As the weather starts to turn wet and cold, we must be aware of how it can change the living conditions for animals who live outside. Chickens for example, are hardy birds, but that doesn’t mean that they enjoy the change in the weather, with a particular dislike for the wind and rain. 

Now is the perfect time to prepare our chickens for the winter months, getting their living areas ready and looking for ways to make their lives just a little bit more comfortable during the colder, darker days and nights. We have put together a few ideas that can help to get you started.

Create a cosy living space

Make sure that your birds have a windproof, waterproof house to sleep in at night. Make sure that it is insulated, with some old carpet for the floor and plenty of wood shavings or straw bedding. Covering the outside with a blanket will also act as an extra protective layer. Your chickens will need a shelter for the daytime when the weather can be just as cold and rough. Try to place it in an area that the wind will not blow directly into, with some wood shavings or straw to keep their feet off the cold ground.

Set up a heat lamp

If the temperature is particularly cold you can set up a heat lamp to lessen the chill. Do not make the environment too warm as your chickens won’t like this. Also make sure that the heating system you use is safe and will not catch fire.

Offer a warm meal

You can make meals a little easier to swallow on a cold day by adding warm water to your chicken pellets. Just make sure that the water is not too hot. Feeding them extra corn in the afternoon will help too, as their bodies will keep warm by working to digest it overnight. 

Protect drinking water from freezing

Water is essential at all times of the day, so you will need to make sure that the supply does not freeze in the cold weather. When you put your chickens away for the night, pick up their drinker and put it indoors with them, so that you can put fresh water into it in the morning without needing to defrost it first.

Check your chickens for frostbite

A hen’s comb is particularly vulnerable to frostbite, so protect it by gently covering it in vaseline. Keeping the ground covered in shavings or straw can help to protect their feet against painful frostbite too.


Post By Kimberley Roderick