Freedom or Safety, need advice PLEASE

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Ema, Jan 30, 2011.

  1. Ema

    Ema Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 4, 2010
    N. Ontario CANADA
    well the cold snap had passed somewhat...it is still ranging between -30 to -35 with the windchills. everything was fine but then I noticed they were getting too cold when allowed to go out int he run, which by the way is tarped to avoid drafts. so I have been keeping them in.

    However the last few days the chickens have started acting odd and more aggressive. pecking each other, flying at us when we go in the coop, rushing the coop door all at once and in general seem to be quite upset.

    in these temps should I continue to hold them in until the temps normalize a bit or allow nature to take its course and give them their freedom, I am just so worried that they will get sick if allowed to go outside in this cold....by the way they are usually out there all day long its only been a week and half I have had them in because of the minus -40C cold snap we got. Now its -34C, which is about the same in Fahrenheit.

    freedom?? or keep them in for their safety??
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2011
  2. 7L Farm

    7L Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 22, 2010
    Anderson, Texas
    We don't do - in Texas. I sure wouldn't go outside. But chickens get cabin fever let them decide if they wanna go out or stay in.
     
  3. Ema

    Ema Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 4, 2010
    N. Ontario CANADA
    If I lived in a warmer climate this wouldn't be an issue...lol....I am just a a loss here. I hate seeing them so miserable. my RIR's are usually very nice, their behavious is just out of control. so I know they are mad because they are not going out. Its nice and sunny today, but still very cold.

    I guess I will open up the pop door and let them decide. just really worried they are going to end up suffering from the cold :-(
     
  4. annaraven

    annaraven Born this way

    Apr 15, 2010
    SillyCon Valley
    I think if they get cold, they'll come in.

    I also gave mine some extra treats to keep them busy in the run. (It's raining like the dickens today and I've got new hens as well so I'm keeping them in.)
     
  5. Ema

    Ema Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 4, 2010
    N. Ontario CANADA
    Quote:thanks Anna, I guess we will see at the end of the day if I made a bad choice....they got lots of treats to keep them busy, BOSS and scratch, I don't want to make them fat with all the scratch but they certainly need it for extra energy. they get more BOSS than anything else for treats.
     
  6. lorieMN

    lorieMN Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 19, 2008
    montevideo,MN
    im in MN and leave the door open for them if they want to go out,,I havent had any issues..when they get cold they will go back in
     
  7. beardiemom

    beardiemom Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 21, 2010
    Western MA
    This is our first winter with chickens (and ducks) and while it isn't as cold in Massachusetts as I know you have in Ontario, we have struggled with the same kind of problems. We have shoveled paths to get to the coop and the chickens use those to get to the porch, the bird feeder, and other places. They love going under the porch to get dirt baths. We tried keeping them in, putting down lots of hay, and giving extra scratch.

    They are definitely happier outside, but put themselves back in the coop during miserable weather. We also bribe them back into the coop early enough that we can count all the heads. The one concern we have is if a chicken gets frightened and lands in deep snow. It happened while I was out cleaning, and the chicken didn't move so I plucked her out and put her on solid snow.

    Sharon
     
  8. un-named

    un-named Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 15, 2010
    Quote:Can you let them out for just a few hours and monitor them?
     
  9. Ema

    Ema Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 4, 2010
    N. Ontario CANADA
    yes they are certainly happier outside that is for sure.

    We are going to monitor them today. Even though they are in a covered run, we will have to keep a good eye on them. We got a mama bobcat with her 3 kittens not even 2 acres from here. She is teaching them to hunt. been watching them for over a week. Beautiful animals but I know sooner or later mama might try to get those kittens to try and practice with my flock if I am not monitoring the situation.
     

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