Chickens in the Snow

I had a comment about chickens in the snow on my last post that inspired me to share about my snow dare devils. I know most chickens will avoid the snow and not even think about going out in it. I have a couple of chickens who take the risks even in the 3 feet of snowย they had to get out…

white chicken

And take a look around…

Chicken snow

And get stuck…

Chickensnow

Chase saw this one was stuck and decided to help her out…

chasechicken

I guess it freaked out the chicken and she tried to get out of the snow as quick as she could…

Chickensnow2

So we do have a few chickens who will risk frost bite to explore, but usually they go back in quickly and we usually don’t let them out to protect their feet, wattles, and crown. But when they have been cooped up for a day or two we open the door for them to be able to get out if they want as long as it isn’t too cold or windy. But usually only a couple take us up on it. So today while it is still overcast and windy; after this ice and snow they will stay in and stay warm.

What do you do with your chickens in the snow, bad winds, ice, etc.?

 

 

10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Anne
    Feb 16, 2016 @ 21:55:13

    We keep our’s in during the storm but then Ashley Grace scoops them out a place to get out and about if it is not too cold after the storm. Our “run” is also on the south side of my horse shelter so it gets protected from some of the snow ๐Ÿ˜Š

    Reply

    • Seasonsgirl
      Feb 17, 2016 @ 09:30:13

      That sounds like a good spot for the run. Glad to see you do what I do keep them in and warm while the weather is bad. Seems to be what most of us chicken owners do. Ashley Grace is a good chicken owner trying to give then a place to come out but like ours they don’t usually go for it ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’m glad your weather seems to be nicer this week. Hope y’all are well.

      Reply

  2. debc
    Feb 17, 2016 @ 07:29:35

    We bought winter-hardy breeds but they do NOT like snow at all and I’ve never seen them wandering in snow this deep. Usually they take a couple steps out and run back into the coop so their toes don’t freeze! But then again, they are all less than a year old yet.

    I keep the coop door open for them in the daytime, and on days when it has snowed, I spring straw outside on the snow so they can come out and walk for short periods. This encourages them. This past weekend, when the low was -11 and windy was biting cold and blowing hard enough to knock me off my feet, I kept them locked inside and did NOT open the coop because of the drafts.

    Their coop stayed steady between 10 – 18degrees all weekend, so they did not freeze.

    Yesterday, we had freezing rain, but the temps were warmer, so I opened the door and let them come and go all day. They mostly stayed in but a few ventured out for fresh air and a cold shower. Around 3:30, I locked them in and turned the heat lamps on to help them fluff dry.

    Yes, I have heat lamps. My husband installed them because HE believed the chickens would get too cold this winter without extra heat. We argued over it and I let him install them, but told him that I reserved the right to only use them when I deemed necessary. Yesterday was the only time I’ve used them, and they were only on for 2 hours in the early evening, to help warm the air while they dried. I didn’t want anyone to still be damp when night time came and the temps dipped lower.

    Reply

    • Seasonsgirl
      Feb 17, 2016 @ 22:07:10

      We have some Rhode Islands which are supposed to be one of the hardy breeds. They will come out once the snow starts melting, but surprisingly our New Hampshires are the most curious about the snow.
      We do what you do as well. We have a coop and run that we keep the door closed to as it does help it to stay warm when it is really cold. Then when its not actually snowing or freezing we open the run door and let them have the option to come out. We have a couple heat lamps we use on a regular basis as it helps keep them dry and we notice it allows them to keep laying regularly as they are not having to spend as much energy keeping warm. I think heat lamps are personal preference, but are wise when it is very cold and wet. Helps the birds as you said dry off and stay warm. Don’t need a sick bird.
      Ours also get hay in their boxes and the floor of the coop when its bad weather too, as they seem to like to dig a little nest in it and get cozy.
      Thanks for your comment and ideas. I enjoyed hearing from you ๐Ÿ™‚

      Reply

      • debc
        Feb 18, 2016 @ 10:23:00

        We have Rhode Island Reds, too. Also, golden sexlinks. None of them like the snow in their toes. I’m hoping it’s because they are still young.

      • Seasonsgirl
        Feb 18, 2016 @ 10:27:09

        I found with ours that if they don’t like it when they are young they don’t tend to like it when they get older. But I see it as a protective thing… that way their feet don’t get frostbite. Rhode Island are the best birds just love mine. Our friend had the golden sexlinks they are neat looking birds too ๐Ÿ™‚

      • debc
        Feb 18, 2016 @ 10:38:40

        See? I love our golden sexlinks! They are gentle and sweet natured. Our Reds? We have a couple who respond well to affection… we have one who bites of I get close… Several who roar like dragons at everything when they are laying eggs… And one who is standoffish and doesn’t like anyone. We got them because RiR is my husband’s favorite breed. He raised them as a kid. I was new to all of this last spring!!!

      • Seasonsgirl
        Feb 18, 2016 @ 21:12:16

        All of our Rhodes are such sweet girls we have raised all our girls from chicks. We had more problems with our Buff’s then any of the other bread. Most people tell me their Rhodes are sweet and calm. But they also said Buffs are calm and some of ours defiantly aren’t. I hope you are enjoying raising chickens even if you have only been doing it since last spring. You learn as you go and every time you get a different bunch of chickens even if they are the same bread they can all be different. I’ve just learned to go with the flow and figure it out as I can ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. trishschickens
    Feb 17, 2016 @ 08:28:25

    As long as it’s not a blizzard or in the single digits, I try to offer them to come out of the coop. Part of my run is covered so it doesn’t get snow and rain in it and I have an area the wind can’t get to. But usually, if they see snow, and even though I dig a path for them, they will just stay in the coop lol. I get the look of “are you joking” when I open the coop door lol

    Reply

    • Seasonsgirl
      Feb 17, 2016 @ 09:27:37

      Yep that’s how mine are. Even if there is dirt or grass if there is snow only a couple venture out then back in. Or run is completely covered and the sides are clear panels do they get sunlight but the wind, snow, rain, etc. stay out. So they prefer to stay in there where their nesting boxes are and they have food, water, hay, etc. Thanks for the comment. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Reply

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