|We three hens|
Despite the blue sky and sunshine, it’s minus 2 outside today and everything is frozen solid. Although this is far from the worst of the winter weather, prolonged periods of freezing temperatures can make life a little tough for chickens. So here are my top 10 tips for surviving the snow and frost.
|Rub vaseline onto combs and wattles|
- Carry out any necessary repairs needed to ensure that your coop is dry and draft free.
- Feed corn an hour before your hens go to roost. It will help them generate heat as they digest it through the night.
- Rub Vaseline onto chicken combs to prevent frost bite in extremely cold weather. Also keep an eye on breeds with feathered heads or feet to make sure they don’t freeze up when wet.
- Put extra straw on the floor of the coop and around roosting areas to keep in the heat.
- Use a dull emitter light bulb to reduce the temperature drop in the coop without emitting light.
- Place electric heating plates under water hoppers to prevent them from freezing over.
- Clear snow away from the door of the coop to encourage your birds to get out and about.
|Keep an eye on wet feathers|
- Provide a covered area with perches to allow hens to exercise while keeping them dry and off the cold ground.
- Clear snow from areas of grass to allow them access to vegetation. If this isn’t possible, hanging broccoli up in their run or other covered area will give the birds some much needed greens, as well as stimulation.
- Ensure ad-lib feed and provide additional feed stations to ensure nutritional needs are met and reduce competition amongst hungry birds.
|Access to greenery is important|
If anyone else has their own favourite tips for coping with the cold, please feel free to share them.