Keep Hens Warm and Safe During Winter

Hobbit Hole Chicken Coops

It’s almost that time of year again. The trees soon will go bare, many cars will become equipped with snow chains, and winter clothing will be removed from storage. During your preparations for the winter season, don’t forget to get your flock ready as well. There’s a few things you can do this winter to keep your flock healthy, safe, and warm.

Keeping warm during the cold months is the biggest priority for both you and your flock. Without proper shelter there are many risks, including illness, frostbite, or even death. Proper shelter can keep the cold out and the warmth in, which is perfect! So how do you ensure your flock receives proper shelter? Chicken coops are a great option. There are many styles available for chicken coops, including custom options. For those that are handy, create your own coop including all the custom options you’d like without the extra charges. Make sure your coop has plenty of ventilation and insulation to lock out the cold (or heat during summer!) and keep the moisture from building up. You can even install heat lamps, but be very careful with any electrical items you install with your coop, and be sure to take safety measures to protect against fires or overheating your flock.

A chicken coop alone is not enough to offer the much needed warmth to your flock during winter. Your hen will not be inside their coop 24/7. Be sure to protect your chickens even when they’re out of the coop. You can do this by using balms or ointments on the exposed skin to keep any frostbite from occurring. Additionally, you can purchase a “sock” to place over your hen’s comb to protect it, or create one from scratch. Heating lamps outside of the coop will over sections of heat your flock can relax in during the cold day. Be careful when doing this to keep the heat set to a low enough temperature so you don’t accidentally “fry” your chickens.

Besides staying warm for winter, your flock will also need plenty of food and water. This can be very tricky as water may freeze preventing your flock from receiving fresh water. You could walk outside and replace the water every few hours to prevent it from freezing, but that could become tedious and takes lots of time from your day to do so. There’s a few options, such as a heated waterer, which will keep the water from freezing overnight. You could also try placing the water under the heat lamp, but be very careful so the water doesn’t become too warm. Keeping the waterer in the coop is a good way to keep it from freezing, but could become dirty.

Through proper shelter and conditions, you can ensure your flock has a safe and warm winter this year! If you are concerned about illness or frostbite, talk to your local vet to find out more information for treatment and prevention.

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