Chicken tendencies when its snowing outside?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Razrbckfan, Nov 16, 2014.

  1. Razrbckfan

    Razrbckfan Out Of The Brooder

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    My chickens are seeing there first snow, they are huddled in the yard of the chicken tractor under the lean-to that covers half of it. Is this normal? Is there anything I should do for them to get them moving or are they just fine? Thanks again.
     
  2. Mountain Peeps

    Mountain Peeps Change is inevitable, like the seasons Premium Member

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    Yes that is totally normal. This shows they are cold. Make sure they have access to a clean and warm coop.
     
  3. RonP

    RonP Chillin' With My Peeps

    Many chickens, including all of mine, absolutely will not walk on snow.

    Silly birds, go figure!
     
  4. deacons

    deacons Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mine aren't thrilled about the cold right now, as 3 out of 8 are molting (far too late in the year for my liking!!) and are spending far more time in the coop during the day time than my chickens ever have in the winter.

    In previous winters, they've been happy to be out and about during the day. The have a coop, some space under a lean-to, and then a large uncovered run. In the winter, I spread a few bales of straw down on the floor of the run so they have some opportunity to get off the snow. Since the run is not covered, it's a bit of a pain, as I do rake the straw up when we're going to have snow and tarp it so I can rake it back out for them once the snow is done and I've shoveled some. On nicer days, they are perfectly happy to go out into the yard. I try to keep a small patch shoveled off after every storm so some sad little blades of grass stick through and they can scratch and nibble- gives them something to do while I clean the coop and run.

    They absolutely do need a draft-free shelter to get out of the winter wind and precipitation though. I do not have any experience with chicken tractors, but you should make sure it's solid and protected enough that they will be able to find adequate shelter on cold, snowy days. You do not need to heat it (my girls here in New Hampshire are not heated), but it needs to be covered sufficiently for your local weather so that they can avoid the wind and stay dry.

    Here are a few pictures of them out and about last winter:
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    Last edited: Nov 17, 2014
  5. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Mine avoid walking on snow as it first falls but relax and venture out when hungry. When is comes down heavy they seek cover. Following first heavy snow of season they often will not leave roost area sometimes for a couple of days which means no food during that time. After that they will come out but will often fly to stay off ground. Mine are strong fliers and will go close 200 feet with each flight to keep off snow. Heavy snow usually results in a weight drop that appears needed to fly as they do.
     
  6. silkymom

    silkymom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    have never had this problem with the silkeys i used to have but these big sexlinks wont go out till wee shovel the snow, in michigan we just got a foot in 2 days, they hate it
     
  7. 37 Caddy

    37 Caddy Out Of The Brooder

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    had a couple of inches of snow here on friday,warmed up since and it is all gone now.I let mine out to free range in the daytime,they just hated the stuff,i leave the pen door open and the man door too,they can roam freely to get out,it was funny watching them huddle in the pen,they didnt even try to go out,it warmed up overnight and this morning they were banging at the door wanting out,I have a mixture of birds 3 red sex links,2 barred rocks,3 bantam-standard crosses,1 black jersey giant,1 buff cross?. all warm weather birds? Harvey
     
  8. Razrbckfan

    Razrbckfan Out Of The Brooder

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    After watching them off and on they seem to enjoy being in the snow. They seem a lot more active and my egg production has gone way up. Probably just a coincidence.
     

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