WARM WET BLIZZARD MOST DANGEROUS OF THEM ALL TO EXPOSED CHICKENS

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by centrarchid, Mar 24, 2013.

  1. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    We are currently experiencing a blizzard with at least 7" of wet snow on ground and wind speed pushing 30 mph. Temperature is right at freezing so when snow strikes the chicken's feathers it promptly melts. The high humidity and intense snow is rapidly wetting the feathers of exposed birds. Many of the birds are getting wet enough so they are losing insulation as typically provided by feathers covering the body. This coupled with wind chill is a real stressor. Birds that can are seeking out protection from wind but it is snow they need to avoid. Even wild birds and feral pigeons are having a tough go because already diminished forage (combined effects of drought last summer and later winter time most forage already gleened over) is now covered by snow. My birds are and wild birds are moving to areas blown free of snow by wind to look for food so I am putting out bird seed and intact corn in those locations so they can at least get enough energy into their systems. Some of the wild birds will not survive through tomorrow morning.


    Lower temperatures would be easier for birds to survive.
     
  2. Toast n Jelly

    Toast n Jelly Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sorry to hear that.
     
  3. Mattemma

    Mattemma Overrun With Chickens

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    Supposed to start snowing here soon,so I am going to lock mine up early.
     
  4. TheCrazyChick

    TheCrazyChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    We don't have snow yet, but the wind has been unforgiving all day long. Biting cold and it feels damp outside, although no precipitation. Whenever I would go out to the coop today it always felt "damp" inside. It's never been that way til today. I do deep litter and had planned to change it all out sometime in early April, but I may move the schedule up. I gave it a good raking, added at least 1/3 bag of pine shavings, and when I went out again tonight it still just "felt" wrong. Went inside and grabbed the PDZ and sprinkled a liberal portion of that around, and gave it another good toss with the rake.

    Hope that did the trick, at least for tonight. You're right about the cold not being a problem. I never worried about them when it was 12 degrees outside. Tonight, though, I am a little nervous with this weird dampness.

    Hope everyone's birds hang in there til the REAL Spring!
     
  5. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    [​IMG]Several pens in a row following a late wet snow. Snow depth was 8" although some drifts were pushing two feet. Most birds remained on roost all day except when I went out to give them some shell corn and sunflower seeds. Photograph was taken after peak of snow fall so birds were starting to dry off. Temperatures were also dropping which is also good.

    Electrified fencing about 8" to 10" above ground is barely visible most over most of its length. Fence will not be properly hot for a few days as a result so dogs will have to be on their toes.
     
  6. 4 the Birds

    4 the Birds Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Westfield, Indiana
    I'm surprised that your chickens are not in their coop. We have 8" here with blowing winds and spitting snow. They pretty much stay inside the coop until I clear their run area of snow drifts. I really hate heavy snows because I have a TON of shoveling as well as paths that I need to clear. We have a lot of starlings that hangout around our dog pens. They swoop down and grab dog food from covered areas and also drink from heated water buckets (we have several outside dogs and they have insulated and heated housing.
     
  7. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Many of my birds are very adept at finding areas blown free of snow by wind or into heavier vegetation where they can scratch about even through deep snow. Once they fill their crops they fly up onto some snow free spot, usually made of wood and out of wind and simply wait weather out. Problem was the still following snow was getting them much wetter than usual. After all is said and done they seem not to have been stressed like the wild birds.
     
  8. 4 the Birds

    4 the Birds Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We had at least 9" of snow Yesterday and high winds! The run was filled with snow drifts but the coop is dry. Even the smallest of holes upwind of a snow storm will pull in snow and create a drift! Our birds started to come out and move around after I shoveled the run and some paths to walk around.

    [​IMG]

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  9. what did I do

    what did I do Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I suppose there will be a bunch of posts on frozen feet or sick birds. Mine stayed in the coop. I would not let them out.
     
  10. TheCrazyChick

    TheCrazyChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Yep, I didn't even open the pop door. Cold is fine for them, wet snow and frostbite are not.
     

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