Rain and chickens


In the Brooder
8 Years
Jun 23, 2011
wyandotte, mi
Just wanted some advice. I have 4 chickens (2 about 7 wks, 2 about 9 wks). The coop gives them about 5 sq ft each, but that seems small to me. My area has been very rainy, but I hate them being locked up all the time. I open the coop door and give them the option of going out. They usually do. My concern is, is it better to let them have the option or keep them locked up. I am afraid that then they get the inside of the coop wet. And can chickens catch cold?

Chickens don't catch cold like humans but they can suffer from a myriad of respiratory issues. Most of those are result from being too closely confined with too little ventilation. You should be good on the space. I recommend 1 sp. ft. ventilation per bird.
Let them choose what to do. Mine are all ages but some choose to stand out in the rain most of the day, come in wet, but a good roof with big openings. I've never lost a bird to cold or being wet and that's a lot of birds.
I would worry about them if they went to bed wet and the overnight temps dropped dramatically but with good cross ventilation they dry out pretty well.
I've seen chickens sleep in trees and others choose to sleep in a covered run rather than the coop all winter. For that reason I don't subscribe to the 'no drafts' philosophy.
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I Opened our chickens door to freedom this morning like usual although it was rainy all day. Some ventured out some stayed in the house part like the Cochin's (guess they did not want their feet wet lol!) Just let them do what they want and have a good ventilation in place is all.
I let mine out in almost all weather conditions with the exception of heavy snow and high winds. With llight snow I toss a couple flakes of hay in pen to keep their feet dry and give them something to scratch around in. Fun to see them out there lounging in the fluffed up hay. Goal is to have cozy and happy birds.
Thanks! I assumed letting them out was the right answer.
There is never a right answer only opinions from observations or experience.

Mine love to go out in light rains! They will scratch in the run or out in the field (free range) looking for worms or such. They will also go out in the snow but mostly hang out around the coop area. They have a lot of feathers to repel water and keep them warm.


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