Added December 28, 2022
Chickens with large, compact bodies are more tolerant of the cold then smaller breeds (especially bantams) and linear shaped birds due to less surface area. Silkies and naked neck breeds have less insulation due to their unique feathering and need additional protection. Chickens who are older, molting, special needs, sick, underweight, have circulation or heart issues, injured, or lower in the pecking order may have more difficulty maintaining their core body temperature without an external heat source, leading to frostbite and death. Prolonged or extreme cold exposure is very stressful on a chicken's body, which can weaken the immune system, leading to immunosuppression which can make them more susceptible to illness and trigger stress-induced diseases such as Marek's and disease and mycoplasma.
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