chickens won't come out in the snow

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Rustywreck, Dec 18, 2008.

  1. Rustywreck

    Rustywreck Chillin' With My Peeps

    It has been more than a month since there has been snow on the ground, and the darn chickens still won't come outside.
    I've tried bribing them with bread, but even that isn't enough. Yesterday, when I was bribing them they all stood at the door but wouldn't come out.
    One of them flew the eight feet or so and landed on my shoulder to get some bread directly from me, but she and the others would not set foot outside the coup.
    I've also tried laying staw down so they wouldn't have to step directly on the snow, but still no dice.
    I've considered picking them up and setting them outside for brief periods to condition them to the snow, but haven't tried it yet.
    Should I just accept that they are too chicken to play in the snow and let them stay inside all winter? Winter here is so long that I worry about their sanity being couped up so long.
    Any advice?
  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    I would just leave the door open, and once they start losing their sanity, I bet they will venture out!
  3. wisdom_seeker

    wisdom_seeker Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 27, 2008
    About a week ago my chickens saw thier first snow "dusting". Every morning I take the rooster out of his cage in the coop and toss him over the fence. That morning he had the most hang time I have ever seen him have [​IMG] ! The hens would not get the scratch I put out for them so I picked them up and put them on the snow 1 by 1. When they figured out that the snow would not kill them they all ended up in the snow eating the scratch.
  4. Mrs.Puff

    Mrs.Puff Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 16, 2008
    Southern Iowa
    You could try leaving them a really SPECIAL treat outside the door, like a tomato, and then maybe they'd come out.
  5. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    They might accept a snow platform. When it's deadly cold mine will exercise just outside the pop door on a platform and accept treats in 'the blue bowl', which I have used for that purpose since moving them to the coop. Wherever I put it, 'the blue bowl' is golden.
    We live at the top of a series of hills where the snow load is heavy and the winds are severe. We bought locally from a co-op and the birds are cold-hardy.

    We also installed snow boards to baffle the wind, and now they're out in very severe conditions, by choice. The pop door is open should they wish to go inside and we keep a heated 1.5 gal container indoors (dog bowl)

    The good news is that if they are exercising indoors they may eat a bit less! Mine are eating me out of house and home!




    Last edited: Dec 18, 2008
  6. danamillette

    danamillette Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 16, 2008
    Northern Wisconsin
    Rusty, Same deal here. They stand at the door. I wish they would go out! Too much poop in the coop! I might try the platform thing.
  7. JennsPeeps

    JennsPeeps Rhymes with 'henn'

    Jun 14, 2008
    South Puget Sound
    I carried mine out into the snow individually. My normally skittish RIR suddenly became clingy and would NOT let me put her down. [​IMG]
  8. cluckychick

    cluckychick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 29, 2008
    South of KCMO
    I went out with the snow shovel and scoop the snow so they would come out then I threw down some scratch. Their eating me out of house and home to [​IMG]
  9. Rustywreck

    Rustywreck Chillin' With My Peeps

    Chickens are so funny. I went out to feed them today, short on time. I grabbed the eggs and, as I was leaving the coup one of them jumped up on my shoulder.
    With my hands full, I wasn't able to set her down, so I started walking out of the coup.
    I told her she'd have to take a walk with me if she wanted to be on my shoulder. A few steps into the snow and cold and she flew directly back into the coup - without touching the ground at all.
    It was almost as though she was thinking, "oh, this is what I bargined for. I'm out of here..."

    Leaving the door open isn't really an option for me, at least not when I'm not around. I live in the woods and have lots of not-so-nice critters around. Additionally, the coup would get too cold. They are quite pampered.
  10. spook

    spook Chillin' With My Peeps

    "chickens won't come out in the snow" Can you BLAME THEM! [​IMG]

    I'm totally sick of it too, and its just begun [​IMG]

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