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Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by Jx2inNC, Sep 15, 2010.
Surprisingly, it is not much colder than here in Minnesota then.
I grew up in Western NY, and even though we are on about the same latitude where I am now, we get colder weather where they get more snow.
I have been to Minnesota....in the summer! I LOVE your State! And I suspected it got cold in the winter. So you have bantams AND LF? How do the LF winter?
This is my first year of going through winter with the GOOD LF Cornish, but the hatchery birds survived just fine last year. I have other bantam breeds and the only one who had any problems was a Bantam Modern Game hen who got frostbite on her toes and they eventually fell off. I felt terrible, but she was in with Silkies and insisted on roosting alone when she could have snuggled up with them just as they did with each other.
I believe if you have healthy birds and you provide good SHELTER from the elements, your birds should be able to withstand the cold. They do much better than the summer when it is 95-100 degrees out. The only birds I have lost in the winter have been those who were not in good health (internal layers and such) to begin with. I have lost WAY more birds in the summer heat. Also, the only significant damage from frostbite I have seen is when I had a small coop and used a heat lamp for nighttime which just added to the moisture inside and then caused more frostbite on combs and wattles.
My chicken house is sheltered in that the open windows face south and with the end doors shut, it doesn't get drafty or blow at all inside. Without windchill and drafts, they fluff up and hunker down. I also use deep shavings through winter.
Penning your LF DC all together (hens with hens cocks with cocks) and feeding corn as a supplement during cold snaps or cold areas greatly increases survival. The extra heat produced made when digesting grains and the extra fat from corn is usually just enough edge to get a bird through the winter. Older birds are more effected by the cold.
I plan to feed corn though it is hard to find good corn up here. I am also planning to hang beef bones and for added protein and fat. Does anyone do this?
Animal protien is very good for chickens, fish meal especially.
I did forget to mention I feed some cracked corn during the winter. Just enough to be a snack in addition to their regular ration and I sprinkle it in the shavings so they have to do a little hunt and peck for it.
Another protein boost I feed occasionally is Calf Manna pellets. The love it!
I would think, just like wild birds that suet might be something to consider in the winter. But I would only give it a little bit once in a while.
I would not recommend this... In my experiences, once seperated, the Cornish cocks will never again be allowed in the same pen without fighting to the death of one or both. Remember, they once were called a 'game'.
I have re-penned successfully but you need to consider the circumstances. I will repen at night, in a new area for all birds, and pen them VERY close together for a day, then extend their area. The shock of being moved...to a new spot....and close confinement....seems to foster more tolerance.