do chicken's feet feel the cold temps?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by iliamna, Feb 12, 2009.

  1. iliamna

    iliamna Chirping

    Mar 25, 2008
    I'm wondering if chickens feel the cold temps of the snow and ice. We get a lot of snow which of course means ice too but they don't seem to mind it too much. My husband thinks they don't have nerves in their feet. Does anyone know for sure?
  2. BrackenFarms

    BrackenFarms Songster

    Dec 18, 2008
    Easley, SC
    good question
  3. ella

    ella Songster

    They sure do have nerves. They're just a little less wussy than us people about running around in snow and mud.

    I did wonder the same thing, but have seen a hen react immediatly to a mosquito landing on her leg. They'll limp if they get a splinter or hurt themselves and if you've ever had to treat a foot injury you'll see just how sensitive those feet are. [​IMG]
  4. AK-Bird-brain

    AK-Bird-brain I gots Duckies!

    May 7, 2007
    Sterling, Alaska
    Yes they feel the cold on their feet. sometimes they stand there with one foot raised trying to warm up one foot at at time. when its really cold they'll walk a few feet then set down to cover both feet then get up and walk some more.

    Iliamna any chance your from Alaska? I worked over in Iliamna for a while and used to hunt near there every fall.
  5. #1California Chick

    #1California Chick Songster

    Dec 5, 2008
    SF Bay Area
    [​IMG] Welcome to BYC!!! [​IMG]
  6. willheveland

    willheveland Songster

    Jan 29, 2008
    southern tier,NY
    Yes, they do have nerves and feel cold temps. That's why it's important to have proper roosts depending on your climate. Will
  7. Opa

    Opa Opa-wan Chickenobi

    May 11, 2008
    Howell Michigan
    While a chicken doesn't have as many nerves and blood vessels in their feet and legs, it is like Will said, extremely important that roosts be designed to allow them to sit it such a manner that they cover their extremities. They were originally jungle birds and their physiology is evolved around that origin. Roosts need to be wide enough to allow them to sit not perch. If you watch chickens of round roosts they grasp if with their feet and their bodies are raised.
  8. Kim_NC

    Kim_NC Songster

    Jan 27, 2009
    Mt Airy, NC
    They can feel the cold in their feet. They also have a system designed to help them handle it.

    Birds’ legs, including chickens, geese, ducks and wild birds, have a network of arteries called "rete mirabile" (miraculous net) that minimizes heat loss. The arteries that transport warm blood into the legs lie in contact with the veins that return colder blood to the bird’s heart. The arteries warm the veins.

    Of course, they do still need proper roosts, etc.

    Other species that have rete mirabile include fishes and whales.

    Try googling "rete mirabile" to learn more...lots of articles out there.
  9. lovemychix

    lovemychix Songster

    Oct 14, 2008
    Moulton Iowa
    Interesting info. I know my spoiled babies won't walk in the snow. They stay inside the coop on cold days.
  10. WriterofWords

    WriterofWords Has Fainting Chickens

    Dec 25, 2007
    Chaparral, New Mexico
    I know mine do, White Boy hates having cold feet and when I get low enough he'll jump up onto any part of my body he can to get off the ground! His feet are like little icecicles!!
    Jillio likes this.

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