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winter has arrived

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by guardian1, Dec 4, 2009.

  1. guardian1

    guardian1 Out Of The Brooder

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    May 24, 2008
    on the road
    we have snow now in michigan, the kids and the dogs are happy. this is our first winter with the chickens and i was wondering if we should keep them in the coop 24/7. right now, we put them in the coop at night with a heat lamp and let them out in the morning. the coop will cool down during the day because the door is open, but does that matter? the chickens are walking around in the run and it didn't seem to bother them walking around in the little bit of snow that we have. so should i keep them cooped up all winter?
     
  2. the simple life

    the simple life Chillin' With My Peeps

    I open my coop doors every morning every day of the year unless its a blizzard and I can't get out there or its storming out.
    They decide if they want to go out or not, most of them will go out rain or snow.
    The snow doesn't bother mine at all, they will walk around the yard on 3 feet of snow.
    I make sure to shovel a path from my door to the coop and then a small area in front of the coop for them to walk, if the snow is very new their feet will sink into the snow and they will get stuck so I always have an area cleared for them.
    They seem to know when its not a good idea to go out.
    I would not keep them locked up all winter, you will be asking for pecking problems and things like that if they have always been allowed out and are not use to being cooped up.
    The only thing to keep an eye on is frostbite, that can be a problem when the temperatures really drop.
     
  3. guardian1

    guardian1 Out Of The Brooder

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    May 24, 2008
    on the road
    thanks!
     
  4. DeGriz

    DeGriz Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 4, 2009
    Poway, CA.
    Certainly not an expert opinion here but...I see no reason to keep them in.

    It's about 20 degrees with the wind right now, When I opened the coop they all came flying out as usual. I usually throw some scratch out to get them going.

    I also put a small wind break in the run that they can all get behind when it really starts blowing.

    Also the chickens we chose were developed for this type of climate, they don't have big combs on top of their heads which can be a frost-bite concern.

    As it get's colder, I figure on letting the chickens decide if they want to come out or stay in.

    ETA

    Not too worried about frozen chickens, but dealing with the frozen / freezing waterers is a whole other issue.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2009
  5. Cruizer1

    Cruizer1 Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 13, 2009
    Grand Rapids
    Quote:Where in Michigan???? We got dumped on in Grand Rapids.. last night my hubby and I put clear plastic on the south and west side of the run to keep the winds out..and they are very happy, wondering what the snow is, this is their first snow fall...the coop is open if they want in but have stayed out so far.
     
  6. slightlyscrambled

    slightlyscrambled Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 30, 2009
    Nebraska
    we've had real cold here the last two days. 6' this morning , keeping water thawed has been my big problem
     
  7. citalk2much

    citalk2much Twilight Blessings Farm

    Dec 22, 2008
    GR MI: TN bound!
    My chickens said no to going out in the snow it was too funny they where doing there stomp at the pop door so I opened it they went running about half way down the ramp the lead chicken stops dead in her tracks causing a pile up then she turns around and is doing everything she can to get back inside with 7 other chickens and 3 ducks in the way lol you had to be there it was way to funny.
     
  8. chickflick

    chickflick Overrun With Chickens

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    Mar 10, 2007
    Dimondale
    Open the pop door and they will decide if they want to come out or not. [​IMG] newbies! Join us on the MI thread. Lots of friendly people on there and they may be your neighbors!
     
  9. guardian1

    guardian1 Out Of The Brooder

    18
    0
    22
    May 24, 2008
    on the road
    Quote:Where in Michigan???? We got dumped on in Grand Rapids.. last night my hubby and I put clear plastic on the south and west side of the run to keep the winds out..and they are very happy, wondering what the snow is, this is their first snow fall...the coop is open if they want in but have stayed out so far.

    i live about 50 miles north of grand rapids
     
  10. ShaggysGirl

    ShaggysGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 24, 2009
    Temperance, MI
    Yuck y'all can keep that snow up there....lol I'm about 5 miles from the Ohio boarder. Today was the first day we had ice in the waterers. I know the white stuff is coming soon. Been lucky so far here. This AM it was 24 F
     

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