Welcome to The Definitive Guide To Keeping Chickens In Winter. Raising chickens during winter can be a challenging time for backyard chicken owners. With those dark cold mornings and the drop in egg production, it’s no wonder we don’t like this time of year!
So I decided to write this guide as an aid for all backyard chicken owners, and to answer all your questions about how to care for your chickens during winter: how to keep them warm, how to stop predators, how to keep your egg production high… you will find all the answers here.
Each chapter can be read as a standalone guide on a specific topic; however you should make sure you try and read the entire guide to get the most out of it. You can drop in and out of it as needed, or you can read the entire guide cover to cover right now!
Winterizing Your Coop
During the winter months, your coop will be a safe haven for your chickens. Not only should it keep them warm, it should also be secure enough to stop predators. In this chapter you will learn how to heat your chicken coop, which bedding you need to use during the winter months, how to insulate your chicken coop and, finally, how to prevent any drafts.
Keep Egg Laying High During Winter
For many backyard chicken keepers, the dark winter months mean one thing: no eggs! If you let nature take its course, your hens’ egg laying will plummet, and you will do well to get more than an egg a week from them. In this chapter you will learn why hens stop laying during winter, how to keep your hens laying eggs during the bleak winter months and, finally, how to install artificial lighting in your coop.
Feeding Chickens In Winter
Your hens dietary requirements during the winter are very different to their dietary requirements during the spring and summer months. Not only will their dietary requirements change, but the volume of food they eat will also change during the winter. In this chapter you will learn exactly what types of food you should be feeding your hens, as well as how much food you should be giving them.
Stop Your Chickens’ Water Freezing
Chickens are made up of approximately 65% water, and just a few hours without water can cause them to stop laying eggs for days. However, you and I both know that during the winter months, the chickens’ water bowl always freezes over. This can cause serious problems for your girls. In this chapter we look at why and how much water chickens need. We then turn our attention to how to stop your chickens’ water bowl freezing over during the winter months.
Chickens Molting During Winter
As the days get shorter in the run-up to winter, your hens will naturally start to drop their feathers as they shed their old feathers and grow new ones. Whilst we can’t stop our chickens from molting, there are several things we can do to speed up the process. In this chapter we will look at how you should care for your chickens whilst they are molting.
Winterizing Your Run
In the wintertime predators get desperate and they will risk attacking your chickens during the daytime. This is why I don’t let my chickens free range during winter- they are kept inside the coop and run area. In this chapter we will look at how to prevent predators getting inside your run, and also how to keep your run warm enough for your chickens so they don’t get frostbite.