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When to put the girls inside?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Big Bubba, Nov 10, 2013.

  1. Big Bubba

    Big Bubba Out Of The Brooder

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    May 19, 2013
    Sorry to even have to ask this question. But, I've read up a lot about winter preparations for the hens and now I'd like to know when I should put the girls inside.

    Let me explain what I have then go from there. I have a run and a coop. There is a roof over the open air coop, but otherwise the girls are very exposed to the elements. I have just finishing building a winter coop. Not heated. However, I've put some windows on it and wrapped tarp around one side of it. It is of reasonable size for 4 girls and should stay a bit cozy. It is not connected to the run.

    I generally leave for work before sunrise. So, I'd think when I put the girls in the inside coop they're going to have to stay put for the day since it will be the coldest time of day when I leave. I get home around 4:00 in the afternoon and let them run free until dark.

    Let me get the question here. I live in Maryland. Winters can have high temperatures anyhwere from the teens to the sixties. Lows can be from zero to forty. I'd think I'd want to leave them if the low is thirty and the high is going to be in the forties. I don't know.

    At what temperature range should I lock them up inside?

    Thanks for the help.
     
  2. granny hatchet

    granny hatchet Tastes like chicken Premium Member

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    my run is covered like yours and i decided to put tarps and or clear strong plastic around the whole run. no worries about when to let in or out, as long as they are out of the wind.
     
  3. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

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    Quote: It would really be best if it were, but you can always install an automatic door if you have a power source, an dcan let themm free range

    There's no need to heat the coop at all
    You will probably want a way to keep water thawed
     
  4. Big Bubba

    Big Bubba Out Of The Brooder

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    May 19, 2013
    Thanks for the responses. I do plan to tarp the outdoor coop just so they have a hide away when it gets nasty. But, they spend so little time there. Usually a bite and some water.

    I'd love to let them free range. Unfortunately, there is a lurking hawk with the same thought. I am considering building a means to get to the run.

    But, back to the main question; what temparature do you need to huddle them inside?
     
  5. granny hatchet

    granny hatchet Tastes like chicken Premium Member

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    madison Indiana
    i havent heard anyone put a # on temps. would like to know that myself. but i would imagine that it goes much like us with the wind chill factor. and you could tell by looking at them if they are freezing or not. which reminds me, haha love the stories, when i was but 14 i had a pet chicken that was gave to me for my b-day, not knowing much about them i didnt take very good care of it. my mother did wake me one morn. to tell me my beloved hen was dead,. an ice storm had came through the night and she had frozen to the ground standing up.we went out and had to pry her out of the ice and i hear a waaak! so we put her under the house and she thawed very nicely. not quite right in the head anymore after that though. hah ! good times
     

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