Cold chickens?(Esp. MN. Residents)

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by chickbee, Nov 12, 2016.

  1. chickbee

    chickbee Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 2, 2015
    Fort Worth Tx
    My husband is currently interviewing around the country for medical residency. We currently live in Texas (both raised here and used to our crazy, mostly HOT, weather). A few programs he's considering are up north, and a couple in the midwest. He most recently is considering one in Minnesota. Of course, I'm in a panic because I wonder what my poor chickens will do in winters none of us are prepared for. I have two buffs, a black sex link, and a barred rock.
    I'm assuming my buffs would be ok for harder winters but what about the other two??? I'm afraid I haven't done much research yet in the area but am just throwing it out there. They are used to free ranging here all year round.
    The welfare of my chickens is a huge factor in our move so any info helps. My husband built a nice predator proof, insulated coop here. Is there anything in particular he would need to consider when building another coop where winters are rough? Ty in advance.
  2. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Flockless Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    Hi and welcome to BYC. I'm not best placed to advise on winterising a chicken set up, as i live on the equator, but I'm fairly sure that your chickens will be able to adapt to the cold (better than vice versa). This link may help in terms of planning for a coop - There are lots of threads on how to prepare for winter, so maybe just do some searches for other issues. This search should help -

    Good luck

    Last edited: Nov 12, 2016
    1 person likes this.
  3. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    You have been given excellent links. But for more, if you know where you will be relocating, subscribe to the BYC thread from that state. You can then ask other members what they recommend for getting through cold climates. Actually chickens generally tolerate cold weather much better than heat .
    1 person likes this.
  4. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
    Greetings from Kansas and [​IMG]! Pleased you joined our community! Well here in KS, it's colder than TX but not nearly as cold as MN. Mine live in an insulated, meal coop and seem to winter just fine. I also think any breed is okay as well, including the ones you have. The big, floppy combed breeds sometimes suffer first bite on the comb. Here are a couple of additional articles you might like to read:
    You said the coop you have in insulated. I really think you'll be fine - even in MN. Chickens are like little furnaces and generate a lot of heat. A few of them in a coop will keep them from getting to chilled. Best wishes and thanks for joining BYC! [​IMG]
  5. farmgirllvo

    farmgirllvo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 27, 2016
    Hello from "the coldest part of Minnesota"
    I think all three of your breeds will be jut fine with the cold. Make sure your coop is well insolated. That they have a water heater. Keep drafts out by keeping the coop walls sealed tight. I wouldn't recommend putting a heat lamp in your coop as it could cause fires and if the electricity goes out the chickens could not be used to that cold of weather and they will freeze.
    When they molt in the fall of you are loving somewhere where it is getting colder they will grow those thick downy feathers and be warm for winter.
  6. chickbee

    chickbee Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 2, 2015
    Fort Worth Tx
    Thanks all for the info. Everything I read about the winters up there scare me! I have been in serious snowy weather for trips to Colorado but I'm sure it's not the same. We would be going to Rochester.
    I will research more on these threads and thanks for the link, super helpful. Just wanting some extra assurance from those who have chickens up there. It may, in a way, be better for them since the cold may be more gradual and there are four seasons. Here in Texas it goes from 80 to freezing the same week sometimes. I believe the buffs have molted but they still just have their light colored (undercoat?) feathers. I'm guessing their top feathers will return eventually?
    Thanks and glad to hear even my sex link and barred will be ok.
    We will start planning the coop now. We insulated and ventilated the one we have here even in Texas so maybe can make this next one even better.
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2016
  7. CuzChickens

    CuzChickens CountryChick

    Apr 24, 2016
    Hello there, and welcome to Backyard Chickens! You have gotten amazing advice and links, so I'll just hi! :frow
    1 person likes this.
  8. N F C

    N F C home again! Premium Member Project Manager

    Dec 12, 2013

    Thanks for joining us! You've been given some good advice and several helpful tips so I'll just say hello and good luck on your new venture!
    1 person likes this.
  9. RodNTN

    RodNTN Following Jesus

    May 22, 2013
    Serving Jesus
    My Coop
    Hi and [​IMG] I'm glad you joined us!
    1 person likes this.
  10. QueenMisha

    QueenMisha Queen of the Coop

    Welcome to BYC! It's great to have you.

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