I have a confession: I am trying really hard to adjust my attitude in terms of the colder months. I confess that I complain A LOT about cold and snow, which has only amplified since I began my chicken keeping journey. If you’ve ever had chickens over the winter, you probably know what I mean.
Recently, I made a promise to myself (and to the long-suffering First Man), to be more grateful for all things, including Old Man Winter. To achieve this, I’ve had to make some adjustments in the chicken yard to make life easier for me and the chooks. One of those things was adding electricity to Chickenlandia. This was, like, the best thing I ever did.
“Did you add power so that you can add heat?”, you might be asking. No, I actually don’t recommend heat in the chicken coop unless you REALLY cannot keep the moisture down. It’s moisture rather than cold that can really do a number on your flocks in the winter. Heat lamps can be a fire hazard, and chickens do best when they can acclimate to the changing seasons. If you absolutely must add heat, I recommend a radiant heater like this, or this.
Prepare their housing.
There are other things that you can do during the colder months regarding your chicken coop and run that can really help your winterizing efforts. In this first video, I talk about ventilation, insulation, and how to give your chickens enough space in the winter:
If you do find that you chicken coop is holding too much moisture, you are going to need to add some ventilation. To do so, you will need to find a place up high and not near where you chickens roost to place some ventilation holes. Cross ventilation is best, and make sure to cover any openings with hardwire mesh (to prevent critters from coming in to get warm). Watch this video on Chicken Coop Ventilation for more:
Keep them comfortable.
Winterizing your coop and adding good ventilation might not be enough, depending on your climate. You will also have to think about the changing nutritional needs of your chickens when they cannot access bugs and pasture. Check out this next informative video about keeping them happy and healthy in colder times:
Do you have anything special you do during the winter that helps your flock? Let me know in the comments!