Keeping chickens locked in their coop in the winter?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Brandee Fausett, Nov 2, 2009.

  1. digbychris

    digbychris Songster

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    I think the best thing to do is, if you can, enclose a run for them that's attached to their coop so they can be outside, and get in on their own. I'm of the opinion that being cooped up all the time, no matter the season, exposes them to disease and dust/lung issues, and boredom. I don't think they mind the cold as much as we do, and I think that predators can be worse this time of year. Having said that, a desperate fox or raccoon won't mind coming in to the coop at all. I'm all for free ranging, and mine do 3 out of the 4 seasons, but I do keep them in the coop and run this time of year, and just make sure I clean it out more often.
     
  2. digbychris

    digbychris Songster

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    mine peck at ice with no trouble. Plus chickens peck at gravel and scratch all year long. I suppose it's possible, but I doubt it.
     
    pamonarch likes this.
  3. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Crowing

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    Tell your husband that chickens do not need to be kept warm, they need to be kept dry. A coop with good bedding, and a small wind shelter in the run, will meet those objectives.

    So many times when one worries about cold, they start closing up the coop, which does little for heat, but traps moisture. Too small of area leads to intense in flock fighting and pecking. The manure will pile up huge.

    However, predators are a real problem, and once they find you, they will be back. I too, go for a good run attached to the coop. Then open the door in the morning and let them choose.

    Mrs K
     
  4. pamonarch

    pamonarch Songster

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    I added some fresh hay to the small run and left some flakes of hay inside...my girls loved it..they got outside a lot today, and it was only 20 degrees...they seemed fine...i take the cabbage ball in at night and put it back up in the morning...i also do the deep bedding method under their roosts...i have not scooped it out in two months..there is no chicken pooh smell at all....i scrap the r oosts off every day and use angatden rake to turn the deep bedding of hay, leaves, and pine chip's often to keep them from becoming moldy..and the girls get on top of the deep bedding and scratch away..some days there are big holes all the way to the dirt floor..imrake them over and the girls jump right in and start over...its awesome!
     

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  5. pamonarch

    pamonarch Songster

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  6. pamonarch

    pamonarch Songster

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    Well..i wasn't sure how to post pictures..sorry for the duplicates..enjoy!
     
  7. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Crowing

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    Love the sun porch, and that the birds can go in and out of the run. But looking at your run, you are wasting a great deal of space, the vertical level. It is wide open and there is no where to get out of sight of each other. It would be more interesting to the chickens if you added a roost out there, a pallet that they can get under for shade or on top of to sit in the sun. Adding a ladder or saw horses, or pallets or branches, a small wall, will really be better for your chickens.

    Mrs K
     
  8. Steven Leonard

    Steven Leonard Hatching

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    This is my chicks first winter, I open the door in the morning and by dark they are all inside already and I close the door. On first snow I opened the door and they were all hesitant to come out but they eventually did. When it’s extremely cold at night and they are in the roost I close the door to that and also have the small roost heater hangin on the wall, they do just fine
     
  9. pamonarch

    pamonarch Songster

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    the run is 19 feet long by 7 feet wide with a netting over the top..they go in and out of coop at their own leisure .they go inside the coop from the run...the coop is 18 feet by 11 feet and 7 feet high...they go in and some get on the roosts and some stay on the ground or in the nesting boxes when they lay eggs...its very big inside and there are several perches inside for them to get on...plus a few hay flakes for them to get on and scratch around...they seem happy and have lots of space per bird..there are pine trees for shade out by the run, and so far no predators have tried to get at them...whew!!
     

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