Why won't my chickens come out?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Wynette, Dec 11, 2007.

  1. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator

    Sep 25, 2007
    They've been in the coop for 2 full days now. Yesterday, it got up to 35...I thought for SURE they'd come out, but there were no chicken footprints in the 1/2" of snow, and none of the kale I put in their suet feeder had been touched; and they LOVE their kale!

    When I leave for work, it's dark; when I get home, it's dark. I have a light in the coop and I do check on them each morning & evening, and everyone looks fine; they look happy & content in the coop. But they need fresh air & exercise! Should I boot them out?

    I also haven't had an egg since Friday. Wonder if no exercise/fresh air is part of the cause? I do not leave a light on in the coop, and knew they'd slow down, but didn't think they'd stop completely. Any thoughts? Thanks!
  2. jenichick

    jenichick Songster

    Jun 1, 2007
    Maybe they feel safe and warm and cozy inside. I would put them out if I were home with them for a little while. Depending on their age, they could get frozen toes etc, if on the ice too long.
  3. newdock

    newdock Songster

    Jul 14, 2007
    British Columbia
    My chickens spent a lot of time in the coop last winter. They were TERRIFIED of the snow. I learned that if I sprinkled a bit of straw over the snow that they would come out. A little bit of scratch as well eased the process.

    Someone told me that chickens have poor depth perception and the snow makes it worse and freaks them out. I don't know how true that is, but putting some straw in the run helped.

    I was going to cover the run this year, but alas, time has run out and there is already snow. I have more chickens now and my new leghorns don't seem scared by the snow at all so they go out and tramp it all down and make a mess of it and then the others will eventually come out too.

    P.S. I leave my coop light on all day....it's so well insulated that it is very dark inside without the light.
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2007
  4. Freebie

    Freebie Songster

    Feb 4, 2007
    Bloomingdale, MI
    My chickens don't seem to mind the snow at all. It is still in the twenties and thirties here. And they have the entire barn as well, but I still see little chicken tracks in the snow. Last winter when it got real cold I did not let them out and turned on the heat lamp for them. But I would bring in a couple little scoops of snow and they would gobble it up like it was ice cream. I think it was in the Backyard Poultry magazine that I read that they really like to eat snow. I would not have believed it if I had not seen it with my own eyes.
  5. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator

    Sep 25, 2007
    Interesting on eating snow! They've been out in the snow before; not sure what's going on now. I do have a good-sized area of pine shavings that fell out of my wheelbarrow last time I cleaned - maybe a 3'x4' patch - so they can scratch around in that outside. I put a small scoop of scratch out each morning for them, trying to entice them out.

    I do have a feeder of layer pellets in the coop, as well as a heated waterer (with Avia charge 2000 in it). Maybe it's not the best idea to put feed in the coop? Nothing to entice them to come out! [​IMG]

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