While I admit, I haven't done any research on this yet, thought I just ask since I'm cold,wet,tired and hungry. We're in the midst of a nor'easter here in the northeast, it's a cold, heavy rain with stiff winds and sometimes a mix of the white stuff. I left the birds in the coop until noon today, figuring they'd be better off inside, but when I went out to check the feed/water situation, I opened the door and all 14 bolted for freedom. They free range all day/everyday. This is the first real bad weather we've had since I've had the birds which are 7 months old now. These birds are probably the most friendly birds you can imagine, spoiled rotten etc..., but I have to question how smart they are? Nice large clean coop, food, water etc..., yet they're out in the storm as if it were summertime? I didn't plan to even release them today, but they took me by surprise, once 3-4 birds got free it was too late. Someone please chime in, and help educate me for the upcoming winter. Was I right to WANT to keep them locked up, or do they have enough sense to head back to the coop for cover if need be? Will it hurt them to be out there wet all day, in the 30 mph winds? I ask because as I said this is the first real bad weather, when they were young chicks, I know they needed to be kept warm and dry until they were old enough and "feathered out". Since they are grown, is it safe to assume they will just do what's right or am I gonna have a bunch of snot nose chickens running around in a few days?