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Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by iwiw60, Aug 26, 2014.
Hope you and your chickens are staying warm today!
This might be a dumb question... Can I put them in my garage? It's not heated. There are windows for light. I can leave it cracked for fresh air. Last year we had a week below zero. My pipes froze even with heat!! I only have 3 silkies. I can carry their coop and run right into the garage. The floor is cement. I was thinking I'd put straw down? Or just shavings? This is my first winter. I'm a little overwhelmed right now. Suggestions would be lovely!
Believe it or not they actually do know what is best for themselves. They let us participate in their lives because it makes us feel important. Not quite as cold here as there. Currently it is 21 degrees with 27 mph sustained winds. Thank God no snow or ice. I let my girls out at about 6:30 (chickens, ducks and geese) and they all came out and have just been ranging about like it was a normal day. I did notice that the lighter weight hens tend to go back inside the coop for a while to warm up and then come back outside again. So, I fugure they know what is best for them.
Oh, and even in this cold and wind, we have 6 chickeneggs and 3 duck eggs so far today.
I see that you are in Long Island? If so, I just checked your weather and you guys are having a heat wave compared to most of the country. Predicted high today of 63. Is that right?????
Anyway, if those temps are correct then your chickens should do o.k. so long as they don't have any direct wind on them. If, however, those temps are not right and/or it is getting colder (or when it gets colder) because they are small birds and you only have three you could move them into your garage so long as they have plenty of ventilation and the opportunity to get out and move about.
Better would be to make sure your coop is well winterized. No drafts, plenty of ventilation, give them heat enhancing feed as treats along with their regular feed (cracked corn, oats, etc.) to help them generate body heat. And most important of all...liquid water. If you use a water heating device make sure you evaluate all fire risks like them pecking at the wire. You can wrap your coop (ventilated of course) to keep out wind and increase insulation as well.
Yes, I would block any drafts with plastic to prevent chilling. I live in east Tennessee near the mountains and it is supposed to be 24F here tomorrow night I believe.
Do you have any roosters? they are most susceptible to frost bite do to their comb size. a little Vaseline rubbed on their comb will help with that. as long as they are out of the wind I'm shore they will be fine though.
I'm not planning on moving them until it gets really cold. We get some pretty bad weather over the winter. A long time below freezing. We are having an unusually nice day today. Tomorrow night it's going to get colder and colder. It's the nights I worry most about. Right now I'm giving them their feed and some scratch. Should I give them something in addition to that?
Probably not today but tomorrow, knowing that it will be getting a lot colder, in the afternoon give them some cracked corn as a treat (or some extra scratch which usually has cracked corn in it plus other heat enhancing seeds). They will probably be just fine with that and you making sure they do not have any direct drafts. If it is going to stay really cold for a while, and if it was me with just the three small birds, I would move them inside the garage. Even without heat it will be warmer than outside. You will still need to make sure there is plenty of ventilation as well as prevent any drafts.
I figured in the garage they won't be gettin blasted by the wind. What would you put on the concrete floor? By the way they still don't go up Ito their coop at night by themselves. Ugh.
I would probably put down straw just to control some of the dust that comes from shavings. Concrete is what I have in my coop and I have 8-10 inches of straw but that is outside. If you put down enough so that their feet don't stay in contact with the cold concrete that should work. Also, it will be a lot easier to clean out when the weather gets better...in a few months. I was concerned that mine did not go in their coop on their own at night. But then one day I dozed off watching the news and the sun had almost set by the time I woke up and ran out to gather them up and put them to bed. Well, surprise, there they were all in their coop on their roosts. So, maybe I was just jumping the gun a bit.
As another poster has said, your girls should be alright without moving them into the garage...they are more resilient to cold than you think they might be! It's not the cold that will get them but the unrelenting winter winds and blowing snow. I would recommend that you plastic their run area to keep the winds off them, just make sure there is some ventilation so it isn't close to air-tight. Give them treats every day like cracked corn and whole oats...gets their body temperature up. Make sure their coop area is draft free, but with ventilation up high .. in the coop a moist/damp feeling in the air is what'll get them, not the cold. Wishing you all the best!