Lehorns and Winter

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by TechnoChicken33, Oct 21, 2015.

  1. TechnoChicken33

    TechnoChicken33 New Egg

    Jul 18, 2015
    Dear BYC Forum Users,

    I have two Leghorn hens, both 6 months old. What should I do during the winter? Where I live, we can get down to -22 Degrees F. I don't have a heated waterer. Should I? Any other comments or suggestions are welcome. This is my first time raising chickens, and I am thoroughly enjoying it!! Also, a speedy response is needed. Winter is fast approaching!

    Thanks for the help!

  2. fishandchix1

    fishandchix1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 19, 2015
    Ocean City, Maryland
    I don't have leghorns but I know that they are extremely cold hardy. You might want to consider putting Vaseline on there comes and wattles because that helps with frostbite.
  3. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Chicks are a-hatching Premium Member

    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    I have Ancona, very close to leghorns, mine do fine in Wisconsin, not even any frostbitten combs, your leghorns should be fine, I don't use heated waterers either, just dump and refill twice a day.
  4. TechnoChicken33

    TechnoChicken33 New Egg

    Jul 18, 2015
    Thanks for the help. I think I will still get a heated base or dog dish just in case.
  5. yellowchicks

    yellowchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 27, 2014
    My Coop
    I have 4 Leghorns, they are about 15 months old, survived the last bitter winter beautifully with no frost bite. We had a couple -10 F nights and many 0 F days last winter.

    Even though our coop is insulated, we provided no extra heat. The pop door and windows are opened 24/7, so the outside and inside temperature and humidity are identical.

    What we did for the winter (and year-round) is to make sure that the coop is well ventilated at all time, but with no wind blowing up the chicken feathers, no humidity or ammonia build-up, which will lead to frost bite or respiratory problems. The girls have a big round roost to sit on at night, so their feather can cover their toes. When it is really cold, they'd fluffed up their feather into a big ball which traps warm air between the feather to keep themselves warm.

    Outside in the secured run, the top is always covered. We added additional clear polycarbonate roofing panels along the windward sides to block the wind and the snow drift. Our girls are outside in the run all day long, they also like to play in the snow sometime. The only time they are inside the coop is to lay eggs and sleep.

    The biggest hurdle in the winter was to keep their water and eggs from frozen. Thankfully, our nest box is insulated as well, so the eggs don't freeze as fast. For the water, I had to built an insulated water bucket with horizontal nipple feeders, and put an aquarium heater inside, then run a heavy-duty extension cord from the house. This worked well over the winter when their regular water feeder is frozen by mid day.

    However, I do spoil my girls with hot oatmeal mixed with their layer feed and hot fresh water every morning during the winter.

    After going through a lot of trial and error, I feel much more prepared for their 2nd winter. The only thing I would need to do this time is to zip-tie the clear panels to the run when it gets colder, and active the aquarium heater for the water bucket.

  6. cluckmoo

    cluckmoo New Egg

    Oct 20, 2015
    I put a heat lamp over the water just making sure the ladies can't get close enough to get burned. Learned that the hard way. I also hang a heat lamp over roosting areas so they are less likely to try to earn up neat water warmer light. Red is best I think because then when light goes out at night they can sleep.
  7. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

    Oct 16, 2010
    NEK, VT
    Climate zone 3 here in Northeast Kingdom of Vermont. Had Leghorn one winter, no heat, and they did fine. A touch of frost on tip of comb but nothing serious. If they get the really long points then don't freak but they may loose the very tip of one or two of them if your ventilation is on the small side. Smaller single comb birds didn't get any in that coop.

    If you don't use a heated water bowl or heated water fountain then I suggest the rubber livestock bowls from your local feed store. They come in all sizes and are indistructible rubber. Turn over and jump on to empty the over sized hockey puck of ice then refill. They need unfrozen water at least twice a day.

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