1. Come check out hundreds of awesome coop pages (and a few that need suggestions) in our 2018 Coop Rating Project!

First winter, what do chickens do all winter?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by CAjerseychick, Oct 12, 2012.

  1. CAjerseychick

    CAjerseychick Songster

    Jun 25, 2012
    Northern California!
    Hello all just wondering, as winter is fast approaching, how do people manage their flocks in winter?
    What do chickens do all day when let out into the yard- its all dead grass now, and soon to be muddy and slushy...
    Mine do have a ramp that runs alongside the house that their coop is built underneath and it extends to form a small porch overhang they can congregate under (cement floor)- so they will have cover out of the weather...but what do they do all winter long. I suppose I can hang some cabbages to peck at and leave a bale of straw out for them to play in, and hoping their water wont freeze if I move to up against the house/underneath the porch....
    We will get snow but not as much as say Minnesota and it mostly melts in a day or so anyway at this altitude (2700 ft)...
    Just wanted to hear what other people's chickens do all winter...
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2012

  2. HEChicken

    HEChicken Crowing

    Aug 12, 2009
    BuCo, KS
    My Coop
    Mine wander around, looking for patches of sunshine to stand in and warm up. I typically still have some that are laying so they spend a little time in the nest boxes laying their eggs. Go into the coop to eat, go get a drink of water, wander around some more. Really, just the same as they do in summer, except without the grass and bugs to eat.

    I provide them with a chicken solarium so they have a place to get out of the wind and enjoy the sun:
    1 person likes this.
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    Mine do the same as in the summer. The green stuff will be brown but they eat brown vegetation, as well as weed and grass seeds. They scratch and peck in the dirt. They probably find some creepy crawlies but definitely get grit and just eat dirt for minerals, same as summer.

    You don't have to worry. As long as they have space, they won't be bored.
  4. sezjasper

    sezjasper Songster

    May 6, 2012
    Eldersburg, Maryland
    What a good idea! I'm going to try it! My chickens and I say thank you!

    NYREDS Crowing

    Jan 14, 2008
    Catch up on their reading, learn to knit, take a correspondence course, learn a foreign language.
    They're chckens, they eat sleep & poop. If you light their coop they'll lay eggs.
    1 person likes this.
  6. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon

    I have to admit, my first thought was our new wireless router reaches past my coop, so now my birds can get online!

    Cause I don't let them text anymore, ya know!
  7. off-grid hen

    off-grid hen Songster

    Mar 1, 2011
    Upstate NY
    Lol@NYReds! :lol:

    Mine usually just hang around. If I keep them in the coop and run they know there's no forage, so they hang around and sun bathe. They get up and have a snack and a drink once in a while. (They don't do much if they're locked up in the summer either, matter of fact. No chance for forage = lazy chickens). They don't like to walk on ice or snow, but if the snow isn't too deep, they will cross the yard to go under my porch and have a dust bath. They hang out and sunbathe and dust bathe there most of the day, going back to the coop to lay and have a snack. I throw some scratch in the shavings, give them homemade suet blocks and hang cabbages for them to give them something more to do. I try not to overdo the treats, though. Unless its really cold and they need the calories.

  8. TXchickmum

    TXchickmum Songster

    Apr 21, 2012
    North Texas
    We are planning on seeding some Elbon Rye in the next day or two so the chickens will have some winter grass on which to feed. We'll also be planting kale for 'em.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by