Moving chicken from warm inside to cold outside

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by chickfan, Jan 11, 2010.

  1. chickfan

    chickfan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 12, 2009
    Leander, TX
    I've had a chicken in the house for about 2 weeks, due to vent prolapse and suspected infection. She seems to be perfectly fine now, and is getting quite vocal about wanting to join her peeps outside. It has been about 75 in the house, and in the 30's for highs outside. However...it is warming up some. Low 40's now, due to be low 50's for the rest of the week. No rain...not much wind, if any. We do have a temporary place to put all the chickens during the night when it is freezing. I'm concerned about the shock to her system if I move her from in the house to outside. I have no way to do a transition for her to adjust to the colder weather. Would putting her directly outside be a dangerous thing to do? After working hard to get her healthy, I sure don't want to mess things up now. Any suggestions would be appreciated! She may be an RIR...not sure...and has a nice thick feather coating, and might not even feel the difference. Thanks!
     
  2. possumqueen

    possumqueen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 17, 2009
    Monroe, North Carolina
    You are absolutely right to be concerned about putting her back out. Even a difference of 20 degrees could throw her way off!

    You could probably let her go out for short periods of time when the weather is warmer, but not for good. You'll find that she'll be picked on some because she's been gone for a while. In fact, you might think of bringing someone in to keep her company, and that would make it easier for her to reintegrate when you do put her out in the warmer spring weather.

    In my experience, the chicken that comes into the warm house in winter needs to stay there until spring.
     
  3. chickfan

    chickfan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 12, 2009
    Leander, TX
    Thanks possumqueen! It is nice to have my thoughts confirmed! I would prefer to keep her in longer, but unfortunately, I can't do that. We have no garage or basement or anything, and right now she is in a cage in my computer room....big enough for her to walk around some, and even get up on a roost. But it is just soo small for the long haul. I've spoiled her with oatmeal and raisins, and she has been giving us an egg for the past three days, but she paces and wants out, and I would appreciate a better smelling computer room! LOL I guess I really knew the answer to my dilemma, but was thinking maybe I was over-reacting and someone would tell me it wouldn't hurt to move her out. [​IMG]
     
  4. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    I don't think 75 to 50 would be that big of a deal, but the night lows would concern me (not sure how low it drops there). Could you put her out during the day, and bring her in at night for a few days to rebuild up a little tolerance? That way you could see how the other birds are doing with her too, for when she'll depend on them to snuggle up with...
     
  5. chickfan

    chickfan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 12, 2009
    Leander, TX
    I so appreciate your input, Teach1rusl. I do need to take her out and see how she does with the others. She and the rooster that came with her, are much bigger than the others we have, but I did see the little ones chasing the rooster. A very funny sight, actually! On the other hand, I caught him jumping all over a very small banty rooster. We are having very unusual cold temps here in central Texas (near Austin). We are making coops from two 5X8X7 storage boxes...called Pods, I think. We just don't have them ready to be occupied yet. We have only gotten a pop hole put in one, but DH hooked up a couple of drop lights to go in there, we spread hay, and are keeping all of them (21) in there at night. Too many for one coop, of course, but being desperate, we had to do it. It is working great so far, and I sure sleep better knowing they are at least in there instead of in their partially enclosed cages they have been in, which didn't provide shelter except from the wind and rain. It was still COLD. It was actually 10 degrees here the first night we put them in the box, and we couldn't catch two of them. The next day, one of the two (a perfect, beautiful, white banty with nice long tail feathers and a big red comb) had frostbite on the comb. I caught him and coated it up with A&D, and wonder of wonders, I believe it saved the comb.
    Anyway, crowded or not. they are going into the box at night until it warms up a bit. I'm watching temps today...it is 45 now, and this afternoon if it gets to 50, I may put the chicken out for a bit and see what happens. I also have a little sweet banty in the house in a pet taxi (all our cages are too big for the house except one, and the other chicken is in that one). The big rooster was really picking on him, and he was seeming to be sick. He isn't though...I just think he was reacting to the big rooster.
    Thanks again. It is wonderful to have people to "talk to" who understand and can fill in the blanks for others who have questions.
     
  6. strawberryfields

    strawberryfields Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 9, 2010
    I had a similar issue with two birds this winter. A friend who also keeps chickens gave me some good advice.

    I now am "acclimating" them by putting the cage out in the barn with a heat lamp. That way, they can get to warmth when they need it, but shouldn't become dependent on it. That way they can slowly get used to the colder temperatures at their own comfort level.

    Thanks, hope that helps.

    Melissa
     
  7. chickfan

    chickfan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 12, 2009
    Leander, TX
    I really didn't even think about moving the coop to the barn area and using a heat lamp, but I'll remember that. Thanks, Melissa. I just could not come up with any idea for a "transition", but this would have worked well. I think it is called a "brain freeze".
    I finally got up the nerve to let her out this afternoon. It was very still and about 45 or so outside, so I put her out just to see what would happen. Her boyfriend spotted her and came right to her, and they went exploring together. Then she headed for one of the nest boxes and he stayed right with her. I ran for the camera when I saw that, and as I got back out there, she was moving to a different box, next to the one she was in. Like a gentleman, he stepped back and let her move, and then stayed right there watching her. I got a picture, and it brings tears to my eyes just to look at it. It is soooooo sweet. Trying to post the picture here, but need to practice! Anyway...I didn't have the nerve to take her away, so hopefully she will be OK. They are snug and warm in a coop tonight, with plenty of hay, a light for warmth, and other chickens.
    I'm loving everything I an learning about chickens. I never dreamed they had such personalities. These two were together when we got them just recently, and may have been raised together. I just don't know. But since they have been here, she has been in the house for most of the time. It was just sweet to see him recognize her when I put her out, and then to stay right with her as they scratched and checked everything out. I"m just such a sucker for this stuff!!! LOL
    Thanks again.
    Lou Nell
     
  8. strawberryfields

    strawberryfields Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 9, 2010
    Sounds like they/she is doing famously [​IMG] That is good to know.

    I have had situations over the years where I wondered exactly what to do in this situation... How to acclimate them back to the cold weather? And then, honestly, it wasn't my idea... the heat lamp... but a friend suggested it. LOL

    And then, of course, it seemed so obvious.

    Good luck [​IMG] !
     

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