The nights are drawing darker and the weather is becoming chill. Keep your chickens well looked after this winter with our top tips!

Secure the Coop

As the temperature drops, it’s not just our beloved animals that feel the chill. Predators, such as foxes, are on the hunt for more food to provide warmth in the winter months, and will venture to farmland and homes to get it. 

Make sure that chickens are safe by checking over the coop, and if chickens are kept in gardens, it is recommended that coops are at least 8ft high. 

Ventilation

You’ll often notice chickens crowding in coops during the winter. While this helps to keep them warm, it can also create problems with moisture. Add ventilation with a window, metal grates or even electric turbines, and make sure that bedding is kept dry. 

Extra Feed

As we mentioned when keeping predators at bay, animals need more food in the winter to keep warm. Keep your chickens’ food topped up, and even add a little extra too.

The same goes for water. While winter in Britain can be incredibly wet, we’ve all experienced those crisp and sunny days at the end of autumn. Make sure water doesn’t freeze by regularly checking on your chickens or by installing a heated water feeder. 

Bedtime Treats

We add blankets and wear bed socks as the temperature drops at night. How do we do the same for our chickens? Give them a bedtime treat by adding corn to their food before they settle down for the night. Feeding them before they sleep means that their bodies use energy to digest food, and as a result, warmth. 

Scratch Space

Scratching is an important behaviour for chickens, so ensure they have the space to do so. Create a dry area by the coop by adding an awning using a plastic sheet. This way, they can stay close to the warmth of the coop and still scratch to their heart’s content

Let There Be Light

It’s not just humans that struggle when there is little light. Animals need it too, and especially chickens you want them to continue laying as the winter sets in. The safest way to add light to your chicken’s coop and outside space is to create a sunroom or greenhouse. While it requires a bit of building, it’s worth it for the health of you chickens. 

Using sturdy plastic sheeting and wood, create a simple standing structure that provides chickens a place that is warm and lets in plenty of light. 


Post By Jenny Thompson