Winter protection for Japanese bantams

goldysgirl

Crowing
9 Years
May 1, 2010
367
773
252
Does anyone have advice for successfully keeping Japanese bantams in cold climates? I live in Pennsylvania...winter temps frequently in teens and single digits...less often subzero. I would like to do whatever is neccesary to keep beautiful "Tiny" happy and healthy and his huge gorgeous comb intact. Heat? Coop insulation? Tiny is pictured in my avatar.
Thanks for any tips you can give!
 

CCUK

Free Flying
Jan 21, 2018
5,839
29,304
1,182
North Notts, UK
My Coop
My Coop
Does anyone have advice for successfully keeping Japanese bantams in cold climates? I live in Pennsylvania...winter temps frequently in teens and single digits...less often subzero. I would like to do whatever is neccesary to keep beautiful "Tiny" happy and healthy and his huge gorgeous comb intact. Heat? Coop insulation? Tiny is pictured in my avatar.
Thanks for any tips you can give!
Chickens manage quite well in cold climates so long as they have a decent coop and run. Make sure it is well ventilated to allow moisture to escape but not draughty. A good size covered run will allow them to be outside without having to stand in the rain or snow. If it is exceptionally cold you can put a smear of baseline on his comb to help protect him from frostbite.
 

goldysgirl

Crowing
9 Years
May 1, 2010
367
773
252
Lady I buy my Bantams from Runs heat for all her bantams. I also run heat for mine..
Do you use heat lamps? During what temps? Is your coop insulated? Mine is pretty tight other than the windows, but no insulation. I was thinking about adding some plastic to seal the windows up and insulating the roof and/or walls if that would help. The roof has a ridge vent the full length of the coop. It used to have all large fowl, and they did well with heat lamps that were on only in single digits and subzero temps. I am worried about my Japanese getting frostbite.
I tried vaseline in the past on large fowl roos with single combs and they still got frostbite, but they were in an unheated coop.
 

goldysgirl

Crowing
9 Years
May 1, 2010
367
773
252
Chickens manage quite well in cold climates so long as they have a decent coop and run. Make sure it is well ventilated to allow moisture to escape but not draughty. A good size covered run will allow them to be outside without having to stand in the rain or snow. If it is exceptionally cold you can put a smear of baseline on his comb to help protect him from frostbite.
I have never been able to get my birds to go outside in the snow, even if it is just a dusting. I would like to cover the run, but i dont think it would support snow and ice without lots of modification. It is a chain link kennel.
 

chickens really

Crazy Mother of Goats
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Sep 8, 2015
62,662
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The Funny Farm....Alberta, Canada
Do you use heat lamps? During what temps? Is your coop insulated? Mine is pretty tight other than the windows, but no insulation. I was thinking about adding some plastic to seal the windows up and insulating the roof and/or walls if that would help. The roof has a ridge vent the full length of the coop. It used to have all large fowl, and they did well with heat lamps that were on only in single digits and subzero temps. I am worried about my Japanese getting frostbite.
I tried vaseline in the past on large fowl roos with single combs and they still got frostbite, but they were in an unheated coop.
Yes I use a heat lamp and turn it on when it's below 0C or my water freezes and my Birds stop moving around. My Coop is fully insulted. My Run is covered in mesh wire with a tarp over top. I also put up vapour barrier plastic on the sides to block out wind and snow.
My Ducks live in a chainlink dog run and it has a chainlink top with a tarp over top. I've never had a problem with too much snow building up on the top..
 

goldysgirl

Crowing
9 Years
May 1, 2010
367
773
252
Yes I use a heat lamp and turn it on when it's below 0C or my water freezes and my Birds stop moving around. My Coop is fully insulted. My Run is covered in mesh wire with a tarp over top. I also put up vapour barrier plastic on the sides to block out wind and snow.
My Ducks live in a chainlink dog run and it has a chainlink top with a tarp over top. I've never had a problem with too much snow building up on the top..
Thanks! That information really helps! I will try a tarp over the run this year. Are your coop walls filled with fiberglass insulation? I was thinking about using blue board and then covering with some type of thin sheeting.
 

Alaskan

The Frosted Flake
Premium Feather Member
13 Years
Jul 26, 2008
33,533
67,149
1,412
Kenai Peninsula, Alaska
My Coop
My Coop
Does anyone have advice for successfully keeping Japanese bantams in cold climates? I live in Pennsylvania...winter temps frequently in teens and single digits...less often subzero. I would like to do whatever is neccesary to keep beautiful "Tiny" happy and healthy and his huge gorgeous comb intact. Heat? Coop insulation? Tiny is pictured in my avatar.
Thanks for any tips you can give!

For Japanese bantams, they have a very small body, and not as much fluff compared to other bantams. I would probably try to keep them at 20F and warmer. So, for temps lower than that, yes, heat would be a good idea.

Heat lamps are not great, especially if you have gusting icy wind. I once opened my coop door, and a gust of wind from the open door made the heat lamp shatter all over.

Heat plates that hang on the wall, heating mats (like those used in dog kennels), heat tape (if covered from chicken pecking), and engine block heaters (if put between pavers or tiles), can all be safer options. All though still have to be checked regularly, kept clean, and watch the plugs!

I was thinking about adding some plastic to seal the windows up and insulating the roof and/or walls if that would help.
No to sealing up the windows. That will increase moisture and increase frostbite risk as well as increase risk of respiratory illnesses. Keep a large window open. Usually if only one side of the coop has vents, then the wind does not blow through.

Insulation is great if you have lots of wind that hits the coop. If you don't have lots of wind, it can still be good, but not as important. Roof insulation is usually more important than wall insulation since 1. Insulating the roof reduces condensation and humidity issues and 2. Less likely to get a bunch of rodents in the roof insulation and 3. More heat goes out the roof than the sides.

I tried vaseline in the past on large fowl roos with single combs and they still got frostbite, but they were in an unheated coop.

I have never found the vaseline thing to be useful.... I rather think it makes it worse.

If you are set on not losing ANY of those lovely comb points... maybe you need him in a closed up heated building with a great air exchanger to ensure fresh air. I am not sure there is any other way to keep the points perfect in those temps.

I do know people in interior Alaska that keep poultry in completely locked up and heated housing with quality air exchangers. So it can be done... you just have to decide if you want to.

BUT, if you close up the coop and heat it up to 35F or whatever...you NEED some kind of air exchange.

I would like to cover the run, but i dont think it would support snow and ice without lots of modification. It is a chain link kennel.

That completely depends on how much snow tends to fall where you are.

You could make a wood frame on top of the kennel, or one supported by posts that just surrounds the kennel... or whatever... to make a sloped roof...

But, if you only use a tarp flat over the top of the kennel, a big heavy snow fall that falls while you are at work or asleep, can easily bend and bust everything.

How likely that is where you live...no idea...

I was thinking about using blue board and then covering with some type of thin sheeting.

Yes. That would work. Just remember rodents. Either make sure that they can NOT enter the coop....or cover up the insulation in such a way that rodents can't get past. Or... screw on the insulation covering so you can pop it off to replace insulation after the rodents find it.
 

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