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Will your chickens go out in snow? — The Grow Network Community
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Will your chickens go out in snow?

Merin PorterMerin Porter Editorial DirectorSouthwest Colorado (Zone 6a)Posts: 741 admin

We live in Southwest Colorado, so we get less snow than some, but we do get snow. When it snows, my chickens absolutely refuse to leave the run. It's gotten to where I don't even bother to open it up for them in the mornings when the ground is completely covered with the white stuff. Keeps me from having to trudge out in the evening to shut them back in ... so, okay.

What I wonder is, does anyone have chickens who actually enjoy being out in the snow? I get that they wouldn't really be able to find sustenance when the ground is totally covered, so it's probably just not worth it to them. Still, I'm curious if there are breeds that actually still get out and tromp around.

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Comments

  • shllnzlshllnzl Southwestern UtahPosts: 1,502 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Merin Porter I would think that chickens would enjoy the snow.

    I have an African Grey parrot that evolved in, of course, warm temperature Africa. This bird enjoys the treat of eating a large ice cube completely, holding it in one claw without discomfort. Ice cold water in her water bowl inspires her to take a bath. I have taken her into the snowy mountain environment and she never even fluffed her feathers for warmth. It is my understanding that birds are equipped to deal with extremes of weather.

    Maybe you could put out some visible treats to encourage them to forage in the snow? Again, my parrot has taught me that birds like foraging games.

  • Denise GrantDenise Grant Posts: 1,680 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Most of my chickens I have now will go out in the snow. Some venture out further if they have a pallet walk or I put a walkway of hay down.

    I have one that will take a walk then refuse to come back so I have to pick her up and bring her back

    Treats will encourage them to take a walk if they are reluctant

  • VickiPVickiP Posts: 578 ✭✭✭✭

    I have some that absolutely will not go out in the snow and a few that don't seem to mind it. The rest kind of hang out in areas with less snow fall but they don't seem to like it much.

  • LaurieLovesLearningLaurieLovesLearning Moderator Manitoba, Canada 🍁 zone 3, PrairiesPosts: 3,760 admin

    The ones of ours that have full outdoor access have to go out to get food and water. They have no choice.

    The muscovies we had hated walking on snow but would come out if we put straw down.

  • solarnoon.aspensolarnoon.aspen Posts: 219 ✭✭✭

    British Columbia here and yes, we have snow cover for 2-3 months in the winter. I have some barred rocks and some western rustic meat birds and they do go out in the snow. I wouldn't say they love it and there really isn't much in it for them except when they are waiting by the fence for me to bring food! And, they have the option to stay inside a greenhouse with a tunnel from the coop to the greenhouse. They are a bit spoiled but I figure they are 10 times happier this way.

    Every day, even though they don't have to, they track through the snow where I've walked and I make sure to leave some dirt on the path so they can sense it. Cause they are prone to getting locked in to a place where it is all white. They don't seem to know how to move if they make a mistake and get into it - maybe snow blind or ????


  • Denise GrantDenise Grant Posts: 1,680 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @solarnoon.aspen I have one chicken who wanders off about 10 foot from the pen and will not move. Of course its in a place tht is hard to get too.

  • dottile46dottile46 Posts: 429 ✭✭✭

    Our chickens go out in the snow everywhere they would go without snow. I think about half the time they are just going because the three ducks are. They can and do go in the open ended shed. They have dirt bath wallow holes in there as well as the southerly sun shine.

    Chickens we had before wouldn't go out in the snow at all, for anything. Little skip of snow or a foot of snow, all the same to them.

  • lewis.mary.elewis.mary.e Posts: 199 ✭✭✭

    Our chickens will only go out in the snow if the air temp is above freezing and bare grass or dirt is showing somewhere in their run. Otherwise, they hate snow.

  • bcabrobinbcabrobin Posts: 228 ✭✭✭

    Most of our chickens want out in the snow. Some will go out the door, turn around and go back in, but most go out, they really like when they can walk on the top of drifts or ice and reach the tops of the weeds at the edge of the fields.

    If I don't open coop doors they have picked a hen and pulled all her feathers off. Not the same hen each time.

    They have a set schedule they go around the farm every day. First group A goes to the goat barn, group b goes to the duck pond. They rarely go someplace different and are rarely out of their group. Each rooster has HIS girls and they stay with him.

  • jolanta.wittibjolanta.wittib Posts: 430 ✭✭✭✭

    We have loads of snow now and my neighbours’ chicks are out every day. They like it outside

  • marcy_northlightsfarmmarcy_northlightsfarm Posts: 103 ✭✭✭

    Mine never like going out in the snow. I have a guinea that will go out, but then he won't come back. He'll find a rafter in the cattle free stall instead, getting him out of there is a pain. So I keep mine locked up all winter. Their inside space is really big so they seem pretty content.

  • soeasytocraftsoeasytocraft Alberta, CanadaPosts: 187 ✭✭✭

    If I keep the snow shovelled from the door they will venture out on a warm day. They seem to like something under their feet other then snow. Some more adventurous then others.

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