4 Steps to Making Your Backyard Chickens Happy During Winter


| 12/10/2018 9:27:00 AM


Chickens in Winter

We all know that keeping chickens during the winter can be difficult, particularly when the snow and frost comes!  So in this article I’m going to share with you 4 steps you can take to keep your chickens happier this winter.

Keeping the Coop Warm

Your hens will be spending a lot of time in the coop during the winter, so the first thing you need to do is make sure their coop is ready. You have three main things to do here:

1. Eliminate drafts

2. Insulate



3. Add heating (sometimes)

LazyGardener
2/28/2019 9:36:49 AM

The open air style coop Roy refers to is the Wood's Open Air coop. Genius design.


LazyGardener
2/28/2019 9:26:00 AM

Agreed with Roy. No matter the location, and especially in winter, ventilation is key. I'm in zone 4B. My coop is ventilated all winter. (including a floor level vent, windows, soffit and gable vents) Deep bedding, which composts in the warmer months over plywood and vinyl floor. If your coop is adequately ventilated, insulation becomes a moot point. Kind of like insulating your house, while the windows remain open in the winter! Chickens will do well in the winter if the coop is well ventilated, BUT their perch area remains draft free. Other important considerations: Good lighting with windows positioned to take advantage of winter lighting. In spite of sub zero temps, and wind chills to minus 30 and below, no frost bite in my flock. They also have a winter sunroom: part of their run is enclosed with plastic, including a green house tarp over a section. Deep leaf mulch. They enjoy this space on all but the coldest, windiest, and stormiest days.


Stefani
1/19/2019 1:42:10 PM

I am new to chicken owning, but we live in the cold North Idaho and mine are thriving. Our coop is not air tight, I am using straw and they love to burrow under the straw and dig for worms and other critters. I have a heated water dish inside the coop and I also have a heat lamp in there to keep it a little warmer, not much though. They go in the coop for water and free fed pelleted feed, but prefer to be out in the ice and snow where I give them mealy worms, mixed treat grains, cooked rice, oatmeal and kitchen scraps (varies daily). They eat plenty of the pellets I provide with vitamins added, but are excited for the treats and I scatter it on the ice and snow so they can peck around for it. They prefer to sleep outside of the coop in a large piece of plastic pipe we had put in there in the summer for more shade and play. It doesn't even have bedding. I only have three chickens and one duck, but they sleep in that pipe together. They lay eggs everyday and they do lay them in the nest boxes in the coop. It's weird, but they have been laying all winter and are happy and healthy!






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