Chapter Six: Winterizing Your Run

Chapter Six Predator Proofing Your Chickens’ Run

Welcome to the sixth and final chapter of Keeping Chickens in the Winter: The Definitive Guide. In this chapter we will discuss how to make sure your chickens’ run is ready for the winter. During the winter you shouldn’t let your chickens free range: they should be kept in the coop/run area, and this is why it’s important that their run is ready for the wintertime. The most important aspect of the run is to keep them safe from predators, but it should also help keep them warm. Let’s first look at how to make sure your run is predator proof. Predator Proof Their Run If you’ve kept chickens during the wintertime before, you will know just how desperate predators such as foxes and coyotes can get. When they are hungry, they will go to just about any length to get themselves one of your chickens. This is why I… [Read More]

Chapter Four: Providing Your Chickens With Water During Winter

Chapter Four Providing Your Chickens With Water During Winter

During the winter periods your hens don’t need as much water as they do in the summer; however it’s still vitally important that they get an adequate supply. On average their water intake will decrease by around 3 times during winter when compared to summertime. Depending on where you live, wintertime for your chickens can be anything from a mild discomfort to an absolute nightmare! Trudging back and forth to the hen house two or three times a day, carrying buckets of water, in heavy snow is not for the faint of heart! In this chapter we’re going to look at why chickens need water, how much water they need, and how to supply your chickens with fresh water during the winter months. Why Do Chickens Need Water? If I told you that chickens are made up of approximately 65% water, you will probably start to realize just how important… [Read More]

Chapter Three: How To Feed Your Chickens Correctly During Winter

Chapter Three How To Feed Your Chickens Correctly During Winter

During the wintertime your hens’ dietary requirements will change as they molt and prepare for the cold, dark winter whilst their body recuperates for next spring. Not only will their dietary requirements change but the volume of food they eat will also change during the winter. It’s important that during these changes you keep an eye on your hens and provide them with not only the right food but the right amount of food. In this chapter of the definitive guide to keeping chickens in winter, we will explain what types of food you should feed your chickens during winter and also how much food you should give them. Why Do Chickens’ Dietary Requirements Change in Winter? As the summer comes to an end you will notice your hens naturally start to slow down and their egg production will also slow down. With this, your hens’ nutritional requirements will change… [Read More]

Chapter Two: How To Keep Chickens Laying Eggs During Winter

Chapter Two How To Keep Chickens Laying Eggs During Winter

One of the biggest problems backyard chicken owners face during the winter months is keeping their egg supply going. If you’ve kept chickens during the winter months before, you will know that unfortunately, if you let nature take its course, your hens will stop laying completely during this period. I’ve raised chickens for over 7 years, and know just how bad it feels to see your egg production go down from 12 fresh eggs every day to 1 or 2 eggs… if you’re lucky! Keeping your hens laying during winter can be difficult and you will definitely need more than just additional lighting. However, after reading the second chapter of our definitive guide, you will know exactly what it takes to keep your supply of fresh eggs during the winter months. Should I Force My Hens To Lay Eggs During Winter? Before we look at how to make your chickens lay… [Read More]

Chapter One: Preparing Your Coop For Winter

Chapter One Preparing Your Coop For Winter

In the first chapter of our definitive winter guide, we are going to look at how to prepare your coop so it’s ready for winter. Mother Nature built the chicken to withstand some fairly extreme environments. The layers of downy feathers under the visible plumage can be puffed up to catch air against the body, providing extra warmth in cold climates. This gives them insulation against cold air. However during the darkest days in winter these feathers aren’t enough to keep your chickens warm, which is why you provide them with a coop to roost in during nighttime. The ideal coop should be warm, secure and draft proof; however it should also provide ventilation for your girls. Let’s take a look at each point in turn. Blocking Drafts in the Coop The twin enemies of chicken comfort and wellbeing in winter are drafts and moisture. Both of these impair a… [Read More]