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is New England too cold for Polish Chickens?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by 1Chick Magnet, Jan 28, 2009.

  1. 1Chick Magnet

    1Chick Magnet Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 16, 2008
    New Hampshire
    I got a Meyer Hatchery catalog yesterday. It says that polish do poorly in the cold. I know people have them here. do you have to do anything special with them to be able to keep them in the cold? what is your experience?
     
  2. GardenerGal

    GardenerGal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 20, 2008
    Massachusetts
    You're USDA Zone 5 in Hookset. That is warm enough for Polish. The most important thing is to provide a sturdy, decent sized, dry, not drafty structure with roosts, and deep bedding (nice, dry pine shavings) so they can stay out of extreme cold, wind, rain and snow, and hot sun.

    A bucket de-icer to keep their water from freezing is a good idea too.

    I think when the literature says "don't do well in cold" it's more that they won't do well if forced to be outside when it's cold, snowy and icy. That's why a good coop or barn and dry bedding, no drafts, is so crucial.
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2009
  3. 1Chick Magnet

    1Chick Magnet Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 16, 2008
    New Hampshire
    Quote:thankyou gardenergal, I have an insulated coop without drafts. we built it last summer. it is 8x12 and taller than me. I would probably be putting them with silkies. I was thinking of ordering some chicks but was thrown off by the cold statement. [​IMG]
     
  4. tebs78

    tebs78 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I know my friend here in Montana has polish's and every other kind of bird you can think of...and it has been getting to 26 below zero here. But she has lots of chickens and they cuddle together.
     
  5. 1Chick Magnet

    1Chick Magnet Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 16, 2008
    New Hampshire
    Quote:wow that is cold. was wondering if the silkies would keep the polish warm.
     
  6. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

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    May 8, 2007
    Wisconsin
    Are Polish more sensitive to the cold? They do have a lot of crest issues. Their crests get wet and droopy. Or snowy and droopy. Or snowy, wet, droopy and then frozen. I think that's really where they can have more of a problem in colder climates. They just don't shed precipitation off their heads the way a normally feathered chicken does. I'd make sure to provide enough living area that's sheltered and keep an eye on their crests.
     
  7. GardenerGal

    GardenerGal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Massachusetts
    Quote:I suppose their crests pose a problem if they get wet: they can freeze, like men's beards! The chickens get icicles hanging down their heads and faces.

    But that itself isn't a cold sensitivity issue. I am guessing, but maybe crested Polish just have less body fat or something along those lines, or maybe not as much downy underfeathering for insulation. I don't know.

    What I do know is that that they will do fine if given a dry shelter protected from drafts, and provided with nice deep, dry, clean litter like pine shavings. Having a good number of birds also helps since, as others note, they can huddle for warmth.
     
  8. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

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    Wisconsin
    I know a lot of people have them in cold climates. Sometimes, Meyer just has their own ideas on some topics.
     
  9. 1Chick Magnet

    1Chick Magnet Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 16, 2008
    New Hampshire
    Quote:that is very good to know. this is my first winter with chickens. I am so afraid someone will get sick that they do not go out. I will let them out in the spring. for me frozen crests are not too big a problem unless someone falls into the waterer. lol
     
  10. Titus2Woman

    Titus2Woman Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 7, 2011
    Ohio
    I wanted one of these but when I read meyer's comment I turned away from them... now I want one again... that just means another chicken in the coop! [​IMG] I don't even have a coop yet and chicken math is happening! [​IMG]
     

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