Can chickens run around in the snow?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Cairo, Aug 25, 2010.

  1. Cairo

    Cairo Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 25, 2010
    Hi all,

    I'm in the upper midwest and we get a lot of snow. If I plan to have 6 birds or so for eggs, and want a free-range type of set-up, can they run around in the snow?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    Some chickens will run around in the snow. Others are terrified of snow. Two years ago I had to shovel paths around the yard or they wouldn't leave the coop. Last year- no snow=happy hens.

    Imp
     
  3. Cairo

    Cairo Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 25, 2010
    Hmmm. So if we have piles of snow, is there a chicken variety that does better? I was originally thinking Longhorns for eggs
     
  4. carrlr

    carrlr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Seems to depend how much and how quickly it snows. If it's around an inch and doesn't come too quick, it hasn't been a problem. But if you get several inches at once they are a little reluctant to leave the coop.
     
  5. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    Quote:I think it is individual to each chickens temperment (If they will go out into the snow)

    If you are asking about a particular breeds ability to handle cold weather. Go to the very top of this page.

    Click on Breeds
    Click on Chicken Breeds Index

    It is listed the climate that breeds are mostly suited for.

    Imp- have fun looking
     
  6. carrlr

    carrlr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:We had Barred Rock and they stopped laying when it got real cold. This year we added Buff Orpinton's, and Red Sex-Linked.
     
  7. DIMBY

    DIMBY Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You also want to be aware of frostbittten combs and toes. We had a very hard winter last year, lots of snow, but we have quite a few bushes and trees that they could scurry back and forth to settle under. I shoveled paths for them, and put lots of sand on the paths to help with the traction. I have BIG breeds, Aussies, New Hampshire Reds and Sex Links.
     
  8. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

  9. Cairo

    Cairo Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 25, 2010
    Per Imp's suggestion, I see the Leghorns (I incorrectly called them "Longhorns" above) are cold weather rated. So for cold weather egg production, they should be a good choice.
     
  10. darkmatter

    darkmatter Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have dual purpose mutts: The first snowfall when I open the pop door they jam up on the ramp, each not wanting to be first to step in snow. After I toss scratch out, they get braver. A few have no problem with walking about in the snow, some won't until the others "break trail". The Guineas refused to go out into the snow til they figgered they could just fly to where they wanted to go without having to walk in the strange stuff.
     

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