Do you chickens go outside during wintertime when its cold outside

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Jack142, Sep 19, 2010.

  1. Jack142

    Jack142 Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 3, 2010
    Hi gang;
    We are here in Colorado and the winters are ususally pretty mild temps in the low 30's and usually not too much snow. Should we continue letting the birds out into the run when its cold outside. also; when the run is snow covered. should we put the birds out.
    We havent raised chickens in 20 yrs now so we are relearning.
    thanks Jack
  2. jojo54

    jojo54 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 24, 2009
    BC Canada
    I let my chickens decide. I open the door and they can go out or stay in. Usually they go out unless it is real windy and cold.

    Oh and BTW welcome to BYC. [​IMG]
  3. Brahma Mamma

    Brahma Mamma Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 16, 2010
    I live in northern Michigan and it get REALLY cold here. I also give them the option to go out, even on super cold days. Chickens are quite comfortable all the way down to 5 degrees. My chickens don't like a pile of snow to walk through, however...
  4. savingdogs

    savingdogs Chillin' With My Peeps

    We give ours the choice too.

    Mine do not mind snow and cold but they hate rain. They stay inside then.
  5. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    We'll see. Last winter they were chicks in the brooder.... and then chicks in the coop with a heat lamp, still confined inside.

    Of course, winter HERE is when I have to put gloves on in the mornings to handle the chain link gate so I can get off the property to go to work. And a sweater or nice sweatshirt, with pretty galoshes on my feet. Months before then, everybody else around here has been bundled up in coats, hats, gloves, mufflers, fleece line boots and thermal undies. At a terrifying 40 degrees. [​IMG]

    I'm a transplant from the coast, quite used to cool weather.

    We get only a few days of below freezing temps. No snow this low. I don't expect the chickens will need to stay inside the coop(s) unless there's some wind with rain.
  6. pgpoultry

    pgpoultry Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 16, 2009
    Hi, I'm from mid Wales. Last year we had a very long and very snowy winter.

    Every morning if there had been fresh snow I would clear the area in front of the coop and then open the door. The mob would look out and very slowly emerge, making quite a racket when their feet finally touched the snowy ground [​IMG]. BUT they all came out. Some would only emerge as far as the periphery of the cleared ground, others (particularly a couple of Brahmas) would come out and scuttle as quickly as they could to our old barn, sometimes with little snowballs on their feet.

    They all stayed out during the short day apart from if a snowstorm brewed up when they would retreat to the coop.

  7. 3chimama

    3chimama Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 8, 2010
    Pacific Northwest
    I let my girls decide too.
  8. Kittymomma

    Kittymomma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 9, 2009
    Olympia, WA
    Mine do. I don't make them, but they seem to like it. They freerange and will spend most of their time in the lean-to and barn if it's really nasty out, but I've seen them wading thru the creek when the temps. are well below freezing (not that often around here) and it hasn't seemed to hurt any of them.
  9. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    Mine LOVE to go out into the perfect weather in winter. Me too!
  10. write2caroline

    write2caroline Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 21, 2009
    I would let them out. Maybe shovel off any snow and put down some pine shavings. I think the big problem is frost bite and that comes from humidity and freezing conditions so some bag balm or vasaline on the combs is good and wider roosts 2X2 poles so that their feathers cover their feet when they sit will prevent that problem. We live in Florida but my neighbors from when we lived in NY let their girls out daily.

    We had quite a few freezing days. I added buckets of hot water with lids at night in each coop for warmth - the heat dissipated slowly with the lid and they were warm. My coops have good ventilation and keep the breezes out. On the coldest blustery days I packed some of the holes with hay to stop drafts. but not during the day just at night.

    Remember Humidity and freezing temps are the problem - They are self equipped for cold temps with those great under feathers.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by