Will they be okay tonight?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by iamcuriositycat, Feb 11, 2012.

  1. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This isn't really a traditional emergency, but I didn't think things through and need a quick response to make sure my chickens stay healthy.

    The situation: I raised six silkie chickens from Ideal. Five turned out to be roosters. They are five months old and have been outside all winter in a coop.

    I just sold all but one rooster today, all at once... and now I'm worried that the other two (one hen one rooster) may get too cold at night. There is a big difference between the heat production of six chickens and the heat production of two... and it's supposed to drop to 20 degrees tonight (it's been in the 40s most nights lately).

    Soo... do I need to bring them in, or are adult silkies really pretty much fine outside in all weather, regardless of the number in the coop? They live in a three-sided wooden structure with a wire front at night.

    Thanks in advance for the help...
     
  2. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    I am not sure what you should do but I was thinking if you asked this on the Silkie thread you might get an answer pretty quick. I would think they would be alright as long as out of the wind but I don't know for sure. sorry.
     
  3. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Update: Upon further research, I've put in a barricade to make a cozy draft-free section in one back corner, heavily bedded in straw, and am planning to leave them outside tonight. Does that sound adequate?
     
  4. terryg

    terryg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Silkies are more sensitive to cold than other chickens. Their "furry" feathers don't trap the heat or protect against wind. They also get quickly ill if wet. However, in a traditional coop, without drafts, they'd do okay. I'm concerned that they have a shelter that is open on one side. It sounds like it might be on the ground, which is likely cold and damp. I think it's good of you to be concerned. I'd bring them in, and tighten up their home for the future.
     
  5. terryg

    terryg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The straw bale protection is a good temporary solution. Excellent!
     
  6. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Awesome, thank you! They are up off the ground. The bottom of the "coop" is wire, but I've installed a plywood floor over most of it (including the back corner that is now barricaded) and then laid lots of straw on top. Then tonight I added another couple inches of straw on the floor, and put a plywood barrier to block the corner from draft.

    They were originally supposed to live in the shed, which is completely enclosed (with ventilation) and off the ground by about six inches, with a solid wood floor, lightly bedded in straw which I periodically sweep out and replace. Sadly, the shed had a fire (long story involving a precocious toddler... ) last fall and I haven't had a chance to seal in the smoke damage, so I moved them into the "coop," which was originally a quail pen, to get them away from the smoke fumes.

    They've done fine in it down into the teens in temp, but, as I said, there were more of them... And boy--it's windy out there! So I'm glad I took care of providing a little extra protection tonight. And boy--it's windy out there too.

    Thanks for the input!
     

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