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Tucson, Arizona winter questions!!!

Discussion in 'Where am I? Where are you!' started by MamaGrizzz, Oct 10, 2013.

  1. MamaGrizzz

    MamaGrizzz Out Of The Brooder

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    May 30, 2013
    Tucson, AZ
    I'm sure this is posted in another thread, but I have searched and haven't found much.
    So.
    Most of you have more extreme winters, I know, but I'm wondering how my birds will take it going from say yesterday that was 90+ to today that is 62 and going to get colder the rest of the winter. For anyone out of AZ, we do get down to freezing at night later in the season, and each year we get colder.
    I have one friend that brings her hen inside during the winter, but I'm still a chicken about the chickens (I'm slowly getting over my fear with having my own hens now, but I was absolutely terrified of them before I got them). I have irrational fears of ridiculous things like bugs and birds... So I picture myself trying to catch my two hens and being ripped to shreds by them, though I know they aren't nearly that bad.
    My girls did well this summer with shade and water, also did frozen water bottles on the hottest days, but I'm not sure what the best idea would be to keep them warm.
    I still don't have a closing coop like most of you do, I'm kind of old school that way. Their whole area is my version of their coop. They have roosts and nesting boxes which they don't use at all, and I tried to make a coop that was more open to put in the pen, but they hate it so I just used it as extra shelter for their food during our rainy season.

    I know that I'm kinda cold today, and it's only going to keep bouncing around until it gets really cold so I need to get to work on whatever to keep them warm this winter. I was thinking of something along the lines of this that people use to keep feral cats warm during the winter, but not sure my birds would go in it.
    http://www.pawesome.net/2010/07/diy-feral-cat-shelters-pet-projects/

    Also thinking of getting heat lamps or maybe even a super safe portable heater to put in an area of their pen (I'd have to make a more enclosed area to make this cost effective.

    Any Tucsonans have advice?
     
  2. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

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    Aug 12, 2009
    BuCo, KS
    My Coop
    I'm not from Arizona but....chickens are built for the cold. They are far more cold-hardy than heat-hardy. If yours made it through the summer okay, they will thrive in the winter. I live in an area where temps in the teens are the norm and we occasionally get single digits. Not only do I not provide heat, but I leave the windows of the coop open for extra air flow until it gets down to the single digits. I've never lost a bird to cold and I've been doing this quite awhile.

    Far more birds are lost each year from coop fires started by well-meaning people trying to provide heat to their birds, than are lost to cold.
     
  3. MaddBaggins

    MaddBaggins Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 25, 2013
    Tucson AZ
    I'm in Tucson. The only thing I will do for my girls in the winter is close the windows on the coop. Thats it. They will keep each other warm on those few nights we get below freezing. It's the summer that's hard to deal with.
     
  4. Gallo del Cielo

    Gallo del Cielo La Gallina Resort & Spa

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    May 6, 2010
    Tucson
    My Coop
    This will be my fifth winter with chickens in Tucson. Your birds likely won't enjoy going inside the cat shelter. Where do your birds sleep at night now? Are they roosting? The main problem you will have are the winter rains and wind. Chickens do quite fine in our winter temps without any supplemental heating; in fact, they seem to really enjoy it. However, next month the rains will come and the temps will drop, both problems for birds that can not get out of the wind and rain. Finally, is your chicken pen fully enclosed with wire on the top? If you have more questions, drop by and post in the AZ thread, where you'll find lots of Tucsonans and AZ peeps.
     
  5. MamaGrizzz

    MamaGrizzz Out Of The Brooder

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    May 30, 2013
    Tucson, AZ
    Thank you all!

    Gallo - the pen is fully enclosed. With wire and shade on top. They roost only a few feet off the ground.3 sides of the pen are solid with the front somewhat open, but doesn't seem to get much wind in there. They have multiple places to escape the rain if they're smart enough to do so.
     

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