Chickens & Rain?


In the Brooder
8 Years
Sep 2, 2011
Long Island, NY
As a newbie to the whole chicken thing, I'm wondering, is it normal for them to stay out in the rain?

While awaiting the arrival of the coop kit I ordered, my chickens are in a roughly 4x8 area surrounded by garden fencing and topped with chicken wire. There's a good size crate in their yard from which they can come and go as they please, offering nice, dry bedding and protection from wind and rain. They pretty much ignore the crate and spend all their time out in their yard -- even at night (they roost on a bar I have set up on the fencing), and even in the heavy rain, like we had all day today.

I didn't think chickens liked being wet. Do different breeds react differently to rain (mine are Japanese bantams)? Once their real, permanent home arrives, should I expect them to automatically go into the enclosed portion at night -- as well as during bad weather?

I haven't had chickens long so hopefully you'll get more responses.....

Mine will go in during a hard rain but that is in the coop and where their roost is.

If it is mild to moderate rain they will just continue to forage paying no attention to the rain.
I heard that chickens don't like to get wet and also heard they can catch cold very easily. Mine go inside there coop, they like to stay dry. I let them free range during a dry spell today and when it started to rain again they took cover under the pool deck until it was dry enough for them to run back to their coop. I could be wrong because i've heard of people bathing their chickens and even seen pics of people bringing their chickens in a pool. I'm pretty new at this chicken raising thing too, but i would say it depends on the particular chickens.
I too thought that chickens did not like to get wet. chickens love the rain, love splashing through the puddles, drinking from them and even rolling in the puddles. Go figure. I think when it is raining and I go to work then my roo gives swimming and diving lessons to the girls. They are always outside and wet when I get home even though they have a wonderful house to hang out in. Wait till you see them in action in the snow!!
My girls don't like it, but would rather stay out than go in their coop. Today they stayed in their coop most of the time, they were in their run, not free ranging. But the other day, they did free range and they just went under bushes to protect themselves from the worst of the rain. when it lightened up a bit they were out pecking around in the grass again.
Very interesting. Thanks for the responses. I guess the phrase "madder than a wet hen" isn't necessarily true. Some of them, mine included, seem quite happy being wet!
Thus far mine have always stayed out in the rain foraging like it is no big deal. The occasionally shake out their feathers, like dogs do when they are wet, and continue along.
my chickens stay out in the rain all the time, even my turkeys stay out the only time they head in, is when its really pouring, they have the ability to go in and out whenever they want.

now snow is a different story, its like Aliens have landed if its snowing outside and boy oh boy are they ever cranky when the white stuff


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