arctic cold front--special precautions for texas hens?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by cimarron, Jan 6, 2010.

  1. cimarron

    cimarron Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 25, 2008
    Central Tejas
    an arctic cold front's coming to central texas. temperatures expected to be high teens--30s for about 3 days here. this is unusual for these parts and our hens haven't been exposed to this kind of cold. so i'm not sure if we need to take extra precautions with a heater or something. our hen house is not insulated. any advice would be appreciated, thanks much.
  2. FortWorthChicks

    FortWorthChicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 21, 2009
    Fort Worth
    I went out and got a red light to leave running in my coop as well as one of those heated pet waterbowls. I hope it keeps my water from freezing. I also just hung a cabbage in the coop so if they get to feeling annoyed they can peck a cabbage not eachother.

    Brrrrr... here we go!
  3. FortWorthChicks

    FortWorthChicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 21, 2009
    Fort Worth
    oh and tonight when everyone heads into the coop they are all getting some vasoline on their combs & maybe a lil on the legs of my clean legged hens [​IMG]
  4. The Chicken People

    The Chicken People Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 4, 2009
    Smithville, Mo
    If you add heat makesure to secure the clamp. Keep 2 feet from all bedding etc. Be careful!
  5. maine chicks

    maine chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 10, 2008
    They should be fine-keep them draft free. You might be more bothered by the cold than the chickens [​IMG]
  6. mom'sfolly

    mom'sfolly Overrun With Chickens

    Feb 15, 2007
    Austin area, Texas
    I'm planning on feeding mine some warm oatmeal tomorrow and Friday. I'm a little concerned about the two young girls, since they are still sleeping in their own coop. I'll cover the windows with sheets.

    As for myself...I bought firewood today. I'm the crossing guard at my kid's school and I'm dreading tomorrow morning. Sleet, high winds, cold temps and cedar fever all sound pretty miserable.
  7. FortWorthChicks

    FortWorthChicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 21, 2009
    Fort Worth
    what do you think of the heated dog bowl idea? I was hoping it would put heat out into the coop as well as keep the water from freezing. Oh and I added a whoooole bunch of bedding lol.

    I hope they fair well. Cause I will bring their little fluffy butts inside if I need to lol!
  8. ole-crone

    ole-crone Chillin' With My Peeps

    Cold laughs at the heated dog bowl.

    The girls will be ok as long as you keep them dry and away from drafts.
  9. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 23, 2009
    I've been preparing for this for the last couple of days. I've been keeping our bantams in the garage in crates/cages at nights when the outdoor temps dip into freezing. So far, the garage has stayed warm enough, 39 degrees or above. But with this cold front, I'm not expecting that to last.

    I bought one of those oil filled radiators and I've been runing it outdoors to burn off the smell. I'm hoping the radiator will keep the garage just barely above freezing at night.

    I also set up my brooder lamp with a 100 watt lightbulb out in my small winter coop. I'm planning to run that light during the day to warm that coop up a bit. Because it has a clear roof, on any day that we get any sun it already gets warmer in there than outside. If I can get the temp up above freezing in the winter coop with the lamp/sun, then I'll let the chickens go into the winter coop during the day. Otherwise, they'll just have to stay in the garage.

    If the garage falls below freezing, though, all bets are off. I'll bring the whole flock of five indoors and bunk them in our dove aviary, and worry about re-acclimating them to outdoor temps later. The doves will have to go elsewhere. I just don't want to chance leaving my chickens out in extended below freezing temps because they're Serama hybrids, not a cold hardy breed.
  10. fiberart57

    fiberart57 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 31, 2009
    I use a heated dog water bowl but outside in their run. If you put it in the coop you take a chance that they will spill it and it will increase the humidity in the house. They don't drink much at night and I don't think it's going to increase the ambient temperature of the coop enough to offset its negative aspects.

    If you get really concerned and your house isn't real big you could heat water to almost boiling, put it in water containers and bury it in the bedding to help heat things. This is how I do mine and here in Colorado we routinely have gotten into single digits at night.

    If your house is insulated, you might try to block some of the ventilation. Just some of it. I blocked mine until I have approximately two square feet of ventilation left open, about 25% of it's original amount. I've checked the air when I open the door in the mornings and it doesn't smell. I have flaps over most of it so I can open it during the day if needed but they spend most of their time outside.

    High teens to 30s is not particularly low as chickens go, except they're not acclimated to it. You might try feeding them some warm cornmeal or a warm meal as suggested before bed to make sure they have full crops. Vaseline, or something, the combs and let them be. If the coop is really big and you can block off some of it with straw bales so they can conserve heat that's good also.

    It's been a bitter winter and I plan to celebrate big time when the frigid temps go away.


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