Are my chickens frozen? Whether it is too cold for chickens is probably the most frequently asked question about the supply of chickens in winter, especially by new breeders living in a cold climate. 1С8
Many people who are curious about raising chickens cannot imagine having to stay outside in their unheated barns in a deplorable winter environment. They introduce themselves outside, naked and shivering in the cold. The idea of doing this to their chickens is unbearable.
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The truth is your chickens are fine.
Chickens have an amazing resistance to the cold and many measures are planned to keep them warm in winter. There are some things you can do to make them comfortable, and they are easy to load!
Let’s take a dip in the atmosphere and answer this frequently asked question about raising chickens in winter. You also get our 6 tips to keep your chicks warm in a cold climate!
Are your chickens cold?
The simple, straightforward answer here… probably not. Your chickens can survive the cold with very little help from you. The only reason your chickens may suffer from the cold is because it is very cold where you live (far below zero degrees most winters) or because your chicken coop is not well built for the winter. At the end of this article we’ll tell you more about the chicken coop and the cold weather, but if you want more information, don’t miss our detailed article How the chicken club hibernates.
How chickens cope with the cold
When the temperature begins to drop, your chickens begin to prepare for winter. They eat a little more to apply some insulating fat, and their bodies work hard to grow the feathers they lost during the fall of the mouse.
Chickens also avoid the cold by swelling their feathers. This creates a sachet of warm air between the feathers and the skin. In this way, the warm air emitted by the chicken’s body remains warm and pleasant, even on the coldest nights. You may also notice that your chickens are cuddled by a rooster at night. It’s another way for chickens to keep warm in winter.
If you still don’t believe your chickens are doing perfectly in the barn on a cold night, here’s the proof. Next time you have a cold night, go to the chicken coop. Place your hand under the wing of the chicken or between the feathers, right next to the skin. I think you’ll find your chickens can stand the cold.
Warning sign that your chickens are cold
Although it is unlikely that your chickens in the hen house will actually suffer from the cold, a few questions in the hen house can lead to the grief of your chickens. To make the chickens happy in winter, they need a clean, dry, draught-free but well-ventilated henhouse. If your poultry house does not provide the basic necessities of life or if it constantly drops below freezing in the winter near you, your chickens may suffer. The two signs that indicate that your chickens suffer from cold are frostbite and hypothermia.
Frozen chicken chunks
If you notice a little frost on your chicken’s crown or basket, you certainly have a problem. Frostbite is more of a problem if there is too much moisture in the barn than if it is too cold. Make sure your poultry house is well ventilated at the top, so that there is always moisture outside and fresh air inside. Don’t forget to clean and refresh your nest regularly if you notice that your chickens have been bitten by the frost. Moisture in the litter can easily cause too much moisture to accumulate in your poultry house.
Hypothermia is another sign that your chickens are too cold. This problem, which can be life-threatening for chickens, can occur when chickens are chilled and cannot heat up properly. This can happen if the chickens are wet, perhaps because they are outside in the rain or snow, or if they are exposed to cold draughts in the barn. Hypothermia in chickens is quite obvious. They will freeze, their eyes will look at each other or close, and their bodies will be cold.
Treatment of hypothermia in chickens:
If you find an undercooled chicken, take it to the barn immediately. Heat the towel in the microwave and wrap it around the bird. As soon as the chicken starts to recover, you can put it in a small cage or box with stuffed pine flakes, pure straw or even old blankets. Place the box under a heat lamp or near a heat source such as a wood-burning stove or radiator.
How to keep your chickens warm in winter
There are many ways to keep your chickens warm this winter. The following tips have been proven to help keep your chickens active and warm in the house.
- Cementing a chicken coop
- Lay a thick layer of deep bedding, such as straw or pine curls.
- at the back of the henhouse
- Make sure that the windows and doors are closed properly and that there is no draught in your stove.
- Make sure the chicken coop is well ventilated. Cut a window at the top of the henhouse where the wall meets the ceiling. Cover him well with the linen. Moisture and stale air can escape and clean air can enter without dragging your herd.
- Give your herd of chickens.
- to keep them busy and help them apply a good layer of insulating grease. Check out this wonderful list of our favourite treats to feed your chickens this winter!
- Take the basic heating
- for your water hook, so your chickens always have fresh, frozen water.
Would you like to know more? Our friends at Timber Creek Farm have great tips to know if your chickens are really cold, how to prepare your barn to keep the chicks warm in winter, and other tips to keep the water from freezing.
I hope you will feel more comfortable keeping your chickens outside in the henhouse during a cold and stormy winter. As always, if you have any questions or problems, please leave a comment below. I’ll tell you!
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