Protecting Your Chickens From the Weather
Depending on your locale, winter can be a very miserable time for your birds. Of course, some breeds are hardier than others are, but, typically, all birds will need some extra protection as those chilly months draw in.
Obviously, the best time to winterize your chicken pen is during the late summer or fall, when working on your coop will not be an unpleasant job.
However, if the temperature is dropping, you should attempt to do all you can to protect your chickens from the winter chill.
If you live in an area that becomes particularly cold during the winter, you may like to consider keeping a flock of hardy stock.
For example, Orpington, Wyandottes and Scots Dumpy are all breeds that handle colder temperature well. Therefore, if you are yet to start keeping birds, you may like to consider one of these breeds.
- Before altering your coop, it is wise to ensure that the roof and floor are still waterproof, because one of the keys to staying warm is to stay dry.
- Whatever breed of chicken you own, you may like to consider extra insulation for those cold winter nights. Traditional insulating materials can be obtained from most good DIY stores. However, you might like to think of using something like foam board, which can be incredibly effective.
- Bear in mind, when adding insulation, that your birds still require lots of fresh air, so be sure not to obscure any of the coop’s ventilation holes.
- If your birds are particularly susceptible to the cold or if you have extremely chilly winters, you may like to spoil your flock with the addition of heaters in the chicken coop. You may feel that this is an extravagance, but it is a technique used by many doting chicken owners.
- In fact, for the pampered bird, many gadgets and gizmos can be of comfort during the winter. For example, heated water containers and heat pads are now readily available to the caring owner.
- Egg production will decrease dramatically during the winter, because laying depends upon the amount of daylight your hens are exposed to. Therefore, if you want your birds to continue laying over the darker months, you can add a sun lamp to the coop. The extra light will help to keep your birds healthy and boost egg production. Additionally, a light will act as a heat source, thereby killing two birds with one stone (so to speak)
These tips will help you to winterize your coop. However, there are many more products and ideas to help keep your birds warm in those dark, cold months. So it is wise to consider all of your options to find the right heating methods for your flock.Build A Chicken House