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chickens and cold weather

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by MommaBugg, Sep 15, 2011.

  1. MommaBugg

    MommaBugg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 19, 2011
    NE MICHIGAN
    With the onset of colder weather I am faced with trying to figure out winter accommodations for banties and ducks.

    I have 5 EE and 5 BO that I heard handle cold weather fine, but being in north east Michigan, I am worried about my banties and ducks. They all run together right now, and I took the pool away from the ducks (much to their dismay) so that the chickens stay dry.

    Will they be OK together in such a cold climate? I dont have a way to heat the coop, so thats really not an option..

    Any ideas? Anyone in the same type climate that house banties and ducks through winter?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Uzuri

    Uzuri Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 25, 2009
    How big's your coop? It's surprising how few hens it takes to heat a space.

    Taking the pool away was probably a good idea; it's not so much the cold that really causes problems, it's the humidity. Back when I had a roo with a giant comb, he did pretty well frostbite-wise except for two places -- one where his comb-tips touched the wire predator-fence above the coop, and the other where he dragged his wattles in the water bowl. And that was an exceptionally cold winter for our area (Ohio).
     
  3. Cattitude

    Cattitude Chillin' With My Peeps

    If they have plenty of perches in their coop, they should be able to tuck their feet beneath them to keep from freezing. Does your chicken house have gaps? Could put a tarp over it or get some inexpensive particle board to cover it for the winter. We don't have the bad winters here that you do up there, but a couple years ago we had a doozy that froze the pond solid (the horses were walking across it) and the chickens did just fine.
     
  4. MommaBugg

    MommaBugg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    99
    Mar 19, 2011
    NE MICHIGAN
    Thanks for the responses

    The 'coop' is actually a large walled off corner of a huge garage converted into storage building, which is a thick cinderblock building, with a run attached to the door of the coop. So they are basically indoors, but without heat. My worries are at night when it dips to -10 which is more than 40 below freezing. I have little sebright, silver duckwing, and red pyle hens that I am worried about. There is plenty perching room, but not everyone likes to perch oddly enough. The ducks dont perch, some of my EE roos. Maybe if it gets cold enough the roos will perch. Them huddling together is what I am hoping works and helps them survive. Also at what age can I introduce young chickens to the cold? I had some hatch about a month ago, still chicks.

    Anyone with banties in this type climate have any tips or suggestions?
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2011
  5. Cattitude

    Cattitude Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hmm... you'll need to get their feet off of the concrete. Find some pallets that you can lay plywood or boards across, then add plenty of pine shavings. That will help insulate and they can nest together in the pine shavings to share warmth. There is a link around here somewhere on the Deep Litter Method....
     
  6. MommaBugg

    MommaBugg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    99
    Mar 19, 2011
    NE MICHIGAN
    Quote:I have hay as bedding right now, with about a 3 inch layer of dirt under that. Should I be using shavings instead during the winter?
     
  7. Cattitude

    Cattitude Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hay works fine. You sound set to me. [​IMG]
     
  8. Cattitude

    Cattitude Chillin' With My Peeps

    Once your chicks have all their adult-type feathers, they should be fine too. As long as there is plenty of room to nestle down in the hay together, they will share warmth. I forgot to ask, does your enclosure inside the building have a solid top? That will help hold heat inside the chicken area. There should be a couple of vents near the top where vapors can escape.
     
  9. MommaBugg

    MommaBugg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    0
    99
    Mar 19, 2011
    NE MICHIGAN
    Quote:2 walls are the cinderblock sides of the building, two sides of the coop is plywood, the top is chicken wire for ventilation.

    Would piling hay over the top of the wire be enough to insulate it.
     

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