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silkies outside in the winter time???

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Herechicks, Oct 13, 2011.

  1. Herechicks

    Herechicks Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 20, 2011
    Montana
    Okay here's some factors I live in Montana and it can get pretty cold during the winter time. I live in the mountains, it can get -22 below sometimes and we can get 4 feet of snow. I was wondering could I let me silkies outside they are 3 months old now. Would a heat lamp work just fine. I have a dog house that's next to the big coop.

    Was wondering what about my other bantams too.. Should I keep all these guys inside for the winter ??
     
  2. <3 N.C Chicken Chick <3

    <3 N.C Chicken Chick <3 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 24, 2011
    Jacksonville N.C
    I was wondering about this too I am Subscribeing
     
  3. Mommy 2 Wee Ones

    Mommy 2 Wee Ones Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 19, 2011
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    I have the same thoughts. I have two silkies who are in a dog crate in our mini office near the laundry room. They are 2 & 3 months old.
    Am in the process of building them their own coop, next to the main coop, separate run. Making it out of pallets, inside & out will be 3/4 in plywood, and am thinking about getting the foam sheet insulation to put in between the pallet spaces. The base is raised off the ground on cinder blocks, the nest box will be on the south side, was going to put a small plexi glass window on the East side for morning sun, roost will be on the West side wall. All our storms seem to come West to East, So I hope having the solid wall as a buffer will help keep the cold away. Am also going to put the vent on the West side.

    They are such tiny little things, and I worry because there is not much meat on those little bones.
     
  4. Herechicks

    Herechicks Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 20, 2011
    Montana
    Quote:That's what my DH and I are gonna do started it already and will probably finish in the spring ( due to lack of money ) . But We're building three different ones individually but together. They'll have their own runs. But it's going to be well insulated and I'm thinking about getting those one heat lamps that don't get hot. I've got them inside right now. But my other bantams I'm gonna get one of those big rabbit cages so they have room.
     
  5. xmissjadie

    xmissjadie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 14, 2011
    Eugene, Oregon
    When it's really cold out, I bring them inside. They sleep in dog crate lol They can free range in the house if you put diapers on them!
     
  6. briteday

    briteday Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 16, 2008
    Northern NV
    I've not had a problem with my banties being outside in an unheated coop. But they have larger breed hens in the coop that help to keep them warm. A neighbor lost one of her itty bitty gamebird hens last winter when it was not all THAT cold, so it all depends. We get temps that can be below zero at night, but not for days on end. We sometimes have days that don't get above freezing, but again, not for more than a few days to a week or two. If I were in MT I might think about providing extra heat in the form of a heat lamp (be careful of the fire danger) or invest in a panel heater (http://www.nextag.com/wall-panel-heater/products-html) since you will need it every year.

    Some other things that help...keep the roosting space as small as you can to decrease the amount of space that needs to be heated, kept warm. But be reasonable with the square footage for the number of birds you have, especially if they will be spending their daytimes in the same space. Most of the time, no matter the weather, our hens like to go outside...although we have been known to shovel a small path for them! Keep our southern exposure as open as possible to warm the coop when the days are sunny. Keep unfrozen water out for them as much as possible without going nuts. My limit is taking a bucket out every 3-4 hours during the day and making sure I get it to them first thing when the sun starts to come up. They won't come off the roost at night to drink so I bring the bucket in to thaw overnight. Last year we made some nipple drinkers with 1-gallon apple juice bottles. We have 4 of them now so we can rotate them out while the frozen ones thaw. Provide quality feed during the cold months even though your egg production will inevitably drop due to fewer hours of sunlight and cold weather.
     
  7. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

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    For my standards, I let them decide if they want to be inside or out. When they get too cold, they come inside to warm up and then go back outside later. On a few really bad days, they may spend the day inside. We don't usually lock them inside unless a blizzard or other really bad storm is coming.
     
  8. Chickenaddict

    Chickenaddict Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am the wrong person to snswer this considering I have 16 seramas I have to bring indoors for the winter. I know several people around who have silkies and don't even use heat lamps for them. If it were me I'd at least provide them with a heat lamp but I think they would be fine outside for winter verses bringing them in with a whole lotta mess and dust to clean up. a 9 oz serama on the other hand wouldn't stand a chance to our winter temps.-40 is pretty normal here for winter. I worry about my cochins when its that cold out!
     
  9. <3 N.C Chicken Chick <3

    <3 N.C Chicken Chick <3 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 24, 2011
    Jacksonville N.C
  10. JulieNKC

    JulieNKC Overrun With Chickens

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    Mine were only about 6 weeks old when I out them out in December last year and they did fine. Uninsulated coop, but draft free and they just cuddled up and did fine. I did bring them in once when they got wet and muddy and it got below 0, but as long as they stay dry and have a dry/draft free place with plenty of bedding to sleep, they should be fine.
     

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