chickens in winter

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by WVchick71, Jan 27, 2011.

  1. WVchick71

    WVchick71 Songster

    Jul 24, 2010
    Small Town
    I am wondering about keeping chickens in the winter. Should I keep them locked in the coop when there is snow on the ground or when it is a certain temperature? Or do I do as in warm months and let them out during the day? I have been keeping them inside the coop but I feel like they really need out of there. I do not have a covered run so there is snow in their yard. They can get under the coop where there is no snow but that doesnt mean they will stay there....sooo?
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2011

  2. NonnasBabies

    NonnasBabies Muddy Acre Farms Premium Member

    Sep 20, 2009
    On the Farm!
    I let mine free range everyday no matter how cold it is. But we rarely get snow!!
  3. madamwlf

    madamwlf Nevermore Acres

    Aug 22, 2010
    Mount Airy, MD
    I let them out if they wish to be out but I also shovel out their yard so they can walk around. I lay straw down once the snow is removed.
  4. Reg

    Reg Songster

    Jan 6, 2011
    I'm with giving them the choice [​IMG]
  5. UrbanGrower

    UrbanGrower Chirping

    Sep 29, 2010
    West Jordan, UT
    Unless it's really windy, I'd let them out.
  6. pharmchickrnmom

    pharmchickrnmom Songster

    Apr 13, 2010
    Here is my answer. We live in NY and have had a snow storm every week. The tractor is parked with the portable run in front. I shovel around the tractor and run and tip up the run on its end and shovel inside it as well. Its getting old but my chickens are happy because they can get out every day. The only time I lock them in is if it is very windy and blowing snow. Our coldest day so far was -9 with a windchill of -14. They still chose to go out. Personally, I would give them the option. I am now putting down a little hay in the run as the divas dont like to walk much on the snow. Except if there are grapes. Then they would plow through snowdrifts to get grapes!
  7. Turkeyrun

    Turkeyrun Chirping

    Jul 30, 2009
    Western PA has been very cold but I have continued to give our chickens the option to go out as long as it is not windy. Even at -10 several chose to go outside for a while.

    They don't care for wading through snow regardless of the temperature so I do shovel a patch of the run for them. This winter I have also shoveled a couple loops off of the main shoveled area. When I take scratch or BOSS out to them I leave a trail for them along the paths. It is lots of fun to watch them follow the paths for treats! It also spreads them out and gets them to fresh areas.

    They are catching on to what I am doing and some try to meet me to get the scratch before other chickens by running up the end of the path I have not gotten to.

    Last edited: Jan 27, 2011

  8. secuono

    secuono Songster

    May 29, 2010
    I let mine out and if they feel like it, some come out, others stay in.
  9. We've had snow storms every few days and blustery cold, but unless it is really blowing snow I open up the coop door so they can get out into the run. They do stay under the coop much of the time, as we have put poly around that pen area under the coop so it is snow free. They don't like the snow much on their feet, so we shovel part of the run and put down shavings between the storms. They choose if they want to go into the run or not.
  10. CopperCT

    CopperCT Chirping

    Jan 12, 2011
    Northern Ct has gotten cold and tons of snow this winter...another 18 inches just today. There's no where left to put it all. I had covered the run with a tarp so not as much snow gets in and I also put down lots of hay so I can just take a rake and fluff up the hay and the snow falls through it so the chickens will go out. They won't go out in the snow. They like it and go out every day. The only day I kept them in until it got over 0 was last weekend when it got to -9. Chickens are pretty tough and adaptable except with the white stuff....they won't touch it.

    The only problem I have now is with snow falling in feet instead of inches we keep having to clean off the top of the run as that much snow makes the top bow with the weight....that gets really old after the first time. [​IMG]

    Can't wait for spring!!! [​IMG]

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by