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Chickens in the winter

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

I understand that chickens can be outside in the winter, but how long do we allow them to stay out?  Do you leave your coop door open and allow them to come and go as they please?  Today we had a windy 30 degrees and I was wondering what I should be doing when I get chickens.  Do you only allow them out a cetain time?  I was just wondering because how long will chickens stay in a coop before they feel like the walls are closing in?  Sorry, that's how I feel sometimes!

post #2 of 15

i don't have your answer.  my situation is about 30 degrees warmer as a rule.  here in Tx i've been letting the chicks out briefly (4 wks old).  they're largely feathered, but have a ways to go.  they run around in the cold (50 & breezy).  the door is left open, but they don't want to come inside.  i run them back in after about 30 minutes & they cuddle under the heat lamp awhile to warm up then start roaming around the coop again. 

i'm always amazed at the cold the chickens tolerate.  some of y'all get some brutal cold.  we just get brutal hot.

post #3 of 15

They are self regulating, Mine are outside all day long, although it has been a mild winter there have been some cold days under thirty. After a a little snow it's like it is the first time they ever saw it. If it's really freezing out I wait on letting them out a little bit,cold just don't seem to bother them. Seeing your in a colder climate and like me it probably gets hot too. Check out the breed chart before you get any to better suit your weather conditions.

"The difference between being involved and being committed is the same as the difference between eggs and bacon. The chicken is involved. But the pig is committed"  Anonymous

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"The difference between being involved and being committed is the same as the difference between eggs and bacon. The chicken is involved. But the pig is committed"  Anonymous

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post #4 of 15

Full grown chickens can decide for themselves if they want to be in or out. Here in the PNW if I tried to keep them in when the weather is bad, they'd never get outside! So, they go out in the mud and the rain and do fine. Just like my kids lol.

Rachel BB

 

"At the cross You beckon me, You draw me gently to my knees and I am lost for words, so lost in love I am sweetly broken, wholly surrendered"

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Rachel BB

 

"At the cross You beckon me, You draw me gently to my knees and I am lost for words, so lost in love I am sweetly broken, wholly surrendered"

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post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 

Okay, thank you.  It sounds like I will just be opening the door and allowing them to choose.  I have chosen winter hardy breeds but I still just don't know since I don't have them yet. 

post #6 of 15

I let my birds out first thing in the morning and they stay out, except to lay and get some food a couple times a day, until roost time.  They do not like staying in the coop and only will if the snow is too deep.  I bought cold hardy birds and they are that.  Out of 6 hens I get 3-4 eggs a day, all winter.  In the summer and fall they were putting out 5-6 a day.  God made animals to be able to deal with the weather.

 

Sal

Husband, father to a daughter and son.  11 laying hens, 2 Plymouth Partridge Rocks, 2 White Rocks, 3 Barred Rocks, 1 Americauna, 1 Speckled Sussex, 2 Buff Opringtons!!



http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/670318/my-coop-project-pic-heavy/30#post_9165029
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Husband, father to a daughter and son.  11 laying hens, 2 Plymouth Partridge Rocks, 2 White Rocks, 3 Barred Rocks, 1 Americauna, 1 Speckled Sussex, 2 Buff Opringtons!!



http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/670318/my-coop-project-pic-heavy/30#post_9165029
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post #7 of 15

Mine are out no mater the weather, pop door is open all day. They come & go as they please. They can seek refuge under the coop from the wind & rain/snow. They would much rather be outside than inside in my opinion. Last winter on the coldest day (-8) they were all piled up by the pop door waiting for it to be opened & they spent the day outside w/ no issues. I do also have cold hearty birds. 

Hope that helps you out.

Do what you love & love what you do. Simplicity is the essence of happiness.
I have O.C.D...Obsessive Chicken Disorder!!!
My little piece of heaven is in the northeast..me & my DH, 1 DD, 1 DS, & owned by 18 chickens ~ 3 Wellies,  2 BO's, 2 GLW's, 2 EE's, 3 Barnies, 2 FBCM, 1 SS, 2 SF & 1 Aussie!  "Member of the Derperella Club-- We're just all goin' round' the rooster, here!"

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Do what you love & love what you do. Simplicity is the essence of happiness.
I have O.C.D...Obsessive Chicken Disorder!!!
My little piece of heaven is in the northeast..me & my DH, 1 DD, 1 DS, & owned by 18 chickens ~ 3 Wellies,  2 BO's, 2 GLW's, 2 EE's, 3 Barnies, 2 FBCM, 1 SS, 2 SF & 1 Aussie!  "Member of the Derperella Club-- We're just all goin' round' the rooster, here!"

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post #8 of 15

Mine are walking all over the yard, with snow up to their knees. Just walking around making chicky highway tracks everywhere. They found the compost and pockets of grass, from walking back and forth from the coop. Its funny to watch them, the last one in line has it easy and flattened down for them lol, Winter don't stop them. Mine love it, they will probably hate the summer heat. idunno.gif

 

 

  

 

 

NPIP 31-538   

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NPIP 31-538   

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post #9 of 15

As adults they can tolerate temperatures below -10 F almost indefinantly so long as food is adequate and they can get protection from wind.  Sometimes protection from wind is little more than a bush.  Winter concerns will ultimately be directed to ensuring adequate nutrition and predators. 

 

Alos consider frostbite.  Roosters have big combs?

Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it.
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Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it.
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post #10 of 15

In the winter I put up tarps along the prevailing wind side of the run. The pop door stays open so they can come and go as the please. They do not mind the cold at all.

I have even seen them in the run on the roost on a bitterly cold morning. I think they where escaping the timed light in the coop in order to get a few more zzzzzz.

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