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Should I Keep the Chickens in the Coop?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by ChickenStacy, Jan 9, 2016.

  1. ChickenStacy

    ChickenStacy Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 14, 2014
    It is currently 19 degrees F outside, and the temp will be dropping all day. It is expected to go down to -2. My question is in this extreme cold should I let my chickens in the run or would they be best kept in the coop? It is windy out, and while the run is covered in plastic it has rained the past 3 days so it is pretty moist in the run. They are 1st year chickens and this is my 1st experience with them in extreme cold temps. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. Obviously I'd bring their water and food into the coop and will be checking on making sure they don't have frozen water as the day goes on. And no, there is no electricity to the run or coop. Thank you!
     
  2. MysteriaSdrassa

    MysteriaSdrassa Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I live in central Wis and my birds free range all year round. Temps here drop to barely above 0 during the day sometimes, although this year has been a really mild winter. In the morning I open the coop door and they make their way out. If they get too cold they head back to the coop to get warm or lay eggs.
     
  3. fire370

    fire370 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My free range chickens get to free range everyday and the breeding birds always have access to their runs. Most chickens IMO, handle the cold better than the heat.
     
  4. ChickenStacy

    ChickenStacy Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 14, 2014
    Thank you for your replies! I see you are from KS, I grew up in Garden City, only 6 months ago relocated to MO.
     
  5. cheekiechickie

    cheekiechickie Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 2, 2015
    I am working with my flock as well in their first year. I have that same concern, but my girls seem to be fine. I take them a hot breakfast, and fill their heated water dish with fresh warm water in the AM and PM. The ground in their run is frozen, so I have also just added a small pile of straw for them to play in today, that I am hoping will help keep their feet warm.
     
  6. fire370

    fire370 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    SC Kansas

    Cool. Looks like some of Misery is getting snow today.
     
  7. ChickenStacy

    ChickenStacy Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 14, 2014
    No snow expected here in north west MO, just wind and crazy bitter cold and wind. At least the wind reminds me of home.
     
  8. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    I took this photo when it was 4 degrees above zero. I leave the pop door open and let them decide.

    [​IMG]

    Chickens often don’t like change. If mine wake up to snow they may decide to not go out for a day or two. But this snow fell during the day while they were out so they just stayed out. I guess the change was gradual enough for them.

    [​IMG]
     
    1 person likes this.
  9. ChickenMammX4

    ChickenMammX4 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    SW Ohio
    So far this winter has been mild, only a few nights in the upper teens. Our hens go out everyday and don't seem to be bothered at all by the cold. We keep the south window in the coop opened part way for additional ventilation (there's an opening near the roof). The run is covered and has a vinyl tarp particularly covering the north side.
     
  10. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted

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    I always let the birds decide. I like to get out of the house even when it's freezing outside, I guess I just assume the birds would go stir crazy if locked up also. All my animals seem to chose to spend some time outside no matter the weather.
     

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