Winter Safety

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by prose15, Dec 5, 2013.

  1. prose15

    prose15 In the Brooder

    Jul 22, 2013
    An ice storm is headed our way in the next 48 hours. Is there anything I need to do to prepare my chickens. My coop is located on the south side of a large hay barn. There are vents located on either side of it. Here is a picture of it< Will my chickens be ok? They are app. 26 weeks old. Thanks, prose15
  2. Shalom Farm

    Shalom Farm Chirping

    Nov 23, 2013
    If possible, leave only 1 or 2 vents open and seal the windows/door of the ones in the direction the wind will be blowing. When I was up north I put down extra shavings. The big concern is water. The birds will huddle to keep warm if it gets chilly inside, but the water might freeze if it gets too cold. I would check a few times a day and replace with warm water. They should be fine. If the coop is generally warm in the winter, they will definitely be okay. If it tends to get drafty be careful if you've breeds with large combs. Prepare their combs to prevent frostbite. I would keep my girls in during ice storms when I lived up north.

  3. prose15

    prose15 In the Brooder

    Jul 22, 2013
    Thanks, I have three Barred Plymouth Rocks, two Rhode Island Reds, and one unknown. The door is closed and I will check on them at daylight. I'm in the West Tennessee, so the worst is yet to come. Would Vaseline reduce the chances of frostbite?
  4. I don't know much about frost bite, but if I am correct a flat slab of wood rather then a round perch reduces the chance of frost bite on their toes. Oh and DON'T give them a heat lamp, for there is a chance of fire, and if there is a power outage they will be used to heat and possibly freeze. So please don't use a heat lamp.
    Good Luck!
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2013
  5. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Songster

    Dec 15, 2011
    SE Pa.
    When I see some recommending a wide flat surface for them to roost on to keep their toes warm I usually smile and go on. They are birds that roost and as such they like to grip the perch while they sleep. If you go out and look at them roosting most of them will be on the front edge of the perch with their toes hanging over the edge no matter how wide the board is. If you are going out there also note that they are sitting down fluffed out and the toes are covered with their feathers, to the point that you can barely see their toes if at all. Add to the fact if they don't move, the perch it self gets warmed by the chicken, think of a warm bed. In my book once you go over say two inches all your are doing is adding more surface in the coop to clean. Frost bitten toes usually happen when they are up and manage to get their feet wet on a really cold day, not when thy have them tucked in and dry at night.
  6. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Crowing

    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    I agree, I use a flat board during the summer, when I have a broody and chicks, but mine prefer a round perch. I have had frost bit combs, but never frostbit toes.

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