How to Keep Your Chickens Warm in Winter – Top 10 Ways
January 9, 2023
7 minutes Read
January 9, 2023
Table of Contents
As fall transitions into winter, it is essential to incorporate small and big measures to ensure sustainability, especially when it comes to poultry farming.
This very blog will equip you with just the right amount of knowledge on how to keep chickens warm in winter and protect them from all harm.
Doing so would bring you immense profit in the long run, for you will be making the most out of your healthy chicken. Hence, below are stated 10 incredible ways to keep chickens warm in winter.
Hurry up and read on then!
Top 10 Ways to Keep Chickens Warm in Winter
Following are the tips and tricks to keep chicken warm in winter
1. Get Rid of the Snow!
Just like us, chickens also despise walking in thick, endless piles of snow. But can we blame the? Of course not!
So when you let them out for a stroll, shovel away the snow from areas where they like to hang out. It is also suggested to cover the cleaned areas with straw so that the icy ground does not prick those cute little chicken feet.
2. Warm Up The Coop
When the coop is moved to face the sunlight, it is bound to trap heat during the day, which allows it to stay warmer throughout the night. The concept of thermal mass ensures the possibility of material absorbing and retaining heat to release later. As more thermal mass is incorporated in the coop, more heat is released as the sun sets and night takes on.
Ideally, poultry raisers can also use heat lamps or heated perches to provide additional heat especially to keep chicks warm. Heat lamps, preferably red light supplements heat and protect from the cold weather.
3. Spruce Up The Game By Using The Deep Litter Method
While this is an ingenious method to keeping the chickens warm, what exactly is this method, and understanding how it works is essential to know how to raise chickens in winter. The Deep Litter method is the common chicken poop method. It is a natural method that represents a compost pile. To keep your chickens warm in winter, as a poultry raiser you add a layer of pine shavings, or you can use any organic matter. The idea is to layer the coop floor with chicken poop after.
You might be worried about the coop stinking and attracting bacteria, but research suggests that if the method is correctly incorporated, rest assured the coop will not stink. However, keep in mind that the deep litter method will not work with an overpopulated coop. But for many coops, this method can work out for longer periods without having to clean it up.
The use of this method is ideal as it is a widely used measure that traps heat and warms up the coop naturally and provides chickens the opportunity to cozy up.
4. Remedy Coop Insulation
Caring for chickens in winter is not as difficult as it sounds. Insulation helps keep the coop and chickens warm in winter. It might sound like a pricey practice, but it is not. There are certain cost-effective ways that one can identify and work with. While Styrofoam and cardboard is an affordable solution and many consider it as well, it should not be the preferred choice since chickens are likely to feast on Styrofoam and cardboard. The most suitable practice is to cover the coop using fabric in terms of blankets, curtains, or tarps particularly in the smaller coop, allowing the coop and chickens to stay warm and get the much-needed ventilation as well. However, for large coops, it is advisable to either lower the ceiling or put up temporary walls.
5. Feed Chickens To Keep Them Warm
As day turns into night, and it is time to sleep, and you have ensured that the coop is warm and dry, the next step is to make sure to feed your chickens the right dinner to keep them warm. A healthy snack of light corn is a great way to keep the chickens warm. Corn is a good source of protein, which is needed for feathering up. During the night, chickens break down calories to keep themselves warm, which again helps with feather development.
6. Ensure That Your Chickens Can Roost
Roosting is essential for chickens to keep warm. Chickens usually roost together and fluff up their feathers to keep themselves warm. Ensuring that the roost is built at least two feet above the floor of the coop keeps the chickens feel safe and secure.
7. Allow Sunlight To Radiate Warmth
Letting sunlight in is a great way to warm the coop. Farm owners can also build a sunroom using plastic. While the idea of keeping the chickens away from the outdoors is great, the exposure is necessary and allows the flock to move freely without having to worry about the cold weather.
8. Entertain Your Chickens
Chickens naturally get bored easily and require entertainment. Exercise is a natural way to allow chickens to warm themselves up. Hanging a cabbage through the coop is one way of keeping the birds entertained and works as a stimulating exercise that allows their bodies to warm up.
9. Sweater Weather Is Cool But Not For Your Birds
Covering up your chickens may sound like a great idea, but it’s better to steer clear of it, as it does not help them keep warm. Chicken sweaters prevent them from fluffing up and all the more natural functions that help them stay warm.
10. Provide Them With Outdoor Access
As mentioned above, chickens are hardy birds. They do not shy away from cold weather, and they would rather not like to be kept inside. Opening up the coop and letting your flock decide if they want to step outside for a bit will only work wonders for both of you. It is also a wonderful way to care for chickens in winter.
Without a doubt, following these measures and tips is a sure-fire way how to keep your chickens warm in winter. However, for chicken raisers, it is vital to be mindful of what works for your flock and what doesn’t.
By following the above-provided steps on how to keep chickens warm in winter, you should be able to keep your birds healthy and happy throughout this bone-freezing season. If the coop is well maintained and your flock is properly cared for, you can make sure that your birds are comfortable and continue to lay eggs no matter how cold it is outside for the rest of us.
Additionally, making use of good poultry farm management software like the one by Folio3 can greatly help in digitizing and automating your everyday tasks and proper maintenance can be continued as workers can efficiently check the coop for symptoms of harmful diseases.
Q1: What temperature is too cold for chickens?
Chickens can generally endure even very cold temperatures if they are healthy and warm and are kept in a drier as well as a comfortable coop. Although, science finds it difficult to give out an approximate degree.
Q2: Do chickens need a heater in the winter?
Chickens can easily keep themselves warm in winter by doing the following naturally:
Fluffing up their feathers
Hiding their head under a wing
The fluffing covers their legs to prevent frostbite.
About Folio3 AgTech Practice
Folio3 is a Silicon Valley based Digital Transformation partner for entrepreneurs and Fortune 500 companies with a special focus on digitization of Agriculture, Production and Companion Animal industry. Having worked with some of the world’s leading animal health companies, cattle associations, cow-calf operators, cattle feeders, beef processors and beef marketing companies, we have the design and development expertise required to help you digitize your manual procedures and practices, whether you’re a farm or a ranch owner, veterinarian, feedlot manager, nutritionist, or processing plant owner, we have got you covered.