Chickens and cold weather : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

Ok my mother said when it snows the chickens can't go outside because their feet freeze off and my neighbor saids no that is not true. What do you do with your chickens do they go outside or stay inside with the door closed?

-- sonneyacres (, December 27, 2001


Mine go outside all the time - winter - summer- fall - spring.

-- Tom S. (, December 27, 2001.

the only thing that happens when it gets cold is that the chickens may, i repeat, may stop laying eggs. otherwise, it's outside with ice, snow, rain, whatever. the dampness of the rain is more of a foe than cold. i've had chickens die more from rain and dampness than cold. i have an enclosed coop, but let them out during the day and in at night.

-- gloria (, December 27, 2001.

mine like to rush out of the coop in the morning then spend their day outside but under an open-sided shed. they seem to enjoy being out but don't care for wet feet. plan to offer them more protected (no snow) area to hang out in come next winter. I also give them a shallow box of wood ash as suggested in another post to compensate for their dust bathing areas being in short supply this time of year.

-- B. Lackie (, December 27, 2001.

I've always let my chickens out each day and they do go out except for when we've got snow on the ground. A couple of years ago we had a big snow that stayed around for what seemed like weeks. I'd open their pen but they chose to stay in.

-- Mel Carroll in N.C> (, December 28, 2001.

My chickens have a small chicken sized door and when it snows they just look out the door. They will start going out when there is enough thawing so they can see some dirt or mud. jim

-- Jim Raymond (, December 28, 2001.

I shovel our chicken pen. Then I put shavings-sawdust on the ground.We have snow here for 5 months.They don't like to come out when the ground is white. That's why I put down some sort of ground cover. A few brave ones will come out, but not many. Soon as they don't see the ground white they can't get out fast enough. I don't like them to stay inside,because they will start to fight. I have a small roof over their feeder to keep out the weather.I move the feeder and water inside when the weather is bad,rain or snow.I'm in the process of building a barn with mine own trees cut on mine bandsaw mill,with a extended roof to stop the shoveling. I shut them in at night.This has worked for me for 3 years. We have about 25 chickens. Ray Chesterville,ME The Farm

-- Ray Chesterville,Me (, December 28, 2001.

hello sonneyacres, My chickens come and go as they please from their coup into the chicken moat. I do not lock them in at night or during inclimate weather. When it is cold, raining, and or overcast them tend to stay near the coup but, most certainly come out to feed or drink.

They need a lot of sunshine to produce eggs. When the days are shorter....they simply produce less or no eggs. Some people put lights in the coup and set them on a timer so as to stimulate the egg production. I do not as I believe it is a natural order of things in the winter to rest. My egg production went from six to ten eggs a day in the Spring-Fall, down to two to three a day in the winter. That is fine for us as we consume whatever the chicken give.

I think in keeping with the natural order of things you should let them come and go freely in or out of their coup. They will dictate whether or not they are too cold. Just give them some hay in their laying boxes and keep the coup as not to be leaking water onto them and give them a little extra feed or table scrapes. They should be fine.



-- (, December 28, 2001.

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