Cold rooster??

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by leighks, Dec 7, 2017.

  1. leighks

    leighks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My 8 month old mixed breed rooster seems to be cold intollerent. Around Thanksgiving we had a cold front move through, and I noticed he appeared to be shivering off and on. Later that night he got a full exam, from top of comb to bottom of feet. Nothing found. When the weather got warmer over the next few days I didn’t see any more shivering.

    Now it’s gotten cold again (I’m near Buffalo, NY) and tonight when he went to roost I saw him shivering again. It’s 35 in the coop tonight but will be heading to the mid 20’s. An unseasonable cold front will be here in a few days where the highs will be in the mid teens and lows in the single digits- and that’s pretty much what mid January to end of February can be like, so if he doesn’t like mid 30’s he’s gonna hate the next 3 months.

    He’s otherwise healthy, eats well, mates with the girls, crows, etc. The girls don’t seem to care about the weather. He’s a large, active bird who shows no other unusual signs. I have Musher’s Secret for his comb and wattles to avoid frostbite.

    The coop has good ventilation (I’ve posted about it to confirm), no drafts, and is not heated. It’s big, especially for only 6 birds- about 8’x8’, cinder block floor and wood walls, metal roof over regular shingle roof, about 10’ from floor to ceiling. Using sand as litter, have double foil insulation around the walls (starting about 2’ above ground to about 6’ up wall), the 3 windows covered in plastic. I really didn’t want to heat the coop, but will get a flat panel radiant heater if I have to.

    If he’s shivering from the cold now, shouldn’t I heat the coop? Or is it normal/ to be expected? The girls don’t seem cold. I’ve read a lot about heat vs no heat and didn’t plan on doing it, but I’m afraid months of this- and colder- will take their toll on him. Does anyone else’s chickens shiver all winter long??
     
  2. leighks

    leighks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    85006A50-6F2B-42B4-B14B-A92C4D16522C.jpeg 44BC80CB-AA6D-4929-B9BF-E0A0CA634AFF.jpeg 9B73FB20-0F97-47ED-AA65-780AE2A0ACA1.jpeg
    Here’s some pics from last week- as I said he’s a big boy, not sure why he seems so cold!
     
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  3. Chickassan

    Chickassan True BYC Addict

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    No,not normal your boy obviously gets chilly. I've not ever had a shivering roo but no doubt it's possible. I'm a softie so I'd probably get the heater for him.:)
     
  4. Playford Flats Farm

    Playford Flats Farm Out Of The Brooder

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    I’m not sure why he’d be shivering, but there are ways to keep him warm. Getting a heater is risky, because it can raise humidity in the coop, cause fires and shock your chickens when they leave their nice warm coop and go out into the cold. I’d suggest googling chicken sweaters. You can knit/crochet them yourself or buy them off eBay for about $15 each. Just make sure you get one big enough for him so that he can fluff up his down a bit. I use sweaters on my silkies when it gets down to the -20s/-30s here in Ontario
     
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  5. Sunshine Flock

    Sunshine Flock Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Poor guy. Maybe if he keeps flapping his wings he'll generate some heat to keep him warm.

    My rooster lost a lot of feathers and shivers when he's cold. As the feathers grow in he does this less, but I wonder about the spent energy from shivering. When I shiver my core muscles tighten and it can be painful and I can feel weak.

    Are there any recommendations for nutritional supports for him?
     
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  6. Sunshine Flock

    Sunshine Flock Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Heaters in the coop ... no heat lamps.

    I'd try to find a recent featured discussion on heating coops and the threat of fire. Can you put him and a companion hen in the garage or somewhere warmer during cold weather?
     
  7. Chickassan

    Chickassan True BYC Addict

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    Those flat panel heaters are pretty safe,you know as safe as a heater can be. I'd definitely go with one of those if you decide to heat. The heat lamps make me all kinds of nervous.
     
  8. leighks

    leighks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If I do end up heating the coop I found a flat panel radiant heat chicken coop heater. It’s a zero clearance certified product, meaning it won’t start a fire, even if it comes in contact with combustible materials such as hay, wood chips, etc. It also is mountable to the wall. It doesn’t heat up the coop- it only heats the area near it, it’s not a space heater and isn’t designed to raise the temp greatly. It just offers a little warmth to the chickens when they are fairly close to it (near their roosting area).

    Thanks all for the info, I guess he’s just a sensitive roo and doesn’t like the cold- just like me!
     
    nminusyplusm likes this.
  9. leighks

    leighks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The only thing I found about nutrition and keeping warm was to give them cracked corn before they go to sleep, burning carbs will help them generate heat. I do that but it doesn’t seem to do much for him. If anyone has any other suggestions I would be interested.
     
  10. BantyChooks

    BantyChooks Sing Brightly Premium Member Project Manager

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