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Battening down the flock!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by mulewagon, Jan 9, 2011.

  1. mulewagon

    mulewagon Songster

    Nov 13, 2010
    We're waiting for a winter storm to hit - it's supposed to be 2 - 4 inches, followed by "wintry precipitation". This will likely leave us iced in, on top of a glassy clay hill. This is a big deal for Alabama!

    It may not be safe to walk down to the coop for a day or two...My husband didn't want to leave the coop open into the pen, because he says there'll be more predators hunting in this weather. The chickens normally eat out in the pen, but I put some feed in the coop. Also put some alfalfa pellets in water - that will swell up and freeze, and will take them awhile to eat. And hung a couple of bananas - they'll freeze too, and be entertaining.

    No use putting water in there, but if there's that much snow some will drift through the wire sides. And they'll have the alfalfa-ice.

    So lots of perches, nestboxes, different things to eat...they're pretty laid back, and maybe won't kill each other until I can get down there! I just hope the crippled rooster doesn't get trampled. He still dominates the other rooster, but the hens shove him unmercifully.

  2. welasharon

    welasharon Songster

    Jun 28, 2010
    North Florida
    Good luck! I think we are dodging the worst of it this time. I am in North FLorida.
  3. AnnainMD

    AnnainMD Songster

    Feb 1, 2010
    Eldersburg, MD
    Please make sure they have water, they can't survive long without water.
  4. chickengrl

    chickengrl Songster

    Sep 30, 2010
    Northern Virginia
    There is no way to put water inside? They will really need access to it. No creature can do without for long. Hope you and your flock stay safe!
  5. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    I take water out to my flock once or twice per day when we have icy and snowy weather. I think they might die without the water for several days.
  6. LaurelRidgeDreams

    LaurelRidgeDreams Songster

    Jan 23, 2010
    Mountains of NC
    Quote:Welcome to our world here in the mountains of NC. This storm coming tomorrow will make our third since Dec. 1. We currently have several inches of snow on the ground. Maybe you can sit and slide down the hill. [​IMG] How cold are you expecting it to be? Please reconsider the water situation. Snow will not take the place of water. Our chickens peck at the snow but drink lots of water. I change it several times during the day because it freezes.

    Good luck!
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2011
  7. KimberlyJ

    KimberlyJ Songster

    Jun 13, 2010
    Ummmm, my chickens won't eat frozen food. The leftover pumpkins were being nibbled on until they froze. The hung up cabbage froze and is ignored. I cook hot oatmeal, rice or pasta for them on cold mornings. They absolutely love it!!! But what they don't eat right away will freeze and then doesn't get eaten at all. When I'm cold I don't want ice cream either, so I can understand an already chilly chicken not wanting to eat frozen food.

  8. mulewagon

    mulewagon Songster

    Nov 13, 2010
    Of course they have water - it's just going to be in the form of a loose frozen lump, mixed with alfalfa. They can peck that into pieces, but they can't peck the solid block that any plain water is going to be tomorrow. (They love ice, and pounce on the chips when I break up their frozen water.)

    You see, we've got an Alabama coop, made for heat. It's all wire with a tarp around the top. This winter has been unusually bad for this area, and the forecasts for this week are much worse. If it's as bad as they say, the coop will be full of drifted snow, and I'll be able to report on how well a basic draft-free perch works [​IMG]

    I certainly hope I'll be able to get down there regularly - but the way this chert gets when frozen, I've prepared for the worst. Hopefully, the chickens won't have any worse than a pig-out morning in the coop!
  9. moonlyghtegirl

    moonlyghtegirl Songster

    Feb 16, 2009
    Quote:[​IMG] Hey - that sounds like my coop, and I live in Tennessee. My husband actually built me a 16 x 20 run around my coop, and then added a corrogated tin roof on part of it, and clear plastic roofing on the other half. The girls don't like the coop, but they will go in if it gets cold enough. As far as the water, we did break down and got a heater base, with a thermostat control. WooWhee, we are up town aren't we???

    We are predicted to get 4-6" here in Chattanooga. I stocked the girls up today, and gave them some extra scrath and alfalfa. They will make it a day or so if I can't get up tp the run.

    Good luck MuleWagon! [​IMG]
  10. mulewagon

    mulewagon Songster

    Nov 13, 2010
    Good golly, it's 4 inches here already! We haven't had snow like this in 45 years! (I think it's coming in faster than the blizzard of '93.)

    The door was almost blocked - my husband slipped out and shoveled a space. But who knows if we can even get out in the morning, if it freezes? This place just isn't built for real snow. (Oh, he brought the shovel inside - says we can open the storm window on the door, and push the screen out, and shovel from inside.)

    Yeah, I wish I'd bought a heated waterer, now. But it seemed about as urgent as waterskis! Heck, I wish I'd brought the feed up to the house, and left both gates open - those chickens can get over the ice a lot better than we can [​IMG]

    Good luck, everybody! I can't imagine what it's like further north... in the frozen wastes of Tennessee, and all [​IMG]

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