First fall/winter

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by spunkyfroggie, Nov 7, 2014.

  1. spunkyfroggie

    spunkyfroggie In the Brooder

    Jul 19, 2014
    Louisville Kentucky
    Should the coop door be left closed or open into the run when it gets cold? And at what temp is too cold to let them out?

  2. cnicho05

    cnicho05 Chirping

    Feb 22, 2014
    Owosso, MI

    Really this would be dependent on the breed of chicken you are raising. For most breeds, you won't need to worry about the coop door. I generally leave the door on my coop bolted open as to allow my birds the option to enter/leave when they wish to. This allows them to better control their body temperature (entering the coop to warm-up/leaving it to cool-off). If you are raising bantams you might want to consider closing the door at night or when the temperature drops below 1*F as this is too cold for them.

    As for letting them out (assuming you are speaking about free-range)...I would base your practices on the same concept used for your coop. Free ranging allows chickens to run around and work for their food which increases body temperature. This helps keep chickens warm and happy throughout the winter months. I would suggest, however, that you limit this if the temperature does get below zero (or below 30*F for bantams).

    As always, just try it a few times and see how your chickens like the change. Some people will say their birds won't touch snow while other write their chickens love to play in it. Every flock is different and the best answer is to try it over a weekend or a period of time when you are home. Just monitor closely and see how things work out.

    Best of luck...
  3. spunkyfroggie

    spunkyfroggie In the Brooder

    Jul 19, 2014
    Louisville Kentucky
    Thanks. I have a RIR and a buff Orphington and a black copper Maran and three Plymouth rocks .
  4. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Hi Spunky...we're almost neighbors. I'm just across the Sherman Minton Bridge in Floyds Knobs, Indiana, so we have the same weather. With those breeds, in our area, I've opened my pop door every day for the past five years for my LF girls. Now, there have been really cold, nasty days where they've chosen to stay inside (generally when snow is on the ground), but I've always offered by opening the pop door, even if just for a few hours. When snow is on the ground, I'll shovel them a little area outside and toss some straw around (and some scratch) to lure them out so they stretch their legs and wings a bit...

  5. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Crowing

    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    I think when people think warm, they think shut the house up tight and turn up the heat. We try to apply that concept to chickens and that is where I went wrong the first years. I kept thinking that I needed to block off the outdoor air, so they could be warmer.

    I have now come to the idea, that a chicken can keep herself warm if she is protected from the wind and MOISTURE. A wet chicken is a cold one, a dry chicken is warm. When people talk about ventilation, it just seems so counter intuitive to keep chickens warm, you let in the cold air.
    but what you are doing is letting the moisture out.

    Think of being in a car with a bunch of people when it is cold out, with out circulation of air, within minutes, the moisture begins to collect. Chickens too put off a lot of moisture with their breath and feces. To keep chickens warm, they need to have space around them, they need to be away from the wall, and away from the ceiling where their moisture will collect. Dry absorbing bedding down below. Don't look at your door, look at where your roosts are, and how close to the ceiling or wall your chickens are when they are on them.

    Mrs K

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