Winter debate, coop door open or closed?

Big Red Roosters

Songster
Nov 7, 2018
185
452
147
United States of America
I was always taught to lock up the coop for winter, never leave the door open, rush in, feed/water, and rush out. No chickens allowed outside until the snow melts next year.
Recently it was brought to my attention by another Nebraskan chicken owner, to leave the door open unless there's high winds. This way they can still wander around if they want to, but dont necessarily have to.. its "unhealthy and cruel" to lock them up for months.. What are your opinions of this? I am a bit suspicious to try it after never doing it before. What do you do during winter weather?
 

Big Red Roosters

Songster
Nov 7, 2018
185
452
147
United States of America
I'll leave their small coop door open. The run is covered with plastic, so not as drafty when it's windy. Chickens have free choice whether to go out or not
My flocks have always been given the option to go in/out at will (this includes in areas with temps below 0 and feet of snow). The pop door is open during the day, closed at night. Windows open per prevailing winds, vents open.
That's good to know. I will go ahead and give open doors a try. Thank you for your input, it seems I'm still learning a lot :)
 

BantyChooks

Pullarius
Project Manager
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Aug 1, 2015
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I live in the north, where there can sometimes be weeks where we don't scrape 0*F. I leave the doors open unless it's really windy or snowing hard. The birds appreciate it and stay out nearly all the time.
This picture was taken when it was -1F.
-1f.JPG
 

chicky-little

Chirping
Jun 6, 2015
32
64
94
BC
I live in the north, where there can sometimes be weeks where we don't scrape 0*F. I leave the doors open unless it's really windy or snowing hard. The birds appreciate it and stay out nearly all the time.
This picture was taken when it was -1F.
View attachment 1586672
We had to fight with our ducks to stay in their insulated hut in -30°C. They were out most if the day and got locked up at night.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
96,334
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SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
I leave the pop door open most days, but it is protected from the prevailing west wind...which also, along with another old window pane on the north side, protects the part of the run that is under the coop. My run has only mesh walls and roof. and tho I do clear the snow from parts of the run....during blizzards I leave the pop door closed, cause I know they won't go out. I have about 6-8sqft per bird inside coop, definitely helps alleviate 'Cabin Fever' on the nastiest days.

full
 

Big Red Roosters

Songster
Nov 7, 2018
185
452
147
United States of America
Apparently you guys have brave birds, mine took one look at the snow and flew to the back of the coop to get away from it. The temperature is finally 30° so I'll still leave everyone's doors open. I won't open the bantam's door, I have chicks in there not ready for the cold.
At least it's not 0° like yesterday. My barn shorted out the extension cords I was using to heat water buckets, so all of my de-icers are frozen in a solid block of ice. Here's to hoping the sun is enough to melt it a little. Looks like this winter is going to be a troublesome one.
 

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