Am I being mean?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by ridgefire, Oct 30, 2008.

  1. ridgefire

    ridgefire Songster

    Jan 8, 2008
    Northern Michigan
    Its been snowing and raining here for 2 days now. I havent let the girls out of their coop. I got the stink eye when I went out there today. They all ran to the door hoping I was going to open it.

    Here is my thoughts on it. I havent been letting them out because I dont want them getting all wet, my girls love to be out in the rain. Yeah I know silly girls.

    But it has been dropping to high 20's low 30's at night. I dont run heat lamps in my coop, nor do I want to start. So I figured they would be better off being forced to stay in their nice dry coop so they wouldnt have to sit the night in freezing temps with wet feathers. Am I wrong?

    I know I dont like keeping them in, it costs me an arm and leg in feed keeping them in.
  2. 2manyhats

    2manyhats Songster

    May 18, 2008
    Central NY
    Mine go out in any weather they choose. They seem to handle the 20's and 30's fine. I only worry when when it gets into the teens. I do have to take precautions against cold when we get into the sub zeros here. It's completely up to you. I worry that they'll start picking at each other if I keep them cooped up.
  3. rebecca10782

    rebecca10782 Songster

    Apr 24, 2008
    I'm sure they will be fine. Orphingtons are hardy, with all those feathers. I'm not sure about Cal Whites, I have never heard of them. I think they would be fine if it is only a light rain, it seems like their top feathers would keep out most of the water. At least let them out for a few hours a day while the rain or snow lets up. I don't know if they will come when you call them back in though [​IMG] Ours do, we bribe them with juicy meal worms [​IMG]
  4. joebryant

    joebryant Crowing

    Do you not have a small run outside their coop that they can go into?
  5. hoosier

    hoosier Songster

    I know what you mean. I hate to see mine get wet when it is cold. I try to let them ot for short periods between rains even if it is only an hour.

    How long have you had the Cal Whites? I just got mine this spring and am wondering if I will have trouble with their large combs whe it gets really cold. What is your experience?
  6. ChickenToes

    ChickenToes Songster

    May 14, 2008
    NE Wisconsin
    They'll be fine if you let them outside. It's good for them to become acclimated to cold weather. My chickens go outside in light rain and snow, but will go back into the coop when the rainfall is heavy.

    Chances are good your chickens will get bored in their coop. I locked my chickens up once during the day and it led to rather vicious feather-picking, so now I'm leery of locking them up ever again in the daylight. Just my opinion, though.
  7. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    Go ahead and let them out. If they want out, they will go, if they don't like it they will go back in. Mine charged right out into the snow.


    And it rains/drizzles here something like 200+ days a year. They'll figure it out.
  8. donnap1967

    donnap1967 Songster

    Mar 15, 2008
    Northern NJ
    I kept mine in for two days because we were having monsoon-like weather. It was heavy downpours and high wind. The last time I had weather like this they were soaking wet and hiding under the coop and one was getting raspy and sorta gasping. They were afraid to come out from under the coop to go into the door. I ended up crawling on my belly in the mud to rescue them. Dang chickens!

    Now if it's a light rain they can go out and if it's going to pour and be really windy they stay in. I feel bad doing it but I bring out some treats anyway to keep them busy and cheer them up.
  9. ears73

    ears73 Songster

    Jul 30, 2008
    Westchester, NY
    If you don't want them to get too wet, let them out real late. That way they only have an hour or twp before they go back in the coop.
  10. dancingbear

    dancingbear Songster

    Aug 2, 2008
    South Central KY
    I only keep mine in if I won't be home at dark to close up the coop, or if the weather is truly hideous. Ordinary rain and snow, I let them out. They have a lot of things to duck under if they want, dog houses, the shed, trees, bushes, etc., and they can go in the coop anytime they want.

    I tried letting them out when an ice storm was coming, as soon as it got icky they went back in. Short of that level of nasty weather, mostly they'll at least go in and out a few times. It keeps the level of cabin fever down, so they stay calmer, if they at least have the option to step out if they want.

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