It’s a common misconception that chickens can’t stand the cold. In fact, their feathers provide more than enough insulation for them.
For the sake of the flock’s well-being, however, it is crucial that they have a place to rest that is both warm and free of drafts. The reason being is that a chicken can no longer retain heat if its feathers are drenched. That’s when things can start to go wrong.
Here’s how to prepare yourself, your chickens, and your chicken coop for the coming winter.
1. Preparing Your Chickens
Let’s begin with the chickens. In the winter, chickens have to work much harder to maintain body heat. This calls for a change in their nutrition.
In the colder months, hens thrive on more carbohydrates. Make sure there is a good balance of protein and carbohydrates in your feed. Pelleted diets are often well-balanced and suitable for feeding throughout the colder months.
However, you can supplement their diet with more carbohydrates. Among the best and most beloved snacks is cracked corn. It not only aids in satiety but also provides a carbohydrate energy boost to help them stay warm.
Scratch grains and black oil sunflower seeds are other great options for supplement feeding. All of these things contribute to giving chickens the extra nourishment they need to make it through the winter.
Now that we’ve discussed the hens and their diet, it’s time to consider how to make their home as safe and warm as possible for the winter.