chickens smart enough to survive winter?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by jgervais, Nov 1, 2011.

  1. jgervais

    jgervais Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My hens have a safe attached run with some nice roosts in it. Since we got them (April) they roost in the run and not in their cozy house that has their food, shavings and nesting boxes. It's about to get very cold here in Michigan, some nights are already below freezing: Will my hens be smart enough to know to go into their cozy house?
     
  2. NewToFarming

    NewToFarming Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I had some chickens roost way high up in a tree where I could not get them down no matter what treat I had bribed them with. Last winter it was getting colder and the leaves were gone and I was getting worried. It did seem these persistent chickens did come into the coop at night one by one. I had one persistent andalusion, she was the last to give in after a very cold, rain & sleet storm. The next night she was in the coop with all the others. I hope your chickens do the same but maybe since they are in the run, you could put them in the coop at night to help it along??
     
  3. turbodog

    turbodog Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I agree, if they are not going in by themselves, wait till they have settled for the evening, then move them into the coop yourself a few times. They'll get the hint eventually.
     
  4. Foggyhens

    Foggyhens Out Of The Brooder

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    It's cooling down in No. California also and my 3 Austrlorps insist on sleeping in the "outside" roost within their enclosed area while the others snuggle up inside the coop. So far not cold enough to worry. I'm waiting for them to figure it out on their own before I intervene. It's only been down to the low 40s. They've got beautiful feather coats![​IMG]
     
  5. RoosterRidge

    RoosterRidge Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would take down the roosts in the run..... If they have nothing but the cold ground they will want to get somewhere warm... Just a thought, it might work... Good luck... I have been worrying about ours too... They went in 45 minutes before dark last
    night because it was cold here....
     
  6. jgervais

    jgervais Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Do you think they would 'go towards the light' if I put a lamp in their coop?
     
  7. cravenchx

    cravenchx Chillin' With My Peeps

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    'go towards the light'
    [​IMG]
     
  8. NewToFarming

    NewToFarming Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Actually you could give it a try to see if it helps. How many won't go inside? Are you able to put them in the coop after they settle down for the night? It will be easier if you wait until they are ready to sleep.
    Last winter I had heat lamps in the coop in the barn for the babies and I would turn all lights off in the barn except the heat lamps in the coop. That got the ones into the coop who wanted to bounce around all night in the barn instead of the coop. You could give it a try???
     
  9. RoosterRidge

    RoosterRidge Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Yes they will mine do anyway... Even a regular bulb put off heat so it is worth a try... They maybe will go in because they fell the heat...
     
  10. woodmort

    woodmort Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I once had an EE hen go feral and survive in a fence row all winter in snow and 20 below temperatures by herself--we called her the "lone chicken". She refused to rejoin the flock and managed to scavenge food for herself all winter. Unfortunately in the spring she was run over crossing the road but otherwise showed no ill effects from the cold.
     

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