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Cold chickens?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by shannon84, Nov 20, 2016.

  1. shannon84

    shannon84 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi, I have a buff orphington roo and two new hampshire red hens. They have a huge run and a small well built coop. The temps have been low 40s and 30s here and the have pine shavings, but they seem cold to me like they get all fluffed out and they little feet are pink! The hens mostly stay inside the coop during the day. Is this normal for the
    chickens to act this way with colder temps? It just got cold here a week ago.....thanks for any responses [​IMG]
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Age may be playing a factor in the females staying in the coop. How old are they? Are they still pullets and a cockerel instead of real hens and as rooster?

    The feet turning red is generally a hormone thing, especially with the male. It means fertility. Are all of them having pink or red feet or is it just the male?

    The reason chickens fluff up in cold weather is to trap air in their down and feathers for extra insulation. At those temperatures I’m a little surprised they are fluffing up unless you are just talking about on the roost at night. That’s just not that cold for chickens. My chickens do not like a cold wind, have you been having strong cold winds? That might explain some of the behavior.

    It was 4 degrees above zero Fahrenheit when I took this photo many years back. I left the pop door open and let them decide what they wanted to do. Since it was calm they went outside. If a cold wind had been blowing they would not have been out in it.

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Spartan22

    Spartan22 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi Shannon, those type of chickens are cold hardy, 40s and 30s are nothing to them. They're probably fluff up due to wind? Or rainy weather? They will definitely adjust to the temps as it progresses, it has been nice and warm September -November.
     
  4. wamtazlady

    wamtazlady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If your birds are really cold at those temperatures then it would seem something is wrong. You'd need to look first at your coop. You say it is small. How small is it? How much ventilation does it have to remove the moisture the birds make through breathing and pooping? As has been said here many times, a dry chicken is a warm chicken. What are you using for your roost?

    I had baby chicks running around when it was in the 20s here, only going under their mama occasionally to get warmed up. Then they would be out and running around again. It's in the 20s at night here now and 30s during the day. All the chickens are doing their thing, running around, and not fluffed up.
     
  5. shannon84

    shannon84 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi and thanks for all responses!!! The rooster and hens are around 3 and 4 years old, hen and rooster both had pinkish feet. The coop is one thats already pre built like you get at tractor supply or something. It was 80 here in indiana a few weeks ago so it got cold like that all the sudden. So maybe thats it? They fluffed up was on the roost while roosting... on a windy day i put a tarp around the botton half of it. The vent always stays open. Im ocd with their small coop lol i clean it daily.....
     
  6. wamtazlady

    wamtazlady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Most of those coops you get a places like Tractor Supply are not really adequate for chickens. They usually lack any ventilation. I know as years ago one of those was my first coop. Thankfully I did a lot of reading and my girls never had to spend the winter in that coop. They would have frozen due to all the moisture that coop would have had in it.
     
  7. mobius

    mobius Chillin' With My Peeps

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    As well, be sure to check for drafts in the coop where they are roosting. You do not want drafts across the roosting area. Fluffing feathers is normal ( I wish I had their little down coats about now!) Are the roosts flat where they sit so they can cover their feet with their feathers? My in coop roosts are 2x4s with the four inches horizontal.
     
  8. shannon84

    shannon84 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I wish i had one built now. What should or can i do to make the coop better? Oh the roost are flat.....
     
  9. wamtazlady

    wamtazlady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    First, you need ventilation. That means cutting holes in the upper sides of the coop. You also have to make sure that rain doesn't get into the coop through those new vents. Also, if the coop isn't very tall, you have to block heavy winds from getting inside and chilling the birds. That might be as simple as cutting vents on the sides of the coop away from the winds. My coop is located a few feet from an L-shaped building the blocks much of the wind. My pop door stays open year round but I cover most of the run in clear plastic in the winter. Again, you need to leave a side open to allow for ventilation or leave the top few inches open. To avoid ammonia build up you'll need to clean the coop frequently.

    Good that your roosts are flat. Hopefully they are wide enough for the whole foot of the chicken to be on top. That way the chicken can hunker down and sit on her feet to keep them warm. When you build your own coop, 2 by 4s make excellent roosts if you put the wide side up.

    It's winter. It's a great time to do some research in the Coops section. You can check out others' coops. You can figure out how to improve the coop you have or build a new one in the spring.
     

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