Is there any point in free-ranging them when the ground is covered in snow?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by AKnewbie, Oct 16, 2012.

  1. AKnewbie

    AKnewbie Chirping

    Jun 30, 2012
    I have 9 chickens and 2 ducks. They free-range for a good part of the day when i am home and they get put in their run when no one is home to watch out for them.
    I was wondering though with winter coming along, is it even worth it to have them free-range when the ground is covered in snow or would they be fine in their run? They have more than enough run space. Probably 500sqft or so.

  2. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Crowing Premium Member

    We have weeks and weeks when there simply is nowhere to go and nothing to find. If enough time happens to pass between blasts of snow, or if there is some retreat of heavier snow under the big pines, the birds enjoy scratching around in the needles, although, there isn't much to actually find to eat. Hope that helps.

  3. LiLChicken

    LiLChicken In the Brooder

    Oct 1, 2012
    Well I will installing a 15" wide by 30' long area tarp covered and the sides will have shade screen to keep snow out also they will have a 12'x22' greenhouse to go into.
  4. RedDrgn

    RedDrgn Anachronistic Anomaly

    May 11, 2011
    West Virginia
    My Coop
    I'd give them the option. If nothing else, it still lets them exercise their natural tendencies to explore and scratch about. Besides, it's funny when the snow is deep enough and they dig a pit and stand in it so it looks like chicken heads just peaking about the snow. [​IMG]
  5. AKnewbie

    AKnewbie Chirping

    Jun 30, 2012
    If only for that reason, it would be worth it for me to free range them in the snow. LOL!
  6. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Crowing

    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    we don't get real deep snow, but often get 18 inches or more. A trick I use to encourage them to get out and get some exercise, is to keep a pile of hay in the run, and if I know a storm is coming, I stack it up in a sheltered spot, then the next morning, I flip it out on top of the snow. Mine spend most of the day out of the coop, but I do have a wind shelter, with a window polyglass, leaned up on the south side, acting like a sun porch. Amazing how much warmer it is inside that even with the east and west side open.


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