what should i do?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by budrox1, Jan 8, 2015.

  1. budrox1

    budrox1 Hatching

    Aug 25, 2014
    southwest, virginia
    It was so cold here last night and this morning, (4 degrees) My girls are healthy and happy my barred rock hens (2) did well they are walking around, eating,and wanting out of the coop when I opend the door but one of my RIR hens (I have 2) didn't want to eat or socialize like usual she just wanted to huddle to me I don't want to bring her in because im afraid she will go into shock from such a temperature change but she seems to be very cold ,the funny thing is she is the biggest one we have. I took them some warm rice and veggies hoping to warm them up a little but like I said she wanted nothing to do with it what should I do with her? do you think maybe she just wants to be held or is she really very cold? Thanks
  2. familyfarm1

    familyfarm1 Crowing

    Jun 9, 2013
    Northern Virginia
    I would do somthing to keep her warm. Do you have a heating lamp to put in the coop? Or do you have a nice place inside for her?
  3. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Crowing

    Apr 11, 2011
    Personally, *I* would leave her where she is. When its cold, they don't tend to do much. It was 12F here at my house this morning, and most of my birds are standing in the sunny part of their run looking miserable. A few are tooling around, but they're looking a little sluggish too. I did throw out a good bit of scratch, which they loved.

    Your concern of shocking her with temp changes is a good one. If bringing her in to the warm doesn't bother her, putting her back out might. Putting a heat lamp in the coop will make it harder for everyone to acclimate themselves to the cold, not too mention the fire hazard they pose. You could take out a good sized cardboard box stuffed with hay. They'll get inside it and huddle, it'll hold some of their body heat and help warm them up. Another option, if you have a scrap window, is to lean it up against something in a sunny place. It'll act like a little green house and give them a place to warm themselves.

    Good luck!
    2 people like this.
  4. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road

    Nov 7, 2012
    I agree with the no heat in the coop philosophy, up to a point. One of my EE had frost on her head feathers this morning. The dial thermometer didn't even register in the coop. It was 15* below 0F after the sun was up. Not sure how cold it actually was before then. Last time I checked the coop, it was all the way up to 10 degrees. My flock is acting fine, though they are huddled where the sun shines through the door. I'm keeping them in today. Any how, I digress. IF your birds are showing you that they're NOT FINE: huddled, not moving, not eating... IMO, they are hypothermic. (this happened with my flock last year) They may get their temps back up with some warm feed and increased fat in their diet... but, if the not moving and not eating continues, IMO, they need intervention in the way of a little bit of heat. And yes, "they say" that chickens have been living just fine "down on the farm" for hundreds of years without extra heat. But, those chickens down on the farm, most likely were in a barn, with larger livestock, plenty of hay, plenty of manure steaming in the litter and lots of opportunities to burrow in and snuggle down. The common back yard coop is not equipped with all of the afore mentioned amenities. So, let your chickens tell you if they are in trouble. If they are, fix the problem... SAFELY.
    2 people like this.
  5. CrazyTalk

    CrazyTalk Songster

    Jun 10, 2014
    15 below is a lot colder than 5 above.

    A barred rock, which is a bird developed in New England should be able to handle 5 degrees without too much trouble. I'd be worried that there's either something wrong with where shes roosting (IE, shes in a bad spot and getting blown on), or there's something wrong with the bird itself.
  6. budrox1

    budrox1 Hatching

    Aug 25, 2014
    southwest, virginia
    Thanks for all the suggestions! I just checked on her and she is nesting nicely in her box, (the other girls don't like that too much) but she is all fluffed up and resting so maybe she just had a hard morning I'll keep checking but things seem better I think I will find a window for the "green house effect" that will do them some good :)
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    I 'test' my birds when it's really cold.....
    .....like the around 0F all day yesterday....
    .....by spreading some BOSS on the shavings a couple times a day and watching them move to make sure none are incapacitated.

    Extra shavings on the floor in winter, many will just snuggle down and rest but still get up to 'forage' for the BOSS.
  8. blucoondawg

    blucoondawg Songster

    Jan 27, 2013
    Northern Wisconsin
    I completely agree being from an area with extended cold periods, we are in one right now for the past week -5 to-25 at night and barely teaching 0 during the day, supposed to break Sunday thank God, for how long I don't know. There are times when a certain amount of heat is beneficial and there are safe ways to provide heat where fire concerns are greatly diminished. Good to see someone else acknowledge that fact rather than just keep up with the heat is absolutely unnecessary and extremely dangerous point of view that is always tossed around.

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