1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    Not a member yet? join BYC here & then introduce yourself in our community forum here.

Question about Winter coops?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Teresaann24, Aug 27, 2008.

  1. Teresaann24

    Teresaann24 Songster

    Jul 29, 2008
    Eastern, Kentucky
    Does everyone keep there chickens in there coops all winter or leave it open for them to choose to come into the runs?
  2. morelcabin

    morelcabin Songster

    Feb 8, 2007
    Ontario Canada
    I keep them in, but I am pretty far North:>)
  3. Teresaann24

    Teresaann24 Songster

    Jul 29, 2008
    Eastern, Kentucky
    I live in kentucky...So I should keep them in on cold days and slightly warm days I should allow them out?
  4. hinkjc

    hinkjc Crowing Premium Member

    Jan 11, 2007
    30 degrees and higher and the coop is opened up here. They have a choice to stay in or go out. If it is lower, the doors are kept shut until temps are reasonable again. The primary concern is frostbite plus leaving all the warmer air out of the coop when they really don't want to be out when it's so cold anyways. I find my chickens spend a lot of time inside dusting and enjoying the winter sun when it shines thru the window.

  5. Teresaann24

    Teresaann24 Songster

    Jul 29, 2008
    Eastern, Kentucky
    so unless it is above 30 below they can go out into there run any colder and they should be kept inside the coop?

    I wont be able to build a coop for one set of my chickens ran out of money building supplies ect. Decided I'd have to rig somthing up for them. I am insulating a Big pet taxi connected to there cage filled with hay so they can go into for the winter nights and cold days if needed. I was wondering if I added sand to the cage that it would help if they did come out on colder days. I will be adding some plastic to the cage and pex taxi to knock out some of the draft. Thought about covering it with thick plastic besides the door. Would this work ok for winter?
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2008
  6. dangerouschicken

    dangerouschicken Will Barter For Coffee

    May 6, 2007
    Columbia Gorge, OR
    I leave the door to the run open year round. No heater. We get snow here, and nights are about 25 in the winter. Never lost one to cold.
  7. AK-Bird-brain

    AK-Bird-brain I gots Duckies!

    May 7, 2007
    Sterling, Alaska
    We keep the flock inside with their door closed when it goes below -15 Fahrenheit. Until then they have free choice.
  8. Mojo Chick'n

    Mojo Chick'n Empress of Chickenville

    I'm in Kentucky, too. (South Central Kentucky)

    Last winter I let them out if it was not too windy or rainy, and if it wasn't below 30 degrees or so. I am putting a roof over the entire run this summer (only half was covered last winter) so it'll be nicer for them when they do go out if it is raining.

    I didn't heat my coop at all last winter, had no troubles, and I had some roos that lived outside 24/7 (slept in the barn) and they were fine. It usually warmed up to at least 38-40 degrees during the day last winter, so I figured that was ok for them.

    There were only a couple of weeks that it got really nasty cold (in the teens) and I kept them in the entire time, they hated it. They wanted to go out so badly.

    I am not sure what part of KY you are in, but you'll probably be ok with letting them choose to go out or stay in - just make sure they have an option of going Back in if they do get cold.

    Peace -
  9. kimTn

    kimTn Hatching

    Aug 23, 2008
    cumberland furnace, tn
    we live in NW tennessee by the kentucky line, and have a small "chicken size" door on our roost that never gets closed, nor does the small one on the hen house. they are both enclosed within a 20' X 20' fenced run, and on rainy or snowy days i don't open up the run for free ranging. the only thing we did last winter was stack about 6 bales of straw on the outside of the north wall of the roost to help with insulation. didn't loose any birds (17 guineas and 6 chickens then) although one hen did go into molt and stopped laying for a while. also had about 2" pine shavings for deep litter in the run to help keep it dry. feeding a little heavier in the winter helps, too as it cranks up the metabolism and makes up for fewer yummy bugs outside.
  10. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    The door is shut at night, but other than that during the day it's their choice if they go out or stay in. We get cold here.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: