6 Amazing Tips for Keeping Chickens in WinterPrint
Winter can be a scary time for chicken keepers. The frosty weather and chilly winds can easily get to your chickens and make them sick.
Just like we prepare ourselves for embracing the cold winters, extra measures should be taken to keep your chickens safe and healthy in the freezing cold.
Scroll down to read some amazing tips to take care for your chickens in the winter and to keep them warm and cozy.
1. Use Deep Litter
While you may like it clean, your chickens prefer a coop that is filled with composting material. The deep litter method requires you to allow the buildup of bedding material and chicken poop in the coop over the summer and fall. By winter, the coop should have about a foot of composting material that gives off heat to naturally keep the coop warm.
2. Mind the Light
Sometimes, chickens can stop laying eggs in the winter. One way to solve this issue is to use supplemental light to make up for the shortened days. On the other hand, some birds continue laying throughout the winter without any extra lighting arrangement. It really depends on the type of the chickens that you are rearing. If you think that the short days are affecting your chickens, it is advisable to use supplemental lights.
3. A Can of Corns
Just like we take supplements, like fish oil, to keep warm in winters, your birds may also need something extra in their diet. Along with good quality chicken feed, try feeding your chickens some corns. A handful of corns in the evening will make sure that your chickens stay warm and cozy throughout the night. It will also help improve the digestive system your birds, making them generally healthy. So, make sure you add some corns in their chicken feeders.
4. A Sunroom
Snow in winters can limit your chickens to their coops. If you are worried that they don’t have enough space to run around, you can build a greenhouse style coop extension and cover it with clear plastic. This will give them extra space to wander around. Keep in mind that playing around and getting a little exercise helps in regulating their body temperature, which in turn helps your birds to stay warm.
5. Petroleum Jelly
When the temperature gets below the freezing point, you may find that some birds, especially those with large combs and wattles, are prone to frostbite. An easy way to protect them is to use petroleum jelly. All you need to do is smearing their combs and wattles with a little bit of petroleum jelly!
6. Roosts All the Way
For chickens, roosting together is the key to staying warm and comfortable in the icy winters. They roost together and fluff their feathers to regulate their body temperature. It also helps them stay off the cold ground. Therefore, it is important to make sure your chickens have enough space to roost together. Also, keep in mind that the rooster should be at least 2 feet off the ground.