will my chickens freeze at night?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by whatsup chickenbutt, Oct 12, 2008.

  1. whatsup chickenbutt

    whatsup chickenbutt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have three birds that will not roost with the others in the coop that is inside the barn. The are very timid and get picked on sevierly when they are inside together. In the run, they are fine. Up to now, they have made their home in a large tin watering trough I turned on its side and layed a piece of plywood across the front to stop wind or rain, I also put pine shavings in the bottom. Today, it snowed and got really cold. I hate that they are staying out there and not going in the coop, but they just won't go in, and frankly, I dont blame them. It probably averages about 10-20 degrees here in the winter nights. Do you think they will be ok in that metal thing at night?
     
  2. SpeckledHills

    SpeckledHills Chillin' With My Peeps

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    1 idea: You might add a flat piece of wood on the 'floor" or some kind of perch or stool so their feet aren't likely to end up touching cold metal.
     
  3. Wildsky

    Wildsky Wild Egg!

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    I would try enclose them somehow and make sure they're out of the cold breezes or anything like that.
     
  4. FlockEweFarm

    FlockEweFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a couple like that, a giant blue cochin hen and some weird mille fluer hen that has spurs and acts like a complete freak. They hang out together constantly, and at night I have to go out and hunt them down and pull them out of what ever corner that they have tucked into and then toss them into the coop with the rest. It has been in the 20's here at night, and they would freeze, but does anyone know why they would exclude themselves like this? Are yours pariahs like mine are, meaning the flock rejects these two and either ignores them or picks on them?
     
  5. whatsup chickenbutt

    whatsup chickenbutt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    yes, as soon as i put them in the coop, they immediately huddle together in the corner, which, I think draws attention to themselves, then the others, a few of them, will jump on them and start pecking at them. I just dont see how this can be better, so I want to make them comfortable where they are, but I just cant afford to build another coop.
    These are older hens too (about 2), not babies. They are loaners, and in the yard, they will mingle with the others, but they are very guarded, and ready to cower if the others look at them wrong. They really dont get bothered in the yard, though.
    I think the wood on the floor makes sense. I also thought of dirt, to insulate. They wont roost, they prefer the ground, so I need to make it work. I might also try putting a bale of hay around each side and the top, and just continue to use this. Except of course then I have the problem of snow.
    [​IMG]
     
  6. vickig

    vickig Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Would they fit in a large or medium size dog carrier? Once they go in you can cover them with an old blanket or quilt.
     
  7. Pullet Pimp

    Pullet Pimp Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Is there a way or enough room to partition or wall off an are of the existing coop with some 2x4s and chicken wire so they can still be in the coop but the bullies can't get to them?
     
  8. SpeckledHills

    SpeckledHills Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Other ideas:
    Put some obstacles in the coop they can hide behind, jump onto and run around while evading attacks from the other chickens. ***Always be sure no blocked-off or dead-end areas are created where chickens could get cornered.*** Sacks of feed, buckets, additional perches, trash cans, etc. can be useful. Window frames (with either glass or wire in the middle) leaned against things can also be excellent for a flee-er to run behind and be protected yet be able to keep track of aggressor's travels. Lower-ranking chickens also appreciate shadowy, cluttered areas where they can hang out and not be noticed as much.
    Keep the lower-ranking chickens in the coop all day a few days while the others free-range. This gives the more timid chickens a chance to get more familiar with the layout of their surroundings and best ways to navigate in them while the aggressive chickens aren't around. Keeping them in there and feeding them there can also help them feel like the coop is home.
    Make sure that the door is not so small that lower-ranking chickens have to slow way down while exiting and entering. They will feel (and will be) very vulnerable to attack if they can't quickly slip in and out when being harassed by more dominant chickens.
     

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