Cold Weather

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by tucsonsmommy, Jan 7, 2014.

  1. tucsonsmommy

    tucsonsmommy New Egg

    Apr 16, 2013
    Hi. I am in Maryland and we are having zero degree weather with -20degree wind chills today. This is my first winter with chickens. I have 2 Barred Rocks and 1 Rhode Island Red. I know that are hearty winter birds, however when I opened the door to the coop today they willingly came out in to the cold. Should I have any concerns? Or will they go In the hen house if they get cold? They do not free range. I am concerned about frostbite on their combs an feet. I need a little reassurance!
  2. JackE

    JackE Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 26, 2010
    North Eastern Md.
    Hello fellow Marylander. Yeah, getting a bit chilly around here, but don't worry about your birds, they can handle it. Check out the pic below. The front is open year round, and the birds thrive in there. It was 4 degrees this morning(Not including the "Deadly" windchill) and when I opened the popdoor, my chickens poured out of there like any other day.

  3. tucsonsmommy

    tucsonsmommy New Egg

    Apr 16, 2013
    Thanks so much! I just checked on them and they came down from the hen house to greet me. You have a beautiful coop by the way!! I am feeling better about things!
  4. RedDrgn

    RedDrgn Anachronistic Anomaly

    May 11, 2011
    West Virginia
    My Coop
    Hello! We're next door in WV, and even though this is our third winter with chickens, these have been (by far) the coldest one yet! And even though I've read all sorts of stories of people with flocks far north of us and breezing through temperatures far colder and over longer periods, I still had to see to believe (to an extent).

    Our coop is a small 2-story affair, so since Friday I closed up all of the screened windows in the 2nd story because that's where the roosts are. The windows on the 1st floor remained open and the pop door opens/closes automatically and I have changed nothing about its timing.

    I checked on them this morning around 5AM before I left for work (it was 3F with 25mph winds, and I have no idea the windchill). I opened a side door to take a look and our roo was kind enough to crow in my face, presumably telling me to shut the dang door. [​IMG] They were all hunkered down on the roosts staring at me like I was crazy, but they were fine. Once the pop door opened and the sun was up, they all piled out like they do any other morning and couldn't seem to care less about the weather.

    The only issue we've even had over the past week have been with their waterer. We have a 5-gallon bucket with chicken nipples in it and we keep a bird bath heater in it to keep it thawed. It works great until the temperature drops below 20F. After that, the film of water in the nipples themselves freezes up and they won't budge, even though the water in the bucket remains liquid. So we just switched to a large heated dog bowl 2 days ago and no issues since, even though we have to dump and clean it out every day because they insist on kicking everything they can into it.

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