Preparing for Winter - In MO...

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by ashl768, Oct 22, 2013.

  1. ashl768

    ashl768 Out Of The Brooder

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    This will be my girls first winter outdoors, they will be one years old in December. We live in MO and I"m trying to get an idea what I need to do to be prepared for winter. Our coop is is really for roosting/nesting... there is plenty room to roam, however my chickens are free ranging all day long and have been ever since I put them outdoors in March/April.

    I need to know:
    1. Are my chickens going to continue to free range during the day (outside of the coop) or will they want to stay in the coop all day? I don't close the coop at night or during the day, the "door" is left open all day/night... they go in and out as they please.
    2. Is it going to hurt them if I continue to keep the coop open for them to free range during the day? (Will they freeze if they choose to stay outside during the day?)
    3. Do I have to provide heat for them? As long as I keep fresh water/food... do they need heat?
    4. My coop is made from plywood type wood with a tarp over the top with a well ventilated window at the top- do I need to do anything else to keep it warmer inside?

    Thanks for all who take the time to answer my questions! It's really appreciated when experienced chicken folks answer all of the newbies! [​IMG]
     
  2. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

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    They will continue to free range unless there is snow.
    They will be fine without any added heat
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2013
  3. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Overrun With Chickens

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    See above. Also, here's a great article for you, from the BYC Learning Center: https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/winter-coop-temperatures
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2013
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Good advice on the wintering, but just curious.....Your coop is open 24/7 with no enclosed run?.....and no predator losses?
     
  5. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Overrun With Chickens

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    I was surprised by this, too. I've gotten home after dark and went to close my pop-door, and found an owl inside. TWICE. We've also had weasels and raccoons. I was wondering how the OP still had any chickens left.
     
  6. ashl768

    ashl768 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 2, 2013
    We live in the city, and the are no wooded areas around at all. The commonly seem animals in our neighborhood are dogs and cats... I'm sure I've been lucky. At first I was going behind them and closing up after they went in at night, & opening every morning, but then decided to just leave it open. And luckily I haven't had any issues, please don't jinx me!
     
  7. ashl768

    ashl768 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 2, 2013
    Thank you for all who replied, you guys made me feel much better!
     

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