Live in a Very Cold Winter area? Post link to your personal page here!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by patandchickens, Nov 20, 2008.

  1. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    I am reading all these posts about 'help, I live in <some basically non-severe climate like Alabama or Virginia or Massachusetts> and I cannot believe that it's possible to get through our terrible sometimes-below-freezing winters without heating the coop!"

    And I am thinking, what if there were an easily accessible list of peoples' personal pages that describe actual experience-based (not just I-got-my-first-chicks-this-spring theory based) cold climate chicken-keeping.

    So, those in Northern Climes who have constructed pages describing how ya deal with winter and how the chickens handle it, would you like to post links here on this thread?

    It'd be for a good cause [​IMG]


  2. ole-crone

    ole-crone Chillin' With My Peeps

    That is a good idea. We live in Utah and although the temps have been raising (guess from global warming) we still have regular temps in the winter of -20f and occasionally to below -30f.

    We don't have an insulated chicken house, we do use a heated base for the water and dh has to carry that water out to the coops by hand every morning because the outside watering system would freeze every winter.

    Everyone does fine. We get some frost bit combs but nothing like you'd expect. Seems like the leghorns and minorcas have floppy combs for a reason - the flopping next to the body gives it some extra warmth I guess.

    I've had girls in almost full nakedness due to molting and the outside temps below freezing - they have done ok.

    We've had baby chicks hatch in the same temps and the broody hen raised them just fine.

    I think chickens are sturdier than we give them credit for.
  3. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    Great idea for a theme-dedicated, thread, Pat, thanks.

    We're between snowstorms and pics of our coop are in the BYC below , along with some thoughts on wintering. We are on the 45th parallel, the true temperate zone. We get heavy snow and occasionally the temperature can drop to -20C for prolonged periods. I am NOT heating my insulated coop. I do, however, use extended light(offset) from 5 am - 8 am to assist my layers and the coop interior is painted white. We used an electric dog bowl in the coop.

    This page was updated in October 2009.







    Last edited: Nov 4, 2009
  4. highmountainchick

    highmountainchick Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 26, 2008
    The BYC bi monthly magazine also has had some very nice articles on winterizing your flock. Everybody can check them out for tips as well. I would be nice if some of their articles were posted here in sticky formates to help..
  5. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    I hope they will!

    We've just come through a bad storm- 'heart-attack snow' is what I call it. Almost 2 ft in our area and high winds. Since the direction of the storm shifted part-way we had major drifting from the northwest then the northeast. This left our run with deep snow. Today the outdoor platform paid off, because the hens have been using it to get light and air and to avoid the deep snow on the ground. They leap down to snow-covered hay bales, check it out and realize they'd be chest deep. 'No thanks, Mom', and it's back up to the platform. I left the water indoors, along with their treats and they're whistling happily in the cold. This is only the second time they've seen snow, and I must dig it down for them tomorrow. We're both exhausted today after clearing out all the needed bits on our property- manure pile, barn walkways, paths to barn from house, path to oil tank, another to propane tanks. The snow blower was grumpy but hubby got it thrashing again after a little coaxing. The snow was so heavy! We limited the old horse to the house pasture and he was miffed, but I notice he's spending most of the time near the barn anyway. Plus every feral cat in the region is in our barn today!
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2009
  6. Nemo

    Nemo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 22, 2008
    N'rn Wisconsin
    Well, I can tell you what you shouldn't do... Flood the coop.

    We had our coldest night so far this winter last night... It dipped just below zero. The coop (a well-insulated dog kennel) was about 28 degrees when I went out there this morning.

    I fed the chooks and collected five eggs. Then, I went to fill up the waterers, and the pipe was frozen. My wife and I had talked just the other day about whether we would need to drain it. We usually keep a few full gallon jugs in the sink, so I filled the waterers with those.

    Then, I went away for the day. I left about 11am, and came home about 3:30pm. When I went into the house, I heard the well running, and didn't think much of it, until a few minutes later when it was still running.

    I remembered the frozen pipe out in the coop, and then thought I might not have turned the faucet off. I hadn't. There was an inch of water in most of a 20x30 building. Most of the chooks were up on the roosts looking down at the flooded wood chips.

    Took a couple hours to clean it up. Luckily, they're forecasting 30s for most of the week, so I'll get a chance to dry it out. I hope our wood-chip supplier has a couple bags ready to replace what I wasted.
  7. CityGirlintheCountry

    CityGirlintheCountry Green Eggs and Hamlet

    Jul 7, 2007
    Middle TN
    LynneP- those pictures are beautiful! How lovely with the snow over everything!

    Ole crone- I'm one of those in the hardy mid-south and I too have been worried about the cold. I have a silkie who has decide to go broody and I can't decide if I should give her a couple of eggs or fight through the process of breaking her. So far she's been very determined about her broodiness.
    The lows at night are in the high teens. The daytime highs are high 30s to low 50's. My coops are not insulated and not heated. Would she be okay hatching out a few chicks? These temperatures are freakishly cold for us this time of year. Brrrrr!!

    Great thread Patandchickens!
  8. Maryallison77

    Maryallison77 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 18, 2008
    Fountain, Florida
    It was neat to read about everyones chickens in the freezing temps and seeing the pics of the chickens in the snow. Please don't laugh, but this is my 1st winter with chickens and I was concerned cause my coop is all open. (We use a old rabbit hutch) If the chickens make it fine where you guys are I know mine are perfectly fine!

  9. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nemo- very sorry to hear about the flooding, what an awful thing to deal with.

    I shovelled out the run today but didn't bring the camera because of the severe cold, I'll try for more pics soon. The girls followed me around on the ground as I cleared things but when I went back into the coop I guess they thought I wanted them there (they're a compliant lot). It's a balmy 4 deg Celsius in there and I admit that I left their cabbage and fat soaked (prebiotic) bread heels in there. We're still digging out, the province was hit hard and the snow was wet. It's also our second big storm not to mention power outage, we spent $$$ for a generator two years ago and it's a godsend because we can run the well, the furnace and the kitchen, plus run extensions where needed.

    The hens may not admit to liking the winter, but when they're out they are a pretty lot, fluffed in the snow.
  10. ole-crone

    ole-crone Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hatching silkies right now - Depends on the silkie mom. Ours could do it because I know her history. I bet your could do it too but be ready to step in - you might have to bring the family into warmer climes.

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