Shivering chickens?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Englishable, Nov 22, 2016.

  1. Englishable

    Englishable Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 24, 2016
    UP of Michigan
    I've just read a few other posts on here about shivering/cold chickens, but would like some reassurances about our particular situation.

    We have Lavender Orpingtons and Guinea fowl. We got our first snow last weekend and since then it's been around 30* every day, dropping down into the 20s at night. The coop is not insulated or heated and we bring them warm water every day (working on a heated, automatic waterer right now). They're eating a mash that's 17% protein, with the occasional treat of meal worms. Every morning they are out in their run and we open the run door, and most of them come out and wander around the yard a bit. However, they are also shivering. Some stay in the coop, some stay in the rafters of the run...so they do have an option of where they want to be.

    Is the shivering normal/ok? It's not just one or two either, I think I've seen at least half of them shivering. Up until last weekend, it had been around 50, unseasonably warm. Is it just that they haven't had a chance to get used to the cold? If they were really that cold, would they be walking around outside?

    (Side note: we did have one chicken that got doused yesterday; we still can't figure out that mystery. But she came up to the house before she got too cold to move and I saw her out the window - completely still, I thought she was dead. We brought her into the house, dried her off, wrapped her in a warm towel, and let her stay the night in the house in a dog kennel. This morning she was completely dry and cooing away, so we brought her back out to the coop.)
     
  2. med1pilot

    med1pilot Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 15, 2016
    NW Wisconsin
    That has me a bit baffled. We live in NW Wisconsin, and I can honestly say, I've never seen a chicken shiver before.
     
  3. lukec9915

    lukec9915 New Egg

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    Aug 8, 2014
    Check you coop to make sure it is draft free there could be a place where wind it getting to them during the night
     
  4. chickens really

    chickens really Overrun With Chickens

    You still need proper vents, but zero drafts hitting the Birds.....Vapour Barrier is Cheap to buy.....You might want to put some up to keep the wind out?


    Cheers!
     
  5. Englishable

    Englishable Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 24, 2016
    UP of Michigan
    We just built our coop this spring/summer - it's 382 sq ft, 8 ft walls, vented soffits, gable vents, windows that we can open, and wrapped in Tyvek (we'll get the siding on next year). Currently housing 13 chickens and 20 guineas. Most of the birds roost in the rafters with a few chickens on the highest roost, well above the windows or doors. I checked it out today and there's no condensation and I felt no drafts near any of the doors or windows, but it's not really windy today. Next time the wind picks up, I'll check again, but we're certain we eliminated any drafts while providing lots of ventilation. I wanted to get a cupola on the roof for additional ventilation, but the summer went by too fast!

    Edited to add: the roosts are 2x4s laid on their wide side for more surface area for our Orps, so they can cover their feet with their feathers. The rafters, however, are on the short side. But I was very surprised the chickens managed to get up there to roost; so much for all the roost space we built them, about 80% of which nobody uses.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2016
  6. chickens really

    chickens really Overrun With Chickens

    I have never seen a Chicken SHIVER.....They Fluff up to stay warmer....Is that what you mean?

    I have Orpington too......I have snow right now and all my Birds are fine....


    Cheers!
     
  7. chickens really

    chickens really Overrun With Chickens

    [​IMG]

    See......Not Cold.....Happy Birds


    Cheers!
     
  8. Englishable

    Englishable Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 24, 2016
    UP of Michigan
    It's a definite shiver I'm seeing. Not all the time... I just went out to check on their waters, give them a snack, and check for eggs and everyone is wandering around, happy as can be. Didn't notice anyone shivering then. But once in awhile you can see one lift a leg and the other leg shivers for a few seconds and then she'll keep walking around. It's not like they're sitting on the roosts just shivering and shivering or anything :) I'd really be worried then!

    Here's a photo of them walking around this weekend, when we got our first snow.
     
  9. chickens really

    chickens really Overrun With Chickens

    Your Coop sounded good and they look great!!

    Zero worries......



    Cheers!
     
  10. Englishable

    Englishable Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 24, 2016
    UP of Michigan
    Thanks! I was really hoping there wasn't anything to be worried about, but we're new at this so I wanted to be sure! I'll check for drafts again tonight when they go to bed and again next time it's windy, just to be sure. And I'll keep an eye on the windows to see if there's condensation in the mornings.

    Thanks again!
     

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