too cold

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by BubAnna Angus, Nov 30, 2010.

  1. BubAnna Angus

    BubAnna Angus Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 15, 2010
    Tipton, MI
    Last year i would round up my birds and put them in the coop at dusk & let them out in the a.m.
    This year, I'm not getting home until after they have roosted up on top of the barn..... I can't get them down after dark. I'm afraid they are going to freeze. I've heard, but am not sure, that they can actually freeze to a perch, or have a leg break off. I have seen a duck freeze in a pond. My question is How cold is too cold? We live in lower michigan and it's averaging around mid 20s at night. I'm aware the it is usually the cold/wet weather that gets them too.....
  2. ColbyNTX

    ColbyNTX Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 2, 2009
    Woods, TX
    I feel for you folks up north. I don't know how cold is too cold but last winter was the worst we have had in years and it got down to about 10 degs and my birds were fine. We usually get only about 15-20 days a year below freezing in my part of Texas. I don't know how y'all put up with the freezing water for so long.
  3. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

    Jan 27, 2007
    IIRC, someone, on the earlier iteration of BYC, posted a rather amusing tale of having to chip away at & use hot water to free turks from their roost in a Cedar tree following an ice storm. Might be a good idea to just keep the birds on lockdown if the forecast calls for an `ice event'. Can't imagine retrieving living ice sculptures from the top of a barn would be very amusing in either execution or recounting...

    Other than ice/exceedingly low temps with high winds, they should be fine.
  4. Lagerdogger

    Lagerdogger Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 30, 2010
    Aitkin, MN
    My Thanksgiving survivors just went through subzero windchills in a snow storm. They roosted outside on top of a gate and were fine. Tonight is below zero temps and I'm not worried about them. They have shelter if they want it, but they seem to not want it. They will go under a roof when its raining, and during the day in the wind they disappear into the spruce trees, but at 4:30 they are on top of their gate. They are winter-tough birds.
  5. Olive Hill

    Olive Hill Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 19, 2009
    Ours roost in the trees (we're in mid-michigan) every night. I wouldn't worry about them.

    I also wouldn't believe everything you hear. Turkeys roost down on top their feet and legs warming them with their body and feathers. A wet metal roost may present a surface to which the turkeys could get "stuck" - think: a little kid licking a flag pole -- but I think it's rather unlikely.
  6. Turkeyrangler

    Turkeyrangler Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 9, 2010
    By Lake Superior
    Although I have mine cooped the Minnesota DNR says that wild turkeys can handle just about any temps as long as they can get to food. We have wild turkey's here and they deal with -40F temps most every year for at least a short period of time. In this sense I think turkeys are turkeys and if they are acclimated they will do just fine. Wild birds showed up here for the first time this year and I saw their tracks in the woods behind my house on Sunday. I'm sure your birds will do just fine.
  7. BubAnna Angus

    BubAnna Angus Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 15, 2010
    Tipton, MI
    Thanks everyone! Good to know, I will do the best I can & leave the rest to them.
  8. pdpatch

    pdpatch Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 5, 2008
    Hastings, Nebraska
    Yes wild turkeys can survive cold temps but a significant number of them don't make it.

    Those we have in our flocks needs some help. Fresh water is very helpful because your water will freeze. The do eat snow in a pinch but it lowers there body temps when they do. so be prepared to haul water a couple of times a day.

    Wild turkey go hide in trees when the cold wind blows.
    Have shelter they can hunker down in during the coldest days, wind chill is the biggest killer during the winter. The shelter should block the cold wind but can be open on one side.

    Increase protein a little, this give them more energy to stay warm and healthy. You should also consider adding seeds to there diet, if you don't already.


BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by