etc. during the early 1900s ....  http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/445004/woods-style-house-in-the-winter

 

I'm in Maine and the discussions of open air housing have made me decide to put more hardware cloth & less wood in the new chicken house i'm making. Up under the roof, where the rain won't get in... i'll sub in swathes of secure wire for the plywood I was originally going to use. Should help with weight of the walls when I go to move the pieces out of the garage and set it up in the pen, too!

post #487 of 496
This is my first year with Red star/Red sexlinks. I live 4100 feet. -°temps possible. Then I read how this breed is not cold tolerant. Now I am stressing. These pullets are roosting in my 8x10 hoop green house. The heat bulb hanging from the ceiling (no chance of knock overs) is on a timer 2:00 am. I hope this will be ok.
post #488 of 496

i live up here in Canada where we can get -45C with out counting the windchill, i have 31 leghorn pullets and 5 silkies this is my first winter with chickens (and first year) there 7 weeks old now. should i heat the coop in the winter or just heat there water up? i asked this question with ducks and got the answer they would be fine with fresh water and lots of feed but how about chickens?   

first time chicken owner of 31 leghorns, 5 silkies and. had no idea what i was doing getting so many. 
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first time chicken owner of 31 leghorns, 5 silkies and. had no idea what i was doing getting so many. 
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post #489 of 496
Quote:
Originally Posted by itsasmallfarm View Post
 

i live up here in Canada where we can get -45C with out counting the windchill, i have 31 leghorn pullets and 5 silkies this is my first winter with chickens (and first year) there 7 weeks old now. should i heat the coop in the winter or just heat there water up? i asked this question with ducks and got the answer they would be fine with fresh water and lots of feed but how about chickens?   

 

Curious as to why you'd choose Mediterranean breeds when you live in such a climate?  :hu   Seems like that's just asking for problems.  I usually never recommend heating a chicken coop but I'll be surprised if you can get by without doing so if the cold is that bad and you've chosen breeds that don't develop the feathering or fat to be comfortable living there. 

 
A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast: but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.  Proverbs 12:10
 
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A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast: but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.  Proverbs 12:10
 
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post #490 of 496
Quote:
Originally Posted by itsasmallfarm View Post

i live up here in Canada where we can get -45C with out counting the windchill, i have 31 leghorn pullets and 5 silkies this is my first winter with chickens (and first year) there 7 weeks old now. should i heat the coop in the winter or just heat there water up? i asked this question with ducks and got the answer they would be fine with fresh water and lots of feed but how about chickens?   


Age of birds also relevant. They do not get full cold tolerance until into full adult feathers. Yours will not be there for another 16+ weeks. I routinely push my birds with respect to environment but I also try to make so they are mature enough for winter.

I would put some effort into getting birds to roost tightly together, possibly in straw on the ground. Make so they can huddle together a lot during day as well. Keep the straw fresh and dry. If heat source to be used then have over straw where they huddle but man that will be an outright fire risk. Set up a wall that light can shine on in addition to floor to trap heat produced on birds.

Make certain they are getting grit so they can process feed fast and efficiently to stay warm. It will take a lot more feed than usual to get them into adult weight as lot will be devoted to simply staying warm. If like my young birds that go through winter, then you will see them try to keep crops full all the time.

Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it.

 

 

Reminder to self: August 2021 Check Post #15852 in Show Off Your American Gamefowl

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Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it.

 

 

Reminder to self: August 2021 Check Post #15852 in Show Off Your American Gamefowl

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