Hen outside at night in cold weather

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by denise91, Dec 10, 2013.

  1. denise91

    denise91 Out Of The Brooder

    43
    1
    24
    Oct 25, 2013
    One of my hens didn't return to the coop tonight. I'm hoping that she's just roosting somewhere outside and hasn't been killed. I've looked for her and called her but no luck. I've had chickens hide at night before only to reappear in the morning. But tonight it's supposed to be around 18 degrees. She's supposed to be cold hardy (I believe she's an ISA brown) but I'm not sure how hardy that is. Do you think she'll be ok outside overnight or will she freeze to death?
     
  2. I don't think she would freeze to death at 18f. unless you are having a windy snow and ice storm with it. She will no doubt be roosting, feathers puffed out and sleeping.
    Owls or some other predator may be a bigger concern than the cold, not to alarm you.
    Seriously a chicken can handle that temp no problem, in most cases..
     
  3. denise91

    denise91 Out Of The Brooder

    43
    1
    24
    Oct 25, 2013
    Thanks for the reply! There's a little wind but it's not too bad. Luckily I live in a neighborhood with extremely few predators, wild and domesticated a like, so I have faith in that department.
     
  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    31,452
    3,522
    538
    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    I had a trio of birds that roosted in a tree for over a year, even over winter. One of those birds was a "non cold-hardy" leghorn hen. Temps got down to low teens and upper single digits over that winter and they were just fine. No frostbite on her comb, and if I recall she still gave me an egg every day that winter.
     
  5. Mahlzeit

    Mahlzeit Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,398
    47
    206
    Jul 16, 2007
    Long Island NY
    I wouldn't be worried about the cold. I have 2 hens that don't go in at night and sleep on top of a chain link fence roosting on a cold metal bar. i used to grab them each night and put them in but it never persuaded them to do it on their own. So I figured if it's good enough for them it works for me too.
     
  6. denise91

    denise91 Out Of The Brooder

    43
    1
    24
    Oct 25, 2013
    Thanks you guys! I'm not so worried now. Here's to hoping she shows up tomorrow!
     
  7. chicken8

    chicken8 Out Of The Brooder

    47
    0
    22
    Aug 31, 2013
    Anchorage, Alaska
    We've had weather in the -10s already this winter and there's a little RIR down the street that lives outside, on the ground, at the base of a spruce tree. It's pretty much out in the open other than a bit of a depressing and some wind screening provided by the lowest branches and a shed that's close by. There's a coop with other chickens in it nearby but she doesn't ever seem to go in it. She's been there since I moved to the neighborhood three years ago. The owner built a lean-to type hidey hole right next to her spot, but she won't use that either.
     
  8. denise91

    denise91 Out Of The Brooder

    43
    1
    24
    Oct 25, 2013
    I left the outdoor coop open last night and I found her sitting in there this morning! I'm so happy she's ok but she's grounded!
     
  9. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    31,452
    3,522
    538
    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    Glad she's home safe and sound!!

    I think sometimes they just like to yank our chains.....
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by