Update (comb) and dilemna!

Juniorhenowner

In the Brooder
6 Years
Oct 19, 2013
11
0
22
First, I will start off with the update with the comb. As some of you may know, my hen, Tanner, was attacked by my Americauna hen in October of last year. After a trip to the chicken doctor, an amputation, and getting her picture taken for the vet's facebook, she is doing great, just combless. The Americauna and Aricauna hens I have tend to stick together in an alliance towards the Buffs. (Tanner and another girl) The chicken who I believe robbed Tanner of her comb has it out for Tanner, and somewhat for the other Buff. But, overall, they are doing great. :)

For the dilemma part of this thread, I live in the Florida, where my chickens were raised and have lived their entire lives, which is a hefty two years. I am most likely moving to Virginia and wanted to clarify a few key points as to moving with hens, cold weather, etc. I have a list of what I know and questions I have, below, please.

1) due to the abundance of bears, coyotes, foxes, wildcats, wolves, etc in Virginia, they will need a sturdy coop, and a run so they are separated from the wild. They will also need a net over the area they will be in to protect against predators of the air.

2) because of short winter days, they will need 14-16 hours of light each day to lay eggs appropriately.

3) they will most likely need a heater

4) I might need more hens to make sure body heat is conserved enough to keep them warm :3

5) The coop may need to be insulated

6) it is a good idea to give them a warm meal before they go to sleep

7) the water will need an automated heater to keep from freezing

8) eggs will somehow need to kept from freezing, if they are laid at night or in weather so bad I can't collect them during the day. I particularly need help with this one :/

9) They should have some nice hay or something always fresh and fluffy to warm up in, especially if they are going to be confined to the coop and the run

10) I'm sure there's more I'm leaving out accidentally!

Also, I have a few prevalent questions:

Is it okay to move hens that have grown up in a warm or even hot environment to a cold climate?

^^(See above question) I have cold-adapted hennies. :) The Buffs are nice and hefty, specifically cold adapted. And, the
Ameri/Ari-Caunas have beards instead of combs to keep their faces and chins warm. But again, can they switch environments from the one they grew up in?


Is there anything I'm missing? Help very much appreciated! I've put a lot of thought into this!

Love, Juniorhenowner
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
95,035
125,727
1,807
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
First, I will start off with the update with the comb. As some of you may know, my hen, Tanner, was attacked by my Americauna hen in October of last year. After a trip to the chicken doctor, an amputation, and getting her picture taken for the vet's facebook, she is doing great, just combless. The Americauna and Aricauna hens I have tend to stick together in an alliance towards the Buffs. (Tanner and another girl) The chicken who I believe robbed Tanner of her comb has it out for Tanner, and somewhat for the other Buff. But, overall, they are doing great. :)

For the dilemma part of this thread, I live in the Florida, where my chickens were raised and have lived their entire lives, which is a hefty two years. I am most likely moving to Virginia and wanted to clarify a few key points as to moving with hens, cold weather, etc. I have a list of what I know and questions I have, below, please.

1) due to the abundance of bears, coyotes, foxes, wildcats, wolves, etc in Virginia, they will need a sturdy coop, and a run so they are separated from the wild. They will also need a net over the area they will be in to protect against predators of the air.
Yes, absolutely

2) because of short winter days, they will need 14-16 hours of light each day to lay eggs appropriately.
Yep, same as in FLA, Supplemental lighting article

3) they will most likely need a heater
No, they needs lots of ventilation and keep everything as dry as possible tho.

4) I might need more hens to make sure body heat is conserved enough to keep them warm :3
No, see 3.

5) The coop may need to be insulated
Could, but not necessary.

6) it is a good idea to give them a warm meal before they go to sleep
Not really, don't feed wet stuff in cold weather late in the day. Crop full of cracked cornscratch late in the day can be good for overnight calories.

7) the water will need an automated heater to keep from freezing
Probably.

8) eggs will somehow need to kept from freezing, if they are laid at night or in weather so bad I can't collect them during the day. I particularly need help with this one :/
You just have to collect often. Frozen eggs can be thawed in fridge and scramble up just fine.

