Questions about winter

Cdeal32

Hatching
Mar 25, 2018
2
0
7
Hey y’all I got my first flock of chicks three weeks ago they are doing very well. I was wondering if during the winter you still open the coop to let them in the run?
 

TheTwoRoos

Crowing
Sep 25, 2015
4,363
2,010
316
Yes,if you were to leave them locked up with absolutely no outdoors,they would probably fight,and plus it isn’t healthy and they would probably be very upset.Having a routine then it just stop one day messes them up,really effects them.
 

TheTwoRoos

Crowing
Sep 25, 2015
4,363
2,010
316
Add on-If it is cold outside to the point they can’t stand it,they will stand inside until they t the courage to go out or until the weather goes up a degrees or so.If you can’t stand it outside then probably neither can they and they usually aren’t in a itch to go out of it it’s seriously that cold,I’m talking zero below,anything above twelve they seem to do fine in.Good ventilation and they will be fine.
 

PirateGirl

Chicken Lover, Duck Therapist
Mar 11, 2017
7,203
18,537
632
South Park, Colorado, USA
I always open the door. I always put the food and water outside. They get to choose how much time they spend in and out when the weather is bad. If I suspect they have not left the coop (generally blizzard with high winds) I will move their food/water inside for a few hours before dark. Outside they do have a wind block and a sheltered area that blocks sun in summer and snow in winter.
 

PirateGirl

Chicken Lover, Duck Therapist
Mar 11, 2017
7,203
18,537
632
South Park, Colorado, USA
Add on-If it is cold outside to the point they can’t stand it,they will stand inside until they t the courage to go out or until the weather goes up a degrees or so.If you can’t stand it outside then probably neither can they and they usually aren’t in a itch to go out of it it’s seriously that cold,I’m talking zero below,anything above twelve they seem to do fine in.Good ventilation and they will be fine.


Hmm... maybe 12*F is the magic number. I agree, generally once it hits double digits they are outside. Also wind less than 35mph. Also they prefer to see dirt than walk in the snow, but will walk in the snow eventually when they get hungry enough.
 

PirateGirl

Chicken Lover, Duck Therapist
Mar 11, 2017
7,203
18,537
632
South Park, Colorado, USA
Think of all the geographic locations people keep chickens and you may worry less. Or if you live somewhere with extreme weather you can find your state or country thread and chat with people from your area. Locals have great tips!
 

Foster's Freehold

Songster
6 Years
Jun 7, 2013
346
458
182
South Central KY
Chickens think it's balmy because they constantly wear a down jacket. But, there are times they just will not go outside. Cold rain, wind, snowfall and they might peep out but that's about it.
For times like that, I'm going to build a composting hoop coop with clear cover. It gives them things to do, someplace other than the coop to hang out, and gets me good compost easily lol.
 

bobbi-j

Enabler
11 Years
Mar 15, 2010
15,892
33,228
1,092
On the MN prairie.
Hey y’all I got my first flock of chicks three weeks ago they are doing very well. I was wondering if during the winter you still open the coop to let them in the run?
If they're willing to go, yes.

Hmm... maybe 12*F is the magic number. I agree, generally once it hits double digits they are outside. Also wind less than 35mph. Also they prefer to see dirt than walk in the snow, but will walk in the snow eventually when they get hungry enough.

12*F is not a magic number. Chickens can stand much colder weather than that. Mine have been out in well below zero. The thing is, when they are allowed to acclimate to the weather (by not providing artificial heat), they grow down under their feathers, so they are essentially wearing a down coat all winter. Going from the cold outside to a heated coop is hard on them. (If you live where it gets cold, put on all your outdoor gear one day. Go outside for an hour or two. Not bad, is it? Then come in, but don't take your gear off. Leave your coat, snowpants, hat, gloves and scarf on. Leave it on for an hour or two. Think about it. Your chickens can't take off their winter coats when they come in.)

My chickens have always preferred to walk on dirt rather than snow. I have seen them get stuck in the snow, so I don't blame them.
 

lazy gardener

Crossing the Road
7 Years
Nov 7, 2012
27,615
27,066
917
CENTRAL MAINE zone 4B
THIS, friends is why it's important to have a coop that is big enough. Chickens in northern territories, IMO require even more than the recommended minimum of 4 s.f. in the coop per bird b/c there may be days on end that are BELOW zero. The tighter the spacing in a small coop results in higher humidity from their respiration and poo. That moisture must either be vented out of the coop, or it stays in the coop and condenses, causing huge issues with frost bite. Every winter there are posts by folks who's birds are loosing combs and toes due to frost bite caused by poor coop management, tight spacing, poor ventilation. My pop door is open every day. They have a covered "sun room" with green house tarp and poly on 3 sides of a section of run. But in those sub zero days, they WILL NOT GO OUT.
 

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