do you keep your chickens in the coop in winter or let them out in run

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by blueseal, Sep 2, 2009.

  1. blueseal

    blueseal Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 3, 2008
    i have a10x12 high side barn for my 23 chickens and they have 200 sq ft of outside fenced area to roam but in the winter they dont like the snow. so should i build a run with a roof so they have outside access or will they be fine cooped up.
  2. The Chicken People

    The Chicken People Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 4, 2009
    Smithville, Mo
    Good question....
  3. They will be just fine with what you have for them as long as they have access into the barn at all times.

    Of course a covered run is always nice to have and the chickens would enjoy it i am sure .
  4. Opa

    Opa Opa-wan Chickenobi

    May 11, 2008
    Howell Michigan
    I agree with what Fay said. Mine go in and out all winter.
  5. CoyoteMagic

    CoyoteMagic RIP ?-2014

    Mine come and go. They aren't big on the snow but will jump/fly to areas where the snow has melted.
  6. Luvin Life

    Luvin Life Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 21, 2009
    Brownsburg, Indiana
    Mine do both as well. They don'tcare much for the snow but will go in a little bit. [​IMG]
  7. yellowchickensmomma

    yellowchickensmomma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 19, 2009
    I was wondering about that too. This winter will be my first with chickens. Thanks.
  8. Sissy

    Sissy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 18, 2007
    Sevier county, Tn.
    I kept mine in their coop last year with a heat lamp.and a window slightly opened.
    but this winter they are going into their new run with a metal roof
    attached to their coop and hope they will enjoy it,
    I am looking foward to see how they take to the snow , If we get some
    like last year.
  9. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    If your chickens don't go out in the snow much -- and I have to say, mine don't much care for it either, at least not for long periods of time -- then with the coop being that small, it would be a really really good idea to roof some run for them if you can afford it.

    It can be a bit pricey though b/c you have to engineer it to withstand snow and wind, you end up essentially building a wall-less shed and that takes a Bit O' Lumber plus of course the roofing itself.

    Mind, I have a roofed run that I wrap most of the way around in plastic, and they STILL don't spend all *that* much time out there. For me, the real solution is to provide lots and lots of indoor space -- like 15 sq ft per hen indoors, and I would never go lower than 10 sq ft per hen indoors.

    Good luck, have fun,

  10. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    Like Pat, we have lots of room indoors and out. Unless it is very severe we open the pop door to a roofed run and let them decide. I never let them out before sunrise and I always have them in before sunset and we're heavily predator-proofed. We use 1/4" plyboard on the bottom half of the run as snow boards, and we use thick vinyl on the west end because the majority of severe wind comes from that side. Heated dog bowl as a waterer indoors and if the temps are above freezing I give them water outdoors too. Mine are snow babies, locally provided and raised with deep feathercoats. Mutts, I admit and great layers!

    Last edited: Sep 3, 2009

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by