What's cold? People vs Chickens

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by woodmort, Sep 27, 2010.

  1. woodmort

    woodmort Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 6, 2010
    Oxford NY
    If you live in NC, 32 degrees is cold but if you live in Alaska it is shorts and tee shirt weather. I get the biggest charge out of the raft of "cold weather has set in" threads were people are concerned about their chickens when the temperatures are dropping into the 40's at night. While this may feel chilly to you, your chickens are fine--as long as they are fully feathered out--and will be even when it gets considerably colder. While there are a lot of threads in regard to cold weather care and I'm not about to repeat them here, I'd like to say that keeping your birds happy and healthy all winter is not done by adding heat but by giving them a dry, well vented but not drafty, coop with plenty of food and unfrozen water. As far as 20 or 30 below temperatures are concerned, given their nice warm downy coats, most winter hardy birds will be a lot happier than you will be. Don't worry so much.
  2. OregonChickenGal

    OregonChickenGal Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 26, 2010
    Central Oregon
    I agree!
  3. crtrlovr

    crtrlovr Still chillin' with my peeps

    Thanks for the reminder, Woodmort. Every year I start to spazz about whether or not my birds will get too cold. Then when I put a heater in the house with them, I spazz about the risk of fire (even though I buy the heaters with auto shut off and every other safety feature available). I think I'm going to grit my teeth this year and not put a heater out there. I did add a ridge vent and another vent near the roofline on the side of the building. Hopefully there'll be enough ventilation to keep moisture buildup to a minimum and there won't be any frostbite.
  4. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

    Apr 15, 2009
    I never worry about the ladies getting cold. I frequently worry about them getting too hot, though. The heat definitely bothers my girls more than the cold.
  5. Morgan7782

    Morgan7782 Dense Egg Goo

    Mar 22, 2010
    Sacramento CA
    Thanks for this thread! Very helpful [​IMG] I am a worrywart at heart about anything so it's good to know my 40-50 degree winters are not hard for my chickens. I have a mixof breeds most are both hot and cold hardy
  6. LeezyBeezy

    LeezyBeezy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 13, 2010
    Lancaster PA
    We're working on the draft thing now, but other than that, no heaters in our future (except for maybe the waterers). I do have a question though, one hen has two bald spots on her wings from the rooster (about dime-sized), plus her feathers back by her tail are thin from being broken by his loving attention. Do I need to worry about frostbite? It will be cold here in Maine.
  7. TheMainException

    TheMainException Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 7, 2010
    Lebanon, PA
    Quote:A small group of chickens together should be enough to keep each other warm (ESPECIALLY with the deep litter method, that's just a plus). It's a lot less likely for skin on her body to get frostbite than toes and combs and wattles. Chickens have survived this long without much help, the help we do give is enough. Humans would be much more used to cold weather and hot weather if we didn't live in our insulated boxes all the time. Animals acclimate very quickly.
  8. Akane

    Akane Overrun With Chickens

    Jun 15, 2008
    Even at -30F my standards with short combs (or who had frostbit them off the year before) would wander around in the wind unconcerned. My hardier bantams (EEs so don't know exactly what breed) were also ok with subzero temps but preferred to stay in the coop out of any weather. So far only my japanese bantams and seramas have had any trouble and even then I never lost any. They would just eat more and spend the time in between fluffed up as much out of the wind as possible until we got back above -20. Other than that it was mostly frostbit combs and one case of frostbit feet from a chicken who insisted on roosting on very narrow objects like handles of brooms. Cold is not cold until it hits below 0. My veterinary nutrition classes did not suggest a feed and calorie increase for most livestock until at least 0F and then we had a few different formulas for different animals that could be applied depending on how far below 0 the temp was.
  9. Lbrad7

    Lbrad7 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 19, 2010
    Ringgold, GA
    I agree that cold is much less of a worry than heat. With our humidity I really worry about my birds when the temps top 100 and heat index of 110. I dont worry about them at all unless the temps drop down into the lower single digits and even then I dont worry too much. My straight comb roos have suffered frost bite in situations like that (especially my Lakenvelders) but they seem to heal up ok.

    By the way woodmort...I know our friends in Alaska and up your way have developed a great cold tolorance but 32 degrees is shorts and t-shirt weather for this SE Tennessee/ NW Georgia boy as well! (of course it could be that I have a blubber layer that would make any walrus proud!) still... just sayin.... [​IMG]
  10. woodmort

    woodmort Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 6, 2010
    Oxford NY
    Quote:Just a little exaggeration to get your attention, but my Alaskan buddies are tough. [​IMG] I have spent time in NC in the fall where I was comfortable in a shell jacket and my southern relatives were walking around in down jackets complaining about the cold though.

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