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#95271 - 03/20/11 03:19 PM Cold weather
orrinnh Offline
Chick

Registered: 03/20/11
Posts: 15
Loc: New Hampshire
I live in an area where winter tempertures are common at -20F. with the wind blowing at 30 MPH. I use to raise chickens about 20 years ago. I have had broilers, sex link egg birds and bantams. This was in a warmer location with more shelter. I would like to get back into chickens as a hobby as I am now retired. Does anyone have experience with very cold weather? I'm looking for advice on coop design etc. in this climate. Thanks!

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#95283 - 03/20/11 08:52 PM Re: Cold weather [Re: orrinnh]
Uno Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 08/26/05
Posts: 1280
Loc: Canada
We live in BC, Canada. My hen house is insulated with 6 inches fibreglass and I heat it with a red heat lamp all winter. The hens could probably survive without the heat lamp but I do not like it when the eggs freeze. My hen house would be warmer if I had insulated the floor, which I did not, this was a mistake.

I keep the food and water outside since having the water inside made a huge moisture problem that was not good. THey have overhead cover outside so they are not standing in snow to eat and drink. Despite going out only to eat and drink and living in a heated hen house, my roosters with big combs still get frostbite on their combs. I think it's from their combs brushing against the cold, metal feeders when they eat. Small combed breeds do not have this problem.

I keep layers all year and do not give them artificial light, accept that laying will slow down in the winter and I feel the girls deserve a break. We only grow meat birds in the warm months, would never even attempt it over winter. I doubt they would survive the cold. Plus, who wants to be butchering when its' freezing cold outside?

Now that you're retired a few birds might be fun to putter with in the backyard. Next you'll buy an incubator...

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#95293 - 03/21/11 07:34 AM Re: Cold weather [Re: Uno]
orrinnh Offline
Chick

Registered: 03/20/11
Posts: 15
Loc: New Hampshire
Uno,thanks for the information. When I was a kid my family raised many egg and meat birds. I always had a few Bantams of my own. This was in Southeastern Massachusetts where it is quite warm in the winter. When my own kids were young we lived in Southern New Hampshire and had 4H projects as well as some meat and egg birds. Again the tempertures were warmer than my present location. I live about 10 miles from the Quebec border in an open field. Some of our farming neighbors have chickens, but keep them in the cow barn for heat in the winter. Not much experience with a small backyard flock. With help from people like you I hope to make this work as I do enjoy keeping chickens. Thanks!

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#96859 - 06/10/11 09:43 AM Re: Cold weather [Re: orrinnh]
MMC11 Offline
New Egg

Registered: 06/10/11
Posts: 1
Loc: MONTANA
Check out BUCKEYE chickens for a very strong, hardy breed, of excellent tempermant.

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