When it comes to free-ranging your chickens, there is a lot of debate as to whether or not they should be allowed out in the rain. Some say that chickens shouldn’t be out in the rain because they will get cold and wet.
However, others argue that if chickens are used to free-ranging, they should still be let out even if it’s raining because they will have the sense to seek shelter if they need to. So, what’s the verdict? Should chickens be allowed to free-range in the rain?
Chickens Have Water-Repellant feathers
One of the main arguments for why chickens shouldn’t be out in the rain is that they will get cold and wet. However, what many people don’t realize is that chickens have water-repellant feathers on the outside, which means rain will roll right off their backs. In addition, chickens also have fluffy under feathers which helps to keep them warm. So, as long as chickens have access to shelter, they should be just fine being out in the rain.
Chickens Know When to Seek Shelter
Another argument for why chickens should be allowed to free-range in the rain is that they know when to seek shelter. If it starts raining and the chickens feel like they are getting cold or wet, they will head for shelter on their own. This is why it’s important to make sure that there is a dry, safe place for your chickens to go if they need to get out of the rain.
Do Chickens Like Rain?
Just like with people, some chickens love the rain, while others would rather stay inside when it’s wet outside. If you’ve ever wondered whether or not your backyard chickens enjoy the rain, read on to find out more.
There are a few different things that will affect how much your chicken likes the rain. Chickens with shorter feathers will generally not like the rain as much as those with long feathers. This is because their feathers don’t provide as much protection from the elements.
Chickens with health issues such as respiratory problems will also generally avoid going out in the rain. If your chicken is healthy and has a good coat of feathers, there’s a good chance they’ll be just fine in light showers. Some chickens even enjoy playing in puddles!
Another thing to consider is what type of housing your chicken has. If your chicken lives in a coop with little ventilation, chances are they won’t want to go outside in the rain. This is because wet feathers can lead to mold and mildew growing in their coop, which can cause health problems for your chickens. If your chickens have a well-ventilated coop, they’re more likely to want to go outside and enjoy the rain.
Making Chicken Coops and Runs More Weatherproof
Chickens are hardy creatures that can withstand a wide range of weather conditions. However, that doesn’t mean they don’t need a little help staying warm and dry when the mercury dips or the rain comes pouring down. By taking some simple steps to weatherproof your chicken coop and run, you can give your feathered friends the shelter they need to stay comfortable all year long.
Here are a few tips to get you started:
Put up a windbreak.
If your chicken coop is located in an area that’s prone to high winds, put up a windbreak to help protect it from damage. A windbreak can be as simple as a row of evergreen trees or shrubs planted along the fence line. Or, you could build a more permanent structure like a wooden fence or privacy screen. Just be sure to leave enough space between the windbreak and the chicken coop so that air can circulate freely and your chickens don’t overheat.
Cover the run.
If your chickens have access to a run, make sure it’s covered with wire mesh or another type of protective covering. This will prevent predators from getting in and will also provide some shelter from the elements. If you live in an area with severe weather conditions, you may even want to consider enclosing the entire run in order to give your chickens ultimate protection from the wind, rain, snow, and cold.
Just like humans, chickens need a little extra insulation to stay warm in the winter and cool in the summer. There are several ways you can add insulation to your chicken coop, including using straw or shredded newspaper as bedding material, installing weatherstripping around doors and windows, or simply adding extra layers of protection like tarps or blankets during extreme weather conditions.
Providing Chickens With Shelter During Bad Weather
When bad weather hits, it’s important to make sure your chickens have a warm, dry place to go to escape the elements. Here are a few easy ways to provide shelter for your feathered friends.
Give them access to a greenhouse or polytunnel during the winter months, making sure the door is left open for ventilation so they can come and go. Greenhouses and polytunnels provide an enclosed space that will help keep the wind and rain out, while still allowing your chickens to move around freely. Just be sure to open the door on milder days so they can get some fresh air.
If you have an unused shed or outhouse, this can create a perfect shelter for chickens. Simply clean out any old debris, put down some straw or straw bales for bedding, and voila! You’ve got yourself a warm, dry place for your chickens to hang out when the weather takes a turn for the worse.
In winter, place an outdoor table in a sheltered corner for the chickens to sit under. Tables are great because they provide a raised platform for your chickens to huddle under when it’s raining or snowing. Plus, they’re easy to set up and take down as needed. Just make sure the table is sturdy enough to withstand high winds.
Can You Keep Chickens Inside if the Weather Is Bad?
When it comes to bad weather, there are a lot of variables to consider when deciding whether or not to let your chickens out. The main thing you need to consider is the type of bad weather. Is it just wet and cold, or is there also high wind? How long will the bad weather last? These are all important factors to take into account.
If the weather is just wet and cold, your chickens will likely be okay spending time outside. However, if there is also high wind, it’s best to keep them inside. High winds can be dangerous for chickens, as they can easily knock over chicken coops and cause other problems.
If the bad weather is only going to last for a short period of time, letting your chickens outside for a little while likely won’t hurt them. Just make sure they have access to shelter if they need it.
When Shouldn’t You Let Chickens Out in the Rain?
Many people don’t think twice about letting their chickens out in the rain. After all, they are birds and they can fly, so what’s the harm? However, there are actually a few times when you shouldn’t let your chickens out in the rain. Here are four times when it’s best to keep your feathered friends dry.
- Young chicks and birds with underdeveloped feathers shouldn’t be out in the rain because they can easily catch a cold. If you have less than eight weeks old chicks, it’s best to keep them dry. The same goes for any bird that has lost a lot of feathers, such as ex-battery hens or hens going through an extreme molt.
- Chickens who are ill should also avoid getting wet in the rain. If your chicken is sick, its immune system will be weaker and it will be more susceptible to getting a cold or other illness if it gets wet.
- Small and less hardy breeds are also more likely to get sick if they get wet in the rain. These chickens should be kept dry during rainy weather.
- Lastly, if you live in an area with lots of predators, you may want to keep your chickens inside during rainy weather. This is because predators will have an easier time finding and attacking your chickens when they are out in the open and wet.
While chickens are generally hardy creatures, there are certain times when it’s best to keep them inside during a rainstorm.
At the end of the day, it’s up to you whether or not you want to allow your chickens to free-range in the rain. However, it’s important to know that as long as they have access to shelter, they should be just fine being out in the weather.
Chickens have water-repellent feathers, which help them stay dry, and they also know when to seek shelter if they start feeling cold or wet. So, if you’re debating whether or not you should let your chickens out in the rain, hopefully, this has helped you make a decision.