My hens are more hardy than I thought......

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Long Last Farm, Dec 7, 2010.

  1. Long Last Farm

    Long Last Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 30, 2010
    Southern Tier, NY
    Ok, I am a first time chicken owner, and this is my first winter in Western NY with my birds. They have a nice secure coop with good ventilation, windows covered with thick plastic, several inches of pine shavings on the floor, draft-free 8x 10 coop. My main concession to the cold and snow ( about 4-5 inches on the ground currently( it's been around 17 degrees at night lately) is a cookie tin water heater, which has been working great. They have a large fenced -in run with straw down on the ground, and a little 4 foot x 3 foot ,3-sided lean-to shelter inside the secured run.....
    SO...
    After doing a quick head count last night, I closed up shop and went to bed. This morning, I go out to feed and water them, and one of the hens ( a Welsumer) pops out of the little lean-to in the run! The little bugger spent the night outdoors with only the 3 sided shelter as protection from the cold! I looked her over,and she seems fine--no frostbite, acting normally--just really hungry and thirsty.

    Now in NO WAY do I recommend leaving hens out overnight in the winter in the snow in 17 degree weather, ( and you can bet I am going to do a better head count from now on [​IMG], ) BUT... it just goes to show that the hens must be hardier than I give them credit for....
     
  2. denise70

    denise70 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 15, 2010
    Meaford, ON
    Wow, thanks for that story - may help to ease my own worries about my ladies in the cold and snow. Since it is my first year with them, I am freaking out, but following the advice not to heat or worry about the cold so much, but ensure ventilation and shelter.

    You wrote that you are using a heated cookie tin waterer - did you make it? Sounds interesting.
     
  3. Long Last Farm

    Long Last Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 30, 2010
    Southern Tier, NY
    Denise, my husband made it for me, but it is very simple,really anyone could do it. We got the instructions here on BYC-- I think if you put COOKIE TIN HEATER in the search box on BYC, it will come up--there is a whole thread about them....
     
  4. calicokat

    calicokat Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 2, 2009
    azalia, indiana
    And she probably had a look on her face like "Who me? I didn't do anything!" right? So glad it worked out well and gave you some extra peace of mind too!

    It's our second winter with chickens here, and it helped when I read last year that the girls are more likely to have trouble with summer's extreme heat than winter's cold.
     
  5. Long Last Farm

    Long Last Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 30, 2010
    Southern Tier, NY
    Calicocat: Yes, she had a look on her face like "Hey, why did you leave me out here?"

    Last summer, it got fairly warm here for awhile ( Close to 90 degrees F), and truly, that weather seemed to bother them more than the cold, so far.... They were panting, and look HOT!!!!
     
  6. oldchickenlady

    oldchickenlady Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 9, 2010
    Cabot, AR
    I have a pvc hoop run with a upper level inside. I made the extra level to make more square footage since my run is a little shy of 10 square feet per bird. I have 2 or 3 hens that roost out there every night!. My coop is 8x8 and I have plenty of roost space for the chickens, but they still like to roost outside in the run. The run is covered with a tarp and I put more plastic on it to go down to the ground to block the wind, but it is still cold out there!
     

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