Chicken Keeping in Winter

Raising chickens in the winter can be a bit more challenging than in the warmer months, but it is definitely doable with the right preparation and care.

First and foremost, it is important to make sure that your chicken coop is properly insulated and draft-free. Chickens are prone to frostbite on their combs and wattles (the fleshy protuberances on their heads and necks), so it is important to keep the coop warm enough to prevent this from occurring. One way to do this is by adding extra insulation to the coop, such as by attaching blankets or foam board to the walls.

Chickens tend to eat more in the winter to keep their bodies warm, so it is important to make sure that they have plenty of food available. It is also a good idea to provide them with high-energy treats, such as scratch grains and suet, to help them stay warm. Water is just as important, as chickens need to stay hydrated to stay healthy. However, water can freeze in the winter, so make sure you keep an eye on their water source.

Another important aspect of raising chickens in the winter is making sure that they have enough space to move around and stretch their wings. Chickens need plenty of room to move to stay healthy and happy, and being cooped up in a small space for too long can lead to boredom and aggression. To give your chickens enough space, make sure that the coop is large enough for all of the chickens to move around comfortably, and consider adding a run or outdoor enclosure to give them even more room to roam.

Finally, it is important to keep an eye on the chickens for any signs of illness or distress. Chickens are prone to several winter-related health issues, such as frostbite, respiratory infections, and parasites. To prevent these issues, make sure to keep the coop clean and dry, and be on the lookout for any signs of illness. If you do notice that one of your chickens is not acting normally, it is important to isolate them from the rest of the flock.

In conclusion, raising chickens in the winter can be a bit of a challenge, but it is definitely doable with the right preparation and care. By making sure that the coop is properly insulated, the chickens have access to food and water, and they have plenty of space to move around, you can help ensure that your chickens stay healthy and happy all winter long.

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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 40s. 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 too 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.

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Top 10 Tips for Keeping Chickens in Winter

For new chicken owners, winter can be a scary time. You may be wondering if your chickens will be warm enough or if they will still keep laying eggs. Don’t worry—these tips will keep your hens happy and healthy in even the coldest months…. Continue Reading

chicken roaming in the snow
By Lauren Arcuri / The Spruce
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