Look after your chickens in cold weather

It is important to keep your chickens warm and safe during the cold winter months. Here is how you can help to keep them as comfortable as possible. 

  • Carry out an inspection of their coop prior to cold weather to ensure it is safe against strong winter winds and damp proof.
  • Ensure bedding is topped up daily as a thick layer to keep the warmth in.
  • Ventilation is very important within coops. Although it is wise to top them up with bedding, ventilation holes should not be covered.
  • Keep water containers in their run to avoid spills in the coop that could freeze over
  • Consider putting up perspex/clear plastic sheeting on the run for shelter, and that there is good ventilation.
  • Avoid using chicken jumpers. Although these seem cute, they can easily get their feet hooked in or struggle to regulate their temperature. Featherless ex-caged hens may benefit from a well-fitted heat lamp during cool weather which offers them the choice to keep warm if needed.
  • The grass area of the run is often prone to thick mud building up in the winter. Consider moving them onto concrete or regularly layering the floor with clean dry straw or other substrates
  • Chickens do not like quick changes in temperature, as it confuses their internal thermometer. Don’t bring them in at night and put them out again during the day. Only bring them inside if they look poorly and need to see a vet.

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