Update (comb) and dilemna!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Juniorhenowner, Sep 30, 2014.

  1. Juniorhenowner

    Juniorhenowner Out Of The Brooder

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    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
     
  2. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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  3. SunkenRoadFarms

    SunkenRoadFarms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    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.
     
  4. Juniorhenowner

    Juniorhenowner Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you! Seems like your girls are happy! What do you do about frostbite?
     
  5. SunkenRoadFarms

    SunkenRoadFarms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Proper ventilation in the coop will keep frostbite away since moisture plus cold is what will cause it.
     
  6. Juniorhenowner

    Juniorhenowner Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you! I really appreciate you guys!
     
  7. MichalBeth7

    MichalBeth7 Out Of The Brooder

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    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. [​IMG]
     
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    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.
     
  9. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2014

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