Ameraucana Breeders Club

The Official Forum of the Ameraucana Breeders Club => Housing, Health & Hatching => Topic started by: kkdossey on February 01, 2022, 10:44:11 AM

Title: Cold Weather Tolerance
Post by: kkdossey on February 01, 2022, 10:44:11 AM
I live in Fort Worth, Texas.  And I know most of you live in colder areas than me.  We have some cold weather coming and I wanted to ask some advice.  I know in general the birds can handle much colder than I probably will ever get here, but I have a question.  I have some pens built up off the ground.  They are covered on top and back and open in front and ventilated below. The birds stay dry in there just fine, but I'm concerned how much cold they can take like this.  Last winter we had worse cold and for longer, I moved them all out as it was my first winter with these cages, but would kind of like to know how cold they might be ok in here.  Pic is of the pens. Thanks Yankees! 
Title: Re: Cold Weather Tolerance
Post by: Birdcrazy on February 01, 2022, 02:30:01 PM
Kris, it is truly amazing what the Ameraucana Breed can tolerate in cold weather. I often think the cold weather is harder on me than my birds. When the temps get below zero and wind chill sets in, poor me, I have to take breaks to go inside to warm up. (More than once) The birds however have to keep out in the cold. Chore time for me is normally about 1 hour and 15 minutes a day, but in the sub-zero weather it can be hours. One thing about the Ameraucana Breed, is with the small pea comb, I do not have the combs freeze and fall off as when I had single comb birds.

Now on your question about housing. My main LF breeding pens and grow out pens are close to what you describe in your situation. I was tired of predators killing birds by digging into my pens with a shelter attached. About 15 years ago to try to combat this I started making my LF Breeding pens and my grow out pens 4 feet off the ground. Each one has a small house with a wood floor, enclosed on 4 sides and a metal roof. There is a small door for them to go to a runout pen. The runout pens have 1/2 x 1 welded wire bottoms (also 4 feet off the ground), sides and the ends are 1 x 1 welded wire mesh 24 inches tall. The tops are 1 x 1 welded wire mesh. Originally, I used 1 inch poultry netting for the sides and top of the runs. This worked well for me for about 12 years with no problems. Then about 2 years ago I started having raccoons tear into the poultry netting and kill birds. So last year I covered the poultry netting with 1 x 1 welded wire mesh. The birds seem to tolerate the cold weather well with this setup. Occasionally I might have adult bantams in these setups. My bantams are mainly in a regular chicken house in wire cages. It always seems to be a few degrees warmer in the chicken house than the outside pens for my bantams. I do have one other outside overflow pen for breeders in reserve that are not my primary breeders. it is off the ground also, but no enclosed shelter. The top and 3 sides are covered with a tarp and is open on the south side. The birds seem to endure well in this outside pen also.
Title: Re: Cold Weather Tolerance
Post by: kkdossey on February 01, 2022, 03:03:43 PM
Thanks Gordon, I guess they should be ok then in my set up.