Free Ranging in Snow

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Chicken03, Jan 3, 2010.

  1. Chicken03

    Chicken03 Songster

    Mar 20, 2009
    Western Pa
    My chickens do not like the snow. They will go out in there pen if I clear it out then push them out but most of the time they won't go out on their own. Today I opened the main door to see if they would go out. I was hoping they would scratch through the snow and find some stuff to eat. They wandered around in it for a while but thats all. Do your chickens free range in the snow? Will they get used to it after they have been in it for a while? Thanks for any replys.

  2. jenjscott

    jenjscott Mosquito Beach Poultry

    May 24, 2008
    Southeast Arkansas
    Throw a little scratch where you have cleared the snow, and throw some in the snow next to the cleared part. Eventually they should get the idea they can scratch even in the snow. But they will not be able to find their normal amount of forage, and will need heavier feeding.
  3. pkeeler

    pkeeler Songster

    Jul 20, 2008
    I find the chickens will go out if they feel they can fly (i.e. the snow is shallow enough that their wings are free). We just had 25" of snow and the chickens wanted no part of it. After three days, a few would use the path I cleared to the coop. But they would seriously freak if they ended up in the snow. Wild turkeys will stay on the roost after heavy snowfalls.
  4. RocketDad

    RocketDad Songster

    Jul 25, 2008
    Near US 287
    Mine hate snow. I cleaned the coop out and threw the litter over the snow in their run. That helped.

    I shovel paths from the back door to the coop, to the alley gate, to the shop and to my "office" trailer. They pretty much stick to the paths. They also like to hang out under the eaves and evergreens where the snow hasn't fallen. I'm not real obsessive about leaf raking, so they have nice places to hang out and scratch under the big cedar.

  5. JakRat

    JakRat Songster

    Apr 22, 2009
    yeah mine look at me like "you have got to be kidding" ... they get out for a second but then stand around like flamingos... they like eatting the snow that might get in their coop, but other than that they are not fans at all...

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