Keeping Sultans alive and happy through winter

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by kindir, Nov 14, 2009.

  1. kindir

    kindir Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 27, 2009
    I have 2 Sultan hens and one Sultan roo in a small coop away from my other chickens because they were getting picked on. I got them prior to knowing that they aren't terribly hardy in the winter (now I know to check before buying, yes...) I live in Northeastern Connecticut and my understanding is that it's hard to keep them through the winter. Has anyone done this successfully?

    My plan is to move the entire coop into my garage which has been converted into a barn pretty much) and put a heat lamp in there with them so they will have no draft whatsoever but plenty of ventilation in there. It still won't be terribly warm, but it's the best I can do.

    Does this sound like it could work for them? Anyone have other thoughts or ideas? I'm really fond of them so I'd like to find a way to keep them happy and healthy through the winter...

  2. ThePolishPrincess

    ThePolishPrincess Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hello! [​IMG] I live in NY and have to deal with harsh winters, too. I've only have experience with one-Sultan, a roo-in the winter. I have a girl now, but seeing as she is less than a year old, this will be her first winter.

    Keeping them alive in winter is hard, but it is second to that on my list to keeping them healthy. Keeping them HEALTHY is what I find to be the hardest. Both go hand in hand, really. Sultans are one of the sickliest breeds. It's true.

    I think you'll be having no problems this winter with that plan of yours, in all honesty. We keep our birds in a poorly insulated coop with no electric or heat, in the most pitiful of weather. And they still do okay.

    I think the hardest season is in the fall, when the cold 'jumps out' at the birds. That's when my roo got sick. This time of year, last year. I would suggest that although I don't think you'll be having any trouble, check out the birds every day to make sure they are in good health. If you see one sneezing, it's probably going to get worse. Best treat ASAP if you see something wrong. This year, in the spring, my pullet got sick twice. Great weather, but she still got a cold. Twice. I treated both times and eventually it didn't come back. They really are good birds, though.

    And don't stress about checking before buying. Everyone does this sometimes. I know I impulse-buy. [​IMG] It's doable. My roo made it through one winter successfully.
  3. kindir

    kindir Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 27, 2009
    Thanks for the reply. When I first got my sutlans my roo got very sick and I didn't think he would make it after getting a respiratory infection and then getting beaten up by my Black Australorp rooster. Now that he's in his own coop with his two hens he is doing great and crowing away every morning. I actually get 1 egg every other day from the hens pretty reliably.

    What is most commonly used for respiratory infections? I don't recall what I used the first time but I think it was one of the "cyclines" like tetracycline or doxycycline... Whatever they had a my local tractor supply store [​IMG]

    Are there ANY bantams that do reasonably well in the winter? I would like to get some bantams but everything I read says that they are not hardy in the winter. Are some more hardy than others? I was particularly interested in sebrights - they are gorgeous! but again, the winter thing. [​IMG]
  4. ThePolishPrincess

    ThePolishPrincess Chillin' With My Peeps

    That's really weird. My Sultan roo, who I loved terribly, was being bullied by other roosters previously and prior to getting sick, believe it or not, with a Respiratory Infection. [​IMG] Odd. Anyway, I think the stress of being picked on made it worse. He stayed with the flock for about a month, until my dad made the exception to let him inside. He didn't even get any of the other birds sick. But in that month, he had become much worse. I think the illness started out as a cold and turned into an infection.

    He was a pitiful sight. Not social in the slightest, really bundled up, shivering, sneezing, unable to roost. Treated him with powdered Terramycin from TSC before I knew that antibiotics were not good. Kept him on them for 2 weeks, took him off too soon, he got sick again. The bacteria became immune and he didn't get any better when I put him back on. I kept some pumpkin seeds in a plastic cream cheese container for him one night and came back the next morning only to find him cold, hard, and his head jammed in the cup. [​IMG] It makes me sick to think about how stupid of an idea that was. And I regret it with all my heart. He got his head stuck bad and sufficated. A word of wisdom, sickness makes a bird lazy and weak. Doesn't matter the breed. To this day, I always make sure my Sultan is in key-condition. At the first sneeze, I give her some VetRX. Even if it's nothing to worry about. If you don't have it already, I'd get it. It's my favorite 'medicine'. VERY useful.

    Anyway.....I don't know for sure what to use on a bird with an RI. Sounds pretty irresposible, but I haven't gotten around to finding out for sure. I'd steer away from antibiotics because if the bird is taken off them too soon, all hope is lost. TSC is bad at pointing out good medicines. I never trust them after they tried to sell me antibiotics for my day old chicks when I went to buy feed. Healthy baby chicks don't need medications like that. I trust BYCers much more. [​IMG]

    There are plenty of bantams that do well in winter. If they have a standard sized 'counterpart' that is cold-hardy, the bantam version will most likely be, too. My Brahma bantam is friendly and does well in winter. Look for bulky birds with small combs. The body type usually does well in cold temps. I made that little buying-mistake mentioned earlier...I bought whatever looked pretty in the hatchery magazine. [​IMG] I have a Jap bantam, a few Polish (really the worst for snowy weather), and other frail breeds. But they all cope with winter.

    OH! And by the way, [​IMG] .
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2009
  5. hcammack

    hcammack Overrun With Chickens

    Oct 5, 2007
    Quote:I am getting a flock of Bantam Salmon and Blue Salmon Faverolles this coming weekend. I haven't experianced it but they have a reputation for being very hardy and laying through the winter. I will report back when I have them. When I had the same breed in LF they layed all winter and were just amazing birds friendliest and gentelest ever.

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