Should I move my freezing chickens?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by MyKidLuvsGreenEgz, Feb 1, 2011.

  1. MyKidLuvsGreenEgz

    MyKidLuvsGreenEgz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 11, 2011
    Colorado Plains
    I need help with my freezing chickens. I've read threads, and understand that chickens can handle a LOT but with us not even getting out of the negatives today, I'm concerned.

    First, one set of 5 chickens (black australorps) is in a 6x10 dog kennel with no real house but all sides are completely blocked off with tarps, shower curtains (yes, you read right) and towels, EXCEPT for the wall against our house. There are bales of hay towards the back, and about 1 foot of hay scattered on the ground. I think they'll be ok, although the rooster's comb is frost-bitten and black.

    Second, the set of 6 chickens (5 easter eggers and 1 ameracauna) is in the same kind of setup. The roo's comb is small enough to not be frost-bitten. Actually, none of them show signs of frostbite.

    Note: I plan to build proper houses for them all next year.

    Anyway, the third set of chickens ... there are only two (easter egger: roo & hen) ...are in a portion of the goat pen, in a 6x10 kennel that I closed when it got so cold to keep the goats out of their food! It's partially tarped. But I don't have a henhouse in there either. So I took the biggest tub I had (about 2x4) and cut a hole in the short end for them to walk into it. Added hay. Then I took a couple of boxes and basically made a tunnel for them to get to the tub. The laying "crate" is also in a box, and is in the cardboard-box-tunnel too.

    They've been sleeping in the tub, and coming outside when it's warm enough, although I barely saw the hen yesterday, and today is supposed to be even colder (not even gonna get out of the negatives).

    I'd hate to move them again ... she just started laying again (took Dec and most of Jan off) but I am thinking about putting them in the 3x5 brooder coop I have in the garage that I used for my baby chickies last year. It's small and only 2 feet tall, but at least it's not freezing (not warm either but ...). I don't know if my arthritis will let me make any modifications to it this morning before I move them. IF I move them.

    I have another option: a 3x6 tractor that's outside. It's not insulated, and I've covered the screened area with a tarp. I could add flattened boxes along the screened sides and hope the tarp will keep them in place. If I could lift that end up, I would put a big open box in the screened in area.

    Seriously, the high today is supposed to be -2, and tonight is supposd to be -21. Wind chill .. makes that a LOT lower, especially since we're on top of a ridge. Have about 4 inches of snow already, and possibly expecting a little more snow (couple more inches). No heat lamps. I take warm food and hot water out several times a day. Warmer weather coming Thurs (30's) and Fri (40-50).

    So ... should I move that third set (the roo and hen) to the brooder coop in the garage or the tractor outside ... or leave them where they are and just add more boxes?

    Thoughts?



    (I'll come back with pix in an hour or two .. getting ready to take out their warm breakfast and I'll snap some then.)
     
  2. annie3001

    annie3001 My Girls

    Jun 11, 2009
    Ct.
    if you want piece of mind. then move them.
     
  3. MyKidLuvsGreenEgz

    MyKidLuvsGreenEgz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 11, 2011
    Colorado Plains
    which one? garage brooder coop or outside tractor?
     
  4. annie3001

    annie3001 My Girls

    Jun 11, 2009
    Ct.
    how many chickens do you have again? move them all. or atleast the ones you have concerns about. as far as your chicken with complete frostbite, you need to treat that one. put vaseline on the others combs as well.

    after re:reading your post, i think moving the hen and rooster to the garage is a good idea. however once they have been in their, you cant just place them back outside. you might have to keep them in their for awhile. their bodies will start to get adjusted to the warmer temps, and thrown back outside will upset their insides.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2011
  5. MyKidLuvsGreenEgz

    MyKidLuvsGreenEgz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 11, 2011
    Colorado Plains
    Quote:===========
    I can't put them all together because the roosters would kill each other so basically, I just have 2 i'm real concerned about.

    The roo with frostbite .. he doesn't seem to notice .. got it during our last cold snap in december.
     
  6. annie3001

    annie3001 My Girls

    Jun 11, 2009
    Ct.
    Quote:===========
    I can't put them all together because the roosters would kill each other so basically, I just have 2 i'm real concerned about.

    The roo with frostbite .. he doesn't seem to notice .. got it during our last cold snap in december.

    moving the 2 would be a wise choice then. [​IMG]
     
  7. telehillco

    telehillco Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 15, 2009
    Front Range, CO
    Luckily it won't be this cold for long--you could probably move those that you're most worried about for just a day or two before things get back to normal. I also recommend what we're doing--adding gallon+ jugs of hot water. These should release heat relatively slowly and add a bit of warmth, though they certainly won't last all night. I've heard the thing you really want to avoid is drafts/breezes and moisture build up since that's what causes frostbite. That means tightening things up, but making sure there is enough ventilation so that moisture doesn't build up.

    good luck!
     
  8. Nostalchic

    Nostalchic Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oh, yeah, it's cold out there! I'm thinking I might put a little electric space heater in my coop tonight, which I've never done before. But, really, -20! - it's for my own peace of mind. If I were you, I might bring the hen and rooster in for tonight - again, just for your own peace of mind if nothing else. I doubt that little interruption will affect egg laying. I went out to take my girls some warm mash at 0800 (I'd already been out earlier to check on them) and the 4 eggs they'd laid were already frozen and cracked, and the heated waterer was iced over, too. This is in my closed up, insulated, double walled coop! Remember, it's TEMPORARY! We just gotta do what we gotta do for a few days.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2011
  9. MyKidLuvsGreenEgz

    MyKidLuvsGreenEgz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 11, 2011
    Colorado Plains
    When I went out with warm breakfast and hot water, poor Henny and Lenny (the ee's I'm concerned about) barely came out of the tub-box-home to say hi. Listless. Poor Lenny hadn't even crowed this morning and he's usually crowing all night.

    After I gave the food and water to the other sets of chickens, I put things down and went into H/L's coop. They were snuggling inside the egg-laying crate so I picked it up and turned it on its end. Then I checked the tub-box house where I found a frozen green egg.

    I carried it and the crate with the 2 chickens inside the garage where the brooder coop is. Lenny went right in but poor Henny is so upset, she held on with talons and beak! Finally went in. I closed it up, put some blankets on it, but leaving enough space for them to see the light on, and for me to look in. Gave clean water and food ... drank greedily. By the time I finished with the goats and other chores (found a green egg just getting cold), came back and Lenny was crowing! It'll be crowded in there because we made it for 10 baby chicks but they'll do just fine for 2 more days and nites. By then, I'll have re-worked their tub-box maze and reinforced it to be much warmer, which should be ok should we get temps like this again.

    And being in Colorado, I'm sure we will!

    I took pix ... will download (after I eat a very late breakfast) and put in separate posting. THANK YOU all for your help! These two eggers were our first adult chickens and really, couldn't face the possibility that **I** caused their death.
     
  10. annie3001

    annie3001 My Girls

    Jun 11, 2009
    Ct.
    oh good!! glad things are working out. [​IMG]
     

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