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Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by I have WHAT in my yard?, Jan 9, 2009.

  1. I have WHAT in my yard?

    I have WHAT in my yard? Songster

    Jun 24, 2008
    Eggberg, PA
    The other day we had a nasty ice storm so I left the flock locked in their coop - not even allowed in the run.

    My roo already has frostbite and is healing slowly I didn't want him to get iced up. But, they hated it and picked fights with each other and trashed their coop.

    Tomorrow is another nasty weather day. Sleet and freezing rain. Do I do it again? Is it better to keep them locked in when the weather is that bad? It's not the temp its the fear they'll get iced!

  2. gumpsgirl

    gumpsgirl Crowing Premium Member

    Mar 25, 2008
    Mine don't like it either, but I don't think they have any business running around out in freezing rain. Try hanging a cabbage of something of that nature in the coop when they have to stay in. That way they get some entertainment.
  3. Do you have a little traction sand so you could let them out for an hour or so? i really hear you, we've had a dreadful winter too. There was one stretch when they were in for 3 days and on the morning of the fourth they were pecking the pop door to be let out. Though it was bitter cold I let them out on their snow platform and they danced there for a while and were content to come in.

    Have you considered a snow platform? Keeps them clean, out of the ice and snow and it's a great place to put a bowl of treats to exercise them even in severe conditions. You have to do chores and it helps to be able to get them done! I have been so grateful for the roofed run, platform and snow boards. [​IMG]

    Shown here:


    It's been hard work caring for our animals this winter, I find the elderly horse the most difficult.
  4. I have WHAT in my yard?

    I have WHAT in my yard? Songster

    Jun 24, 2008
    Eggberg, PA
    Wow! I was very impressed with your page and your weather!! [​IMG]

    My rooster got frostbite on his comb and wattles practically the first time the weather went below freezing! I understand that his wattles got wet when he drank, but his comb got frostbite at about 20 degrees!

    They have a heat lamp in the coop. Suspended so they cannot get to it but that keeps the temp in the coop a good bit warmer than the outside. (I need thermometers!)

    The other day when it got down to 9 here, but was dry I let them out. They hopped about happily until the wind started to really ruffle their feathers then they all wanted IN!

    This is our first chicken winter and I feel so bad for the rooster that I may be overprotecting them now.
  5. Jenski

    Jenski Songster

    Jun 17, 2008
    Middle Tennessee

    Er, I mean, toss them some nice thick chunks of cabbage (how about red!) so they have something to do. Today my girls got red cabbage wedges, some nice big red lettuce leaves, and a couple of parsnips to peck at. Keeps them busy and entertained. You could even toss in a whole pumpkin if you really need them to have a nice big job to do.

    Good luck!
  6. Thanks, I've been trying to think of ways to beat the winter blahs and to share the experience while it's fresh with me.

    Do you have a heated dog bowl? When it got cold I bought one and intended to use it for the barn cats. I also bought a heated base and 3 gal double-walled galvanized poultry waterer. To make a long story short, I ended up giving the poultry water and heater to the barn cats on a concrete floor where it's easier to manage, and used the dog bowl for the birds. They LOVE it! I also removed the rubber bucket I had been using in the run because of what you mentioned about freezing wattles. I think the slight warmth of the water is about the same as the wattles so when they shake them off everything is fine. I do understand about being cautious, more to your credit that you are!

    It's been so hard. Here's a pic of the dog bowl- two of the hens like to dip heads under water and one blows bubbles under there through her nares! I have it up on 3 cinder blocks and a patio block, indoors. The plug is protected with wire (Farm Innovators model) and we drilled through a beam so we could plug it on the other side of the wall. Coop is inside a barn.

    My birds love cabbage too, and it's inexpensive at this time of year.

    Last edited: Jan 9, 2009
  7. FrontPorchIndiana

    FrontPorchIndiana Songster

    Mar 8, 2008
    I'd keep them in during the icy weather. When I was a kid we had an ice storm and found our tom turkey frozen to the ground with one of his eyes frozen open. We dug him up and brought him inside to thaw. He survived but I can't imagine that was a fun experience. I'll never understand why he did it either, he had access to a nice cozy barn? Duh.

  8. I have WHAT in my yard?

    I have WHAT in my yard? Songster

    Jun 24, 2008
    Eggberg, PA
    They have warm water in their coop, but he drank water and then went outside and froze.... [​IMG]

    I know the inside of the coop is above freezing because their water in the coop is not freezing. I have been putting vaseline on his comb and wattles every day. I think he likes it! [​IMG]
  9. CityChook

    CityChook Songster

    Apr 9, 2008
    Minneapolis, MN
    My Coop
    That's quite the story, Front Porch. Wonder what (I guess, if anything) was going through his mind while we was glued down...

    OMG they are worse than toddlers, aren't they?

    Anyhoo, if it were me, I'd keep them in. Especially with frostbite issues on your roo. It always seems like they'd be smart enough to go inside to warm up, but not so much. Hopefully this awful cold snap is going to be short lived.

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