Top 3 Winter Care Tips for Your Backyard Chickens
By: Roost & Root
1# Refrain from Supplemental Heat
Chickens do much better in cold temperatures than they do in high temperatures. After all, they are fluffy and downy, and they love to huddle close together on the roost bar at night. Their feathers are ideal for trapping warm air and their collective body heat keeps them sufficiently warm as is. Putting a heat source in your chicken coop may prove more dangerous than safe. Any straw/bedding placed inside the coop along with the unpredictable motions of chickens may be a recipe for disaster.
2# Keep Your Coop Ventilated
Never seal off your coop during the winter. Chickens give off a lot of moisture with their breathing and their droppings. If you seal it off completely then it will cause problems with ammonia build up and moisture, causing respiratory problems in your chickens. You need ventilation always, winter and summer, in your coop to keep humidity down and prevent mold in any loose bedding.
With our experience we have solved this problem with our above door ventilation design and Coro clear, UV Stabilized panel covers. These removable covers fit on the outside of your wired panels and help keep snow and cold rain out of your run to protect your flock from the elements. (Our Coro Clear Panels are custom fitted to Roost & Root Coops https://roostandroot.com/
3# Switch Up Their Diet In The Winter
Chickens will usually eat more during the winter months to keep their bodies warm so you will want to have plenty of their regular food available to them.
Feeding your hens scratch grains before bedtime will fill them up and help increase body heat as more energy is required to digest this flock favorite treat.
Fresh greens are scarce in most parts of the world in the winter, therefore adding dried meal worms or black soldier fly larva are a great source of extra protein. Chickens typically molt in the Fall, but there may be instances in which they will molt late into winter as well. As your chickens molt, they'll need additional protein to compensate the energy expended to regrow their feathers. A few flock favorite treats our birds love during molting season include canned fish (tuna in water, no more than 1x a week), yogurt, black oil sunflower seeds, and oatmeal.
That's our top three winter tips for chickens. It's important to remember that chickens are very hearty and well-equipped naturally when it comes to winter.
Roost & Root
Page Updated Last on: Aug 08, 2021