COLD weather question

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by GretaGarboFirst, Oct 7, 2015.

  1. GretaGarboFirst

    GretaGarboFirst Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I live in Massachusetts. My chickens have a large coop and an attached pen(very safe). I am wondering if I left the small chicken coop door open for the winter to allow for access to the pen if it would be too cold for the chickens. They have had the freedom of the chicken door open all summer and I would like to continue that if the chickens can stay warm enough.
     
  2. song of joy

    song of joy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It's fine to leave it open during the day. They'll venture outside for fresh air and to have more room to move around. My chickens almost always venture out into the chicken yard in winter unless there's snow cover. If I shovel the snow, they'll come right outside to avoid being "cooped up".

    You may want to keep the coop door closed at night to keep them safe from predators and/or to block off strong winter winds.
     
  3. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    I leave my pop door open day and night in the winter until it gets below -20* (I'm in MN, so I understand cold winters). My chickens don't generally venture out when there's snow on the ground, but I figure the fresh air is good for them.
     
  4. GretaGarboFirst

    GretaGarboFirst Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks so much. My chickens are molting......they are quite funny looking now.
     
  5. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

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    My Coop
    Here in Northern Wyoming my pop door to the run is open all year round, 24/7. I have an attached run that we cover with clear plastic (think greenhouse) and they are out there as soon as the sun comes up and don't go back in until the sun goes down. Doesn't mean it's balmy in the run, but it's usually a little warmer than the sub zero temps outside! I think you'd be fine leaving it open.
     
  6. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    Do you put plastic over the roof of your run, too? I'm still trying to figure out how to make that work. (Hubby says it won't work, which means, "I don't want to bother with it.") The run is 12x16' with 2x4" welded wire over the top. It's flat, so I can't just put plastic over it. It would hold too much snow in a snowy year and break the 2x4s that are supporting the wire. (We've had those boards break without anything on top of the wire to hold the snow on...)
     
  7. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    My chickens are kept in a pole building with a opening for my donkeys to come and go, about 6 by 6. The main thing to consider is which way your opening faces, most storm and winds around here comes out of the north and west, so open doors face south and east. If your door faces the wrong way I wouldn't leave it open without a wind block.
     
  8. GretaGarboFirst

    GretaGarboFirst Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am feeling more confident about leaving the door open. I might add a wind blocker of some sort just to feel better myself. More thoughts and ideas are welcomed. So many way to look at our
    chicken choices!
     
  9. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    Very good point.

    The thing is, OP - you can always make adjustments day by day. That's what I do. If the wind is from a direction that would blow into the coop I shut the door. If it's not going to blow in, the door is open.
     
  10. chickens really

    chickens really Overrun With Chickens

    I have a tarp on the top of my run to keep out the rain and snow. I am putting plastic on the sides this week to keep out the wind.
    I also bought a car broom with extending handle to clear the snow off the top.
    I keep my pop door open all day and only close it after everyone has gone in to roost for the night. I have a window by the man door into my coop. Every morning I look in the window to see all these little faces looking up at me patiently waiting for me to open the pop door!! Cracks me up every time!!!
     

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