Hens and weather

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Terry c, Oct 20, 2012.

  1. Terry c

    Terry c New Egg

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    Oct 20, 2012
    I have two four month old leghorns that are just starting to lay eggs and two five month old ducks Perkin's. My ducks like it outside in all weather and rarely use the small barn we have for them but my hens use to stay in their barn a lot but will come out all the time now. What concerns me is my little hens will come out in the rain and cold and i want to know if they are ok doing this. My ducks and hens are in a large enclosed pen with plenty of room so we don't lock them in at night. Thank you.
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    South Georgia
    Mine are out in almost all weather, too -- as are most chickens, from what I've read here. I have a large breezy coop, and most of their indoor daytime in the coop is during hot weather, I assume because it's a little cooler and shadier, and I run a fan. Once in a while they will go inside when there's a hard rain, especially with wind, but just simple rain doesn't deter them.
     
  3. Terry c

    Terry c New Egg

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    Oct 20, 2012
    Thank you for your quick response. This is new to me and I love my little hens. My ducks seem to stay out in all weather and they don't like my hens. I want to add some new hens in the spring and I think I may have to find a new home for my ducks. Actually my hens are a lot cleaner then my ducks and less work.
     
  4. HouseCat

    HouseCat Chillin' With My Peeps

    My chickens love to wander around in the rain too. Even though they're dust-bathers, I'm sure a little sprinkling of water feels good on their feathers/skin. As long as the rain isn't too hard and the wind isn't blowing them around the yard, they're outside. Anyways, when it's raining is the best time to go worm hunting as it brings all of the worms up to the surface!
     
  5. Terry c

    Terry c New Egg

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    Oct 20, 2012
    Thank you House Cat, I Live near Hale Mi. and being new to raising my tiny flock of two hens and two ducks I appreciate all the help I can get. I have to trim my hens feathers on one side to keep them in thier pens and I want to purchess a couple more hens next year. I would like to find some that stay closer to the ground. Do you have any suggestion on what breed I should consider? I want them for eggs.
     
  6. Brettspaid

    Brettspaid New Egg

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    Oct 22, 2012
    I lost one chick to a hawk...I dont cut my hens feathers but i did put a very thin netting over the outside of my pen....they have been safe since. You can barely see it but the hawks can!...doesnt look bad..
     
  7. Terry c

    Terry c New Egg

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    Oct 20, 2012
    Thank you for the info on the hawks Brettspaid, where would I find this kind of net ?
     
  8. HouseCat

    HouseCat Chillin' With My Peeps

    I would stay away from Mediterranean breeds and choose from the "Heavies". Breeds like Easter Eggers, Australorps, Dorkings, Heritage Delawares, Brahmas, Iowa Blues, Hatchery Cornish, Marans, Orloffs, Wyandottes, etc.
    My favorite breed for people new to chickens is Easter Eggers because:
    They're friendly.
    They're docile and the roos grow large enough to make a decent broiler.
    They come in muliple colors.
    They are very cold-hardy
    They have different colored eggs!

    I raise a starter a few starter flocks of EE every spring for people just getting into chickens and I've never had a complaint.
    Just my 2 cents,
    hc
     
  9. Terry c

    Terry c New Egg

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    Oct 20, 2012
    Thank you for your information . Right now I have Leghorns. They are very sweet natured but can fly to the top of our pen. They would like to get in to the trees but we try to prevent that. I like the looks on the Wyandottes and will read up on them. They look like they would be to heavy to fly. You sound like someone that knows thier birds well. Thank you again for your help.
     

  10. Yep, Leghorns are fliers. I agree with HouseCat, stay away from Mediterranean breeds. That's White Faced Black Spanish, Leghorns, Minorcas, Ancona, Sicilian Buttercups, Andalusians, and Catalanas. They all have a similar "shape" (Italian breeds are slightly smaller than Spanish breeds though) and white earlobes. They're definitely good fliers. I've found that Lakenvelders, d'Uccles (one of my pullets flies from wherever she happens to be in the yard to land on my head when she sees me <3)(, and Sumatra are flighty too.

    Breeds that don't fly as much are heavier breeds. Plymouth Rocks, Orpington, Cochin, Faverolles (mine like to fly/hop across the ground though, it's really cute) EEs, Wyandottes, Cornish, Rhode Island Red, Brahmas, Sussex, and Naked Necks are some examples.

    And to your original question: Chickens really don't mind the rain. I've even had to run out and grab some that were standing around in the hail. I've had a mama sit outside in the rain all day and night to keep her chicks dry. She was soaked but she wasn't going to move and risk letting them get chilled. (I eventually moved her inside because it was about to hail and I didn't want her getting hurt.)

    Hope this helps

    ~~Ms.B :)

    (Also, I apologize for any misspellings. Auto correct has a hard time understanding the spelling of chicken breed names)
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2012

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