Winter Chicken Keeping in Phoenix

Preparing the Chicken Coop for the Colder Months Ahead

The winters are rather mild in Phoenix and your birds will be quite comfortable without heat added, as long as they are protected from wind, drafts, and especially rain.

Temperatures rarely drop below freezing in Phoenix, with the usual overnight temperature in the 4o’s. As long as your birds are kept dry, cool weather is quite welcomed, especially after a long summer of brutal heat.

A heavy weight tarp is suitable protection from wind, along with ample clean pine shavings (preferred) or straw in the coop and nest boxes. Your birds will huddle together for warmth at night, if you stick your finger deep inside their feathers you’ll see they are toasty warm, even at freezing temps.

Never put a heat lamp in your coop, the risk of fire is far to dangerous. I wouldn’t use a light bulb for heat either. First of all, your birds don’t need it in Phoenix, and second, light is annoying and disruptive to the normalcy of nature.

You will hear other chicken keepers say egg laying is reduced or halted completely in the winter months. That may be so in other parts of the country, but in Phoenix I never notice much change in frequency. Remember, the key to keeping the egg basket full is defined in two simple words… happy birds.

Raising Chicks this Winter in Phoenix?

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Moving Day, Brooder to Coop

A week early, but temperatures are on the rise and my 5 week old chicks will be more comfortable in the chicken yard than in the brooder shed.  Today it’s expected to reach 100 degrees, with a low of 68-70. Welcome to Phoenix little ladies, the summers here are far from paradise. By June temps will average 105, and July is worse, when there are days that can hit 115+.

The chicken yard is shady and set up where there is plenty of air flow.  They’ll be happier having the ability to lay in cool dirt. The brooder shed is ideal for raising chicks in our winter months, but I started chicks late this year. It’s easy to keep chicks warm, but keeping them cool is a whole different story.  So here they are, in the big girl pen.

I think girls are feathered enough, especially the Wyandottes (black ones.) The Ameraucanas (white) are a slower to mature, but they are mostly feathered, tonight they will huddle together for warmth if they need it.

It can be a challenge keeping chickens in extreme heat, but they manage if you provide them with the tools they need.  Here’s a helpful article explaining how to raise chickens when temperatures are crazy high…

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