When winter comes, many chicken owners go through a scary time by thinking about how to keep chickens warm in winter. The chicken can continuously lay eggs in winter if you keep them warm even in this season. However, don’t worry much. Raising and warming the hens in their coop during the winter is not as tough as you think.
In the cold winter, even without electricity, you can keep your hens warm by following some easy methods. So, here in this article, we will explain a few tips regarding how you can keep your chicken healthy and happy in the coolest months.
How To Keep Chickens Warm In Winter
Before following our tips to keep your chicken warm in the winter, you should first know how cold chickens can handle. And then follow the tips according to what suits your hens the most. So let’s dive into the discussion:
1. Use Deep Litter to Keep Hens Warm
For keeping chickens warm in winter, you can use deep litter. The deep litter method allows you to build up the chicken poop and bedding material in the coop over the summer, spring, and fall. So in the winter, roughly, you will have the composting material on the coop’s floor. Naturally, this composting bedding and pop will give warmth and heat to your chicken.
Before attempting to build the coop and raise the chicken, you should first know how to take care of chickens in the winter? Knowing it is very much essential because, in winter, your chicken can get affected by the flu and get weak. Also, the flu virus can cause your chicken’s death. Thus know precisely how to keep your chicken warmer in harsh winter.
The deep litter method is an effective way to keep your chicken warm in winter. You can add additional insulation inside your chicken coop through the deep and loose litter. First, select a 3-4 inches heaviest layer. Then, you can use wood shavings or straw, which ensure excellent insulation, and both are popular choices. However, for bedding straws, two good popular options are:
- Chopped straw bedding
- Flock fresh bedding
2. Feed Corn To Chicken
If you feed corn to your hens in the evening, they will remain warm all night. Before going to bed, give your chickens an excellent cracked corn feeding. The hens will digest this food all over the night, and they will remain warmer.
Corn is one of the favorite foods of the chickens, and all night they will stay happy by digesting this food. The full bellies will make your hens more comfortable and warmer even in the winter.
3. Hang A Cabbage Head For A Chicken Play Toy
Not only do humans get stir-crazy and a little bored in winter, but also chickens do. So if you hang a cabbage head on the coop’s string, your hens in the cage will surely enjoy it. At the same time, the head of the cabbage bobs around the chicken, and the hens get wild by pecking at it.
Try these simple but fruitful methods to keep your hens happy and warmer in the winter. This is one of the best ways to keep chickens warm in winter.
4. Make A Nice Sunroom
If you think the coop doesn’t have enough space to accommodate your hens, you can make a cold frame type to keep your hens warm in winter. Adding a greenhouse-style or hard frame type to your coop structure by covering it in thin and transparent plastic will help keep your hens warm.
Your chickens will wander in this structure, and on nice days, they will get more space to enjoy. Moreover, you will also feel relaxed by thinking that your chickens are getting fresh air and they are not cramped at all.
5. Hens Don’t Prefer Snow
If the temperature in winter becomes 20 degrees ranges of Fahrenheit, the chicken will feel uncomfortable, and they will not walk into the snow. You can put straw on the ground or scatter hay to make the floor more palatable for your chickens.
Even if the temperature rises slightly, your hens will not likely love to walk on the snow. So if you are thinking about when do chickens need heat in coop? The answer is during the snowfall or freezing weather; your chicken needs heat in the cage.
6. Roosts Are the Key
So another way to keep your hens warm is that the chickens themselves will fluff and roost together. And in this way, they will feel warm. Also, on the cold ground, the roosts keep the chickens off. However, your chicken’s roost should be at least 2-3 feet above the ground or earth.
To comfortably roost all your chickens, ensure that you have enough space in your coop. Take a flashlight and check the chicken in the evening. If you see any hens lying on the ground, which means your cage lacks enough space.
7. Chicken Don’t Require A Heater
To warm your chicken in winter, you don’t need to put a heater in the coop. Placing a heater in the chicken coop can lead to a fire. So avoid this thinking; your hens also don’t require the heater. To get warmth, the chickens haggle together.
However, ensure enough ventilation for your chicken in the coop to prevent moisture buildup. And altogether, avoid sealing your chicken coop.
8. Relocate Your Chicken Coop
For the stationary chicken coop, the relocation idea is not applicable. But if you own a mobile coop, then you can apply this idea. To protect your chicken from the harsh winter, relocate and put your chicken coop in different places.
While relocating your chicken’s home, you should choose a place where your chickens will get enough sun rays. Make sure your hens are receiving a fair amount of sun in the winter. And during the day, the sun rays will help your birds to keep warm even in winter.
9. Add Insulation
If you plan for your chicken coop’s new building or renovation to protect your chicken from harsh winter, you should build a well-insulated coop. Adding insulation to your chicken coop will benefit your chicken in winter, and your hens will remain cool in the summer.
That means by adding insulation, your chicken will feel warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Don’t get overboard by thinking about how to insulate the chicken coop. However, using cheap materials, you can add insulation to your chicken coop. Some of the cheap materials are:
- Nesting box liners
10. Drafts Minimization
If your chicken coop has gaps or holes, the chilling breezes can quickly get through this hole into your coop. And it can create a cooler ambiance in a cage. Thus for cracks and holes, regularly monitor and check your chicken coop. When you see any gaps in the cell, immediately block that using cardboard, plywood, or other types of solid materials.
These materials prevent wind from entering your coop and ensure a warm ambiance for your chickens. However, in the case of a drafty coop, the insulation will not be a helpful and effective way to fix it. While reinforcing the walls in your coop, ensure adequate ventilation in it.
Sufficient ventilation in your chicken’s home is necessary to allow the moist air to escape quickly. Near the chicken coop’s top, place the ventilation holes and ensure the cold air is not flowing directly toward your chicken.
11. Cover The Chicken’s Pathway
Usually, in the winter season, the ground remains cold. But during snowing, the ground becomes cold and wet. The cold and damp ground prevents your hens from venturing outside. As a result, your chicken doesn’t want to get out of the coops and feels unwilling to exercise and get the fresh air. For the overall health of your chicken, both are very much important.
However, you can solve this problem by providing a cover walkway for your hens. Especially if you and your chickens live in an area where snow falls happen frequently, you should provide a covered walkway.
You can create the path by scattering the straw, hay, or wood chips. Also, you can use wooden planks or other things to cover the walkways. Just make sure you use a solid material that will not get damp quickly.
Making walkways will engage your chicken more on the outside. And the hens will get a scope to adjust their body to the winter’s cold temperature. Moreover, the hen’s feet will not get easily wet and cold in winter.
So, optimistically after going through the above-detailed article, you now know how to keep chickens warm in winter. Even though the hens can naturally endure the cold temperature in the winter season, you should still care for your chickens. And you need to ensure a healthy and warm condition for your chicken at their coops.
Following the above ways, you can keep your hens warm in the harsh winter. Even if your coops don’t have an electricity connection, you can use other options to keep the chicken warm. A few options are increased food, activity, sufficient insulation, and smart coop design. However, whatever ways you follow, take the preparation before winter.