Free rangeing in winter?!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by joyous, Dec 4, 2009.

  1. joyous

    joyous Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 3, 2009
    Davenport, Iowa
    This is my first Iowa winter with chickens. I have 2 hens, 6 -18 week old pullets and 6 -18 week old guineas in a tall 12 x 10 coop with an attached 11 x 10 covered run. I live on 3 acres in the middle of farm land. All the fields are harvested, and I still have some greenish grass. Today it is 25 degrees with a wind chill to 19. No precipitation. When do you NOT let your poultry free range? What are some parameters?
     
  2. Marlinchaser

    Marlinchaser Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 18, 2007
    MERRY LAND
    I open the door everyday, its thier choice if they come out, or stay inside, most days they come out,, even if its just to run(hop/skip/jump/fly) over the snow to get to dirt/leaves under the trees.
     
  3. Quadog

    Quadog Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 7, 2009
    I will let mine out whenever I can get to the coop. If it's a blizzard or a rain storm, they might have to stay in that day. They will go back in the coop after a while if they don't like it outside.
     
  4. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    The only time I don't free range is high winds, above 60mph. I don't want the chickens to get hurt by flying debris.


    Imp-or become flying debris
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2009
  5. HorseFeatherz NV

    HorseFeatherz NV Eggink Chickens

    I also open up the coop every day. This morning it was 12 degrees and everyone happily came tumbling out the pop door. I even have two sets of chicks (8 weeks today) who live outside with their mothers.
     
  6. Keara

    Keara Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 24, 2009
    Vermont
    I almost always let mine chose. They love to get out walk on top of the snow and find their way into the barn or under the porch, for a good dust bath. Only time I keep them in is if is blizzard like, cuz I worry about them getting lost.
     
  7. Bluemoon420

    Bluemoon420 The Rooster Queen

    We had snow last night, and mine are out free ranging right now. They do have very old, large pine trees they take cover in when it gets windy. They love to dust bathe in the pines, and I think the pine needles help with warmth. I wasn't sure they would come out this morning when I opened the coop, but the snow doesn't seem to bother them at all.

    Bluemoon
     
  8. Rangely

    Rangely Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 4, 2009
    Fort Collins
    I don't want my girls feeling "cooped up."

    4 below zero this AM and all 10 came out .
     
  9. joyous

    joyous Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 3, 2009
    Davenport, Iowa
    Thanks guys! They are all outside, they do love it, I am just being over protective I'm sure. Last night one of my polish did not come in with the rest of them and I am afraid I have lost her. The cost of freedom?
     
  10. boxermom

    boxermom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 22, 2009
    Spencer,IA
    We had our first snow yesterday. I opened the barn door and they ran for it as usual, until the saw the snow. You should have heard the tires squeal! They didn't go out yesterday and didn't want anything to do with it today either. It's going to be a long winter if they are afraid of a quarter inch of snow... [​IMG]
     

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