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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
do you give your chickens any special treats when it is cold to help them stay warm?

I've been giving mine black oil sunflower seeds. It's going to be real real cold over night tomorrow.
Just wondering if anyone else feeds their chickens anything different if it's cold.
 

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Oil seeds are the regular mainstay of their diet here along with the table scraps. They ignore the egg layer feed when the seeds are available. Chickens prefer the cold of winter to the heat of summer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
negative 22 windchill - I don't know if anyone prefers that... :)

It feels like it wouldn't be so bad if it wasn't 32 right now.
Such a drop.
 

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negative 22 windchill - I don't know if anyone prefers that... :)

It feels like it wouldn't be so bad if it wasn't 32 right now.
Such a drop.
Dairy cattle produce best when temps are around 32*F.

Wind chill only affects those who have sweat glands and are naked outside.

I hate when they report "Wind Chill.".. Nobody's gunna tell ME how I feel.
 

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Cracked corn is good for heat.
Currently my chickens are getting a mix of corn, triticale, and layer crumbles.
Equal amounts. Plus grit and oyster shells.
Keep the water going. I do several trips a day out to them.
I also make them a warm mush that goes into separate pans for them.
 

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Cracked corn is good for heat.
Currently my chickens are getting a mix of corn, triticale, and layer crumbles.
Equal amounts. Plus grit and oyster shells.
Keep the water going. I do several trips a day out to them.
I also make them a warm mush that goes into separate pans for them.
Whats wrong with giving them a red heat lamp
 

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HOW do they DO that?
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I give a dose of electrolyte/vitamins, soaked into some rolled oats or rye(to avoid wattle dippage in open liquid), once a week if high temps are below 10°F. Has really decreased cold stress issues.
Will also toss some boss out, just to monitor activity levels and look for birds that may be too lethargic.
Otherwise they get the same feed they do all year.
 

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We get down to -15 for a few weeks every winter , I kept a lamp in the coop 4 or 5 months a year .
The lite helps with egg production and gives them a warm spot .
My girls really like bacon fat on there seed .
And they really start laying .
 

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I raise very expensive chickens and have for over 30 yrs. I feed a good 10 way scratch grain thats 16 percent protein year around. In winter I do no more than make sure the ice is dumped out of their waterer or I soak the feed in lukewarm water. They will stay warm on their own as long as feed a regular amount of feed. But will be in trouble without adequate water. go out and put your hand up under a roosted chicken. Its nice and toasty warm under there. We had a ice storm come through one time and I had chickens that were fully exposed as they chose to roost in the open instead of in shelter. They were fine after all was said and done. If you want to do anything make sure they have somewhere to get where the wind cant get to them. In a shelter. Or outside with just a sheet of plastic a tarp or whatever blocking the wind from them
 

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Heat lamp ......no
I tried about a month ago for a heat lamp... Built a cage to house it in. So if it fell, it would not touch the floor directly. Couple of bantams decided they needed to roost where I did not want them to.My flock is all bantams except for the 3 leghorn hens and my ducks. My other concern is, if I get them used to a heat lamp and then we lose power that would not be a good thing. The sleeping coop is 8 by 8 by 8 feet. That is now at one end of my 12 by 32 foot coop. Enclosed in the big room. So the outside walls are metal and the roof. The little room made out of wood, has metal sides on the 2 outside walls. So during the day in winter, I keep the human door in it shut . The little chicken door is open to the big room and the birds can go in and out when they want to. The little room has the nest boxes. So far, I have only had water freeze in it a few times. I also put plastic on the window that faces outside. They sleep in little room in lockdown for the night. My floor in the big room is dirt. Late last fall, I got some bags of mulch for $ 1 each at TSC and I banked the base of the outside walls on 2 sides. It made a difference this winter. One long wall , in common, is the back wall of our garage. So that is weather protected. I go into garage. Then go in bunny room which is a addition on the garage. Then from there go into my big room for the chickens. So I have protection from the weather once I get into the garage. A heat lamp if it malfunctioned, could destroy my coop, my rabbits, and the garage. Not a good idea. Currently temps are below zero here for yesterday and today. Birds doing okay. They appreciate the hot pot of food I take out to them in the morning.
Our garage walls and roof are all metal. The addition on the side was wood walls and metal roof. But that now has metal wall covering the wood. A few years back, I had a chance to buy some metal sheeting at $ 1 a linear foot. I had a chance to buy 550 feet. I bought it all. That metal also wrapped our wood shed, And it did the roof on our other shed. What little was left. I flipped for $ 1.50 a foot. I did keep a little of it. One of my better deals :) At the time, new metal sheets were selling here for $ 2.60 a linear foot.
 

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STILL not Alice
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We feed corn and BOSS, in addition to the store bought pellets. I also add some hot pepper on occasion.

When I am loaded with eggs, I will scramble them up for the chickens, adding a bit of corn meal. Sometimes, I'll add a bit of cat kibble.
 
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I raise very expensive chickens and have for over 30 yrs. I feed a good 10 way scratch grain thats 16 percent protein year around. In winter I do no more than make sure the ice is dumped out of their waterer or I soak the feed in lukewarm water. They will stay warm on their own as long as feed a regular amount of feed. But will be in trouble without adequate water. go out and put your hand up under a roosted chicken. Its nice and toasty warm under there. We had a ice storm come through one time and I had chickens that were fully exposed as they chose to roost in the open instead of in shelter. They were fine after all was said and done. If you want to do anything make sure they have somewhere to get where the wind cant get to them. In a shelter. Or outside with just a sheet of plastic a tarp or whatever blocking the wind from them
Yes, all good advice, they do have a place to go out of the draft. There are two coops and both have waterers with heaters in them so they don't freeze. I also give them a bowl of water in the run and go out every couple hours to break up the ice. They love a bowl of water, I've observed. I've been giving them two cans of whole kernel corn and BOSS each morning.


Now, tell me more about your very expensive chickens - what's the deal with that?
 
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