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How do chickens deal with snow in the run?

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 

I live in northern CT.  We had a mild winter snow wise this year but some winters we can have a foot or more of snow most of the winter.   How much snow can chickens deal with.  Do I need to cover my run?

post #2 of 20

Covering part of your run is a good idea. I've heard of some flocks that don't seem to mind deep snow but my chickens refuse to exit the coop when it snows and after several days in a row they get pretty scraggly looking. We currently shovel out the run when it gets thick since I also need to be able to get to the coop and the bumped out nests but our snow storms are usually few and far between (except this winter of course). If next winter is similar to this one we are definitley going to cover half of the run. If you do cover the run be sure and leave them some sunshine in the uncovered area.

post #3 of 20

My neighbours' chickens happily free ranged in the five inches of snow we had this year. On days when I had been asked to look after them and make sure they were all back inside by dark I could just follow the footprints to find where they were hiding. The snow didn't seem to bother them one bit but I don't know how they would cope if it had lain for more than a week or so.

On the other hand, I know another person whose flock won't even come out of the coop if it's been snowing!

I haven't had the chance to find out if mine like snow or not yet. I get the feeling it won't bother them too much though, as they don't mind howling gales and lashing rain. Seems like they'd rather be outside than inside no matter how grim the weather is. But that's UK weather of course, and it never gets too cold here.

Breeder of Marsh Daisies; keeper of a pick-n-mix laying flock of Leghorns, Marans, ISA Browns, Black Rocks, Daisy culls and various Mystery Muttleys. The dogs in my avatar pic are fat Sam, the assumed cross of a greedy black Lab and a sneaky Collie, and grumpy Meg, the smallest and narkiest Jack Russell for 50 miles in any direction.
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Breeder of Marsh Daisies; keeper of a pick-n-mix laying flock of Leghorns, Marans, ISA Browns, Black Rocks, Daisy culls and various Mystery Muttleys. The dogs in my avatar pic are fat Sam, the assumed cross of a greedy black Lab and a sneaky Collie, and grumpy Meg, the smallest and narkiest Jack Russell for 50 miles in any direction.
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post #4 of 20

smile  My girls won't go out in the snow,yet they'll be right on my boots to peck at it.   idunno   cool

Woody      I have Buff Orpingtons and Seramas.
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Woody      I have Buff Orpingtons and Seramas.
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post #5 of 20

My girls REFUSE to go out in the snow. And that's a bummer since we have it from November through March.

My run is covered, but the snow will still blow in. Granted, it's not as bad/deep as if there was no roof, but I still have to shovel.

My friends all think I've flown the coop....
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My friends all think I've flown the coop....
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post #6 of 20

Mine dealt with it by staying inside.

To be fair, we had 12" in a night, which is unusual for our area, then it just kept coming for two weeks.  In an inch or less, they just went right out.

post #7 of 20

mine walk aorund in it complaining..loudly...then they stand by the door and loudly inform me that they want more food and that the snow is cramping their style...so mainly they get loud and complain

Gig 'em Aggies!  Whoop!
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Gig 'em Aggies!  Whoop!
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post #8 of 20

Mine wouldn't go out at all, even if I shoveled it down almost bare.   I'm going to cover my run this winter.

-- Deanne
Mom to two sweet boys and fun flock of 2 W leghorns, a spec Sus, a white SL, a constantly broody BO and a hilarious BR.

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-- Deanne
Mom to two sweet boys and fun flock of 2 W leghorns, a spec Sus, a white SL, a constantly broody BO and a hilarious BR.

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post #9 of 20

Mine seldom go out voluntarily (at least not early in the winter) -- they have oodles of indoor space -- but I find that if I chuck them out the door manually and give them something to DO out there, e.g. scatter sunflower seeds around, they get used to it and start going out more on their own. Putting down straw or mulch-hay helps, if the snow has gotten very icy. But, all chickens are different tongue

Good luck, have fun,

Pat

post #10 of 20

The snow that falls in Missouri apparently eats chickens.  Mine are terrified of it.   Won't step a foot in it and I have tried to force them. Well you would have thought I turned a fox loose amongst them the comotion that goes on.

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