Will they sleep with the others if they get cold?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by abejita, Nov 28, 2011.

  1. abejita

    abejita Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 3, 2011
    Dallas, TX
    We are finally dipping below freezing here in Texas and I have a question about sleeping arrangements. I have a combo coop/run. The whole structure is about 8x10. There is a 4x8 'loft' area where the hens roost at night and there nests are there as well. I have a roost on the opposite side that is open (well, covered with hardware cloth instead of siding) I have two young hens who have always slept on the outside roost. Will they go in and sleep with the others if they get cold? I've included a picture of my coop to give you an idea of the setup.

  2. CheerioLounge

    CheerioLounge Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 10, 2011
    California High Desert
    We haven't had any below freezing weather here yet, but it is still pretty cold overnight. One of my girls will go inside if the wind picks up before sundown, but if there is no wind she roosts in the run with the others who never roost inside. Even when I put them inside for the night, the next night they go right back to the outdoor roosts. Go figure!! But I wouldn't worry about it too much, birds have been living in the elements long before we decided to build houses for them. Their feathers are remarkably insulating!!
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2011
  3. AZBootsie

    AZBootsie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 10, 2010
    Congress, AZ
    My Coop
    Cute coop!!
  4. zot

    zot New Egg

    Aug 21, 2011
    One of mine was sleeping on the roost outside the coop, while the others were inside -- until it got really cold, and now she nestles up with the others inside. It'll be interesting to see what happens next spring when it warms up again.
  5. BWchicken

    BWchicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 4, 2009
    Since they have always slept outside the coop, I don't think they will go inside at roost time on their own. And they won't move inside in the middle of a cold night because they don't have night vision. If it were me, I'd go ahead and shut them inside at roost time.

    ETA - That's a cute coop!
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2011
  6. florida lee

    florida lee Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 6, 2011
    My coop is somewhat similar to yours, my girls jocky for position sit on a roost by the open windows, but when it gets cold they move to the back where it is protected from the wind. I added the bahama awnings to help prevent rain from entering (works well). I use this design because of the summer heat here in North central Florida, however in the winter, we do get down to the twentys on a few nights and I close the small widows ( one on each side and one in the rear ).

  7. abejita

    abejita Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 3, 2011
    Dallas, TX
    Florida Lee...yes, our coops were probably designed for similar weather. I built it this summer at the beginning of our epic heat wave. The afternoons were 100+ when I was building it, which is why I decided not to close in the loft at the top. It was so hot in there, I couldn't imagine them shut up in the loft at night with the heat we had. I think what I am going to do is wrap the top half of the coop/run with plastic, that way the outside girls will have basically the same protection as the inside girls.

    And thanks for all the comments about the coop! This picture was taken before I got my girls...it has since turned into a full fledged chicken compound, LOL! They now have their own yard around their coop. It is a 30x30 fenced in area that they are out in all day. I also put my compost bin in there.
  8. johnsons-r-us

    johnsons-r-us Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 18, 2011
    Eudora, Kansas
    If they have the option then I wouldn't worry. We have had temps below freezing and will now for most of the winter overnight. Mine like to roost in the coop together. At least from what I've seen them do. They do not have the option of roosting in a run because we don't have one. They free range during the day. The water outside froze for the first time this week....just the top though. My chickens seem to be doing just fine....no heat in the coop and getting the same amount of eggs I've been getting since they started laying.

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