9) They should have some nice hay or something always fresh and fluffy to warm up in, especially if they are going to be confined to the coop and the run
See #3.

10) I'm sure there's more I'm leaving out accidentally!

Also, I have a few prevalent questions:

Is it okay to move hens that have grown up in a warm or even hot environment to a cold climate?
I wouldn't move them in the middle of winter, but chickens moved in summer/fall will grow enough feathers to keep them warm as they get used to the colder climate.

^^(See above question) I have cold-adapted hennies. :) The Buffs are nice and hefty, specifically cold adapted. And, the
Ameri/Ari-Caunas have beards instead of combs to keep their faces and chins warm. But again, can they switch environments from the one they grew up in?


Is there anything I'm missing? Help very much appreciated! I've put a lot of thought into this!

Love, Juniorhenowner
 

SunkenRoadFarms

Chirping
5 Years
Sep 11, 2014
385
44
88
Maryland
First, I will start off with the update with the comb. As some of you may know, my hen, Tanner, was attacked by my Americauna hen in October of last year. After a trip to the chicken doctor, an amputation, and getting her picture taken for the vet's facebook, she is doing great, just combless. The Americauna and Aricauna hens I have tend to stick together in an alliance towards the Buffs. (Tanner and another girl) The chicken who I believe robbed Tanner of her comb has it out for Tanner, and somewhat for the other Buff. But, overall, they are doing great. :)

For the dilemma part of this thread, I live in the Florida, where my chickens were raised and have lived their entire lives, which is a hefty two years. I am most likely moving to Virginia and wanted to clarify a few key points as to moving with hens, cold weather, etc. I have a list of what I know and questions I have, below, please.

1) due to the abundance of bears, coyotes, foxes, wildcats, wolves, etc in Virginia, they will need a sturdy coop, and a run so they are separated from the wild. They will also need a net over the area they will be in to protect against predators of the air.

2) because of short winter days, they will need 14-16 hours of light each day to lay eggs appropriately.

3) they will most likely need a heater

4) I might need more hens to make sure body heat is conserved enough to keep them warm :3

5) The coop may need to be insulated

6) it is a good idea to give them a warm meal before they go to sleep

7) the water will need an automated heater to keep from freezing

8) eggs will somehow need to kept from freezing, if they are laid at night or in weather so bad I can't collect them during the day. I particularly need help with this one :/

9) They should have some nice hay or something always fresh and fluffy to warm up in, especially if they are going to be confined to the coop and the run

10) I'm sure there's more I'm leaving out accidentally!

Also, I have a few prevalent questions:

Is it okay to move hens that have grown up in a warm or even hot environment to a cold climate?

^^(See above question) I have cold-adapted hennies. :) The Buffs are nice and hefty, specifically cold adapted. And, the
Ameri/Ari-Caunas have beards instead of combs to keep their faces and chins warm. But again, can they switch environments from the one they grew up in?

Is there anything I'm missing? Help very much appreciated! I've put a lot of thought into this!

[COLOR=EE82EE]Love, Juniorhenowner[/COLOR]


Moving them in spring or summer would be preferable. That will give them time to adapt to colder fall and winter temps. I'm in Maryland and have never used a heater or insulation in my coops. My floor is sand with a straw covering for colder days and nights. I also like I give my girls cracked corn later in the day to keep their metabolism up at night. You won't need supplemental light since the day lengths will be the same, unless of course you want to keep egg production up. As for water, I keep mine in the run with a cookie tin heater.
 

MichalBeth7

In the Brooder
5 Years
Mar 26, 2014
65
17
43
Oklahoma
Proper ventilation in the coop will keep frostbite away since moisture plus cold is what will cause it.
X2 Definitely agree. Dry, warm air. Clean environment. And definitely try to move during spring or summer, or at least fall. To transition easier for them. They should do fine! Chickens are pretty resilient for the most part.
smile.png
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
95,035
125,727
1,807
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
Frostbite is hard to avoid if you live in a humid climate, when you have gads of ventilation to release ammonia, you can't make it drier in the coop than it is outside.
I don't think vaseline, or even bag balm, really is much of a deterrent...it just causes stress and creates a dirt magnet which can actually hold moisture.
Nice wide roosts, 2x4 wide side up, can definitely help them keep their feet warm tho.

