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Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by blake101, Dec 5, 2010.
Have any of you ever lost any of your Girls to cold weather, if so, what bread, and how cold was it?
It has been frequently posted that members have lost birds to the cold, or frozen to the ground or roost.
It's not just a function of temperature. If that was the only criteria chickens can survive down to about -30*F. But coop construction is critical. That it is dry and draft free, but at the same time have adequate venting to prevent a build up of humidity. Also there are other weather factors like humidity, and wind. Whether the coop is insulated or not and how many chickens are in it in relation to its size. Another big consideration is the breed of the chicken, some are bred for better cold weather hardiness. Some have little chance to survive below freezing temps.
I've never lost one to cold weather. We had a couple with a small amount of frost bite, but that was just one time, a few years back. Usually the coldest it gets is -20 here, although it's been -30 a couple of times.
In Arkansas we have the opposite problem. We lose birds from the heat. Never have any problems in the wintertime, except my roo did get a bit of frostbite on the very tips of his comb last year.
Birds handle the cold much better than they do the hot, but water + cold can cause more problems than the cold itself, such as freezing them to things
I've never lost a chicken to cold here, and currently we are having temperatures overnight of -15 to -17 Celsius. I have a 10 week old chick outside.
I throw an old blanket or sleeping bag over the coop and provide quite a thick layer of hay as bedding which seems to work.
The only days that the chooks don't come out of the coop (day time temperatures still well below freezing) is when it is actually snowing.
No but they must have a dry, draft-free refuge and know how and when to get in. Fresh clean water and feed at all times. If left out in stormy weather they may not find their way back. Even wild birds die in rain and snow storms. We're having a massive wind and rain storm now, but with a covered run and snow boards, the birds have shelter inside and out.
I think I just lost my modern game pullet to the cold. It was in the teens last night and is now just 35 degrees. I added extra pine shavings and straw to the tractor and covered it with a tarp (tucked in the ends under the tractor). The oeg hens are ok, but the little modern was on her side. Put her into my coat and brought her inside...rubbed her legs and body with a towel to try to warm her up but she passed...even tried chest compressions for awhile, but she is gone. I've only had her 2 wks...purchased her from a breeder who also shows his birds. I'll get another one or two, but think I'll wait till spring. I'm so disappointed that I didn't go with my gut feeling and bring her inside last night.
Quote:I'm no expert, but I have lost new birds for an array of reasons. In my opinion, new birds introduced to a new flock get very stressed. I think that could have added to the problems of the cold weather.
I have never lost any of my girls to cold weather. I am fortunate to live in the country and I can burn fire wood near their chicken house. This keeps them warm during those cold days and nights. I freak out when the temps get in the 30's and below. I make sure I start collecting fire wood in the summer time for all of my animals.
Pics of fire made for my animals
This is my first winter with chickens. It's been unusually cold for this early in the winter; we've had quite a few nights below 0ºF already. So far my chickens (two easter eggers, one buff orpington and one production red) are doing just fine. They have a small 4 x 4 insulated coop and a covered run; they were free ranging when I was at home up until there was more than a couple of inches of snow on the ground. Now they informed me that they're perfectly happy to stay in their snow-free run, thank you very much!