Snow/cold/rain with my chickens?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by bartonlynch, Nov 20, 2010.

  1. bartonlynch

    bartonlynch Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 18, 2010
    When the weather is bad, should I keep my chickens cooped up (haha) or should I let them make the choice to go outside or not, and leave their door open?
  2. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    Like everything chicken, it depends! Where are you and can you show us your setup???[​IMG]
  3. annaraven

    annaraven Born this way

    Apr 15, 2010
    SillyCon Valley
    I have the same question. I have a run for them, with a cover over part of it. But, should I let them out to freerange when it's raining outside? I thought it's bad if they get wet... ?
  4. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

  5. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    I can't see any reason not to give them the choice (i.e. leave the popdoor open), as long as you are not in the midst of a hurricane or major huge blizzard such that opening the popdoor will create a storm *in* the coop as well.

  6. pharmchickrnmom

    pharmchickrnmom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 13, 2010
    This is our first year with chickens so I dont have a lot of experience with them but I let them choose. I leave the pop door open so they can go in and out as they please. Now that we have colder weather and it has been windy, they spend half their day inside and the other half out. I figure if they are cold and wet, they will go in when they are uncomfortable and that is usually what they do.
  7. sturek

    sturek New Egg

    Aug 14, 2010
    I live in San Diego, and my chickens seem to like to wander around/free range in the drizzle. Is this ok for them? Also, the coop is "open" since it has chicken wire walls 3 sides. Even though we're in San Diego, should I try to put up some boards for the winter? How can I keep it warm for the chickens? I'm concerned that if I hang a light bulb or heat lamp it would not be safe - do chickens need that kind of warmth?
  8. BarkerChickens

    BarkerChickens Microbrewing Chickenologist

    Nov 25, 2007
    High Desert, CA
    We let our chickens decide. We leave the door open for them. They will come out in light rain, but not in heavy rain. They don't seem to mind snow. They HATE cold wind, but don't mind a typical cold day.
  9. BarkerChickens

    BarkerChickens Microbrewing Chickenologist

    Nov 25, 2007
    High Desert, CA
    Quote:The rain is fine...if they hate it, they won't be in it. I would put up some sort of wind protection, the cold winter winds can be a bit much at times. An easy, temporary solutions is get straw bales. put one row up for 3 sides. place a 2x4 across it for a perch, then put the second row up. You can place ply wood over it to keep it covered (sand bags or cinder blocks can hold it). It should be fine for San Diego winters and then in spring, you can use it to mulch your garden.
  10. woodmort

    woodmort Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 6, 2010
    Oxford NY
    My coop is 50 yds from the house. I let my birds out only when I feel like hauling myself those 50 yds twice a day. In the winter when there is a foot or more of snow on the ground they stay in. (Actually they don't like deep snow any more than I do.)

    ETA Rain and sleet is ok, they may go out or may not. but I give them a choice.
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2010

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