I only ask because half (or more than half) the people on the eastern coast of the U.S. are getting a ton of snow this weekend.
How are your chickens handling it? Do they like snow? Cold weather?
Or if you’re like me and NOT getting a bunch of snow, how do your chickens like it when you do?
Do you do anything to help them get outdoors on the cold days? Or do your chickens mostly stay inside?
Everyone does ‘chickening keeping’ differently, so I’m curious.
Mine are, as frequent readers know, semi-free range. They have a coop, a run, and a fenced in pasture that keeps them away from the road and out of the top of the barn, but doesn’t not prevent predators. They have room to wander and eat grass/bugs/whatever, but not room to hurt themselves trying to cross the actual road.
I chose supposedly ‘winter hardy’ chickens when I was buying breeds, but I’ll be honest, that term does NOT mean that they LOVE winter. Or even like it. In fact, my older birds are downright chicken when it comes to winter. The big babies huddle inside where the Cold White isn’t and make a fuss if I try to get them outside.
My younger group from last spring’s chicks? Actually pretty adventurous. Or maybe they are too afraid of spending all day in the coop with the cranky older girls to be afraid of a little snow?
Pip doesn’t like it. He’d rather be inside with the older ones, but since Dots does, too, one of them has to go outside with girls who want to stay out. So he’s getting used to it, too. In the name of ‘being the Man’ and protecting the flock.
Also, I try to help where I can. I know the snow freezes their toes, so on the mornings when there is snow on the ground but it’s not still snowing, I will spread straw on the ramp and in the run, giving them a place to walk that isn’t cold and wet. I might also entice with warm oatmeal or Black Oil Sunflower Seeds.
One the days when it’s still snowing, I don’t bother. They don’t go outside. Just look at the open door like I’m crazy.
So that’s how I help my chickens ‘enjoy’ winter. How about you?