How much cold can they stand?

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Re: How much cold can they stand?

Postby pennyblack chooks » Mon Jan 09, 2012 7:30 pm

Mine slept in an outdoor covered pen through all that cold weather last winter and were fine but it was protected from rain and behind a hedge with covers round the side to keep off the wind. They were absolutely fine. The pen has gone due to rat's tunnelling in, documented in another thread, but if I hadn't had that problem I'd still be using that pen for night time for them. They don't need artificial warmth, just a good supply of water and food, good health and their natural feather warmth.
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Re: How much cold can they stand?

Postby Stapfam » Mon Jan 09, 2012 10:53 pm

This year is not that cold but had a few freezing nights. I currently have one hen that is being picked on and blood has been drawn so she is in a separate run with only a small box to roost in at night. She has another chicken in there for company. That roosting box is very thin but is windproof. One frosty night and I decided to check on them and the pair of them were up on the perch snuggled up together.As they were quiet I lifted one up and could not believe how warm she was. It was like holding a hot water bottle.
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Re: How much cold can they stand?

Postby Chuck » Tue Jan 10, 2012 12:35 am

I agree about the additional factors about the birds that died.

Should be enough on here, particularly Dorinda's -20 and pennyblack's account of open roosting to convince people that hens are hardy !
If you are willing to go that extra mile for your poultry - make sure you're going in the right direction !
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Re: How much cold can they stand?

Postby foxy » Tue Jan 10, 2012 10:13 am

Talking about hardiness, I do remember hearing a lovely story, a chap thought he hd lost a hen in a particulary cold spell to the fox. He found her 3 weeks later guiding her young chicks through the snow towards the main hen house! :D
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Re: How much cold can they stand?

Postby chrismahon » Tue Jan 10, 2012 6:32 pm

That's a nice story Foxy.

Just to follow up on Marigold's comment. Yes, highly likely they hadn't had water for days and that's why they died. Knowing the individuals concerned as I do -arrogant, selfish and materialistic. They probably only had the chickens to keep up with their neighbours. Their kids have become problematic now, which doesn't surprise me at all!
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How much cold can they stand?

Postby Marigold » Tue Jan 10, 2012 7:45 pm

I hope they didn't get another lot- ( not sure if I mean kids or chooks!)
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Re: How much cold can they stand?

Postby chrismahon » Tue Jan 10, 2012 8:00 pm

Well Marigold, they had the cheek to ask us if we had any for sale. We told them we had none, even though we had many we were desperate to sell. It would have been condemming our 'babies' to to death by neglect!
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Re: How much cold can they stand?

Postby tygrysek75 » Wed Jan 11, 2012 12:39 am

chrismahon wrote:Well Marigold, they had the cheek to ask us if we had any for sale. We told them we had none, even though we had many we were desperate to sell. It would have been condemming our 'babies' to to death by neglect!

Chris you have been so polite with them,if they showed up at my door I would tell them that I have plety to sell but not for them as they had proved to be irresponsible and neglectfull,and if i hear that they get new hens would report them to animal welfare office-but this just me painfully honest.
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Re: How much cold can they stand?

Postby Rebelodicus » Wed Jan 11, 2012 12:12 pm

If people couldn't be bothered to go out in the cold to shut their birds up at night in such extreme conditions, it's likely they hadn't gone out 3 times a day to provide liquid water either. These sad deaths Chris reports could have been the result of general neglect- thirsty and maybe even hungry hens going to roost with few resources to draw on to resist the cold.


I suspect there is more truth to this than expected. After seing how some care for their chooks on our Lotties.

IMHO most birds are fine with cold or they migrate ;).... Mine take all the various cold weather and still thrive... but they are given water regular when it freezes, As a mater of fact the pop hole is shut only if it is realy cold (There is a draught proof barrier and it faces away from prevailing winds) and they get a hand full of mixed corn most days before bed. (Good over night fuel)
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How much cold can they stand?

Postby Marigold » Wed Jan 11, 2012 2:12 pm

Yes mine are treated the same way, with a partly-closed pop hole facing in to a covered and sheltered area of the run. I listen to the forecast and if it's going to be really cold, well below freezing, or very windy I do close up, but if it's above freezing I leave them so they can get up when they like. No condensation in the coop ever, and they always go to bed well fed and watered of course.




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