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Keeping Chickens Healthy and Warm in the Winter

: News & Articles : Animal Husbandry Tips : Keeping Chickens Healthy and Warm in the Winter
Posted on: 2015-12-03


  • A hen's Laying is Influenced by her pineal gland, which in turn is controlled by daylight.
  • Try to give your hen's sixteen hours of light each day.
  • You can supplement natural daylight by installing a 60 Watt light bulb or two on a timer.
  • This is ideal way for keeping your hen's active and laying eggs.


Chickens naturaly like to roost at night, this is their way to stay warm so make sure the chickens have comfortable roosts with 6 - 8 Inches of roost space per bird.

Heated Water:

Depending on how cold it gets and where you live, you might need to keep the hen's water supply from freezing.

You can buy heater bases that fit underneath most chicken drinkers or if you have a tank filled system you will need to make sure that both the tank and feed pipes are insulated otherwise these will freeze and burst.

Deep Litter:

  1. The deep litter method is low maintenance and it keeps hens warm, through winter as the litter and manure slowly compost, and release heat into the coop.
  2. Just start with a clean coop and about 4 Inches of litter (hay, straw, wood shavings, or a mix) in the summer or early autumn.
  3. Simply add more litter should be about 8 to 10 Inches deep, it will be composting nicely and giving off heat.
  4. The chicken's scratching will keep it aerated and turned, especially if you throw scratch grains in the coop for them.
  5. You will need to make sure that the coop has plenty of ventilation to stop the build up of ammonia levels, although this should aready have been checked throughout the year.

Warming Treats:

  • Throw you chickens some corn in the evening, before they settle down as they digest the corn overnight and their bodies will stay warmer.
  • You can also cook them some oatmeal or soften other grains, give their regular feed with hot water giving them a nice warm soft meal.

Heat the Coop:

You generally do not want to heat your coop as it can be a fire hazard, but more than that the birds just don't need it.

All articles written by Marriotts Smallholding are © Copyright 2010-2017 - Marriotts Smallholding
All other articles are © Copyright of the respective owners as stated within the article


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