Subzero temps tonight in Minnesota

vantain

Songster
Sep 2, 2018
316
449
113
Southern Minnesota
And here I was, thinking we had such a mild winter so far for temperature, that we just might make it all the way through without the really cold weather. But, here we are today, high of 35F...supposed to start dropping later this afternoon, and down to around -14F. Ugh...almost a 50 degree drop in temps in less than 12 hours. High tomorrow is forecast to be -7, with tomorrows low -18F. Still, I have to look on the bright side. Last year in the end of January, we had those two nights where we got down to -35F, and my four hens survived.

Still, it's the big drop today that worries me, even though I know I shouldn't worry. I really hate winter. The girls have a nice draft free coop and run, heated waterer, and plenty of good feed. So while it will be cold, they at least have that.

I have one hen in molt, but thankfully, she is just over three weeks into it, and looks almost fully feathered again. She still has pin feathers all over her, but has been doing quite well. If anything, she has not yet regained her spunk, so she remains at the bottom of the pecking order. She was the top girl until she went through that crop issue and the molting began.

To all who are dealing with the very cold temps lately, hang in there. We are all in this together. Think spring...and more chicks.. ;)
 

Mrs. K

Free Ranging
10 Years
Nov 12, 2009
7,378
7,257
536
western South Dakota
We have pretty wide temperature swings here in SD all year long really. Seems like it bothers me a lot more than my birds.

Keep them dry and out of the wind, and they will be fine. I do have wind protection set up in an area of my run.

Mrs K
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium member
7 Years
Nov 27, 2012
72,420
75,680
1,557
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
Am dosing mine with some SAC today, in prep for the same(but not as as severe) temp drop today and tonight.


Cold weather notes...
Birds can get dehydrated in winter as well as summer so I've started soaking rolled oats in a Sav-a-Chick electrolytes/vitamins solution.
This avoids the 'wattle dippage' of an open waterer.
Gives them a boost and gets them hydrated.
1/8 teaspoon to 1 cup of warm water, mix until dissolved.
Add solution to 1 cup of rolled oats, stir well on occasion until all liquid is absorbed, might need to add more oats. Takes an hour or two, then give it to the birds.

Have done this every few days during extreme cold(<10°F), and I believe it's really helped them, they all stayed mobile. Gives me a good chance to assess mobility, any bird that doesn't go for the oats gets watched very carefully and may be brought to a warmer place for a couple hours to 'reset'.

@BantyChooks taught me about 'cold reset'. I bring bird into the slightly warmer garage for just a couple-few hours. Makes sure she eats, give her a dose of electrolytes, see what's coming out the other end, and just observe. Then take them back out to coop, has 'saved' a few here, it's pretty amazing how they bounce back.
 

vantain

Songster
Sep 2, 2018
316
449
113
Southern Minnesota
Am dosing mine with some SAC today, in prep for the same(but not as as severe) temp drop today and tonight.


Cold weather notes...
Birds can get dehydrated in winter as well as summer so I've started soaking rolled oats in a Sav-a-Chick electrolytes/vitamins solution.
This avoids the 'wattle dippage' of an open waterer.
Gives them a boost and gets them hydrated.
1/8 teaspoon to 1 cup of warm water, mix until dissolved.
Add solution to 1 cup of rolled oats, stir well on occasion until all liquid is absorbed, might need to add more oats. Takes an hour or two, then give it to the birds.

Have done this every few days during extreme cold(<10°F), and I believe it's really helped them, they all stayed mobile. Gives me a good chance to assess mobility, any bird that doesn't go for the oats gets watched very carefully and may be brought to a warmer place for a couple hours to 'reset'.

@BantyChooks taught me about 'cold reset'. I bring bird into the slightly warmer garage for just a couple-few hours. Makes sure she eats, give her a dose of electrolytes, see what's coming out the other end, and just observe. Then take them back out to coop, has 'saved' a few here, it's pretty amazing how they bounce back.
I give mine a nice wet mash in the morning, and in the evening, so they are definitely getting hydrated. It shows on the poop board sometimes, especially if they have been drinking a lot otherwise. Occasionally I do make up an electrolyte/vitamin mix and use that instead of water in the mash. I did that a few times this week already.

It's -7 in the run, but warming up a bit as the sun starts hitting it directly. They have been preening, scratching, and laying their eggs, so all is well.

The coop was above zero last night. It was 7 in there this morning when I went to let them out.
 

vantain

Songster
Sep 2, 2018
316
449
113
Southern Minnesota
My chickens are staying locked inside the coop today. We're supposed to get wind chills of -30. :eek:
I have polycarbonate panels up around the run for the winter, so they are free of the wind there as well. As an added benefit, when the sun shines through it, it heats things up just a bit. -7F outside, but the run is 3 degrees.
 
Top Bottom