First Winter With Chickens

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by CountryMamma, Nov 24, 2013.

  1. CountryMamma

    CountryMamma New Egg

    Aug 7, 2013
    New Jersey
    As our temperatures have dropped, I've been one of those nervous chicken moms - thinking it is way too cold for them and getting the urge to install electricity for heat in their coop. I read the threads and info about chickens surviving for centuries without indoor spaces - let alone indoor heat... but I still worried.

    Not anymore...

    2 Days ago, one crazy and curious chicken (Buttercup, a Buff Orp) jumped the gate. We were there, so we caught her and put her back in with the flock. We thought -- 'we'll keep an eye out and if she does it again we'll have to figure something out...'.

    Last night, when going out to do the evening chicken count and lock up we were down 1 Buff Orp...

    So for over an hour, in the FREEZING cold, my husband and I searched the property with flash lights including the wooded area next to their coop & free range area. When the kids finally noticed we were missing...they came out and joined the search too. Nothing. No sign of her. No sign of predator attack. Eventually we called it a night and thought either a hawk got her OR she was hiding. I was not optimistic.

    This morning, my husband went to let the chickens out of the coop and low and behold... Buttercup comes running out of the woods!! [​IMG]

    She made it, on her own, in the woods, in the coldest temperatures we have had yet this year (it was well below freezing and windy).

    Lessons Learned:
    1. if they do it once, they WILL do it again...
    2. chickens (at least Buff Orps) are way more cold hardy that I ever would have thought

    My husband increased the height of the gate this morning...
  2. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

    Feb 18, 2011
    Hello :frow and Welcome to BYC! Sounds like Buttercup has an adventurous spirit, think she would wait until spring to go camping in the woods though.
  3. Ducclelover10

    Ducclelover10 Overrun With Chickens

    Welcome to BYC! Happy to have you join this wonderful website! :weee
  4. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Hopefully she is sleeping in the coop tonight. The critters are getting hungry out there, and here in NJ we have about everything but wolves and cougars. Welcome to BYC.
  5. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    [​IMG] Could you cover your run so she can't fly out? She won't have 9 lives like a cat. Is there any chance she is brooding and hiding a nest somewhere?
  6. liz9910

    liz9910 Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 8, 2012
    Northern California
    Welcome to BYC! I would also clip her wings so she can't get out, good luck to you.

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