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Thread: How are your farm critters handling the cold?

  1. #1

    How are your farm critters handling the cold?

    Just wanted to check in to see how everyone's critters are handling the bitter cold?

    So far I have not lost any chickens but I figure it's because the chicken pens are attached to the barn. The horses body heat has to help a bit.

    I always board up the chicken pens in winter to keep wind off of them (most local laws require at least a 3 sided shelter for Winter). I was able to use 2 sliding glass doors from a relative's storm damage to replace some plywood on the sunny side. When the sun shines the glass heats the chicken pens which keeps it from being as cold in there and they get the benefit of the extra light. So, I am looking to gain more glass sliding door panels(heavy durable glass) to add to the pens for Winter .
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  2. #2
    I bowl overhand itsbob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ArkRescue View Post
    Just wanted to check in to see how everyone's critters are handling the bitter cold?

    So far I have not lost any chickens but I figure it's because the chicken pens are attached to the barn. The horses body heat has to help a bit.

    I always board up the chicken pens in winter to keep wind off of them (most local laws require at least a 3 sided shelter for Winter). I was able to use 2 sliding glass doors from a relative's storm damage to replace some plywood on the sunny side. When the sun shines the glass heats the chicken pens which keeps it from being as cold in there and they get the benefit of the extra light. So, I am looking to gain more glass sliding door panels(heavy durable glass) to add to the pens for Winter .
    Enclosed the bottom of the coop on 3 sides so now they have a two story coop with 9 nests.. Pekins stay outside in the sheltered bottom, all the chickens and the 4 Muscovies climb into the second floor totally enclosed coop and have a 250w heat lamp in there.. boxes are on an outside wall on the wrong side of the heat lamp so the only issue we have is frozen eggs..
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  3. #3
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    My chickens seem to be ok. Fully enclosed coop and they hardly want to come out in this weather. Sometimes I force them out for a bit so they'll give one another space. Got a heated water drinker in there as well.

    I'm not using heat lamps, I'd rather not get them accustomed to that amenity.

  4. #4

    Heated

    Have 2 heat lamps and heated water for chickens rabbits and peacocks have heat also every one doing great
    Tomboy38

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by itsbob View Post
    Enclosed the bottom of the coop on 3 sides so now they have a two story coop with 9 nests.. Pekins stay outside in the sheltered bottom, all the chickens and the 4 Muscovies climb into the second floor totally enclosed coop and have a 250w heat lamp in there.. boxes are on an outside wall on the wrong side of the heat lamp so the only issue we have is frozen eggs..
    how many birds do you have? 9 nests is a lot. I have 4 nests for about 25 layers and they all seem to want the same nest lol. I see them standing in line waiting for their turn. Some will sit on the same nest at the same time - cramped. Another pen has 1 nest for about 10 hens, and the last one has 18 hens with 3 nests. With so many hens wanting to use the same nests, the periodic laying allows the existing eggs to get warmed by each hen's body, and I have time to get the eggs usually in the mid afternoon before they freeze. Winter is rough on humans more than the critters mostly.

    I don't provide heat lamps due to the fire risk (my pens are attached to a large 2 story sized barn). Using any electrical in a barn poses a risk, but I hope that the heated water devices won't cause trouble.
    Making a Difference for Critters Big and Small
    We are now a 501 (c)(3) non-profit!
    Please help us by donating - we need supplies for the critters awaiting adoption.
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  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Tomboy38 View Post
    Have 2 heat lamps and heated water for chickens rabbits and peacocks have heat also every one doing great
    I am sure they all appreciate the heat. I have one of my old hens in the house right now. She just has been acting/looking frail, so I didn't want to lose her over the bitter cold. The other older ones are doing great outside.
    Making a Difference for Critters Big and Small
    We are now a 501 (c)(3) non-profit!
    Please help us by donating - we need supplies for the critters awaiting adoption.
    Select us as your Charitable beneficiary on Amazon Smile (smile.amazon.com) CLICK HERE

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Tomboy38 View Post
    Have 2 heat lamps and heated water for chickens rabbits and peacocks have heat also every one doing great
    PS - one day I was outside and saw a couple of peacocks, one being all white. I know the value of peacocks, so I enlisted the help of our volunteer, and we chased after those darn peacocks for the better part of 30 minutes in the heat until we finally caught them. Once I had them both secured in cages, I called my neighbor through the woods (direction they came from) to see if she knew anything about who they belonged to. She said yeah they are probably ours, is one white? Yup! Said she was surprised they ran like that. She was quite grateful to get them back because peacocks are expensive.
    Making a Difference for Critters Big and Small
    We are now a 501 (c)(3) non-profit!
    Please help us by donating - we need supplies for the critters awaiting adoption.
    Select us as your Charitable beneficiary on Amazon Smile (smile.amazon.com) CLICK HERE

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by General Lee View Post
    My chickens seem to be ok. Fully enclosed coop and they hardly want to come out in this weather. Sometimes I force them out for a bit so they'll give one another space. Got a heated water drinker in there as well.

    I'm not using heat lamps, I'd rather not get them accustomed to that amenity.
    I have heard that the problem with providing too much heat is they can get sick/die if you end up with no power during a cold spell. On the other hand I want my critters to also be comfortable, so that's why I am on a mission to get more glass vs. plywood to use as wind barriers in Winter for the chicken pens.
    Making a Difference for Critters Big and Small
    We are now a 501 (c)(3) non-profit!
    Please help us by donating - we need supplies for the critters awaiting adoption.
    Select us as your Charitable beneficiary on Amazon Smile (smile.amazon.com) CLICK HERE

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by ArkRescue View Post
    I have heard that the problem with providing too much heat is they can get sick/die if you end up with no power during a cold spell. On the other hand I want my critters to also be comfortable, so that's why I am on a mission to get more glass vs. plywood to use as wind barriers in Winter for the chicken pens.
    Exactly. In the event the bulb goes out, power outage, etc I don't want them used to it then not have it. Get them accustomed to the cold and keep their coop dry and draft free, they should be fine. I feed a lot of high protein feed as well to help keep them warmer. I'm new at this, but so far so good lol

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by General Lee View Post
    Exactly. In the event the bulb goes out, power outage, etc I don't want them used to it then not have it. Get them accustomed to the cold and keep their coop dry and draft free, they should be fine. I feed a lot of high protein feed as well to help keep them warmer. I'm new at this, but so far so good lol
    I read online in an article that feeding them cracked corn (as I do) in their feed is bad as it promotes obesity. I only have 1 over-weight hen out of about 50 - not bad considering they have food 24/7. I only add cracked corn in Winter as it helps to generate the heat they need to stay warm.
    Making a Difference for Critters Big and Small
    We are now a 501 (c)(3) non-profit!
    Please help us by donating - we need supplies for the critters awaiting adoption.
    Select us as your Charitable beneficiary on Amazon Smile (smile.amazon.com) CLICK HERE

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