Must hens be 'cooped' up all winter?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by kittymuffy, Dec 3, 2009.

  1. kittymuffy

    kittymuffy In the Brooder

    Jun 19, 2009
    Help! We have 6 buff orps, 22 weeks old, first two eggs this week, one Tuesday and one Wed, nothing yet today. My hens love to be outside in their run, neighbors says the MUST not be out in temps under 40 or they will not lay, is that true? The problem I see is that with the hen door open the coop really cools down during the day, so this weekend we will put wind protection half way up the run fence, that should help. Let me know, is it ok to let them out or should I keep them in? YUK!
    FIrst year raising layers, many years of meat chickens. Thanks! LS/KM:(

  2. chixrus

    chixrus Songster

    Oct 24, 2008
    Mine don't want to go out cuz they don't like the snow [​IMG]
  3. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    It's OK for them to be out all year. They can handle cold temp well. Some chickens won't go out during the winter.
    It's not so much temps that effect laying as much as lack of light.

    Imp- congrats on the eggs
  4. Princess Amri

    Princess Amri Is Mostly Harmless

    Jul 16, 2009
    best coast
    Obviously the neighbors don't know much about chickens. They're fine down to zero.
  5. possumqueen

    possumqueen Songster

    Aug 17, 2009
    Monroe, North Carolina
    Quote:poppycock!!! Your neighbors need to join BYC!

    Like you have done! [​IMG]

  6. Cats Critters

    Cats Critters Completely Indecisive

    No, they do not have to be cooped up all winter mine where out all last winter and I was still getting eggs.
  7. toletiquesbysam

    toletiquesbysam Songster

    Sep 19, 2008
    Open the door for them, if they want out they'll go out, if they want to stay in they'll stay in. They will still lay eggs, but production does drop more in winter vs summer, but should not stop completely!
  8. Ewe Mama2

    Ewe Mama2 Songster

    Mar 26, 2009
    Northeastern Ohio
    [​IMG] Somebody forgot to tell my hens that they aren't supposed to play outside in the snow! My girls are free ranging all over the place and I think it's hilarious when they dance around in the snow. They can always head for the barn when they get cold. They are still laying fairly well, too, which I found to be a bit surprising.
  9. Lesa

    Lesa Songster

    May 28, 2008
    Upstate NY
    I am in zone 4- I have 24 chickens and I got 24 eggs one dark, snowy day in February last year. Since you have young birds, you should get plenty of eggs this winter. My chickens did not love the snow- but if I shoveled they would come out. I am hoping they will be braver this year. Last winter I built a sun room out of old windows, that allows the chickens to come out of the coop without getting their little feet cold! Enjoy!

  10. PandoraTaylor

    PandoraTaylor RT Poultry n Things

    Jun 29, 2009
    Mine were out at -30 playing in the snow.....and they are laying fine!
    Just my opinion, but who installed thermos in the chickens that say xx degrees = no eggs?

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