Chickens and snowstorms

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by soot87, Feb 20, 2013.

  1. soot87

    soot87 Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 13, 2013
    So we have snow storm rolling through tomorrow. Do I just leave them in the coup or let them get out if they want to.
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    I give mine the option. Nothing to do with snow, but mine will go out and forage in zero degree Fahrenheit weather as long as the wind is not blowing. Cold is not an issue. Them walking through cold snow is not an issue for their feet.

    Mine generally don’t like snow at all when they first see it. They seem scared to death of touching that strange stuff. But if it stays on the ground for a couple of days most will eventually go out and walk through it. Mine forage in snow if grass and weeds are sticking up through it. I few years ago I had some trudge through 9” of snow to go check out the compost heap because they are used to finding some nice treats there.

    At first, expect them to be scared of it but they should eventually get used to it.
     
  3. soot87

    soot87 Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 13, 2013
    Perfect exactly what I needed to know!
     
  4. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

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    I'm not giving mine the option. In my area we are expecting the largest snowfall here since the 1960's - about 15" in one snowfall. That's a lot for us. And it will be a blizzard. Lat snow we had was a meager 4" one that wasn't wind blown...and the chickens wouldn't leave the coop. So, I KNOW they won't this time. I'll just put their food and water inside and call it good.
     
  5. Angel16

    Angel16 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hi i wondered what kind of chickens do you have? do they still lay in the cold?
     
  6. Angel16

    Angel16 Chillin' With My Peeps


     
  7. soot87

    soot87 Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 13, 2013
    Well we're only 2 weeks into this but we're still getting eggs even the temp dropped. We have 2 black austrolorps, production red and a buff orp that are laying and a brown leghorn that hasn't started laying
     
  8. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    I took this about 10:30 this morning. The snow started about 9:30 and this is about an inch. It’s all gone now but we are supposed to get ice and freezing rain tonight. It’s crazy weather here right now.

    I’ll admit I was surprised. I did not expect them to go out in it this quickly, but you can see from the tracks they have been roaming around in it. The temperature was right at freezing with no wind at all.

    [​IMG]

    This photo is probably 4 years old, taken when the temperature was 4 degrees above zero Fahrenheit. No wind and no snow. I just left the pop door open and let them decide where they wanted to go. When the wind came up later, they got out of it.

    [​IMG]

    I’m not criticizing anyone’s decisions. If I had blizzard conditions and 15” of snow without drifting I would not be able to take these photos. I probably could not even get the pop door open.
     
  9. erinchelsea

    erinchelsea Chillin' With My Peeps

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    With a blizzard I would keep them locked up. This year during our first blizzard of the season I had a White Rock hen outside and she didn't get inside, I didn't realize she was out and shut the flock up for the night. DH found her the next day in a snowdrift. Amazingly, she was perfectly fine but if I had it to do again I wouldn't have let them out when I knew a blizzard was coming or I would have gone and counted heads and made sure they were all in the coop.

    Ridgerunner, I'm not surprised your flock was out. IMO it's the wind they avoid, not the cold or snow. It was hovering around zero today but no wind (which is rare) and sunny, my flock was happy as can be to be out.
     
  10. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    With previous flocks they've gone out, but usually they wait for a couple of days to get used to the snow. They appear scared of it at first like they are about any change. But they are pretty adaptive if you have patience. What surprised me was that this group did not wait but went out immediately.

    I totally agree with you about the wind. In summer a wind does not bother them but in the winter they avoid a cold wind. Once they get used to it, snow has not kept any previous flocks in but cold wind has.
     

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