Do chickens know enough to come in out of the cold?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by ace6175, Dec 7, 2009.

  1. ace6175

    ace6175 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 9, 2009
    I've written about my picked on Ameracauna, Avril, before. She's at least 30 weeks old, probably 2 weeks younger than the other 8 hens I have. I got her after the others were 8 weeks old, all had grown up together before she joined the flock. There is no actual pecking going on, but she was always a little younger, and she's afraid of them. Some chase her away from the food. I don't think she has ever laid an egg (no green or blue eggs, the most eggs in 1 day has been 8). However, she looks quite healthy, nice shiny feathers.
    The problem is the cold weather. In the summer, the hens have a large area to roam (100' X 50'), so Avril had lots of room to avoid the aggressive hens, and lots of free range food. Now, the outside food sources are pretty much gone, as the ground is frozen. I have put 2 more feeders outside, so she will have access to food, but I wonder if she will go into the coop if she is cold? She is always the last one in at night. My husband said he saw her shivering outside today (though not bad, 30 degrees and 1" snow) There are places in the yard that have a little shelter, but will that be enough for her?
    My neighbor keeps telling me that she'll be fine, but I feel bad for putting her in this position of being absolute lowest on the pecking order.
    Any ideas or suggestions?
    A picture of Avril
  2. ranchhand

    ranchhand Rest in Peace 1956-2011

    Aug 25, 2008
    I've never dealt with that specific situation. If faced with it, I would carry her to the coop every night and put her on the roost, until they all accept it as fact. Might take a while, but it's the same as introducing a new bird to the flock- patience and persistance work best.

    Good luck, she quite pretty!

    Edtted because my spelling is far better than my typing!
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2009
  3. chickon baby

    chickon baby Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 26, 2009
    st charles
    I'm sorry I really dont have any advice, but my G.L wyondotte is the smallest as well as the last on the pecking order.I tend to favor her and make sure she has extra treats,she will eat out of my hand and I try to throw the treats to the others in the opposite direction.Do you lock them in at night? If so,I'd pick her up and bring her in,giving her treats as you go.Just a idea.Good luck
  4. ace6175

    ace6175 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 9, 2009
    Thanks for the advice - she is quite spoiled as now she jumps onto my shoulder looking for treats! [​IMG]
    Maybe if it's too cold during the day, I won't let them out. Have been adding shelves and perches to the coop so more places inside to hide.
  5. Keri78

    Keri78 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 17, 2009
    Yeah...I have a little "frazzled frizzle girl" who we call "Tushie" b/c that's where she lands every time she tries to fly!(lol) She has alot less feathering than the other girls and is completely bald under her wings which is what creates the cute little flip flap and fly and then bumpy land on her bum!!![​IMG] Anyway, she's extremely little and although she can be bossy sometimes she does need help being put to bed at night. One night I thought she went to bed with the rest of the flock and in the morning I found her soaking wet and shivering cold to the bone laying under my pine tree![​IMG] So after this, I've made it a point to go out and put her to bed. Tushie is a special case I think but yours may catch on and fit in more and more as she matures. Blessings, Keri
  6. Sturgeon

    Sturgeon New Egg

    Oct 31, 2009
    Im in western washington, with my 4 RIR, there about17, 18 weeks old. This week the temps will be in the lower teens, at night, low 30's during the day.But my hens, I discovered during a surprise bedcheck, have been roosting in a pine tree near the ramp to their pop door.Checking the coop, which has stayed very clean for the month Ive had them, is not being used to sleep in since I started letting them out side. The head chicken leads them up the tree at dusk, and I either have to grab them off and put them in the coop, or start herding them inside before dusk when they are still out. Any suggestions how to break them of living out side? They seem to stand the cold ok,but , I dont want a daily egg hunt when they start laying in the spring. I plan on a bit of tough love, keeping them cooped again for a week, like when I brought them home, and husleing them in at night and locking the door.
  7. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Quote:Hi and welcome to BYC!
    Yep, practice some tough love. Lock them in the coop for at least a week. It should program their itty bitty brains to consider the coop home. When their time is up, start by letting them out just an hour or two before sunset, so they don't have time to wander far before it's time to head back in to the coop. If a week doesn't do it, you may have to keep them locked up longer. It's for their own good. A tree is not a safe place to roost at night, as several different predators can also climb trees. After that, just be sure and close the coop door each night, so they have no choice.

    By the way, in the future you might want to start your own thread to ask a new question. If you tack your question onto the back of someone else's thread it's considered hijacking. It's also more likely that your question will inadvertently get overlooked.
    If you don't know how to start your own thread, it can be confusing at first, feel free to PM me (click on PM under my name to the left) and I'll be glad to help you out. [​IMG]
  8. Breezey

    Breezey New Egg

    Apr 9, 2009
    I've repeatedly found my "lowest in the pecking order" cuddled up outside the coop. I pick her up and place her inside every evening and shut them in. Recently I have found her in the coop on her own (although not cuddled up snugly with the others.)
  9. WriterofWords

    WriterofWords Has Fainting Chickens

    Dec 25, 2007
    Chaparral, New Mexico
    Mine find all kinds of places to hide from the elements if they don't go into the coop. Of course my New Mexico Tree Chickens sleep in the freezing rain and snow up in a tree with no shelter! Just keep putting her in after the others are roosting and they should get used to having her in there.
  10. Overeasyplz

    Overeasyplz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 8, 2009
    Mine are great about going back to the house at night. I think it's because it's so cold out:)

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