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Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by danamillette, Dec 4, 2008.
Would you let your chickens out in this #(*&$*& ????
I would certainly give them the option, but of course, they'd need the option of staying in too! Do they have any sort of windbreak in their run? Glad I'm in nice cozy warm Vermont today!
It's 26 here. the big girls have the option of going out. the little ones are staying in.
I tried using some plastic on the lake side of the house, but they started pecking it, so i took it down. Any suggestions of what else to use?
Straw or haybales perhaps? I have plastic around my run but on the outside. They still could peck it, but they don't seem interested, maybe your chickens just need a little time to get used to it and realize it doesn't taste good! Otherwise maybe some plywood?
I hear you. Im in WI too. Not used to this weather yet. When its -40 we'll think 1 is a heat wave! Mine are half in. They have a cage with a little box in the middle of a machine shed. I cant get the big door shut so its not much warmer in there than outside. Ive got some haybales around the cage. They seem ok.
When the weather is bad enough that I won't even go to barn unless I absolutely have to I don't let them out. They are better off inside if you ask me.
Adding that it depends on what they are used to, and the breed/cross...and if the interior of your coop is set up to keep them away from harsh winds and 'interesting enough to amuse them', you should be able to decide. Most of the time I can give our hens the option because the run is roofed and now has snow boards to baffle drifts and wind. I won't give them the option during a blizzard or one of those prolonged cold spells where their combs could freeze.
danamillette- some use tarps...
Yup, I think their bodies must acclimate when they are out in it alot. Earlier this fall when the temps hit freezing I had a bit of frostbite, but it went away and they're fine now. I'm in northern wisconsin as well and they're out there running around and sitting on the outdoor roost. I did the plywood windbreak thing; they DO seem to like to go warm up now and then. Oh, and they're eating like PIGS, I suppose to keep their internal heaters going. My hubby works outside alot in the winter, and he says that when he comes inside, he has to limit the time spent inside for lunch, otherwise his body feels so much colder when he goes back out. WE, on the otherhand, sit inside in our 70 degree house and of course it feels cold to us. Cold is relative-your body can adjust to alot!!!
I'm going through a lot of feed too, in fact we installed a DIY hopper feeder so that they don't run out on cold days, and a heated waterer, indoors. Our hens seem to like the cold and they have feathered up nicely.