1. Check the coop for any cracks. Make sure it is draft-free!
2. Add an extra layer of pine shavings on the floor to help insulate. Some people add insulation to the walls of their coop as well.
|We added some straw mixed in the nesting box to make it cozier for the layers|
3. Check for any dampness. This is a problem for me because my chickens like to have a small water bowl inside their coop for a drink while they are confined, but due to spills and drips from their beaks it makes the area around the water bowl moist. I'm weighing whether it is worth it to have extra water inside for them or risk frostbite.
4. Add heat only when necessary. Chickens can naturally tolerate pretty cold temperatures depending on their breed. I raise primarily Dominiques, which are inherently cold-hardy. They are happy to be out in the frigid cold foraging and bracing any weather conditions. However, I do have a small heating pad in the coop that is buried under their pine shavings and comes on automatically when the temperature reaches below 35 degrees. Yes, I'm a sucker and my chickens are spoiled.
|This cord that is connected to their light is buried under the pine |
shavings with the heating pad
5. Invest in a chicken waterer heating base. This will prevent your water from freezing since the last thing you want is for your chickens to be without water.
6. Give scratch grains with cracked corn for treats. Corn will help raise your chickens' body temperatures a little, making scratch grains with cracked corn a great winter-time treat for your flock.
|Over the summer we extended their run to include this very large round pen that is enclosed with solar-powered electric fencing and covered in netting. It gives them more room to run around and play when we are not at home |
to let them out.
How are you keeping your chickies warm this winter?
P.S. On a side note: I just tried to put cute "Santa" costumes and hats on my chickens for our annual Christmas card photo shoot and it was a DISASTER. Tansy ran around squawking like she was being choked or something by the weird red cape that was on her back- and it easily came off. Rosemary was being frantically chased by the boys who took advantage of the costume that was slowing her down. She eventually ended up getting her foot caught in the ribbon and I found her sitting down helplessly next too a log out in the woods! Poor thing. The only one who half-way cooperated was Clove, who kept his Santa hat on only because I was holding him. I wish I had it all on video, haha! What am I going to do?!?!