Freerange Chickens and Thunderstorms

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by RowanTheRed, May 28, 2017.

  1. Leave them be, they will get out of the rain and seek shelter when they need to.

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  2. Keep them in their house until the storm(s) pass, even if this means for several days.

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  3. Let them out when it's not raining & play chinken wrangler to get them back in when the rain starts

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  1. RowanTheRed

    RowanTheRed Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 15, 2017
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    I am pretty new to being a chicken mother as a grown up. We had chickens when I was a young girl, which was too long ago to say how long ago! Anyways, I was wondering what the general consensus is when it comes to thunderstorms? I don't EVER remember my dad putting the chickens up any time we had thunderstorms, which growing up in Florida was a daily occurrence most months.

    I have 4 chickens that are 6+ weeks and 4 that are around 3 months. Up until two night ago they all came into my house at night and slept in their 2 pens, big girls in one pen and the younger ones in another. They now have a wonderful new 8 x 10 home that they stay in at night, although I still keep the younger ones in their pen in there so the big girls don't peck the snot out of them all night and terrorize them to no end. During the day when I am at home they free range. When I am at work both groups have different runs they are in. However, because of the new house the runs currently are not entirely up, the big one is 90% finished but needs work still. So as of now they can go in to it but come right back out if they feel like it.

    Today and tomorrow we are expecting severe thunderstorms with the potential of hail and damaging winds. I am not certain if I should just leave them in their house or let them out and hope they find their way back inside or at least seek cover. I would have to let the younger ones out of their pen so they weren't so confined, and this is a possible issue with the bigger ones picking on them.

    So, what do you guys do when you are expecting a big storm?
     
  2. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Need to consider if there is cover available. Many people provide no cover the birds can get to.
     
  3. RowanTheRed

    RowanTheRed Chillin' With My Peeps

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    other than their new house, they can also still get under that house as well. Plus I have large deck and another shed that they can get under. As well as trees. The area behind the chicken house and shed and between the fence is mostly covered with leland cypress trees which provide quite a bit of protection from rain.
     
  4. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Caver mine use is usually in the form of bushes, especially when you have several bushes in a clump. Such provide more wind protection than trees.
     
  5. SueT

    SueT Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Older chickens know when and where to come in and shelter when there's a storm...yours, with everything new, may not. I'd close them in. That said, that system came thru here yesterday and we didn't get anything. We could hear the thunder, but it stayed just south of us.
     
  6. aldarita

    aldarita Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Your two sets of chickens are still very young, my older hens know what to do when there is a storm, they have learned by experience, they take cover as soon as it starts raining.
    Since you are providing several shelters, I guess you will have to trust their instincts. I say it is better to leave them out than keeping them locked in unless it is just while the storm passes by instead of all day long.
     
  7. RowanTheRed

    RowanTheRed Chillin' With My Peeps

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    that's my concern, it is all very new to them and I still have to wrangle them in there at night. Although during the day time they go in and out and I often find the younger ones napping in their pen in there during the day.

    @centrarchid there are some hygrangea bushes as well, but I can't really remember seeing them in that area of the yard.
     
  8. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Mine like to get into sumac stands and brambles. Some also go into patches of persimmon trees when they still have branches close to ground.
     
  9. jeria

    jeria Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That has been a question in my mind as well. When I'm working and storms are predicted 60-70 mph winds are frequent and 40-50mph winds pretty normal with any storm. Also in the winter with storms predicted to come in after I leave for work. I will have a covered enclosed run with a raised coop enclosed in the run.
     

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