The winter is really setting in and we’re witnessing freezing temperatures, downpours of rain and cold winds it’s no surprise that your concerned about keeping your chickens healthy and warm throughout the winter months. They may not look it, but chickens are really hardy creatures so it’s not necessary to worry about them however there are a few things you can do to give you peace of mind your chickens are happy and to give them that little extra comfort:
Don’t Use a Heat Lamp
A common misconception is that your chickens need a heat lamp to keep them warm in the winter; however it can sometimes be more detrimental than beneficial to your chickens. This is because your chickens will huddle around the lamp to keep warm but when they have to move away from it for food and water they won’t have their feathers fluffed out, meaning they will be much colder when they are not under the lamp.
Protect Them from Drafts
One thing you can do for your chickens is ensure they are not in direct wind, causing drafts for them. Although chickens are very good at keeping themselves warm, with over 8,000 feathers to keep them cosy, if drafts and rain can get into the coop this can cause moisture which isn’t good for chickens as it can cause them respiratory problems. So it’s important to cover up gaps that could cause drafts, however it’s still important to ensure there is ventilation so that there isn’t too much condensation in the coop. Ensure ventilation is towards the top of the coop to ensure they are free of drafts but there is still fresh air coming in.
In the summer there are a lot more natural things like bugs for your chickens to nibble on so you need to increase their food slightly in the winter when food is scarce. It’s also essential that you feed them good quality chicken feed as they will be burning a lot of calories to keep warm.
Here at Eggshell Online we are experts when it comes to caring for chickens and are always on hand to offer you advice. Be sure to browse our website to see all the products we have to offer, including our fox proof chicken coops and houses.