Question about cold weather and my flock...

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Ana Robin, Oct 15, 2014.

  1. Ana Robin

    Ana Robin Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 29, 2014
    Hi, all!

    I have a beautiful flock consisting of 7 hens. They are all wonderful and lay like crazy. They are...

    Susie - Sagitta
    Tinkerbell - Golden Campine
    Willa - Giant Blue Cochine
    Fiona - Jersey Black Giant
    Sable - Araucana
    Snowflake - White Orpoington
    Olivia - Silver Laced Wyandotte

    They all lay an egg nearly every day. Even the fancy breeds!!! At any rate, I'm looking to keep them comfortable this winter so that they are happy and continue to lay lots of eggs. We have a pretty big coop for the girls. It's roughly 8X8X8 with a run that's approximately 6X8. There is not a lot of insulation, but the door to the run faces SW and is shielded by a large hill. The north side is somewhat shielded by a hill, as well. So, no cross breeze with the run door opened. We plan on using both pine shavings and hay for bedding. General consensus on this forum tells me that a heating unit is not necessary and to leave the run door opened. A big concern of mine is the Golden Campine. Will she be okay in the Colorado cold without heat? The larger birds, especially the feathery Cochine, tend to try and keep her warm by snuggling and covering her with their wings (so sweet!!!). The coop is vented on the roof (a steep angled roof) and higher up in the front . I just want to make sure that my sweet little Tinkerbell (she is our most social bird) does not freeze to death. The others are definitely cold hearty. Will she be okay? Also, any suggestions on keeping water from freezing without heat?

    I will add photos of the coop and birds asap! I cannot locate the recent ones at the moment
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    Belgium gets cold so I wouldn't worry about the Campine. They didn't heat hen houses in Belgium in the 19th century.
    It gets very cold here too and my Mediterranean breeds do just fine.
    Heat is very expensive and negates any benefit of having chickens.
    Cold has little impact on egg laying but day length does so you may want to add light on a timer but if this is your layers first winter it shouldn't be necessary. Next autumn they'll molt and won't lay for a couple months, some may wait till after the winter solstice to start up again.
    Lots of advice on winter water in this thread.
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/714818/winter-water
     
  3. Ana Robin

    Ana Robin Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 29, 2014
    That's good to know. Thanks for the advice!!
     

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