Cooping chickens at night in winter

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by Scan meter, Nov 11, 2014.

  1. Scan meter

    Scan meter Hatching

    Nov 11, 2014
    I have five winter hardy chickens in Iowa that live in and 8 x 12 covered run with a separate coupe that is insulated. At night they still want to perch on top of the coop outside instead of going inside. Do I need to lock them inside the coop at night? It is starting to get cold. Or, will they go in on their own once they decide it's too cold.?
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    Don't worry about the cold. Worry about predators. If a raccoon can get to them, there will be no other worries for that chicken.
  3. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Crowing

    Jul 24, 2013
    Welcome to BYC![​IMG] We're glad to have you.

    If they are too cold, they will go in on their own. In general, chickens don't mind cold too much, so don't be surprised if they decide to stay outside, even though its cold.

    But, it isn't good that they are not roosting in the coop. It would be easy for a predator to snatch them in the night. I would move them inside each night and lock them there until morning.

    Good luck with them!
  4. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Crowing

    Jul 24, 2013
    [​IMG] Glad you joined us!

    I wouldn't worry about your birds in the cold. If they get too cold, their bodies will tell them to go inside.

    More concerning is the fact that they are sleeping outside. Predators are a huge problem for chickens without shelter. A bird in the dark is basically helpless. I would put your birds inside each night, and leave them there until morning. Eventually, they should get the idea, and be much safer.

    Good luck!
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2014
    1 person likes this.
  5. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Crowing

    May 14, 2014
    Welcome to BYC! Glad you decided to join our flock. X2 on Wyandottes7's advice. I would move them into the coop each night and lock them in until morning, and continue to do so until they start going in on their own. It's not cold that will be the problem in winter (feathers are wonderful insulators against cold), but moisture will be if they are roosting outside in cold rain, sleet, or snow. Please feel free to ask any other questions you may have. We are here to help in any way we can. Good luck with your flock.
  6. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Bird is the Word

    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    Hello there and welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    I agree with BantamLover. A chicken sleeping outside is only drawing in predators and will eventually be picked off. Which is only going to get them preds to hang around more in the future looking for another meal. And if you free range at all, these predators may hang around during the day too waiting for another chicken dinner. So I would do my best to get them inside at night. Lure them in with food if you have to, but keep them locked up for their own safety.
  7. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master

    Jan 10, 2013
  8. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 Free Ranging

    Feb 18, 2011
    Hello :frow and Welcome To BYC!
  9. roosterlover897

    roosterlover897 In the Brooder

    Nov 4, 2014
    when it get too cold for the chicken they will go inside, chickens hence their name know their limits they will go inside when they need to put sleeping outside puts them a HIGH risk for predator attacks hope you have a good fence with holes less then 1 inch thick and buried 2 feet in the ground remember WINTER HARDY that specific breed will stay out longer than others good luck.
  10. Mountain Peeps

    Mountain Peeps Change is inevitable, like the seasons

    Apr 23, 2014
    My Coop
    Welcome to BYC! Please make yourself at home and we are here to help

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