My Bantam is miserable in the cold, please, what do you do? UPDATE

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Carrie Lynn, Dec 17, 2010.

  1. Carrie Lynn

    Carrie Lynn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 30, 2010
    S.E. Michigan
    My Bantam Leghorn is not doing well since the temps dropped (teens-mid 20s)
    I have a baby monitor so I'm able to hear her, and it's sad.
    I was trying not to use heat in my coop but clearly she is miserable, the two juvenille standards haven't been complaining. But, the Banty screeches on and on for long periods of time. Of course it's worse after I visit the coop and she thinks I'm around. The screeches are the same that she sounds 1-2 hours prior to laying. So now I have a bird with painful oviducts (???) and is miserably cold...not much of a life for her. Oh, she also lets out long, plaintiff whines a couple times during the late night hours.
    I caved and moved them all into the garage and have a lamp, it's still cold (water will freeze) but she can move to a less cold end of the wire cage if she wants to.
    Anybody else have cold Banties? What do you do? I didn't expect this, she is so "scrappy".
    Soon as I can I'm insulating. Wanted to last weekend but my fingers wouldn't function in the cold!
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2010
  2. barbieszoo

    barbieszoo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, I can tell you what I do, but I have two silkies and that's all. I just got them, and they came from a bit warmer climate than ours, so when they get ready to go to sleep I catch them both, put them in a roomy pet carrier with some newspaper and shavings, and food and water in a "door tray" that came with the carrier, and bring them in the spare bathroom with the lights off and the door shut overnight. (I have to refill their food and water again before I go to bed since it doesn't hold much) As soon as it gets good and light out in the morning I transfer them back to their little outdoor coop. That might be more difficult though for one who has to go back in with the others each day. Don' t know if they'd "take it out on her" when you put her back out with them each morning. One day when it never got out of the 20's with a lot of wind, I put newspapers out on the floor and let them loose in the bathroom during the day even. When we go away for 2 nights for Christmas they'll be loose in the bathroom again with lots of food and water! That way I won't be all worried about them while we're gone.
     
  3. fiberart57

    fiberart57 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My experience is that when chickens complain that loudly and consistently, there's something wrong. Your chicken may very well be too cold and Michigan temperatures can be brutal. Three birds in a coop, with one a banty, is probably not enough to generate their own heat even if the coop is smallish.

    Some questions: What size is the coop? How cold does it get in there at night or early morning? Is there a thermometer on the wall that you could read? Do they have roosts to sit on that will cover their feet, ie. a 2"x4" with the flat side up for them to sit on? Is there any form of heat? Do they get extra hot food like corn or warm oatmeal to help get through the nights. Is there always liquid water available? Is she afraid of the juveniles? Do they sit with her and cuddle so she gets heat?

    Leghorns are Mediterranean breeds and have difficulties with extreme cold; with her small bantam size she may very well be too cold. I have an Andalusian that I watch carefully. Her temperament is a bit like a Leghorn and she tends to squabble with the others so they won't cuddle with her. But I have an insulated small coop with six standards.

    Look through some of the posts. At the risk of sounding like an alarmist, chickens do seem to die from cold and many of those who are reported to do so tend to be bantams. All the wishing for a hardier bird is in vain because she is what she is.

    You may have a house bird for the winter.

    How do you know she has oviduct pain?

    Good luck, Mary
     
  4. Buns

    Buns Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I bring mine indoors. They have a cage with a dropped bottom so that shavings catch the waste. They have food and water cups, friends to cuddle with, and a heat lamp on one end of the cage. They are modern game bantams and cannot tolerate cold.
    All the birds like warm breakfast - usually cooked sweet potatoes, rice, oatmeal, carrots or something along those lines. I've just read where the largest meal of the day needs to be at bedtime, not morning, though, so I will be switching to making them a warm bedtime snack, rather than breakfast, as of today.
     
  5. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I don't know how extreme the temperature differential is between your indoor bathroom and the outdoors, but I do know that sudden, extreme temperature shifts can be very hard on birds. Last winter, rather than bring my tiny bantams indoors on freezing nights, I moved them into our attached garage where it was only 10-15 degrees warmer than the outside. It was less of a shock to them going back outdoors in the morning than if they had been indoors all night at 68 degrees.
     
  6. Terri O

    Terri O Chillin' With My Peeps

    I would agree that you are doing them more harm than good by moving them in and out. Can you make the coop area they sleep in smaller so their body heat can help? What about just a heated roost? I have a few bantams that refuse to come in at night, along with some of my turkeys and guineas; these birds have slept in the trees for the whole winter so far! They were even out during the horrible snow storms last week! Dont know how they do it but they are fine in the morning!
    In your case I guess I would turn off the monitor and make it as comfortable inside the coop as you can. You are not doing her any favors warming and then chilling her! Terri O
     
  7. Cindy in PA

    Cindy in PA Overrun With Chickens

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    I have 8 Silver penciled rock bantams & a sebright in a 4 by 6 coop with insulation only on the ceiling. Have had temps below 10 last year & this year & they don't seem to mind. We have had several weeks of temps in the teens with 30 mph winds lately. Birds seem to do fine.
     
  8. N. Virginia

    N. Virginia Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Can you put a flat panel dog heater in the coop next to the roost? That way your banty could cuddle up to it if she is cold. A flat pannel dog heater costs aroud $60 and could be pluged into an extension cord if you don't have power.

    I googled dog heater and came up with this link: http://www.nextag.com/dog-heated-mat/shop-html

    I'm
    sure there are many other places to get a heater...Pet Smart sells them also. The flat black kind have been reliable for me. The smaller grey/tan ones have not worked more than one season. We use them for our outdoor cat.

    Cheers,
    N. VA
     
  9. taprock

    taprock Chillin' With My Peeps

    We are farther north than you and have had the cold weather. We have Polish Banties. Our coop is somewhat insulated - not the greatest in that last storm as we had drifts inside the coop. When it is very cold out I have a 100 watt bulb that clamps above their roosts. Some will roost there and others stick to their spots in the rafters. We didn't have electric when winter started, just an extension cord - we have plugs now!
     
  10. austradork

    austradork Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 12, 2010
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    N. Virginia :

    Can you put a flat panel dog heater in the coop next to the roost? That way your banty could cuddle up to it if she is cold. A flat pannel dog heater costs aroud $60 and could be pluged into an extension cord if you don't have power.

    I googled dog heater and came up with this link: http://www.nextag.com/dog-heated-mat/shop-html

    I'm
    sure there are many other places to get a heater...Pet Smart sells them also. The flat black kind have been reliable for me. The smaller grey/tan ones have not worked more than one season. We use them for our outdoor cat.

    Cheers,
    N. VA

    I second this. Our chickens love their flat panel coop heater! It was pricey and kind of a hassle because we had to deal with an extension cord, but it's sooooo worth the peace of mind.​
     

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