Outside All Night?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by ClareScifi, Apr 14, 2012.

  1. ClareScifi

    ClareScifi Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 30, 2011
    My oldest chicken, Esther, age 2 years and 1 month, somehow managed to escape the coop last night, I think. I had shut the chickens into their coop last night, waiting patiently for them all to go in. Esther dilly-dallied and kept coming out, but I finally corraled her in, and shut the door. I usually leave the door to the run open, so they can go into it, from the coop, first thing in the morning, but a friend had recently said raccoons could easily scale the mesh to the run if they wanted to, so I decided to close the door to it last night.

    So how she managed to escape I can't figure out.

    I just know when I got up and went to let the chickens out at about 9 a.m. this morning, she was in the outer run, drenched.

    We had a lot of rain early this morning. I think she got under the eaves of the coop to stay dryer, because I saw a lot of poop there.

    I am worried that she might have been exposed to drafts during the night. It got down to 39 F.

    Do you think this could make her sick, being outside all night, without the protection of the coop walls? I don't know how windy it was.

    She doesn't seem in distress, and I don't hear any sneezing or coughing, but I am worried.

    I don't know how I could have let this happen. I'm thinking maybe she snuck out the door of the coop into the run last night, and then exited through the other door into the main run, without my knowing it. I didn't think that main door was unlocked, but I suppose it could have been.

    Had the front door to the coop come open, I think all of the other hens would have followed her out, but they were still safely in the coop.

    I'm also worried because Esther is so much older -- 2 years. They are only 8 months old.

    Esther ate and drank well this morning.

    I am so very thankful a predator did not get her during the night. She is too fat to fly the main run, or she could have gone under the house for protection from the elements.

    Has anyone ever had a hen stay outside all night long this time of year and not suffer ill effects from it?
     
  2. ClareScifi

    ClareScifi Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 30, 2011
    I may have left the door to the main run open before I shut the door from the coop to the lesser run, and perhaps Esther snuck out in those few minutes between my shutting the door to the lesser run, which I did after shutting the main coop door. If the door to the larger run was open, I guess she could have darted out of there without my having seen her.

    I guess the moral of the story is to make sure the door to the lesser run is closed before I put the chickens in for the night, so they can't escape out of it. This has never happened before.

    What would make a hen not want to go to bed at the appropriate time?
     

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