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
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Rain and Chickens????

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by SteveBaz, Aug 29, 2011.

  1. SteveBaz

    SteveBaz Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,130
    24
    173
    Aug 6, 2011
    Pacific North West
    I live in Oregon and the rain is well ... the rain. It is as much of the North West as walking on the trails along the Columbia River Gorge. Well today, middle of Summer we have a drizzly day. The chicks are staying in the coop area under cover. Is this typical of chicken behavior to stay under cover in light rain? WoW! What do I do when it really rains? Do I need to enlarge the area of cover for the girls? We rain 200 days a year. The coop run is 4X8 do I need a larger area for 3 growing girls?

    Any idea's or comments welcome.

    Steve
     
  2. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    28,907
    113
    408
    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Provided we are talking about fully feathered chicks and not the tiny still in the brooder ones, I would say just give them the choice. If they want to stay in, let em. If they want to be out, let em.

    It's pouring the rain here today, first good rain since May. I've got 30+ chickens out in it, running like crazy. Apparently the very best bugs come out when it rains. Their coops are open, so if they get tired of it they can go in.
     
  3. hallerlake

    hallerlake Chillin' With My Peeps

    4,870
    39
    223
    May 30, 2010
    Seattle
    Is this the first time they've ever seen rain? Maybe they think the sky is falling. They'll get used to it.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2011
  4. SteveBaz

    SteveBaz Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,130
    24
    173
    Aug 6, 2011
    Pacific North West
    Quote:12 weeks old and have never seen it. Coop door is wide open and I am just letting them do what ever. OK just a small learning curve for both them and me. LOL

    Steve
     
  5. ozark_chickies

    ozark_chickies Chillin' With My Peeps

    537
    4
    113
    Jun 19, 2011
    Arkansas
    Quote:12 weeks old and have never seen it. Coop door is wide open and I am just letting them do what ever. OK just a small learning curve for both them and me. LOL

    Steve

    When my brooder raised chicks saw their first rain they didn't know they could go inside to get away from it. I went out and put them in the coop a few times to teach them where to go. I sat in the henhouse through two thunderstorms in May, because it was raining to hard to go back to my house. Now that they are older they can choose to take cover or not, and most stay out in the rain if it isn't to bad.
     
  6. Alethea

    Alethea Chillin' With My Peeps

    916
    2
    111
    May 23, 2011
    We're in Oregon, too, and don't worry about the pullets and rain. They can go in and out as they please. I think the question is their age and whether they have feathers and know they can go in if they need to. Bokking in the rain.
     
  7. ozark_chickies

    ozark_chickies Chillin' With My Peeps

    537
    4
    113
    Jun 19, 2011
    Arkansas
    Quote:Young chickens sometimes need taught what to do. We had to teach ours to go into the henhouse at night. We had to teach them to use the roost, and I had to teach mine to get in out of the rain.
     
  8. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    28,907
    113
    408
    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Quote:Young chickens sometimes need taught what to do. We had to teach ours to go into the henhouse at night. We had to teach them to use the roost, and I had to teach mine to get in out of the rain.

    They really don't have to be taught as much as conditioned. Chickens are creatures of habit. Settling them into a new coop? Keep em locked in for a few days to a week. They'll know to return to it at night afterwards. Roosting I don't worry about "teaching". It's instinctive for a chicken to roost, some just catch on to that instinct sooner than others. Rain or other foul weather? They learn over time. All of my chickens are used to rain and only seek shelter if it's really pouring or it's hailing. Snow is something my older hens are used to, but my younger birds only experienced this past winter. At first they were scared to leave the coop, but they watched the older birds and figured it out. Same thing applies for getting them to lay in a nestbox. Provide a nestbox that has the qualities a hen looks for in a nesting spot - out of the line of traffic, private, (mine prefer) covered, throw in a few golfballs to mimic eggs and viola'! they use em. I currently have 9 pullets all starting to lay. They automatically started using the nestboxes, without a hitch. Either they watched the adult hens use them and figured it out or they like that the nestboxes meet their needs, or both.

    I think my DH would have me commited if I started hanging around the coop at dusk to teach them to roost. I provide the necessaries and let the birds learn in their own time, in their own way.
     
  9. SteveBaz

    SteveBaz Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,130
    24
    173
    Aug 6, 2011
    Pacific North West
    By the end of the day they went out and pecked on the the wet everything but really did not venture out at all while it sprinkled. Go figure? [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2011
  10. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    28,907
    113
    408
    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Quote:They're just being chickens. You start trying to figure out chickens and you'll be wearing a straight jacket in no time. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2011

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by