1. Come check out hundreds of awesome coop pages (and a few that need suggestions) in our 2018 Coop Rating Project!

when to put chickens in for the night

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by ckfarm, Sep 13, 2011.

  1. ckfarm

    ckfarm In the Brooder

    Aug 2, 2011
    Well, winter is right around the corner here in MI and this will be my first winter with chickens. With the night time temps already getting down into the 50's and 40's are forecasted for this week, I'm wondering how cold is cold enough to lock them in their coop for the night? My chickens free range in an fully enclosed enclosure and I don't normally lock them up at night, they just go up to the highest point and roost. Tonight it will be going down to 50 degrees and I'm wondering if I should lock them up, or will they go in on their own if they get chilly? They are Deleware Whites and Red Laced Wyandottes.
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2011

  2. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member

    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    If they normally go into the coop at night to roost then I would say that they will decide when to head into the coop on cold nights. If they don't ever go in the coop to roost, then I would get them used to going in before winter sets in. They will grow used to the weather on their own and too cold for you is not necessarily too cold for them. If they have a dry, wind proof coop to roost in on cold winter nights, then no night will be too cold. When it starts getting down into the low 40's and upper 30's, then I would say the doors and drafty windows should be shut for the night. Good luck! [​IMG]
  3. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
  4. NannaD'sCrazyCoop

    NannaD'sCrazyCoop In the Brooder

    Mine free range all day too - I let them put themselves up and then I shut up the coop.
  5. extraordinaryfowl

    extraordinaryfowl Songster

    Sep 6, 2011
    Lancaster, PA
    They know when to go in. As long as predators aren't a danger they should take care of it themselves quite well.
  6. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Quote:Mine generally wait until just before dark to go in, but let the coyotes howl and they all make an early beeline for the coop.
  7. Ole rooster

    Ole rooster Songster

    Jun 25, 2011
    Milner, Georgia
    Yup, me too. I let um put themselves to bed and I lock the door. Normally around 20 minutes before dark.

  8. kuntrygirl

    kuntrygirl Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

    Feb 20, 2008
    Opelousas, Louisiana
    Mine start going in about 7:00 PM. The geese are the last ones to go in. They are late comers. They don't start marching in until 8:30 PM and sometimes, I have to run them in. They would sleep in the human yard if I let them. [​IMG]

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by