Keeping The Winter Chills Away

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by kingsartisans, Nov 13, 2014.

  1. kingsartisans

    kingsartisans New Egg

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    Sep 19, 2014
    This is our first winter having chickens and we have a few questions about caring for our three girls during the winter.

    #1: We have heard that some chicken's egg production can stop during the winter. We have one Buff Orpington and two Easter eggers. We understand that our BO could lay through the winter ( is that true?) but we are unsure if our EE's can also lay through the winter. Any ideas?

    #2: Our chickens are well protected from the elements and we have a heat lamp up in the coop but they still spend most of their time in the run (even sleeping down there). We want to know if we need to provide heat in the run or anything else we must do to keep them warm throughout the winter.

    Thanks so much for your help!!!
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

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    St. Louis, MO
    Most breeds will lay right through their first winter, molt their second autumn and take a little break. Each winter the break will be longer than the one before.
    Your chickens don't need heat unless you're above the arctic circle. Lose the heat lamp. It's expensive, unnecessary, a fire hazard, stresses the birds to go from warm to cold and will really stress them if your power goes off on a -10 F night.
    We only provide buildings for chickens for predator protection and keeping them out of the rain. They can live in trees in cold climates so lose the heat.
     
  3. annabelle12

    annabelle12 Out Of The Brooder

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    Hello. I agree with ChickenCanoe. The heat lamp is unneccessary with the breeds you have. Where are you located? Dual purpose breed chickens are hardy and do not mind the cold. Mine did just fine in a ventilated coop with no heat in sub zero weather last winter. You should expect a drop in eggs as the days shorten. Last year, my 1 year old birds stopped laying the month of Dec and didn't lay much in January. Some people put artificial light on them to keep them laying...I let them just do their natural cycle thing. You need to make sure they have access to fresh, unfrozen water by changing it regularly or employing a fount heater that will turn on when the temperature hits freezing. I just made a blog post about winter chickens here that you might find helpful: http://grow-grow.blogspot.com/2014/11/winter-ready-chickens.html Ventilation is important in winter. Chickens produce a lot of moisture when they breathe, and moisture and cold temps combine to produce frostbite on the combs. If the weather is likely to get very cold on certain nights, you can give them some high carb scratch before bed. Good luck!
     
  4. LogCabinChicks

    LogCabinChicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I agree...remember your chickens have the warmest down under their feathers. Toasty! [​IMG]
     
  5. kingsartisans

    kingsartisans New Egg

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    Sep 19, 2014
    Wow! Thanks for the answers!! I will make sure to unplug that heat lamp[​IMG] THANKS AGAIN!!!!
     
  6. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

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    St. Louis, MO
    That's why we're here. To remind people that chickens don't get as cold as humans.

    Their progenitors, jungle fowl, are adapted to a wide range of climates from warm lowland forests to the Himalayan foothills.

    Present day chickens were developed in an even wider array of climates. Some breeds can handle -40F quite well.
    Those developed for warm climates should be shunned if one lives in extreme cold climes. Get chickens adapted to your climate or be prepared to house them in an expensive manner.
     

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