Winter losses?

Discussion in 'Peafowl' started by DylansMom, Mar 21, 2015.

  1. DylansMom

    DylansMom RIP 1969-2017

    Jan 10, 2014
    Not a very cheery topic, but I was wondering how many folks lost Peas this winter, and if they would be willing to share. I am interested in losses attributed to the cold weather as opposed to predators, injury or disease. Perfectly understandable if you do not wish to put this info on the forum, but I have had several people contact me about the mature male I am selling and almost all of them lost at least one bird during this years cold weather. Many people ask about cold tolerance and sufficient housing and this may help us all understand better, what the birds can tolerate and what they cannot? We ourselves did not lose any, but we are fortunate to have a double-walled and insulated barn that was meant to house poultry, I realize most Pea people don't have this and we all have different set-ups, so just wondering what is working and what is not?
  2. All my winter losses were restricted to bees this year, thank goodness. We had a lot of cold, minus 5* to plus 5* nights, but not much snow, very dry here and the ponds show it. Our setup is mainly open sided loafing type sheds with the main outdoor roost covered. For the most part, the birds sleep outside and go under the cover during the day in inclimate weather. Half the yearlings were confined inside because the runs were not finished, a problem that will be addressed this weekend. The idea of them being cooped all winter lays heavy on my mind. So all birds survived the harsh winter outside and no frozen toes. I am very happy that all my birds have been very healthy all through the winter months.
  3. thndrdancr

    thndrdancr Songster

    Mar 30, 2007
    Belleville, Kansas
    No pea losses here, but I had 4 heat lamps going due to the fact my babies were so young and it was brutally cold. My shed is 27 x 14 though with gaps between the boards from 1938. So it's draftier than most folks new buildings, mine was an emergency convert. :). So I was lucky.
  4. snowshoe

    snowshoe Songster

    Apr 12, 2009
    Central PA
    I lost two this past winter the first was a BS peahen she was the first peachick I ever hatched she would of been 18 years old this summer the second was the first silver pied I ever hatched he would of been 16 years old this summer, I have metal roofs on all my sheds attached to my pens where my birds decide weather they want to be inside or out, I think something frightened the hen because I found her under the roost in the shed with her neck twisted back but the male was laying in shed so both died in there enclosed shed that have a 18" x 2' doors. I have a lot of predators here, have lost a few chickens to predators but never a peafowl directly but have had a few with what seems like broken necks, we get a lot of snow so I have extra supports holding my netting and if they get scared ant hit these just right it could break there necks, have seen a lot of different predators on my farm so there are predators on occasion near my pens that could of scared them, These are part of life when you live in the country surrounded by fields and woods and only a few houses. A lot of traffic on road, so I do not have a dog that I can let roam just one in a kennel and she lets me know when anything or anyone strange comes to the house or out at barn.
    I would say 90% of the time they roost out side I let them decide where they want to be, and we have had some cold weather I know my trail camera had a temperature of -26 one night this past winter on one of it pictures, and we have a lot of nights with below zero temps and they are sitting outside it seems like rain or snow before dark will make them roost inside but I have seen them covered in snow and ice on occasions but roosting outside when they are calling for wind chills of 40 below
    The other 27 I have survived the winter so far no frost bit toes and no added heat almost lost a pen one time with heat lamps so will not use them as added heat with larger birds.
  5. DylansMom

    DylansMom RIP 1969-2017

    Jan 10, 2014
    I am very sorry you lost them. Thanks for the information. I know one of the people I talked to said her male was really underweight, and when asked if she wormed she had no idea she was supposed to. Fall worming is really important IMO, I am generally more laxed about spring worming because mine are locked in all winter, not much soil exposure. I decided last fall that all 2014 spaldings and a couple smaller 2014 blues as well as my 2 old lady hens would spend the winter with Fred. As cold as it got here in PA I am glad I did that. Those hens are a confirmed 19 and a suspected 20+ so I don't know if they would have made it, without a little extra heat. And this year really put a strain on my heater, even with it running we had some mornings with frozen water in the buckets. As for frostbitten toes I wonder if it is solely temps we need to worry about or does moisture play a part? Anyone know this? And we should talk eggs soon! [​IMG]
  6. MinxFox

    MinxFox Crowing

    Sep 16, 2010
    Pensacola, FL
    I think I read somewhere that moisture can be an issue for frostbite, but I am not sure.

    It doesn't seem to get cold enough here for me to worry about winter losses, but I have noticed that white peafowl seem to get colder than the other peafowl. I find that my whites will be puffed up and shivering on cold winter days and the other peafowl will not be as effected. I have been thinking that perhaps whites might be a little more sensitive to the cold since they don't have dark feathers. If they had dark feathers they could probably absorb heat better.
  7. Hannah15

    Hannah15 Chirping

    Mar 23, 2014

    I think there is definitely something to that. My pea's and most of the chickens didn't have any issue with frostbit toes, but I had two chicken hens in the garage (stays much warmer than the adult pea shed), and they did get frostbit toes. They were in quarantine in a dog crate, and insisted on making a mess with their water, so there would have been more moisture.

    I noticed that my blackshoulder hen seemed to be colder than my charcoal peacock as well. I noted it because I was very surprised. He came from California, so I expected him to have a hard time, but he didn't seem to have any problems at all. (We got very cold, negative teens.) The blackshoulder hen hatched here, but she spent a lot of time puffed up and acted like her feet were cold (no frostbite though).

    They are in a shed, but it is very open, it has a large 2x3 foot window and another one in the door, so it would not keep them terribly warm. They did not have any issues real issues. My yearlings didn't either, but they are in an insulated shed that had a heater in the other "room" so it stayed above freezing most of the time.
  8. Kedreeva

    Kedreeva Longfeather Lane

    Jun 10, 2010
    I didn't lose any birds specifically to cold this year, and this was the first year that we moved birds into the smaller coop rather than the barn. Last winter I did lose my 4 year old opal male the night the temperature dropped do -40 windchill- he fell asleep on the wrong side of the pen and did not get up again. We found him in the morning in a "sleeping" position on the cement part of the floor. Worst loss ever- the birds all only saw me taking him away in the morning, and I guess they didn't know that he had died, because they spent the next 3 days "come home" calling for him and breaking my heart.

    We no longer do radiant heat from lamps- now we have a heated perch so they have contact heat, and all of my peas spent the winter hunkered down on that. We also installed a temporary radiant space heater in the coop for extra cold days, since the "coop" part (rather than the flight pen) is small enough for that to be effective. We just don't let them out of the coop when the temp is supposed to get too low for a day.

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