help! chickens roosting outside, cold temps!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by fosterchickens, Jan 24, 2011.

  1. fosterchickens

    fosterchickens Out Of The Brooder

    May 16, 2008
    putnam co
    it is 15 degrees F outside, and the temps are falling.
    I have 6 hens, 3 full size, 2 bantam amerauracanas , and a silkie.

    About two weeks ago the silky went broody. maybe because the days are longer or because she's been laying eggs for 2 months or ... its too cold, silly, why now?

    Tonight I found out that one of the bantams has set up shop in the coop on the roosts and is pecking anyone else who tries to go to bed in there. Huh? I thought my leghorn was the flock boss followed by my black star, but they and the australorp are out with the bottom of the peck order bantam on the roost in the run.

    The run is covered w/ a tarp and has some plastic sheeting up to cut wind, but there are huge gaps at the top of the sheeting- I wasn't trying to make a coop. Also the roost out there is just a 1x2 (there is other stuff to roost on, but the 1x2 is highest & therefore best)

    Do I move everyone in now that they are asleep?

    Temps are predicted to drop to 7 degrees.

    Will my silky quit brooding after 21 days? I thought it was too cold to put her in a broody breaker (not that I have one). But since everyone else is sleeping outside??

    Is the little grey chicken being a protective fake rooster? one of my bantams has definitely stopped laying.

    most of all, do I need to do something for the outside chickens? the outside is well predator proofed... but cold, cold cold.

    Thanks for any and all advice, chickens all have names but I thought it would make the explanation even tougher to follow-
  2. Cloverleaf Farm

    Cloverleaf Farm Bearded Birds are Best

    Sep 16, 2008
    Levan, UT
    Yes, bring them inside once they are all settled in for the night, and no, your silkie probably won't stop brooding after 21 days, she'll stop brooding when she has chicks, or you break her - good luck with that last one btw! [​IMG]
  3. fosterchickens

    fosterchickens Out Of The Brooder

    May 16, 2008
    putnam co

    I decided to leave them out, since it had been cold all day and it wasn't windy. They all seemed fine and chipper in the morning. 4 are going to bed in the run again tonight- i just can't believe that the big chickens are afraid of the tiny chicken who's the only one left roosting inside.

    I don't have any fertile eggs for my silky to hatch, but i also wouldn't want her to hatch anything untill it's warmer and everyone can free range a bit- its very snowy (in NY state) now.

    To top it all, apparently one of my hens has started eating eggs. When it happened 2 days ago I thought it might have been some sort of accident, but it happened again today. (found broken egg remains in a nest- the shell bits seemed plenty strong)

    My chickens have 24 hr access to layer pellets, and get some scratch and some people leftovers as well. They aren't lit, and they are 8 months old and seemed healthy and getting along reasonably well untill just recently. Maybe they are just stir crazy- they have a decent amount of space but when their wasn't snow they would get out for a few hours each day, and now they don't.

    Advice is very welcome, as well as chicken behavior explanations

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