My chickens are chicken

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Tikkijane, Dec 5, 2011.

  1. We here in the desert have snow and cold- right now, it's 21; low tomorrow says 9. We had a little snow yesterday and they came outside, ate it until it melted and generally didn't seem bothered. Today, however, most of them have been inside all day long. And they are not happy campers. Logically, I know the cold shouldn't be a problem. It's our first winter with them, and just watching their behavior. I'm being a ninny. [​IMG] We have very good cross ventilation that we're sealing up now so it's not drafty in there. Since it's dark inside the coop, I can't tell if anyone has frostbite. The ones I've seen recently seem ok; the pop door is only 1/2 open so they can get in and out if they want to. We've been in and out with keeping the water from freezing. They have not gotten any supplemental heat, and we weren't planning on it. We weren't planning on having them not like the snow, though. [​IMG]

    Question- I know folks from Alaska have chimed in with temps- is there a point at which I should worry about them not having an insulated coop? )I'm thinking primarily of last year when our highs were -11. Unusual- and we didn't have any snow then, and it's more the humidity that has me thinking....)

  2. galanie

    galanie Treat Dispenser No More

    Aug 20, 2010
    I can't answer you but maybe change the title of the thread to something like 'When to worry about the cold' or something might draw an answer?
  3. LOL, ya. I know there are a ton of threads about the cold; maybe we're all just fatigued. I have a few outside this morning, but then there are several I haven't seen in a few days, and it's dark in the coop so it's hard to tell if there is any frostbite. Keeping my fingers crossed and hoping not.... [​IMG]
  4. Katydid2011

    Katydid2011 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 22, 2011
    West Coast USA
  5. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

  6. galanie

    galanie Treat Dispenser No More

    Aug 20, 2010
    And yet, I don't know the answer! Why? Because it never gets that cold here so I don't need know hehe. It got to 12 once, years ago, and they're fine at that temp so that is all I need to know.
  7. Life is Good!

    Life is Good! Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 14, 2011
    suburbia Chicagoland
    Snow is something new...and to a chicken, most anything new is cause for either 1)alarm or 2)curiousity.

    Obviously, yours have chosen the first option!

    My suggestion for those reluctant chickens....Take out the MOST delicious treat of all - hot oatmeal with red grapes cut up into it and maybe some black sunflower seeds thrown in for good measure - add a bit of cinnamon and yum! It's warm, it's filling, and it's oh, so good on a cold day! But make sure you bring out enough for everyone (I'm making a 3c batch to take to my 6 chickens!)...because it's SO GOOD that they'll eat until their crops drag on the ground! (no not literally! but close!) On those "good grief it's raining AGAIN?!" days, I bring out oatmeal and I've got to fight 'em off to get to put it on the ground! We've had cold rain at least 5days out of 7 for the last month it seems...chickens are done with it too! So the oatmeal really helps keep 'em warm on those nights when they're going to bed wet.

    Make sure you put the oatmeal close enough to the coop so that everyone inside can hear what's going on outside - but far enough that everyone will have to come OUT to get some! They'll come.

    While we've not yet gotten snow here in northern Illinois, it's coming any day now. Mine have been getting oatmeal 3x/week for a mid-afternoon treat. I'd like to say evening, but by golly, it's getting dark by 4:30! Ugh. Can't wait til spring.
  8. Different breeds do better in the cold. And truth be told some of the different chickens in that same breed will do better than others. Most chickens do tolerate the cold. They tend to amaze me. However I am NOT a COLD aficionado as I have spent most of my years raising chickens in San Diego and Phoenix. So if in doubt give a light bulb or a heat lamp in their coop on the coldest nights. Most breed will tolerate below freezing well once they reach adulthood.
  9. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    I don't think it is so much a temperature problem - as one of acclimation. If the chickens have been around/outside long enoughto experience the temps getting lower and lower, they probably do okay. If you just brought it chickens from a very warm area and plunked them outside with low, low temps - that is a BIG problem. If you are worried enough about what your flock can handle, would it be possible to insulate your coop? It's not to late. Some people like to pile bales of hay/straw around a coop as a wind break.. Do replemish their water often if it keeps freezing.
  10. off-grid hen

    off-grid hen Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 1, 2011
    Upstate NY
    Quote:Yeah, sure- rub it in! [​IMG]

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