Winter And Chicken Coop: Best Practices For Keeping Chickens Warm And Healthy.

Posted on Dec 1, 2023 at 10:03 am by Oliver C

When the cold season approaches, it is necessary to take certain measures so that our poultry can face the low temperatures in the best conditions. In this article, we will see how to properly prepare your chicken coop for winter.

Adapting the chicken coop to the specific needs of chickens in winter

It is crucial to protect our chickens from the cold, especially when it is accompanied by wind and humidity. If your chickens are over 18 weeks old, well feathered, and belong to one of the cold-resistant breeds, such as Australorp, Barred Rock, or Rhode Island Red, you can gradually let them adapt to winter temperatures without heating their shelter.

In extremely cold conditions, some breeds resist better. Among them, we can mention Australop, Blue Favocana, Black Jersey Giant, or Lavander Orpington.

The eternal debate: should the chicken coop be heated?

The majority of experts agree on one point: it is better to avoid heating the chicken coop, especially if it creates a significant temperature difference between the inside and the outside. Indeed, a well-built construction with thick walls (1/4 to 1/2 inch) is generally sufficient to protect the chickens from extreme cold. However, if you want to offer them more comfort, you can lightly insulate the chicken coop by placing styrofoam between the walls.

Managing water and humidity in the chicken coop during winter

It is preferable to keep the waterer outside to prevent moisture from accumulating inside the chicken coop. Electric waterers specially designed for winter are available on the market and allow maintaining the water at an appropriate temperature without creating excess humidity. To limit condensation, it is also possible to install a plastic tarp with an insulating material to prevent moisture from reaching the interior surfaces of the walls or ceiling.


Choosing the right insulation material

The choice of insulation is important to ensure the effectiveness of protection against the cold. Rock wool is commonly used, but it is not recommended, especially because of its water absorption. The thermal resistance coefficient (R-value) indicates the efficiency of an insulation material. It is therefore essential to gather information before making a choice. Attention: your chickens should never be exposed to or have access to the insulation or plastic tarp. A sufficiently solid and easy-to-clean interior wall must be provided to protect them.

Protecting the chicken coop from drafts and wind

Wind and drafts are dangerous for the health of chickens during winter. To best protect the chicken coop, it is wise to install a resistant and transparent plastic on each side of the outdoor enclosure to block the wind without preventing light from passing through.

Planning and considering the demand’s evolution

It is important to plan your chicken coop project and take into account the winter period from the beginning. Your chickens’ living conditions will thus be optimal, even when it is cold. Also, do not forget that in the face of the increased demand for laying hens in spring, it is essential to keep your poultry as long as possible to contribute to stabilizing supply and demand.

By following these tips, you should be able to effectively prepare your chicken coop to face winter. Your chickens will be able to remain comfortable and healthy during this often challenging period for them. Furthermore, do not forget that our grandmothers also had their own tricks to boost egg production in chickens, which could be a valuable addition to ensure optimal yield, even during the winter season.


About Oliver C

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