Los Angeles Urban Chicken Enthusiasts Message Board › careful of the cold

careful of the cold

Pete K.
user 54883572
Los Angeles, CA
Post #: 12
Hi chicken friends, if you have chicks younger than 10 weeks or so I'd suggest being careful of the cold nights. I don't mean to make you anxious, but I did lose a very healthy 7 week old chick last night... my favorite. It got down to around freezing in Altadena last night. If you have young ones integrating into the flock, I'd recommend placing them together in one of your laying boxes with a good amount of bedding. This way they can snuggle together if they need to. I've noticed that after dark, when I move a chicken who has already settled down (e.g. into the coop) the chicken will often stay where placed. This might mean she won't be able to snuggle. If she is still a little one she could freeze. I think this is what happened.

Laura B.
LauraBonilla
Group Organizer
Norco, CA
Post #: 354
Pete, so sorry about your chick! i've been concerned about it the last couple of nights have been very cold! I'm making sure my bantams sleep close together and on top of clothes/towels just to make it a bit warmer for them...

Insulating may be a good idea as well... I have started but my project is running late! and when I put some styrofoam against the ceiling, they went crazy reaching for it and eating it!!! I had to take it down... I didn't think they would touch it. it's above their heads but they would jump from their night boards!!! I also put those rubber things all around the doors and windows, but they have chewed at it too...
Roberta K.
user 10948851
Los Angeles, CA
Post #: 247
I was wondering about the young ones. I have some 2 month old chicks outside and i found them trying to crawl under each other. I was wondering what they were doing. I was outside in a short sleeve shirt so I didn't think it was that cold. Hmmmm... I have a very open coop with sides on just 3 sides.
Kelli
user 11160354
Long Beach, CA
Post #: 8
Thank you for this post! I always read how they are fine down to single digits...but do love the idea of extra bedding and putting them together to snuggle...the young ones do get last choice of good spots, as the old gals aren't keen on having them push in. I made a separate lower, more protected roost in the corner for my 4 pullets and they immediately took to it as their spot and a few of the older bantams like it there too...they are more equal in size and can totally relate. It's very cute.
Ann
Prayerwheel
Sunland, CA
Post #: 94
I am in the middle of reading Harvey Ussery's book, The Small Scale Poultry Flock and he goes into good detail, along with examples from another well know breeder, about how it's essential for the health of the birds to have adequate ventilation but no drafts, this confuses me a bit. He shows pix (and floor plans) of his coops and of the other person's and there is snow on the ground etc. He says the birds are very cold tolerant (I am sure this varies amongst the breeds, he doesn't appear to raise Silkies), but susceptible to draft.
He says that the more airtight a coop is, the more problems one will have with bacteria & ammonia buildup which can be very bad for causing disease .
It is a very good read and provides food for thought about the optimal way to care for birds, which of course varies as we all have widely diverse conditions and need to find what works well for each of us individually. One of my favorite sayings is "Knowledge = Power" and it holds true 100% of the time for me :0)
Cheers!
Ann
A former member
Post #: 278
I am really sorry Pete to hear about your loss. Whether hens need insulation depends on the breed and whether they are feathered (old enough, non-moulting, etc). Generally, as Ann mentioned as long as there is no draft, especially in Los Angeles, there is no need for insulation. I can provide you with a shipping label if you are interested in having the bird tested.
A former member
Post #: 27
When researching about chickens and weather I recommend caution as a lot of the info is based on conditions that may not exist where you live. That being said, I enjoy the HENCAM.com blog. The blogger, Terry Golson offers great advice as she has been raising chickens for over a decade, lives in Massachusetts where it gets below freezing and snows and doesn't heat or light her coops. Plus you can watch her chickens on her webcams in realtime.
Ann
Prayerwheel
Sunland, CA
Post #: 95
Hey Daniel! That IS a great site, I like her style, thanks for the suggestion! As I wrote, knowledge = power, the more knowledge from a variety of seasoned experts, the better. This can greatly assist us in making educated choices on what's best for our birds :0)
Heres an article on her site about this topic of lighting coops/egg production: http://hencam.com/hen...­

Cheers!
Ann
Pete K.
user 54883572
Los Angeles, CA
Post #: 13
For adult birds, cold tolerance does vary by breed. I doubt in LA it gets cold enough to pose a problem for adult birds of any breed (I'm not sure about this though... and if they get wet all bets are off). I'm not concerned about my adult chooks. However, if it still makes sense to measure a bird's age in weeks I would simply suggest being careful. In my case, I feel that if the bird had been a few weeks older, or if I'd placed her in a nest box with her friend that night, she would have been fine.

Thanks for the well wishes. If I may philosophize for a moment, I'd point out the obvious fact that if you have chickens, you will also have death, sooner or later. I feel a responsibility to educate myself and make good decisions for my birds, and I made this post to help prevent someone else from making my mistake. My 6-year-old cried, but I think it was good for him to directly experience that all things arise, stay for some time, and then pass away.
Pete K.
user 54883572
Los Angeles, CA
Post #: 14
Another thing I learned from this, btw, is that it's probably not a great idea to hatch eggs in September. It seems obvious now, but I had a strong motivation (I had just re-homed my rooster).
Powered by mvnForum

People in this
Meetup are also in:

Sign up

Meetup members, Log in

By clicking "Sign up" or "Sign up using Facebook", you confirm that you accept our Terms of Service & Privacy Policy