Snowing and Windy/New at having Chickens

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by bobchell, Jan 7, 2013.

  1. bobchell

    bobchell Out Of The Brooder

    We just received our 3 RIR's on Friday, they are less than a year old but adults. The weather has been cold (down to 5 degrees one night) but we have plenty of straw in their coop with a 75 infrared heat lamp that we turn on at night. They are use to being in an un-heated coop and they are looking really happy until this snow storm blew in today. My major problem is the wind is blowing the snow into the run and since we actually built this coop in less than one week my hubby hasn't had time to build the "carport" part for the food and water. I have tried to make a wind break with pallets leaning up against the run fenced area. I had to place the feeder into the coop because the snow was getting into it, it seems too big to be in there but it fit. I am checking their water every few hours to make sure it doesn't freeze over. Is it okay to leave their door open into the run even though it is snowing? I don't like the idea of keeping them cooped up all day but will close it if necessary. One of the hens was out in the run with snow on her last time I went out and the other 2 were in the coop. Just wasn't sure when was the appropriate time to lock them down. We aren't expecting much in accumulation, just enough to make everything miserable, lol!
     
  2. AlienChick

    AlienChick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 9, 2010
    Glasgow, KY
    As long as the run is predator proof, they're fine in the run.
    Also, if they've not been in a heated environment, I would not add extra heat.
    You would be defeating the purpose of their thick down feathers they've taken the time to grow for the winrer.
    Keep them out of drafts while inside the coop and they'll be fine!
    Also, if they have very large wattles and combs, you can rub some vaseline on them to prevent frost bite.


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  3. bobchell

    bobchell Out Of The Brooder

    The 75 watt bulb doesn't seem to being doing much anyway, so I am unsure as to it effectiveness. We have a electronic thermometer in the coop and it hasn't been below 10 degrees but that was with it on and they seem happy. Actually, 2 of the RIR's combs and wattles were more washed out, a light pink when we got them and now they are more red. I will try the vaseline just in case, thank you for the info AlienChick :)

    I just went out to check on them and I think I have the run pretty well protected from the wind. The girls were even out and had snow on their backs, lol! They don't seem to mind it much, even got another egg! There's not much snow in the run now that I blocked it.
     
  4. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Overrun With Chickens

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    Apr 8, 2008
    Ohio
    Your birds have become naturally acclimated to the temperatures. There's no reason to supplement heat, and you might actually cause respiratory problems. Work instead to minimize drafts, and they'll be fine.

    There is some disagreement here at BYC, but many of us believe that a chicken will be just fine unless there's too much wind, too much moisture, or the temps get below -20 Fahrenheit.

    You can search the forums here and see lots and lots of opinions.
     
  5. bobchell

    bobchell Out Of The Brooder

    That's what my husband keeps telling me but for some reason I just keep worrying about them out there in the cold. The wind breaks we made of the pallets seem to help a lot and it gets very windy here. I guess as long as they are happy, no frostbite and still producing eggs then they are okay. I have noticed alot of people, even up in Canada mention they don't have heat and the birds are fine so we will take your advice and minimize the drafts, which I think we have and use the heat lamp only when it gets below zero which hopefully won't be much. Thank you!
     

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