5 Tips for Keeping Chickens Warm in Winter Season
Raising chickens is great for a family who wants to have eggs and even keep chickens as pets. Based on a survey in 2018, there were around 8% of Americans had chickens in their backyard.
If you have children, they can take part in caring for the chickens and learn more responsibility about caring for pets.
But raising chickens comes with challenges, like keeping chickens warm in winter. The rest of the year is ripe for hunting bugs and running free in the year, but what about the cold season?
Here are a few ways to keep them warm.
- Feed At Night
When it’s cold, consider feeding your chickens corn or other feed at nighttime. The process of digestion warms the body and keeps them comfortable during those cold nights. This is an economical option that’s easy to maintain.
To help you get started, check out these chick feeder and waterers for easy feeding and water distribution.
Chickens are fairly independent; when they want to go inside the coop they will and don’t need forcing. However, if the coop has holes or gaps, cold air makes the coop uncomfortable and exposes your birds to frostbite.
You can insulate the coop with blankets or even build a fiberglass or plastic room to block air and let it in sunlight. This is a more expensive endeavor, but if you’re planning to keep your chickens for a long time, it may be worth the investment. Be sure to keep some ventilation so moisture escapes.
Chickens love to roost to avoid predators, and so their feet are not on the cold ground. Roosting is how they fluff out their chicken feathers and raise their body temperature. If possible, you may want to add a couple of roosts so all your chickens have room to spread out.
If you find a chicken on the floor, you’ll need to add more roosts.
- Create Comfortable Nest Boxes
Nest boxes allow chickens to lay eggs and be comfortable. Adding bedding makes the box warm and inviting, but in the wintertime, it may not be enough. Chickens may naturally gravitate towards their nest box in the winter since the daylight is shorter.
Installing a small curtain over the nest box helps minimize the amount of cold air that seeps into the box. The chicken can easily slip in and out of the box without disturbing the curtain too much.
- Avoid Heat Lamps
While heat lamps may seem like the obvious option when it comes to warming a chicken coop, it’s more of a hazard.
Heat lamps and dry bedding are a prime combination for fires. Chickens also have their way of staying warm: huddling together. Allow the chickens to stick together for warmth and avoid the risk of fires.
The Importance of Keeping Chickens Warm in Winter
Keeping chickens warm in winter isn’t that difficult with a little planning. By making sure the coop is well insulated and chickens have everything they need, they’ll get through the winter with no problems.
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