Keeping Your Chickens Warm In The Winter
Chickens are very hearty animals as long as they have shelter, but there are a few very simple things that you can do to make sure that they are as comfortable and healthy as possible through the winter.
Here is a list of steps to take to help ensure your flock stays warm through the cold months ahead:
While this can be a debatable topic among farmers, many farmers find installing heat lamps in their coop is the ideal way to keep their chickens warm. While this can be a quick and easy way to provide warmth to your flock, please use caution to avoid fire.
***My favorite method***Cover the floor of your coop with a thick layer of wood chips, hay or other organic material. Rather than scooping it out and replacing with fresh bedding you will just stir up the bedding periodically with a rake and place a thick layer of clean bedding over the top. Your flock will help stir the bedding with their scratching or you can throw a handful of scratch on the bedding to encourage them to stir the bedding. If done properly this method will naturally warm your coop as the healthy microbes decompose the lower levels of bedding. In the spring you can scoop out the bedding and use it to fertilize your garden. We currently have about six inches of wood shavings on the floor of our coop and it amazes me how warm the coop has remained.
Call your local tree service company and ask if they will drop off a load of wood chips. Most companies are happy to get rid of the wood chips and will drop a load of wood chips for free.
Keep your coop dry and draft free
Cover or seal any leaks or holes in your coop while still allowing for good air circulation.
Have a place for chickens to roost
Be sure to have a roost at least two feet from the ground. Chickens will naturally fluff their feathers to keep warm while roosting and also keeps them off the cold ground.
Arrange your chicken coop to allow sunlight to naturally heat your coop.
Make crocheted chicken sweaters and booties
No not really! But I had a multiple friends send me a video of a chicken in crocheted sweater and booties. If you actually do this please send me a picture 🙂
I hope this helps your flock stay warm this winter. Please share any tips you have for keeping chickens warm in the winter by commenting below.