Often we are asked how to keep chickens warm in winter when the temperature drops and it starts snowing. The truth is that raising chickens in winter is very simple. Only a few pieces are needed to be healthy and happy during the cold months.
The natural physiology of the chicks, combined with different strategies on our part, is all that is needed for our chicks to spend a cold and bitter winter, happy and healthy. We are happy to share these tips with you today!
We don’t heat the chicken coop in winter, but we follow these six steps to keep your herd warm safely and cost effectively.
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Keeping chickens warm in winter
Find the right chick breed for your climate
The best thing you can do to keep your birds warm in winter is to start with cold, hard chicken breeds. Cold, frost-resistant rocks have very small scallops and wickerwork, making them less susceptible to freezing. They are also usually built a bit on the thick side, which keeps them warmer when the temperature drops.
If you take a simple step and choose the right breed for your climate, you will do wonders to keep your chicks warm in winter. We’ve raised almost every breed of chicken. What we have learned is that chickens, which are naturally thinner and have a very large crest, suffer during the winter. No matter how hard we try to keep them warm, they’re fighting for prosperity. If you buy the right varieties from the start, you can save yourself a lot of trouble.
Best cold resistant chicken breeds:
- Buff Orpington
- New Hampshire
- Plymouth Rocks
- Rhode Island Red
- spotted Sussex
2. Insulation coupling
It is so important to hibernate the chicken coop before it gets cold. The easiest way is to isolate the chicken coop as much as possible.
There are many ways to do this. If you have money, you can insulate the walls of the henhouse with foam or fibreglass and then cover it with plywood. Just make sure that the insulation is completely covered, because the chickens will opt for it.
If you want to pay more attention to insulation in poultry houses, only horse blankets or other thick blankets can be hung on the walls to keep out the cold. Many poultry farmers also stack bales of straw against the walls to insulate the chicken coop.
Never forget that insulation does not make a chicken coop airtight. Each poultry house must be well ventilated to allow contaminated air and moisture to escape and allow fresh air in. To insulate the henhouse, you can drill holes in the wall where it crosses the ceiling, or you can cut off a window at the top of the wall and cover it with a fog to keep vermin and predators out.
3. Closed lotcope
The inside of the poultry house is heated on cold winter nights by the body heat of the chickens which is released into the air. If there is less space in the chicken coop, there will be less room to warm up the chicken bodies. If your poultry house is larger, it is better to reduce the usable area in winter.
This can be done by hanging a plastic plate or a floor up to the ceiling to block an unused part of the henhouse. Many poultry farmers also build temporary walls or use floor-to-ceiling straw bales to keep chickens in the same room.
4. Supply of high quality feed and water
In winter the chicks eat more food to regulate the body temperature and to apply some insulating fat. Make sure your chicks get good quality food and give them something extra at this time of year. If a member of your herd is moulting, it is also important to provide extra protein. This way they can make the feathers grow back before the cold sets in. You can easily increase the protein content by feeding your diet with worms or other nutritious winter delicacies!
We also like to throw chicken stripes on the floor of the chicken coop every day to give the birds something to occupy them and to add some winter fat to warm them up. It is even more important than feeding to provide your chicks with fresh water at all times during the winter.
Drinking water helps the digestion, which helps regulate the temperature. If your chicken’s water source is frozen for at least an hour during the day, this will affect its ability to stay warm. If you cannot check your frames several times a day, consider using a heated bowl or water heater for your winter frames.
5. Ensuring quality growth
A loop keeps the chicks warm by lifting them off the ground and collecting them. The heights must be large enough to house all your chickens. If you see chicks on the ground or in the nesting boxes at night, you need more root plants.
In winter it is also important to check the location of the cranes. If the roses are near a window or door, move them or close the area to avoid draughts. The drawings destroy the down feathers of the chickens and can cause dangerous cooling when the rooster is working.
The cockerel’s surface area should be large enough to allow the hen to cover its legs completely when sitting on it. If the chicks can’t wrap their toes around the circumference of the cock, they can freeze their toes that the cock can’t cover.
6. Use Depth Diffusion Method
The deep litter method does wonders to keep the chicken coop warm in winter. Placing six centimetres (or more) of rubbish on the floor of the shed helps to warm it up. Deep water waste also produces its own heat, although it accumulates only slowly during the season. We use the deep debris method all year round. But it is especially useful to keep our herd warm and healthy in winter.
If you do not opt for the deep litter method, you can always lay extra litter on the floor of the house to keep your birds comfortable in winter.
Note on heat input to the poultry house:
For most poultry farmers, heating the chicken coop is really not necessary. The use of heat lamps in the poultry house is extremely dangerous. It exposes your entire herd and structure to a high risk of fire. There are other ways to heat the barn (see below), but keep in mind that they can also endanger your herd if the heat source suddenly fails due to a power failure or malfunction. When your herd gets used to a heated house and the heat disappears, a sudden change in temperature is enough to shock the birds and bring them into hypothermia.
So far we are deeply convinced that the chickens should be kept outside during the winter, but there are certain circumstances in which this may be appropriate.
If you live in a very northern climate, where the temperature often drops well below -10 degrees and you feel that your chickens really suffer from the cold, then there are several possibilities.
- Hiring an electrician to wire a chicken coop would be safer than hanging a heat lamp.
- Flat radiators for sale
- to put in the chicken coop.
We hope this article has answered your urgent questions about how to keep chickens warm in winter. If you have any questions about the care of chicks in cold weather, it is essential that you read the final guidelines for winter chicks.
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