Shivering Chicken?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Chicks Galore3, Dec 6, 2013.

  1. Chicks Galore3

    Chicks Galore3 Artistic Bird Nut Premium Member

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    I really didn't want to use heat lamps this year, but my white leghorn was shivering a good deal this morning, so I added one in the corner. It is -1 feels like -19. Should I add a heat lamp when they shiver?
     
  2. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    If it's only one chicken shivering, I would not. I think you need to check out your chicken - she may be having some health issues.
     
  3. Michael Apple

    Michael Apple Overrun With Chickens

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    You'll get opinions from people about heat lamps. Some will tell you not to for any reason. They fail to consider the breed being kept, and if you ask them, they likely don't have Leghorns, but some other breed like Plymouth Rocks, Wyandottes, or some other densely feathered breeds. There's nothing wrong with using heat when necessary. Allowing birds to become tolerant of weather changes is also necessary. I've used heat during extreme freezing temps on occasion and that flock of hens are 9 years old. Describe your housing. Can your birds get away from the elements outside to a dry environment? Are they protected from drafts? Do you have deep shavings on the floor area? Leghorns are a Mediterranean breed, so they are much less tolerant of freezing environments than some other breeds. Is the Leghorn eating, drinking and active besides the trembling?
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2013
  4. Chicks Galore3

    Chicks Galore3 Artistic Bird Nut Premium Member

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    Yes, she is jumped off the roost (where she was puffed and shivering.) when I threw BOSS down for them, and after that she ran about for awhile, but then hopped onto the roost and started shivering again.. I didn't consider the non-cold-hardiness of the leghorns before I got them, unfortunately. She is around 9 months old. I get you about the different opinions, and used to the cold. The coop is withing a barn, and it is noticeably warmer then outside. I am using the deep littler method with shavings. (Been going for about 4-5 months.) The other leghorn was puffy but not shivering. The rest of my breeds have a good cold tolerance, even my gold stars. (Except maybe one.) They have a smaller 7x8 structure that was the original coop and then a 10x14 part that is added on. The 7x8 is much warmer then the other part. My coop is hard to explain. But it is as draft free as I could get a 100+ year old barn.
     
  5. Michael Apple

    Michael Apple Overrun With Chickens

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    That sounds like a good coop environment. I say do what you think will benefit their comfort during this time of year. There's nothing wrong with battening down the hatches so long as there is good air return in the coop. I have a Fostoria FFH-512A lamp like this one hanging in my coop: http://www.infraredheaters.com/ffh.html

    It was left over from being used for swine. 28 degrees is cold to me. I don't care what someone says in Montana regarding that. Even in Northern California it can get cold for Leghorns, and I use heat when I feel the need to. I'll use it sometimes at night and shut it off when the sun comes up in the morning. I give them some scratch in the afternoon to help them produce heat too.
     
  6. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    I have raised leghorns in Minnesota in the winter without a heat lamp. They did fine. If your other leghorn wasn't shivering, it should tell you something about the one that was. The puffing up is part of the keeping-warm process. The puffed feathers trap the heat. Kind of like wearing several thin layers in the cold, rather than one heavy layer. Or thermal-paned windows. They trap the air which helps trap the heat. But you are the only one who can decide what you feel is best for your chickens. I'm only sharing my experience.
     

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