So, what's more stressful (for YOU!). Too hot or too cold?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by libbyhan, Jul 8, 2010.

  1. libbyhan

    libbyhan In the Brooder

    Apr 27, 2010
    I live in Massachusetts and we're having one heck of a heat wave. I'm new to chickens. My six 10-week old pullets are outside (free range in a fenced back yard) and they are HOT. Panting and hiding in the shade. We've been keeping them cool with the a kiddie pool filled with ice cold water (they are ignoring this) and lots of fresh water in their waterers. It's been stressful for us- worrying about them and watching for signs of heat stroke. They seem fine, though. They didn't go into the coop until almost 9:00 last night- it was still 85 at that point.

    This am, I started thinking about how summer will be over before I know it and, SOON, we'll be able to enjoy hanging out with the chickies again- sitting in lawn chairs and just watching them frolic. Then, BAM. It hit me. WINTER!!!!!

    We have our coop very close to the house and it has great wind protection. We are also close to an outlet, so we can provide some extra heat if needed. But, I can already see me stressing during those inevitible days of less-than-zero temps, snow drifts, ice storms. ARGHHTHT!!!!

    So, what's more stressful? Keeping my chickies cool or warm? Thanks!

  2. Pumpkinpup

    Pumpkinpup Poultry Princess

    Jul 16, 2008
    North-West Georgia
    Most certainly would have to be too cold! YUCK [​IMG]
  3. elmo

    elmo Songster

    May 23, 2009
    Unless you have one of the tiny bantam breeds, most chickens handle cold far better than they handle heat. After all, they come with down coats that they can't take off!

    About the cold water in the kiddie pool: you might try water in a very shallow pan instead, something as shallow as a plant saucer or even an old cookie tray.
  4. TurtleChick

    TurtleChick Songster

    Oct 3, 2007
    Tacoma, WA
    hot totally stresses me (and them) more than cold... especially because in a pinch in the winter if it's REALLY cold i could always bring them into the garage, hang a heat lamp, etc. i fuss over them in the winter, but the hot is far more difficult to deal with because there's only so much you can do.

    for heat i: give them frozen watermelon, grapes, etc, stash extra water bowls all over my yard and refill them with ice as needed, put a wire door on their coop (summer "screen" door), fill 2 liter bottles with water and freeze and stash in strategic spots, etc.

    for cold i: stuff the coop extra deeply full of pine shavings, hang a heat lamp if it's a sustained (days and days) cold snap, give them warm oatmeal in the mornings, scratch grains in the late afternoons, etc.
  5. beckt

    beckt Songster

    Jan 11, 2007
    I would have to say heat. Mine do just fine in the winter even with the below zero temps. but heat and humidity seems to bother them more.
  6. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio
    I really have to say the cold is worse....and that is because I didn't have the best coop last winter. This year should be a snap though because I've got a really nice 8x12 small animal barn for them, and my hubby is installing electricity. So my flock will have a nice, warm place for the winter. He is also going to put a roof on my run. So all will be well......

    This heat is rough on them, but it's bearable. We've been replacing the water a few times a day, and the chickens have been hanging out in our woods, where it's shady, so they're doing OK.
  7. DTRM30

    DTRM30 Songster

    May 25, 2009
    I have to say I like the heat, but for my chickens - I prefer dealing with the cold. It's easier. Just leave then in the coop with a heat lamp. I was unprepared for this heat - and ended up losing two of my girls - [​IMG]

  8. MrChicken207

    MrChicken207 Chirping

    Jun 4, 2010
    Caribou, Maine
    I'd have to say that cold is easier to deal with than hot. The only issues in the windter are frozen water and shoveling a path through the snow. In the summer, when it as hot and humid as it has been lately, there really isnt much that can be done.maybe through a block of ice in the coop to cool it down. in a bowl of course.
  9. SunnyDawn

    SunnyDawn Sun Lovin' Lizard

    Sep 12, 2009
    Nor Cal
    I'd have to say cold as well but I don't live in a humid climate so the heat really is easier to take. I give my flock lots of frozen fruits and frozen water bottles too, as well as adding ice to their water if it gets really hot! I also wet the sand down in their run to help cool them off and they have lots of shade. It gets cold here at 4,800 feet for a lot longer than it gets hot and last winter was miserable! One night my electricity went out for several hours! A heat lamp doesn't help much when the power goes out and there's not much I can do at 3am to try to warm up the chickens with no power.
  10. NeeleysAVLChicks

    NeeleysAVLChicks Songster

    Aug 4, 2009
    Leicester, NC
    I was totally stressed out about my girls out in the cold until I saw this....


    Granted, I came up a million other things to worry about to replace that one... [​IMG]

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