Cold windy weather and a free range flock..


In the Brooder
9 Years
Jan 9, 2011
Harrisonburg VA
I'm a first year chicken raiser and when reading about weather conditions with my girls I get mixed signals. I keep my 9 hens in a large coop where they have food, water, a roost, and 6 nest boxes. I let them out early in the morning and then close them up when they go to roost in the evening. So I consider them free range for the most part. However.. are there certain weather conditions that I shouldn't let them free range in? When it snowed here I opened the door and they just looked at me like I was crazy and didn't even attempt leaving the coop. However, when it's really cold and windy, they will come out and seemingly get blown all over the place and appear scared, but they don't go back in the coop. Is it a health risk for me to let them out in cold, windy conditions? I've read that I shouldn't do this.. but my husband says that they will find cover or go back in their coop if they want to... Any advice?


12 Years
May 8, 2007
I normally let them decide, unless severe weather is coming. I do lock them in if there's a blizzard coming or a tornado funnel has been sited in the area. That's a little TOO much wind.


9 Years
Sep 27, 2010
Your chickens will determine whether to roam around or not...they don't like snow, so they will avoid it, you can throw straw on the ground, they will hang on that area or any other that is snow free. Freezing cold wind, doesn't bother mine, see the below shots: sub zero, and they were still out in it!

if they don't like it, they won't go out in it!
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