Why Chickens Do Not Need Heat
Why don’t chickens need heat? Your chickens do not need heat int he winter months unless you live in a very cold climate. Chickens can do numerous things to keep themselves warm during the colder months.
Ruffling or Fluffing Feathers
– When the chickens ruffle or fluff up their feathers it provides a gap of air that chickens use as an insulator between them and the cold weather.
– At night your chickens will roost, fluff up their feathers, sit on their feet, and tuck their heads under their wings to protect themselves from frostbite.
– During the day chickens will run around the yard or run to keep themselves warm.
So, in other words, chickens are naturally prepared for the cold weather.
Why You Don’t Have To Heat A Coop
Extra Feed –
- Feed your chickens extra grain or corn to increase their calorie count. This gives the chickens extra calories to burn which helps to keep them warm.
- Frostbite can still be a problem regardless of how careful you are with the chickens each winter. Use Vaseline or petroleum jelly on waddles and combs. I suggest grabbing the chickens to apply the Vaseline at night while they are roosting and easy to handle.
Here is a great video where we discuss the pros and cons of heating a chicken coop in the winter.
Keep Your Coop Warm Without Electricity
- Tarps – Use tarps to cover any drafty areas.
- Deep Clean – Be sure to deep clean your chicken coop for the winter. You are not going to be able to properly get outside to clean the coop for a few months. Take this time to focus on getting things clean and completing any necessary repairs you see.
- Deep Litter Method – The deep litter method can be used to keep the temperatures up in the coop during even the coldest of days. If you are unfamiliar with the Deep Litter Method I will include a link to a video I recently made about how to complete this in your coop step by step.
- Water – Keep your chicken’s water outside instead of inside the coop. This helps to eliminate condensation inside the coop which can cause frostbite on your chicken’s waddles and combs.
- Ventilation – Even with closing the coop up for winter you still need to provide proper ventilation for the chickens.
Gather Your Eggs
Be sure to gather your chickens’ eggs every day or even multiple times a day to prevent them from freezing in the cold weather. I have gone out to the coop and found a frozen and busted open egg because the temps were below freezing and I did not get outside in time to get them before they froze themselves.
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