Winter care for free range chickens

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by EmilyM, Dec 2, 2016.

  1. EmilyM

    EmilyM Just Hatched

    Sep 14, 2016
    Northeast Ohio
    I have five chickens that live in a coop and five chickens that refuse to go in a coop. Three of them have never even been in a coop before and just sleep in a tree in the backyard even when it's raining and snowing. The other two are smarter and sleep on my porch. The five in the coop I just use a heat lamp to keep warm but how do I keep the five free range warm?
  2. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Birds outside in tree will be able to handle about anything Ohio can throw at them in terms of cold, assuming birds are mature and in good feather. You must keep them in good nutrition though. Predators will be your biggest problems. Especially owls unless the are in something like a dense cedar tree. If you loose a tree bird, get the balance a more protected location by following evening or you are likely to loose more.
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Maybe the 5 in the trees think it's too warm in that heated coop?

    Heating a coop is not great idea for many reasons,
    first of all being that it's unnecessary and can be a fire hazard.

    Chickens are cold hardy if allowed to acclimate to the cold weather.
    I'd turn off the heat lamp now.

    You really should get all your birds in the coop before winter really hits.
    How big is your feet by feet?
    How long is your roost...again in feet?
    How well ventilated is the coop?
    Pics would help immensely if you want advice on getting your birds together for a safe, healthy winter.
    Plenty of floor space, roost length, and well ventilated coop is important.
    When birds don't want to go into a coop, those are the first things to look at.
  4. SueT

    SueT Chicken Obsessed

    May 27, 2015
    SW MO
    You do not need a heat lamp for chickens in Ohio!!!! They don't need heat any more than the wild birds do.
    The cold won't hurt them, even if they sleep outdoors, but predators will. I don't know of any area free from predators. You've been safe so far, but that can change fast.

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