Just how cold-tolerant are your chickens? Turns out, most breeds are quite hardy in the cold. You can look up how hardy your breed is in this handy table. It looks like most laying breeds are pretty hardy... it's the showy ones that don't do so well in the cold or heat. Lucky for us, our Plymouth Rocks are very cold hardy, so they must think living in California is a dream (like their owners do).
Even if your chooks are hardy, there are at least a couple things you want to make sure of when the mercury dips low:
- ensure ready access to fresh water: make sure your water source doesn't ice over. Easily remedied by purchasing a water heater for your coop. Or check out this video of using a 60W bulb to keep the water unfrozen.
- protect the chooks from frost bite: yes, those red flappy things (the comb and wattles) can get frostbitten, so when you know it's going to be freezing out for an extended period of time, get some vaseline on the red bits to protect them. Here's a nice explanation as to how to protect the combs.
What are you doing to keep your urban chicken flock warm this winter?