Do chickens come in out of the rain? I don't know!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Life is Good!, May 11, 2011.

  1. Life is Good!

    Life is Good! Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 14, 2011
    suburbia Chicagoland
    This is a silly/wierd kind of question. It's behaviorial related, so I planted it here....if it better belongs with chicks (as they are young), please move if needed.

    I've got 11 - 6wk old Black and White Java chicks. 7 of the 11 have enough feathers to protect from rain/wind/cold - other 5 not so much. They do not have any other older chickens to guide their behavior - they're on their own with instinct and each other - out in the big coop with the big run to play in. It's tarped on top, so there's some chance of being covered in the weather...

    My chicks haven't all yet figured out they can come and go at will (I think) - as I've only seen a few of the 'braver' ones go in and out and in and out and in and out! [​IMG]
    We're expecting nasty thunderstorms for the next few days here in Chicagoland....last week was frost advisories and this week it's 85+ degrees?! Gads. [​IMG]

    Do chicks know to come in out of the rain?! I imagine those who are less feathered would, and those who are more feathered may opt to get a bath. But I wonder if the less-feathered ones would get a chill.

    Asking because the coop is located behind the barn - out of view from the house. And I broke my foot, which means I cannot just dash out to the coop to check on 'em at whim any longer. Which really stinks, as I've got 4 weeks of this cast to deal with. [​IMG]

    (Thinking I might need some sort of survellience camera system because I'm having chick withdrawls already, and it's only been a few days!)
  2. superchemicalgirl

    superchemicalgirl HEN PECKED

    Jan 10, 2010
    Vacationland, Maine
    It's my opinion that they'll be fine as long as they have a place they can get to that's dry and protected when they want it.

    My hens don't come in out of bad weather, and I've thrown 6 to 7 week old chicks out in the coop during the end of winter here (it was below freezing but they were fully feathered).
  3. bburn

    bburn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 9, 2010
    Delaware, Arkansas
    They will if they want to and they won't if they don't. LOL.

    Actually with chicks not completly feathered out you need to still be watching the temps if they are outside. They need to be completely feathered out.

    The -5 degree thing for each week of their life starting with 95 degrees.

    But, no, my chickens don't come in out of the rain. But my outside ones are a year old. I had a rooster who slept on top of his dog house coop for weeks in the rain. I worried but it did not hurt him. Then the big coop was built and he slept inside.

    With yours you might want to keep them in during bad weather for a few more weeks. I think.
  4. maggiegigs

    maggiegigs Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 31, 2010
    I have two Orpington hens and since they were pullets they would stay in the rain all day. ALL DAY. One of them had a pearl size discharge around her nostrils and in the corner of her eyes. It was a chilly day. Since then if it is raining I put them into the coop and close them down around four hours before they would go on the roost. If it was a chilly day or in the winter I would do the same but with the 250 red lamp above them to dry them before they roost. I never encountered the problem again. Nor did they ever get sick. But they should be dry before sundown I felt. Just my experience. Hope this helps.
  5. welasharon

    welasharon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 28, 2010
    North Florida
    My polish have no clue. I had to put a top on the pen to keep them dry. If their heads get wet they crouch down and walk around backwards in circles trying to get away from the big bad thing coming at them (their wet crests)...
  6. Lovable Chicks

    Lovable Chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 23, 2010
    I have year old chickens and every time it rains they go to the coop. They refused to go out in the snow too. When they were peeps I ALWAYS put them in when it rained.
  7. superchemicalgirl

    superchemicalgirl HEN PECKED

    Jan 10, 2010
    Vacationland, Maine
    Quote:And I always let mine run around outside no matter the weather, unless it was a blizzard. It's up to your management style how you want to do it. Here in Maine we've got about 6 months of "winter" so I expect that my birds get used to fowl weather or else it will be a long miserable winter for all of us.

    I don't think they would have done near as well this winter if I had locked them up every time there was bad weather.

    They always have the protected coop to hang out in or under if they need a break from bad weather.
  8. TeamChaos

    TeamChaos Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 8, 2009
    Sorry you have a broken foot! No fun! I'm your neighbor in WI, so I'm guessing we're in for a similar ride w/ this weather. I've had chickens for a year now and honestly I ran around like a nut putting the first wave of babies in the coop at the first sign of rain- they were upset, I was upset, it just didn't work. Left to their own devices, they would much rather take shelter under their coop, hide in the barn or hang out in one of the straw bale wind breaks I have in the run. This year I've got hatchery adolescents, broody-raised babies and my original year olds-- so far everyone has managed to keep themselves alive during the storms; the only panic time (both this year and last) has been when there is flooding involved. Good luck to you!
  9. AlabamaChickenLady

    AlabamaChickenLady Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 4, 2011
    Oak Grove, Alabama
    Last year, when I was new to all this, I would run out to put them all inside at the first sign of bad weather. Then I was not here, I came down sick, or I couldn't get out there fast enough to put them up. They would always put up such a fight to be put inside that it became a struggle that usually left us covered in mud and chicken muck. So by and by... I just stopped doing it. Now they just hang out under the coop or scratch around in the mud looking for worms while it rains away. They will be fine and they will find their own way. [​IMG]
  10. whiteflare

    whiteflare Out of the blue

    Mar 13, 2011
    [​IMG] Funny you should ask this. We have been noticing that the hens refuse to go into the coop during a storm. They'll stand outside bawking at us, getting soaked to the skin, and when we try to lead them into the coop, they bounce right back out after us, eagerly rushing at our feet. They'll stand at the gate and wait there for as long as it takes to get them some more food [​IMG]

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