2 feet of snow, what should I do?

Jackie G

In the Brooder
Oct 2, 2020
19
20
24
Hello everyone, sorry if I posted this in the wrong place. I wasn't sure which one to put it under. But I am here in New York, and we have almost 2 feet of snow. This is my first winter with chickens. It is extremely windy and snow is blowing everywhere. I'm guessing I should leave them in their coop until I can shovel out their run and the snow dies down? I winterized their coop so they will be fine if they need to stay in.
 

SBFChickenGirl

Free Ranging
Nov 12, 2018
3,816
15,146
631
Having them stay in the coop would be a good idea.
Is your run covered?
If it is, then shoveling it out and putting plastic around the walls to keep snow from blowing in can be helpful.
My run is not covered, so as long as the snow is below the pop door, I open the door and then put some extra hay/straw down. Chickens don't like cold feet, so putting something down after it has finished snowing allows them to walk outside and have something to scratch around in.
 

MissMonty

Songster
5 Years
Sep 12, 2015
497
986
186
Dayton, OH
Personally, I don't like to do things multiple times and since its still storming (wind/snow) I'd probably keep them in for now. You can give them some goodies to keep them busy. Once the wind dies down at least I'd shovel out the run some, throw some straw down on top and let them out. Most probably won't come out for a while regardless
 

Jackie G

In the Brooder
Oct 2, 2020
19
20
24
Personally, I don't like to do things multiple times and since its still storming (wind/snow) I'd probably keep them in for now. You can give them some goodies to keep them busy. Once the wind dies down at least I'd shovel out the run some, throw some straw down on top and let them out. Most probably won't come out for a while regardless

Okay thanks!
 

Jackie G

In the Brooder
Oct 2, 2020
19
20
24
Having them stay in the coop would be a good idea.
Is your run covered?
If it is, then shoveling it out and putting plastic around the walls to keep snow from blowing in can be helpful.
My run is not covered, so as long as the snow is below the pop door, I open the door and then put some extra hay/straw down. Chickens don't like cold feet, so putting something down after it has finished snowing allows them to walk outside and have something to scratch around in.

Mine is not covered, and the snow is above the pop door! As soon as the wind dies down ill go out their and shovel out their run. Thanks!
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
28,077
22,811
907
Southeast Louisiana
Chickens don't like cold feet,

Seems like I'm posting these old photos a lot lately. This one is from 2012. It was 4 degrees above zero Fahrenheit when I took this one. You can see where I knocked the ice out of their rubber waterer. I always leave the pop door open when I can and let them decide what they want to do. If a cold wind were blowing they would not be out in it, mine hate a cold wind. If a cold wind is not blowing they go out.

Ice.jpg


Chickens generally don't like change. Waking up to a strange white world is a big change. Mine tend to stay in the coop for two or three days if the ground is white when they wake up. Eventually some bolder ones will wander out but some aren't that bold. I think it helps if they have a reason to go out. I had some wade through 9" of show to check out the compost pile and a few other places they thought they might find food. One of those trails was over 100 feet long.

This photo is from 2013. These were already outside when the snow started falling. The change was gradual enough that they never bothered to go in. I don't think it is the cold or snow that bothers them. I think it is the change.

Snow Feb 2013.JPG


Jackie I think you are getting good suggestions on how to deal with it. Even if your coop is big enough that they can stay inside for weeks at a time I'd want then to have the option to go outside.

Good luck and be safe.
 

LizzzyJo

Crowing
Dec 14, 2018
1,739
4,485
307
The Great Black Swamp, Ohio
Keep them in if you can but watch the water. If it’s heated, it will cause moisture in the henhouse - so make sure your ventilation is spot-on or the hens will freeze.

Chickens don’t like snow the first few times, but they get used to it. 2 feet is another story though, consider covering the run or at least part of it so that you never have to worry about it again.
 

Wee Farmer Sarah

Crossing the Road
Oct 8, 2018
4,728
31,178
952
North Central Massachusetts
I'm in that same storm system here in North Central Massachusetts @Jackie G. We've got about 12 inches or more on the ground. My run is covered but I shoveled a path to make sure they have fresh liquid water and food. You might consider at least partially covering their run when the weather permits. Also remember to clear the snow well away from the doors so they don't freeze up on you. Another tip is when you do shovel, toss the snow away from the the coop and run so the eventual melting snow doesn't flood the coop. With fresh food and wate, your chickens will be fine. Mine even like to run about after the storm is over.
 

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