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Northeast winters

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by cmstruble328, Sep 8, 2009.

  1. cmstruble328

    cmstruble328 Hatching

    Mar 22, 2009
    This is my first flock. Will they want to come out in the winter, or should I keep them in the coop? It will be a long winter for them, can they take the cold?

  2. chick-lit

    chick-lit In the Brooder

    Sep 12, 2008
    I live in MAINE and my birds only like to go out on the warmer days of the
    winter, I do open the door to the run for them as long it is not too cold because it cools the house down to much. I always worry that they will get bored and start picking at each other I try to give them plenty of things to scratch on the floor and I also make sure they have plenty of fresh greens from the store. [​IMG]
  3. big greg barker

    big greg barker Songster

    Oct 26, 2008
    central maine
    Hi, cmstruble. Hey Chick-lit!
    I had 20 chickens last winter in Central Maine, and they winter just fine. I opened the coop for them in the morning before we go to work and they are free to go out if they please. Of course, the fat old biddies preferred to sit inside on the colder days, and wouldn't go out in the run unless I went in and packed the snow down for them.
    The only other thing I did was to put up a wind block so the wind didn't howl through the coop.
  4. fordmommy

    fordmommy Dancing With My Chickens

    Jul 16, 2009
    [​IMG] from Wisconsin. I coop mine even now. They are safe from predators and warm in the winter.

    Where are you from?
  5. fldiver97

    fldiver97 Songster

    Aug 5, 2009
    Middleton, WI
    Some breeds do better in the winter than others. Smaller comb like single or rose comb less risk of frostbite. Heavier breads also better for cold I heard. Some chickens seem to avoid snow/deep snow, so OP have shoveled an area clear for them. I live in WI. I m planning on letting them out if they want to, run has a roof and will hopefully stay 'clean'....and I will probably shovel a small area and aways shovel a path for the dog anyway.....So as long as they are sheltered from wind and the worst snow they may be fine. In short...it depends on afew things how well they'll do
  6. vermontgal

    vermontgal Songster

    They don't like walking in the snow. I have a new technique for my small flock (4 birds last winter). I have a couple pieces of plywood (half-sheets or smaller). I put them on top of the snowbank. When a big snowstorm is forecast, I pick up the plywood and lean them against the barn. For small flurries, I just pick up the plywood after it snows, tip the snow off, and put it back down. The birds will come out on top of the plywood even if they won't walk in the snow.

    This is better than trying to shovel our 7-8' of annual snowfall for a chicken run! I don't want to add a covered run to my coop because I need the space for snow storage from shoveling my driveway. If I had a larger lot, I would construct a covered run for the winter.
  7. wombat

    wombat Songster

    Jun 23, 2009
    We built a coop with double walls, and insullation between.

    You can also stack straw bales around the walls of your coop for warmth when it is really cold, and make a straw-bale windbreak for the run and just leave that up for the winter.

    You'll want some ventilation. A cold, damp coop is inviting frostbite. Ventilation up high, above where the birds roost is best. You don't want them in drafts.

    Pine shavings will be drier bedding than straw, but for a really cold spell, you can put some straw in one corner of the coop for them to bed down in, and just change that out before it gets soggy.

    If it's extremely cold, use vasaline to protect combs from frostbite.

    Keep water available. They need to drink when it is cold too, not just when it is warm.

    Be careful with extension cords, heat lamps, and water heaters. Coop fires are a real hazard.

  8. Hangin Wit My Peeps

    Hangin Wit My Peeps AutumnBreezeChickens.com

    Apr 20, 2008
    Birnamwood, Wisconsin
    I live in Central WI and our coldest day this last year I believe was right around -40 F My hens never really left the hen house all winter (their AND MY first year) and so what I did was just open the pop door and if they wanted to come out they could and if not they didn't have to. I had a heat lamp in there for them. Insulated coop 8X8
  9. wildorchid053

    wildorchid053 Songster

    May 12, 2009
    syracuse area, ny
    we live just below you in upstate ny. and this will be our first winter with chickens.. we live on a hill top and there is always wind.. we insulated the coop but the run is all open....we get heavy snow falls from lake ontario about 210" so not sure what we can do for the run.. thinking maybe a shaft off the pop door for protection from the wind so they go out a tunnel.. i just hope we have enough ventilation.. see pics. this first one is about 4' long strip above the nesting boxes


    this is about 8' long above the roosts..


    this is the run and the coop.. vents are under the eaves

    Last edited: Sep 10, 2009

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