How will my chickens do in snow?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by cluckmecoop7, Sep 9, 2019.

  1. cluckmecoop7

    cluckmecoop7 Crowing

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    Winter is quickly coming. What are my Buff Orpington's and Golden Laced Wyandotte's going to do all winter? Will they like snow? If not what do I do? Are both those breeds good for 'winter climate'?

    Sorry for so many questions...

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. PirateGirl

    PirateGirl Chicken Lover, Duck Therapist

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    Both breeds heavy bodied and suited to a winter climate. They probably won't like snow, but they live with it. I'm not sure what you mean when you ask what they are going to do all winter... the same things they do in summer, eat, drink, poop, scratch around.
     
  3. HenOnAJuneBug

    HenOnAJuneBug Crowing

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    They like to eat snow.
     
    Arla, BY Bob, chrissynemetz and 11 others like this.
  4. cluckmecoop7

    cluckmecoop7 Crowing

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    Thanks for the quick reply!
    But there are no bugs in winter....
    And, another question: How do I make sure they don't get frostbite?
     
  5. cluckmecoop7

    cluckmecoop7 Crowing

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    REALLY? My neighbors dog likes to eat snow, but I never knew chickens did!
     
  6. wyoDreamer

    wyoDreamer Crowing

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    My first batch of "Special Browns" and Saggita were OK with snow - they were not out making snow angels or anything, but they would go out in the run on sunny days and scratch around. This second set of "Special Browns" won't go outside if there is ANY white on the ground - not doing it, no how, no way. I actually went out a couple of times last winter and shoveled some ground for them so they could get some vitamin D.
    We will see what the Sapphire gems think of the snow this winter.

    I guess it depends on your flock.
    At the first snow fall, go out and throw some scratch out there - just to make them get into the snow.
     
  7. DobieLover

    DobieLover Easily distracted by chickens

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    Yep. You'll see a lot of little bite marks out of the snow.
    Some chickens don't mind the snow as much as others. Shoveling paths for them will get them out.
    IMG_20190202_162130476.jpg IMG_20190202_162007162.jpg
     
  8. cluckmecoop7

    cluckmecoop7 Crowing

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    Ok, I'll do that! Thanks for the info.
     
  9. HuffleClaw

    HuffleClaw Wrangling Ducks

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    :love I rarely see the white stuff (as it’s usually always hot here).... that’s SUCH a beautiful picture! :love
     
  10. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

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    Are both those breeds good for 'winter climate'? What are my Buff Orpington's and Golden Laced Wyandotte's going to do all winter?

    They may do great in your climate, they may not. That's not because of breed but how will you house and manage them? If they have decent wind protection and good ventilation they can do great. How many chickens you have and how much room is available to them makes a big difference. The tighter they are squeezed the more likely you are to have issues.

    Will they like snow? If not what do I do?

    Chickens don't like change. When mine wake up to a white world they avoid it like the plague for a couple of days. Eventually some of mine will go out in it but not necessarily all of them. I think it helps when grass or weeds are sticking through so they have a reason to go out and forage some. We all have different conditions, if yours are confined to a barren run with nothing but snow in it they are less likely to go out.

    My chickens were outside when this snow (about 1") started falling. The change was gradual enough that they just stayed out in it. If this snow had fallen overnight they would not have been out in it.


    Snow Feb 2013.JPG

    How do I make sure they don't get frostbite?

    Frostbite is the biggest risk. They are like you, there is a risk of frostbite anytime the temperature is below freezing. But you don't get frostbite every time you go out in freeing temperatures. They don't either. But if you put water on exposed skin you are at a tremendous risk for frostbite. You need to manage moisture in the coop. The best way to do that is to provide plenty of ventilation but don't allow a cold wind to hit them, especially on the roost. Moisture can come from their breath, poop, their drinking water, spilled or leaking drinking water, or rain or snow blowing in. The way I manage that is to have opening s well over their heads when they are on the roosts.
     

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