Winter in Vermont: Bourbon Reds


9 Years
Apr 28, 2010
Poultney VERMONT
I have heard that B.R.'s are winter-hardy. I have not insulated their coop, but it protects from drafts.
Anyone have experience with what they need for winter protection? They are not full size yet, but about half-grown...

Thanks for any advice/sharing of experiences
I live where it is windy and cold. So windy that our power comes from wind mills. They have even stayed outside in the snow and wind. They seem to take the cold well.
I'm glad to hear they are winter hardy. What about Royal Plams and Slates? Are all the heritage birds more winter hardy than the Broad Breasted ones?
Even the Broad Breasted turkeys are winter hardy. Heritage and BB both have gone through North Dakota winters with lots of snow and temps down to -38F not including windchill. Their building is not insulated and doesn't have a door in the opening to the run (an opening that I can walk through). I have any doorways situated facing away from the prevailing wind direction. As long as they can get under cover when they want to, they all do fine. I do make sure that they have water and don't have to rely on snow.
I guess if they can tolerate ND winters they should not have too many problems with Vermont winters either. My major problem is that the snow drifts and gets so deep that I think my guys will spend the winter indoors at least for this winter. Maybe by next year I can get it arranged so they will have a sheltered yard to go out in the daytime.
I put the yards on the downwind side of their buildings, that helps cut the drifting in their yard at least somewhat. The big difference there is that you probably have wetter snow, our snow is dry, so you can't make a snowman. We could probably cut it up and make an igloo, though. It's fine and powdery, and the drifts are packed. We get them over 5' tall, and for the most part I can walk over the tops and not even leave tracks. Keep in mind if you do have wet snow, it can stick to netting on the tops of the pens and bring it down (often along with sections of the fence). I use the canopy shelters that you can get in the big box stores and cover tops and sides with poultry fence, the snow doesn't stick as readily and the wire fencing doesn't stretch under a snow load. That has worked better for me than having flight netting on the top.
ours dont mind the cold at all. as long as they are out of the wind you are ok, probably dont need to insulate if you have enough birds. only thing if there is a lot of snow one the ground is to watch their feet for frost bite. we've never had a problem and ours basically go out every day except for the coolest/iciest. make sure they get water - we give fresh water (non freezing) a couple times a day and we also give more corn.

good luck!
Frosty, you are right, a lot of time we have wet heavy snow that sticks to EVERYTHING. In fact it is more the wet snow that causes problems than the wind especially in putting the power out! LOL THEN the wet snow freezes and we have ice drifts! I will have to think on a way to get a protected yard ready before next winter. My guys are inside right now because the rains we got last week washed out a part of their run and I can't keep them in! We have so many predators that they have to be in a fenced in area for thier own safety no matter how much they hate it. A couple weeks ago there were 5 hawks circling in the sky above their run.
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