Lots of snow!

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by shopchicks, Dec 1, 2010.

  1. shopchicks

    shopchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 4, 2009
    Boise, Idaho
    My girls did not want to come out of the coop this morning. We had 6" this morning, and got 2-3" more during the day. I was a meanie and opened up the man doors on the coop since it was going to be in the upper 30's today and no wind - figured they may as well get lots of fresh air if they were going to stay in all day. Thinking about going down now and shoveling out the run. Would that be spoiling them? They do need to cross the run to get to their waterer, and I wonder if they'll get dehydrated rather than go out in the deep snow.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. banks

    banks Chillin' With My Peeps

    OHHHHHHHHHH what a beautiful picture!
     
  3. shopchicks

    shopchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 4, 2009
    Boise, Idaho
    Well, I went out and shoveled out the deep parts of snow, picked the girls up and put them in the run area under the coop. Of course they squawked like I was killing them, but then realized that they were hungry, and started eating and walking around looking for scratch. Silly birds.
     
  4. Where The Wild Things Are

    Where The Wild Things Are Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 2, 2010
    Utah
    This is my first winter with my little flock, and I have been wondering how to handle the deep snow. Currently we have over 12" of snow on the ground. My girls are used to being allowed out each day, but due to deep snow and sub zero temps they have been on "house arrest". I made them a Thanksgiving treat, and let them out Thursday for some air. When I went to close them up (and tuck them in) I noticed a little frostbite on a couple of my girls combs and wattles! I really kicked myself in the butt for letting them out. I'm sure they were rooting around in the snow, got wet and it froze. So, now I'm paranoid (well, concearned anyway). It's actually supposed to warm up above freezing this week. The snow in their run has been packed down by me and the ducks. And there is still a foot of snow in the yard...so what's the wise thing to do? I make sure they have fresh water, food and treats to entertain themselves (suet bell, suet cage full of fresh veggies each morning and some scratch to "dig" for). We usually have snow on the ground most of the winter (and the coop and run are on the North side of the house...not ideal, but its what I had to work with). So am I better off leaving them under "house arrest" or am I ok to "pardon" them for good behavior and let them out on "nice" days? All opinions welcome.
     
  5. shopchicks

    shopchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 4, 2009
    Boise, Idaho
    Is there any way you can make a protected area for them? I am really glad that I went with a raised coop. Unless the snow is blowing around a lot, the area under the coop is dry; I'm thinking of putting plastic sheeting around the wire so snow can't blow in there. I hadn't anticipated so much snow, so early in the season, so I wasn't really prepared, but plan to put some tarp up over the run to help keep the snow out. Maybe shovel out the snow as best you can so that they can go out without getting too wet. I don't close the pop door, and find that they stay in most of the time when it's really cold, though they have to go out for food and water. We got down to about 0F last week, and I haven't noticed any evidence of frost bite. My coop is insulated, but not heated.

    I haven't done it, but read that you can put vaseline on their combs to help prevent frost bite.
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2010
  6. Where The Wild Things Are

    Where The Wild Things Are Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 2, 2010
    Utah
    My coop is elevated. I have skirted in the bottom for the "duck hut". Its packed with straw and dry leaves. I have already put Vaseline on their "jiggly bits". I have been closing the pop door due to sub zero temps. The coop is insulated and I did heat it for a couple days but decided that it was not needed. I just know the curious nature of my little darlings and I know they will be out tunneling in the snow. My head tells me to keep them in where its warm and dry...my heart tells me to let them out to get into mischief. Oh, and whoever said "curiosity killed the cat", obviously never had chickens!
     
  7. Schroeder

    Schroeder Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 9, 2008
    Central Indiana
    My Coop
    As soon as I shovel the snow out of a part of the run, they come outside onto the bare sand. Otherwise, I think they'd stay in their coop until the snow melts.
     
  8. shopchicks

    shopchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 4, 2009
    Boise, Idaho
    Yep, mine seemed to be happy with just a bit of packed snow in the run. They were outside first thing this morning looking for things to eat.
     
  9. DutchieWannabe

    DutchieWannabe Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 18, 2010
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    shopchicks, great pic!! where are you? I live near the fairgrounds, my ladies cant get out into their run because of all the snow we got and I cant get into the run to shovel it out because of all the snow...
     
  10. Chicken Chat

    Chicken Chat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 19, 2009
    Southern Illinois
    Mine do not go out in the snow, no way! It's like it is some sort of "alien planet" to them. They peak their heads out, but will not have anything to do about it. Last year I had their pop door open for most of the winter in case they changed their minds, but on the really cold days, I just left it closed.

    I don't know what I am going to do this year. I added another coop with hens this spring, they all share the same large fenced run. Both of my Faverolle hens refuse to lay in the coop they roost in, they like the set up in the other coop better, and only lay their eggs in the other coop. I am not sure what they will do once winter really sets in and the snow comes. They might be backed up all winter. [​IMG]
     

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