Winter and Chickens

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by ridgefire, Feb 21, 2008.

  1. ridgefire

    ridgefire Songster

    Jan 8, 2008
    Northern Michigan
    Are chickens allowed out doors in winter? Meaning snow and very cold out. Or just keep them locked in their coop all winter.
    Planning on getting chickens this spring but trying to research as much as possible.
  2. bigzio

    bigzio Crowing

    Jan 20, 2007
    Welcome to BYC! Chickens don't like the extreme cold and wind. Mine have been locked up for the past 5 days, but hope I can leave them out into tha attached pen tomorrow when the temps are going to finally hit the teens! I have a covered run attached to the coop cause, mine hate the snow and won't step a foot in it.

    Being prepared is more important than starting, so your research is a good thing.
    Lot's of good folks here with alot of help. Don't be afraid to ask anything. [​IMG]

  3. Farmer Kitty

    Farmer Kitty Flock Mistress

    Sep 18, 2007
    Welcome to BYC!

    I keep mine in the coop when the temps are lower than the teens. I have my run totally wrapped in tarps and heavy clear plastic to cut the wind and keep the snow out.
  4. I let my chickens free range when it is above twenty degrees. They have a coop and fiberglass enclosed pen for the cold days. Some chickens can endure the cold really well like the delaware and buckeye while other like the leghorn does not.
  5. greenmulberry

    greenmulberry Songster

    Jul 17, 2007
    I never close the pop hole to my coop as I have a very secure run.

    My chickens hate the snow. HATE IT! Fortunately, as my coop is raised off the ground, they can pop out and scratch in the snow free dirt under the coop at will.

    I think how much bad winter weather the hens can stand depends on breed. My speckled sussex will be outside, no matter how cold, as long as it isn't windy. We have had days where the high was 5 degrees, and they will be under the coop, clucking and crawing at me when I go outside to look for eggs. (They love me!)

    The silkie mix and the easter eggers all prefer to stay inside when it is frigid, but if it gets into the teens or 20's, they go out too.

    When I get chicks in the spring I will be getting only cold hardy breeds as I have seen how well these speckled sussex due in our cold winters. Since I have no choice in the weather, I may as well have chickens that act like they are not bothered.
  6. Sparks

    Sparks Songster

    Aug 10, 2007
    Even on very cold days (below zero) we open the pop door. They come out if I have straw or leaves strewn about. Don`t love walking on the snow. In the fall I collected a dozen large bags of leaves and I throw some out after a snow. Big lifesaver this winter with so much snow. They spend most of their day inside but have the choice to be in or out. Also have two straw bales lining the outside pop door on each side to cut down on drafts. HURRY SPRING!
  7. My neighbor's chickens (bantys) are out all the time, snow, rain, wind, cold, they don't seem to mind. They have a nice coop, but seem to prefer to be outside. So I guess it depends on the chickens?
    1 person likes this.
  8. All my hens are roosters

    All my hens are roosters In the Brooder

    Feb 18, 2008
    It will also depend on the breed, some don't do well in cold, others don't mind it or at least deal with it. Some dry straw on the ground helps keep their feet warmer. I also plow the snow out around their coop daily if necessary so they aren't having to trudge through it. Mine love eating snow.
  9. I keep mine in if it's really cold outside, like teens and below. They will go outside tomorrow. Welcome aboard
  10. Churkenduse

    Churkenduse Songster

    Jan 1, 2008
    In the fall I collected a dozen large bags of leaves and I throw some out after a snow.

    Great idea!

    Mine love it outside, it is snowing and they are running around like little kids, I do have a raised coop so thy can go under and be dry and strill be outside where they like to be.
    That raised coop is the besst thing I did.

    Mine also love windy days, they find a hole and lay in it. I hardly ever see them inside, they just pop in there to have a drink (I keep water on a warmer) and pop right out again. [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

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