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10 tips for caring for your backyard chickens over the winter!

CityChick 10 tips on caring for backyard chickens in winter

Raising backyard chickens can be a rewarding and enjoyable experience, but it's important to take proper care of your feathered friends during the colder winter months. Here are the top 10 tips for keeping your backyard chickens happy and healthy throughout the winter:

  1. Provide plenty of fresh, clean water. Chickens need access to fresh water at all times, but it can be especially challenging to keep their water from freezing during the winter. Invest in a heated poultry drinker to keep their water from freezing and to keep you from freezing as well!

    Heated poultry drinker                                                                     (An example of a heated poultry drinker)

  2. Make sure your coop is draft free. Consider using a plastic sheet to cover windows or the run to keep drafts out.

  3. Keep the coop clean. Cleanliness is always important in a chicken coop, but it's especially crucial during the winter when chickens are more susceptible to respiratory infections. Clean out the coop regularly, removing any excess moisture and dirty bedding.

  4. Provide plenty of food. Chickens need a balanced diet to stay healthy, and they may need more food during the winter to keep warm. Offer a high-quality chicken feed. 

  5. Keep your chickens active. Chickens need regular exercise to stay healthy, so make sure they have plenty of room to roam and forage in your backyard.
  6. Protect your chickens from predators. Winter is a prime time for predators, such as raccoons, hawks and coyotes, to attack chickens. Take steps to secure your coop, such as installing fencing and using motion-activated lights.

  7. Ditch the heat lamp. Chickens in most cold climates (especially in Georgia with our mild winters) will do just fine. They have an average internal temperature of 105 degrees and that's before the feathers. If you feel the need to heat your chickens, please consider using a radiant heating system.

    CityChick                                                                               (Just say no to dangerous heat lamps!) 

  8. Make sure your chickens have access to fresh air. Chickens need plenty of fresh air to stay healthy, so make sure your coop has good ventilation. Avoid overcrowding the coop, and consider installing a small window or opening to allow for air circulation.

  9. Don't forget about the roosting bars. Chickens like to roost at night to stay warm, so make sure your coop has plenty of roosting bars for them to perch on. Keep the bars clean and free of debris, and consider adding some extra bedding to keep them warm.

  10. Monitor your chickens for signs of illness. Cold weather can weaken a chicken's immune system, making them more susceptible to illness. Keep an eye out for signs of illness, such as lethargy, coughing, or sneezing, and consult with a veterinarian if you notice any concerning symptoms.

By following these simple tips, you can help keep your backyard chickens happy and healthy throughout the winter. With a little extra care and attention, your feathered friends will be able to thrive even in the coldest weather.

CityChick hen in snow