Just how cold hardy are Delawares?

homeschoolmama

Songster
10 Years
Apr 10, 2009
143
1
119
Flagstaff, AZ
Hey There
Chick days at my local feed store are just a month away
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and I'm trying to decide which birds to add to my small flock. I have 2 GLW, 2 BO, 1 RIR and 1BA. The pickings have been slim on eggs this past couple of months so I am looking for a few more girls. I am looking for good layers of lge eggs, especially those that will maintain decent laying through the winter and add some color to my collection. Delawares just look so pretty and I'd love to have at least one (I think). I live in Flagstaff, AZ @ 6900 ft elevation and our winters can get quite cold and can get into the single digits as lows. We have below freezing temps at night for easily over half the year and the temps can unexpectedly drop lower than forcast. So, my question is- would Delawares be OK for me? I have read that a swab of vaseline on combs would be helpful but being as forgetful as I am I'm afraid I may not get to it when needed or think that I don't and then temps would be lower than forcast. Also, if you are doing the vaseline trick how often does it need to be done? I don't want to get a bird that I can't take care of properly no matter how pretty.
Thanks so much!
 

HEChicken

Crowing
12 Years
Aug 12, 2009
7,552
217
376
BuCo, KS
My Coop
My Coop
I think humidity has more to do with frost bite than low temps (well, humidity WITH low temps, but you know what I mean!) Is Flagstaff typically dry or humid? Here in Wichita, we haven't had a night above freezing since November, and we've had weeks at a time when the temp was dropping into the teens and occasionally dipping to single digits. I have never put Vaseline on my girls and haven't had any problems with frostbite either. But it tends to be drier here than in some climates. I know there have been plenty of posts by people who HAVE had frostbite problems, but I suspect they live in more humid climates.
 

speckledhen

Intentional Solitude
Premium Feather Member
14 Years
Feb 3, 2007
79,321
14,111
1,236
Blue Ridge Mtns. of North Georgia
I have Delawares and even here in GA (I live in the mtns), we get into the single digits in winter, but we are quite humid. If they have a draft proof place to live with proper ventilation, they should do pretty well. You may have to put some vaseline on the roosters' combs from time to time in winter, but Delawares are very cold hardy.
 

homeschoolmama

Songster
10 Years
Apr 10, 2009
143
1
119
Flagstaff, AZ
Being in AZ we are extremely dry, often excessively so. I think that my coop is well ventilated. Some extremely cold mornings there is a bit of frost on the inside of the plexiglass windows of the coop but not very often. Thanks for the input.
 

TimG

Songster
11 Years
Jul 23, 2008
1,353
26
194
Maine
I have a few Delawares. They have never been in a heated (or insulated) coop. I live in Maine where it is frequently below freezing for days on end during the winter months and where there are a few sub-zero nights every year. I have never vaselined any combs.

I installed a light in the coop for the first time this winter and that improved lay rate considerably, though I do not know for sure which hens are laying and which may not be.
 

Cindiloohoo

Quiet as a Church Mouse
11 Years
Dec 19, 2009
7,471
56
326
Southwest TN
They have done fine for me here in Tennessee. I did put vaseline on their combs when the temps were expected to get real low in the single digits and they did well through the ice storm and all the snow we have had this winter. They have given me an egg a day through the winter with the exception of a short strike when it was in the low teens every day for a couple weeks. Hope that helps you decide!
 

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