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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a mixed flock of 37 hens, a Minorca roo, and two very young game roos ( I think). I am a bad owner because so far this winter I have kept them locked up in the coop that is a bit small for their numbers. They have plenty of feed, bedding, and even a heat lamp, roosts, and we have kept most laying through the winter.We are on an acre and in the summer for the most part they stick to their yard. We always have a few roamers. No big predator problems around here. My question is should I let them out for a bit? Think they'll go back to the coop? About 18 of these hens were added a week ago. I will add pics of a few just for funs sake. Also I will note none of them are acting stressed. No plucking, cannibalism, egg eating, or fights.

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Where are you? My rule of thumb is, not much snow and temps above 20 or so and I'll let mine out. Mine don't like deep snow and they don't like it too cold, so I just keep them in with the door closed to block the wind. Unfortunately, that means mine have been in the coop since mid December! Occasionally I'll let the turkeys out anyway, but they don't go more than about 10 ft from the coop.


Joe V
Dryden, mi
2 turkey's, 5 guineas, 30 chickens, 2 donkeys, 2 goats, 1 horse, 1 mini horse, 1 Great Pyrenees, and 1 cat!

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I'm in northern Michigan. We have about a foot and a half on the ground and are due for more.

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
And this one I'm not sure if its a roo or hen. Maybe 10 months old, but when he/she was introduced, he/she did a very good job of attacking my Minorca roo. No spurs.

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You're not a bad owner, if you're doing what you feel is right the. Rhys okay. I let mine out If it it's not freezing rain or snowing heavily. If it's snowed but isn't any longer I let them out for a little bit,

Also be cautioned on having a heating lamp in the coop, it's very dangerous with birds.
 

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I'm in northern Michigan. We have about a foot and a half on the ground and are due for more.

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I'm in Wisconsin, the only time I kept my flock closed up was for two days in January with the -65 degree temps. Other than that they have been allowed to free range everyday . We have about 18 inches of snow and have been below zero since Novemeber.
 

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I'm from MI also. With all the snow we've been having, there's no place for the chickens to go, anyways. I have a run and I shoveled everytime it snowed. On not so bad days, I've opened the pop door. Most times, they didn't go out, but I figured they got some fresh air. Their run is tarped, so not too bad of a wind problem. I let them out yesterday while I cleaned out the coop. They had the sidewalk and driveway to roam around in. They got to enjoy the sunshine, tho. Today, snow and freezing rain.. :( Just use your common sense.
 

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You're not a bad owner, if you're doing what you feel is right the. Rhys okay. I let mine out If it it's not freezing rain or snowing heavily. If it's snowed but isn't any longer I let them out for a little bit,

Also be cautioned on having a heating lamp in the coop, it's very dangerous with birds.
i don't put a heatlamp in the coop unless i have birds that are under 8 weeks old that are not being taken care of by a broody.
i have seen so many pictures of burnt up chicken coop (and dead chickens) they just are not safe!
instead i put the scratch to my flock
i figure one 50lb bag per dozen birds
this allows the birds to build up a nice layer of fat to they can stay warm all winter
i start this in the fall & when the scratch is gone that's it till next fall.

i have also heard of chickens not making it when there was a power outage, they couldn't make it without their heat lamp

so OP i would say keep the lamp till spring because you can't just
stop using it mid winter.

oh also i like to clear some of the snow outside my coop
then i put just enough sand down so the birds can't see the snow
mine will then come out of the coop for a while

good luck
piglett
 
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