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Chickens and Snow????

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by LittleHouseDreams, Nov 18, 2008.

  1. LittleHouseDreams

    LittleHouseDreams In the Brooder

    Aug 21, 2008
    OK, so It's obvious that I'm new to the whole chicken thing and I really don't know where to post this so if this is not the right board please let me know [​IMG] . Anyway, my question is what do I need to do for my chickens in the winter? I live in northeast Ohio and currently we have snow. I have three 13wk old BO hens and they live in a henhouse off the ground with an enclosed run underneath. The floor of the run is sand and they do not yet have a perch in the run area. (Although this morning I dragged a log in there just in case they wanted to get of the ground.) They do not seem to spend time in the hen house except at night (I leave the hen house door open during the day and close it at night) and I guess I'm afraid they'll get frostbite or something being on the cold ground. Any advice as to what I need to provide my hens to keep them healthy and warm this winter [​IMG] ?

    Thank You
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2008
  2. chickenchickenbulkbulk

    chickenchickenbulkbulk Songster

    Jul 9, 2008
    We always let our chicken run..the door to their coop was always left open. I put all mine in the coops last night and I haven't let them out yet. I am to cold to go out. I live down by the Ohio River. Our coops are also off the ground and the run underneath. I clean the coops out once a week and I put a lot of straw on the floor. I am sure your chickens will be alright. We have always let ours out in the winter. We have never lost any. [​IMG] Good Luck with yours. DJ
  3. Wildsky

    Wildsky Wild Egg!

    Oct 13, 2007
    So long as they can get back in the coop they'll be fine. Mine spend long hours scratching around even in the snow.
    Mine do have the whole back yard, with tree's and such and can go back to the coop whenever they feel like it.
  4. Chicken Woman

    Chicken Woman Incredible Egg

    Oct 16, 2008
    They should have a 2 by 4 with the edges rounded that is about 2 to 3 feet off the ground and a ladder to get up there. Heat rises and they will stay warmer. IM not sure the sand is as warm on there feet as straw or shavings ?
  5. LittleHouseDreams

    LittleHouseDreams In the Brooder

    Aug 21, 2008
    Thank you all for your input. Any more advice is always welcomed.[​IMG]
  6. Chuntgray

    Chuntgray In the Brooder

    Jun 17, 2008
    I also let my chickens run. They go to the coop whenever they want. I made a tunnel out of straw bails that lead to thier door this keeps the wind out of the coop.
  7. Platforms are great! It's snowing now so I may get some winter pics tomorrow. My girls can get in easily because the platform outside is also at the same level as the pop door.


    We also use hay bales so the girls can jump down easily. We keep them from getting wet though, to avoid mold. The run is roofed.
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2008
  8. Mrs MIA

    Mrs MIA Chick Magnet

    Mar 3, 2008
    There are a lot of threads on winterizing the coops, if you do a search on "winter" in the topic. But the basics are simple:


    a dry, draft free coop. [​IMG]

    That's it. My girls are out there at -8°F this morning. I don't have to worry about power outages, because they don't care. As long as they have a place to get out of the wind, they're happy. [​IMG]
  9. LittleHouseDreams

    LittleHouseDreams In the Brooder

    Aug 21, 2008
    Thank you everyone for your helpful advice. I was just out to see where my girls were and they were in the coop. I guess they know best as to whether or not they want outside. I hope to get them a perch soon and a heated waterer then I guess we'll all be set.
  10. mistylady

    mistylady Songster

    Jun 1, 2008
    Ohio near Coshocton
    Another Ohioan here. I opened the coop door this morning and a few hens looked out at the 3 inches of snow and didn't go down the ramp so I shut the door again. About 1 in the afternoon I went out and opened the door after I smashed down some snow to show the earth was still there and the hens came out. They're out there right now and its in the mid 30's and windy.

    For the frozen water problem I ordered two 2 gallon waterers. One to be kept thawed and ready to take down to the coop at all times. My dh made our cooop so that no air can get in except for the vents. So I can't get any electric down there (its too far from the house anyway - it would take a couple of cords). The goat water was frozen, dog water frozen but the coop water was still liquid this morning.

    Now the pullets are not out in the snow. They haven't ventured outside yet. The big hens run them back in the cop. Bully biddies! LOL But I did take them a couple of snow balls and they loved it! They ate the snow.

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