5 degrees with 24 mph winds, can't get them back in the coop!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by ace6175, Dec 10, 2009.

  1. ace6175

    ace6175 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 9, 2009
    I kind of shooed them out so I could clean it, thought they would come back in, but now they're huddled by the woodpile for shelter. Tried to herd them back in, put cracked corn right outside the coop door, but they won't go back in! They have never experienced weather like this, will they survive? Should I try harder to get them in the coop?
     
  2. Akane

    Akane Overrun With Chickens

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    Do they normally wander around and go back in on their own? Usually if they are used to going in and out of their coop they will do so if they get cold or at least before dark. I would just wait a little while and see if they go in now that you are done. If they aren't used to wandering about and haven't been returning to the coop on their own for awhile already you will have to go get them.
     
  3. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    It *is* possible for livestock to be so freaked out by the cold wind that they will stay in inadequate shelter instead of going where it's better for them. Doesn't happen a lot, but it does happen. If you are worried about them, you might consider seeing if they'll let you catch them and *put* them into the coop. Approach them so you're going towards the coop (so if they flee, they're likely to flee in a constructive direction) and you should probably abandon it if they act like they're going to scatter or do something else dumb.

    Chances are they'll be fine, but you're the one who can SEE them, and if you think they look too-cold and "stuck", I don't think it's unreasonable to see what you can do about it.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
  4. ace6175

    ace6175 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks, now that my feet have thawed out, I will go back out & check on them. They normally go outside all day, every day, but it's really nasty here today. I'll try to get them to go in - hopefully treats will work.
     
  5. ace6175

    ace6175 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ok, I managed to get them in the coop - some I had to pick up & carry. They must've been really cold, because they didn't run very fast!
    Maybe they would be ok today, but I just didn't want to take the chance....it's 45 degrees in the coop, so I want them to stay inside today.
     
  6. feathersnuggles

    feathersnuggles Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 4, 2009
    Seattle
    Maybe it's just me, but that's a huge difference in temperature between the inside your coop, 45F, and outside, 5F. My guess is their bodies were completely shocked by the cold. You should check them for frostbite, depending upon how long they stayed outside.
     
  7. ace6175

    ace6175 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How would I check them for frostbite?
    Our coop is warm right now because it's sunny and my husband put patio blocks painted black at the bottom of the nest boxes to hold in the heat. We have 3 south facing windows. It was only 20 degrees in there earlier this morning.
     
  8. shay20

    shay20 Shay's Flock of Fun

    Jul 31, 2008
    in the wild, Mass
    Quote:I was going to say that, that yuou will have to pick them up and bring them in, until i read this part. lol

    Glad you got them in. [​IMG]
     
  9. Akane

    Akane Overrun With Chickens

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    That's too big of difference. Do you plan to keep them inside all winter? You really shouldn't have much more than about 10F different not figuring windchill. If you heat the coop beyond that you risk illness if they are allowed outside at all and they could die if the power goes out suddenly. Animals can't just adjust to wide temp differences. Heated stables and barns actually cause more illness than letting things get cold.
     
  10. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    I'm not sure about 10 F specifically -- I would probably have said a somewhat larger number myself -- but I quite agree in general that a 40 F difference between in and out is kind of a lot. One thing you can do with that extra heat, if you can't harness it in more thermal mass, is to use it to allow you to open vents more at the top of the walls to dry out the coop. Drier is always better in winter (well maybe not in a desert, but, for the rest of us).

    Good luck, glad you got them rounded back up,

    Pat
     

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