Last winter we had temps down to -10F several times and they hovered around 0F for days.
When the temps are +10 to -10 and 20-30% humidity, no frostbite.....
.....but when the temps went up to 28-30F and the humidity also rose up to 50-60% (because warmer air holds more moisture) BAM big black patches on tender wattles.

But those black patches sloughed off without any infection or swelling and if you didn't know where to look you wouldn't even know it happened within a few week or so.
Had other smaller black spots on some combs and more often grayish patches/spots(a mild frostbite) which heal up even faster.

So don't sweat it too much, if you see some grayish or black patches, just keep an eye on them for infection.
 

donrae

Hopelessly Addicted
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Jun 18, 2010
31,453
4,054
581
Southern Oregon
First, I will start off with the update with the comb. As some of you may know, my hen, Tanner, was attacked by my Americauna hen in October of last year. After a trip to the chicken doctor, an amputation, and getting her picture taken for the vet's facebook, she is doing great, just combless. The Americauna and Aricauna hens I have tend to stick together in an alliance towards the Buffs. (Tanner and another girl) The chicken who I believe robbed Tanner of her comb has it out for Tanner, and somewhat for the other Buff. But, overall, they are doing great. :)

For the dilemma part of this thread, I live in the Florida, where my chickens were raised and have lived their entire lives, which is a hefty two years. I am most likely moving to Virginia and wanted to clarify a few key points as to moving with hens, cold weather, etc. I have a list of what I know and questions I have, below, please.

1) due to the abundance of bears, coyotes, foxes, wildcats, wolves, etc in Virginia, they will need a sturdy coop, and a run so they are separated from the wild. They will also need a net over the area they will be in to protect against predators of the air. A net over the top won't keep out raccoons, cats or weasels.

2) because of short winter days, they will need 14-16 hours of light each day to lay eggs appropriately. Yes, if you decide to supplement lighting.

3) they will most likely need a heater Nope, not at all.

4) I might need more hens to make sure body heat is conserved enough to keep them warm :3 Nope, 4 are enough to keep warm.

5) The coop may need to be insulated Not really. Insulating isn't going to hurt anything, but I don't see the point in spending $ to insulate a coop you're going to have holes in to ventilate.

6) it is a good idea to give them a warm meal before they go to sleep Meh. I don't feed any other animals here a warm meal before bedtime.

7) the water will need an automated heater to keep from freezing Personal preference. I have tubs that I pour warm water in twice a day or so. Auto heaters are nice if you have the set up.

8) eggs will somehow need to kept from freezing, if they are laid at night or in weather so bad I can't collect them during the day. I particularly need help with this one :/

Hens don't lay at night, but freezing during the day can be an issue. I just pad my nest boxes and accept some losses, but I've got more birds than you. Some folks have had good luck running something like a reptile tank heating pad under the nest box. You don't want it too warm, though, just enough to keep them from freezing.

9) They should have some nice hay or something always fresh and fluffy to warm up in, especially if they are going to be confined to the coop and the run Deep liter is always good, imo. The composting action releases some warmth. The birds aren't actually going to warm up in it, as in physically getting into the bedding. They do need an area that's dry to dust bathe in.

10) I'm sure there's more I'm leaving out accidentally!

Also, I have a few prevalent questions:

Is it okay to move hens that have grown up in a warm or even hot environment to a cold climate? Yep, it's fine. Animals are much more adjustable than they want us to believe!

^^(See above question) I have cold-adapted hennies. :) The Buffs are nice and hefty, specifically cold adapted. And, the
Ameri/Ari-Caunas have beards instead of combs to keep their faces and chins warm. But again, can they switch environments from the one they grew up in?


Is there anything I'm missing? Help very much appreciated! I've put a lot of thought into this!

Love, Juniorhenowner
There are lots of threads about keeping chickens in the winter, and keeping birds in much more extreme weather than you're likely to experience. Cruise around and study them, get some good ideas about venting a coop. That's hand's down the most important thing.
 
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