question about bantams and harsh winters

Kelly FG

13 Years
Jan 13, 2007
so I acquired two bantam cochins as day old chicks this summer, I thought they were standards. Now they are about 3.5 months old and they are still TINY compared to my standard flock. I've never had bantams before, do they need special care in the winter? also, about the silly feathered feet, I'm imagining big clumps of ice on their feet, will this be a problem?
any tips would be great!
Bantams are as tough as nails. They need the same as the big girls: dry, draft free quarters, plenty of good food and fresh air.

As for the feather legs: I haven't had the cochins, but I had some Belgian D'Uccles with the feather legs. The feathers get wet if they're out digging around in wet dirt, but they'll dry off all right. If conditions are slushy you want to give them someplace dry to scratch in.

don't know where you are. I'm in North Carolina. We get snow here, but it's so unusual they shut down the entire community for days, and people stay home, unless they're out on the road acting silly. But if you get lots of snow, you just need to be careful about letting them get their legs dry.

Who knows? We may make a bantam convert out of you yet!
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Cochins should be fine but in my experience many bantams do need extra care if it's really cold. Their smaller body size seems to make them more susceptible to difficulties in extreme cold. However I'm talking negative temps here and for many breeds -10F or -20+. Games and feather legged breeds like your cochins tend to be hardier towards cold. Breeds more like my japanese bantams don't really handle temps below 0F too well. All my standards last winter were standing around acting normal in -30F while my japanese bantams huddled up and frostbit their combs at less than 0. I ended up moving them inside for the winter and have a new bantam coop with heater planned for my japs and seramas. My feather footed bantam EE crossed with d'uccle may or may not stay out with the other flock where they will only have a heat lamp in a large coop so the temp will be the same inside as outside just with the ability to sit under a heat lamp and no windchill.
I had forgotten about frostbitten combs, but I've had no experience with that.

Actually, I should probably hush my mouth about REALLY cold weather! I would guess that if my chickens and I were suddenly, mysteriously transplanted to Michigan or (yikes!) Canada, the chickens would do better than I would!

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