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Too cold to free range?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by AZGurl, Dec 3, 2015.

  1. AZGurl

    AZGurl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I live in central Arizona and our night time temps have been dropping to the low 30's. Day temps are fine for my 4, 8mo old girls at the mid to high 60's. Their coop has chicken wire windows and is wood and spacious but cold.
    How cold is too cold to let them out to run in the frosty grass in the mornings? It'll get to the mid 20's in the next few months at night and mid 40's during the day...no snow. I worry about their little cold toes.
    Thank you!
    --Jennifer
     
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    They will tell you if it is too cold by running back into the coop. Their little cold toes will send them racing indoors. They also quickly learn the 'warm spots' heated by the sun.
     
  3. AZGurl

    AZGurl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you so much. The past two mornings my smallest RIR stayed behind a few minutes while the others ran out of the coop to play. She eventually comes out and runs in the frosty grass but is hesitant at first.
    Thank you!
     
  4. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Sits With Chickens Premium Member

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    We can get down to -40, I always give mine the option to go outside, if they don't want to that's their decision.
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    With the change of the season they are reluctant due to the snow or frost on ground. It's new and scary. Once that fear is overcome they are fine. Odd year up here with wet snow then melt and sun...weird for us, should be a good cover of white by now but the birds are still foraging fine with mornings in teens and highs of mid thirties for our cold week. Suppose to go up to mid forties this weekend. Dunno, might be the worst year to have just bought a snow machine [​IMG]
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. AZGurl

    AZGurl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Vermont, I bet it gets REAL cold! In Arizona we will get some teens or twenties nights but maybe only a few. Dead winter we will usually go to 30 F at night but 45 in the day. I will give my girls the option but their luxury condo of a coop is pretty comfy. They have full run of our 1/2 acre property and we even taught them to swim in the summer!
    Thank you for your advice!
     
  7. Wickedchicken6

    Wickedchicken6 No Rest For The WicKed Premium Member

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    We've been having really nice weather; 5C in the day and -12C at night. We usually have drier air...right now our humidity is in the high 80's. So it's gorgeous, but very frosty. Our chickens try to run me over to get out the door in the morning.

    We were away two nights ago and apparently I missed a 5 month old pullet and rooster when I closed the coop up for night.[​IMG] They'd been hiding under a piece of plywood that was propped up against the coop and I didn't see them in the dark. There was a breeze that night. I felt so bad when I saw them in their run in the morning. [​IMG] But they're totally fine.


    We were away the next night and I our son made sure the chickens were in the coop. I double checked the run when we got home. This morning that same rooster is running around outside the run. [​IMG]And he's still fine. I specifically put him in tonight.[​IMG]


    I'm curious to see how they make out when it's -35C. I've been reading on here about not heating the coop, and having proper ventilation.So far I've been beyond pleased with how hardy our chickens have been.
     
    1 person likes this.
  8. AZGurl

    AZGurl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh, I bet you were so upset about leaving them out. UGH! We have quite a few roaming neighborhood cats and one night I had a nightmare about leaving my big RIR girl (Lucy) out all night and in the morning she was dead. A few nights later I did just that but she was fine. Really shocked me when I went out in the wee hours of the morning and she was standing there looking at me. I cried I was so upset with myself.[​IMG]
    Our weather is sooooo super dry and the cold is biting even at 40 degrees F but they dash out of the coop, happily.
    Thank you for your feedback. It is very appreciated! [​IMG]
     

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