My husband and I used to breed chickens in the west of New York City, where the temperature always drops well below zero degrees in winter. We see high winds, centres and lots of snow and ice. Over the years we have found many unique ways to make the chicken coop winter hardy, so that our birds can safely get through the winter.
Autumn is a time of year when poultry farmers start to worry about their herds and it doesn’t stop until spring. Will your chickens survive a harsh winter? How do you keep chickens warm when the temperature drops below freezing?
Well, one thing I’m not going to propose here is to heat the chicken coop, because I really don’t think that’s necessary, even in the coldest areas. Read this article if you want to know why.
In this article I discuss the four steps to let the chicken coop hibernate without heat. These steps are simple, easy and above all cheap! Each of them is undoubtedly a hallmark of the perfect chicken coop!
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First step: Use of the deep dispersion method
The deep litter method is not only a good way to reduce chicken problems, but also a great way to add some warmth to your poultry house in winter! You can read more about the deep litter method in our article on this subject, but the main idea is to stir the litter on the henhouse floor every week and add fresh litter from above. A deep layer of litter helps to insulate the floor of the barn and because litter accumulates over time, it gives heat to the barn.
Second step: Winter poultry house with insulation
An isolated chicken coop is a warm chicken coop. I’m not saying you should hire a contractor and spend thousands of dollars to insulate your barn, but it’s very important for your herd to take a few simple steps.
If you want to walk every nine metres, the use of foam glass on the plywood-covered walls of the chicken coop makes the house pleasant and you can toast it with your birds. It can be a good idea to live in an area where the temperature in the winter constantly drops below -10 degrees.
If your winters are milder, you can opt for cheaper and simpler insulation. Something as simple as hanging horse blankets on the walls or stacking bales of straw on the walls can really help keep the chicken coop warm in winter.
Step 3: Disposal of drawings in the cooperative
The water chicken coop looks like a fan that constantly blows in the already very cold weather. The distance from the river basins can make the difference between the suffering and the comfort of your herd. Drawings are dangerous for chickens because they make it difficult for birds to use their natural protection against the cold, their feathers. When chickens are cold, their feathers swell and form a bag of warm air next to their skin. When blowing with cold air, this warm bag is broken, resulting in an unpleasant cooling.
Drawings are common in areas that lead outwards, such as doors and windows. Seal the openings around the frame with silicone sealant or sealing strips. When the weather drops below zero, close the chicken hatch and keep the birds inside to keep them warm.
Step 4: Additional ventilation for wintering poultry house
If the draught is bad for your herd, a completely closed barn cannot be worse or worse. There must be a constant exchange of air between your henhouse and the outside world. It’s one of the best things you can do to hibernate a chicken coop.
What is the difference between draught and ventilation? Think of the drawings as a permanent fan blowing on your chickens. If there is a breeze blowing at the chickens’ roots, a constant breeze will reach your birds and let them cool down to the bone.
With ventilation, on the other hand, the indoor air full of ammonia, moisture, dust and carbon dioxide leaves the poultry house and lets in fresh air. It’s necessary for the health of your herd. Moisture is the main cause of frostbite, not cold. Moisture leakage is therefore the key to preventing frostbite.
There is sufficient barn ventilation at the top of the barn where the wall touches the ceiling. This level is too high to exert a constant pulling force on your chickens (unless the chickens smoke on the rafters), but it still provides sufficient ventilation.
To provide the henhouse with ventilation holes, you can either drill holes in the wall or cut out several small rectangular windows and cover them with a suitable fabric. Predator tissue does not allow predators and parasites such as mice, but does allow air circulation.
Winter in the chicken coop is easy and makes life absolutely easy for your chickens this winter. Take your time in autumn, and your birds will thank you all winter with lots of eggs and cuddles!
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