Seeking advice on protecting my chickens from cold and frostbite

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by Janejane77, Dec 9, 2013.

  1. Janejane77

    Janejane77 New Egg

    Dec 9, 2013
    Lansing, Michigan
    I live in michigan and have 6 Buff Orpingtons. It's supposed to get very cold this week. I have a decent store bought coop. They've been walking around in the snow and seem fine, but have been huddling up against the house or under trees. Tonight I've partially covered the coop with a tarp, as tomorrow will be colder & windy. Do you think this is enough to keep them warm?
    Also, I have 1 chicken that had a minor injury a few days ago. I had to move it from the other birds until it heals. It's in a dog kennel inside my garage with a blanket floor. I turn the heat lamp on it for only a couple hours in the evening (I don't like leaving it on at night & while I'm at work for fear of fire). Do you think this is enough to keep this one warm in 5 degree weather? I just worry since it doesn't have the others to snuggle & stay warm.
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2013
  2. Janejane77

    Janejane77 New Egg

    Dec 9, 2013
    Lansing, Michigan
    Also, I let my chickens out everyday. Is it best to keep them locked in the coop when it's in the low teens and single digit temps? Or continue letting them roam free?
  3. liz9910

    liz9910 Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 8, 2012
    Northern California
    Welcome to BYC!
  4. cstronks

    cstronks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 12, 2013
    New Jersey
    I'll try and give you an answer rather than just a welcome to BYC. Buffs are hardy, hardy birds. They have a thick skin and dense feather coat, so I would not worry too about extra protection. Is the coop insulated? If not, you can cover it like you planned to prevent from drafts, however you want to keep some ventilation. On super frigid nights though, you can close vents to retain heat. It won't kill the birds. As for the one in the garage...I have done this with birds before that are not super hardy in the winter (minorca). It is a good safety measure in the bitter cold. As long as the garage is not below freezing, then the Buff will be OK without the other birds. The heat lamp will help some. If you have a room in your home that is out of sight (laundry room), you can put her in there while you are gone for warmth and you won't have to worry about fire.

    As for protecting from the cold, you only have to ensure that there are no drafts that can get to the birds. If you notice the birds combs are becoming pale, you can put some vaseline on them to prevent frostbite. If you notice black on the combs, then they have frostbite, so you can still apply vaseline, but more steps will need to be taken to treat the bird. Hopefully it does not come that. Best of luck!
  5. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Keep your coop dry and draft free, and your hens should be fine. Reintroduce the injured hen as soon as is possible. The longer she is away from the flock the harder they will pick on her when she is reintroduced.
  6. petrel

    petrel Chats with Chickens

    Nothing to add, except Welcome to BYC!
  7. BantamFan4Life

    BantamFan4Life LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO. Premium Member

    Jun 15, 2012
    My Coop
    Welcome to BYC and Merry Christmas! :)
  8. cabinchicky

    cabinchicky Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 8, 2013
    hello and welcome!!

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