can chickens roost in trees all winter??

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by dftkarin, Oct 1, 2009.

  1. dftkarin

    dftkarin Songster

    Jun 27, 2008
    I know I've read that some folks chicken roost all year around in trees - and I'm wondering if that might be possible in New England where night time winter temps get very cold - below freezing for months on end, and below 0 pretty often. I have 6 chickens, 4 18 month old hens that sleep in my coop and terrorize the two 4 month old youngsters - so the youngsters sleep in the trees at night and I'm wondering if they might continue to do that all winter? They stay out on the limbs in the rain and thunderstorms even. I am planning to rig up a bigger coop for all of the chickens to live in together - but it will be a few more months until I can get it done.
  2. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

    Apr 15, 2009
    No. They will not survive the winter in New England roosting in trees. The cold will not get them, but the predators will.
  3. possumqueen

    possumqueen Songster

    Aug 17, 2009
    Monroe, North Carolina
    The weather might not hurt them, but there are lots and lots of predators who just might enjoy some chicken tenders at your expense. At the very least the hens might learn to be a little more independent than you would like.

    Since you're stuck with the coop you've got for a while -- been there, and I know it's a serious pain in the patoot -- maybe you could fix up something smaller just for the two youngsters.

    Then, when you get the bigger coop built, let the youngest ones move in FIRST and settle in. Then when you move the older ones in, and maybe you could move them in one or two at a time, the younger ones might have some "right of place" so to speak, and things would smooth out.

    Good luck![​IMG]
  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Yup, remember that predators are extra-hungry and nights are extra-long in the winter. I wouldn't frankly be all that sanguine about how much of the flock would make it through the cold, either.

    So, you could try, but it would probably not be a good idea and at the least you'd expect to be losing a certain number of chickens ("certain number" being somewhere between some and all)

    Could you add a lean-to on to the existing coop to expand it that way, even just temporarily?

    Good luck,

  5. txchickie

    txchickie Songster

    Nov 15, 2008
    I'm in NW Texas and I don't think my bantams could handle the cold winter here roosting in the trees. It gets down in the teens at night and the wind, oh my, the wind!

    They do go to the trees at night now, but that is soon going to come to an end. Within the next few days I need to catch all the little boogers and put them in the coop for about a week. If they can't figure it out after a week, then they get to live there for a little while longer.
    We're going to have to add on to the coop, I've acquired too many over the last 6 months or so and there's not enough room [​IMG]
  6. My GS has guians, and in summer they roost in his front yard, but come cold weather they roost in the cedar tree behind my house. I always tell my girls good night when I close the door to the coop. and if I don't tell the gianias good night to they start squaking, and IT DOES GET COLD IN TN. marrie

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