A Chicken in Winter?

If you’re looking out of your kitchen window and all you can see is a barren landscape devoid of colour and life, then you need to get some chickens. Lively and fun they give you a reason to venture outdoors and enjoy a quick pyjama sprint across crisp, frost laden grass to collect a warm freshly laid egg for breakfast. Sounds good doesn't it? And it gives the neighbours something to talk about!


A brake chicken walking through the snow in search for some bug
A brave chicken walking through the snow in search of some bugs

Check water regularly for freezing and use an old string bag to hang greenery in the run for the chickens to peck at. You will get less eggs in the winter because of the shorter days but you should still get around 8 eggs a week.


Chickens Don’t Like Getting Wet

Chickens don't mind the cold at all but they prefer not to get wet so why not give your chickens a bit of extra protection with a winter shade which covers the whole run. A good tip to prevent the area under the run becoming muddy is to cover the area with bark chippings.


A Yellow Eglu Go keeping chickens snug in the snow
A Yellow Eglu Go keeping chickens snug in the snow

You shouldn’t worry about your chickens getting too cold (especially if you have an Eglu which is insulated). Chickens normally acclimatize themselves to the cold weather. In fact, they are able to adapt better to the cold than they are the heat. You might notice your hens huddling together to share body heat through the winter, this is perfectly normal.


Three hens adventuring outside across the snow
Three hens adventuring outside across the snow

Combs And Wattles

It can get extremely cold across the winters and your chickens’ combs and wattles can be in danger of getting frostbite. To prevent this from happening you will need to gently rub Vaseline onto their combs and wattles. You will also need to keep an eye out for coughs, colds and general symptoms of being unwell. For more information follow this link to our section on general health.


Two ginger chickens in the snow with beautiful red wattles
Two ginger chickens in the snow with beautiful red wattles

Chickens Need To Roost In The Winter

To save your chickens’ toes from freezing you will need to make sure that they can roost. To do this your chicken coop must have a place for your hens to perch. The perch needs to be wide enough so that the chickens can cover their toes with their feathers. This will provide them with a little extra warmth which will save them from the bitter cold.


A Chocolate and a Buff Orpington roosting on a branch in their Eglu Run
A Chocolate and a Buff Orpington roosting on a branch in their Eglu Run


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Comments

Juklesm, 26 November 2014

@Marlies - Not like mine, then! Must be just the English weather... or happy German chickens!


Marlies, 19 December 2013

Regen ? meine Hühner störts nicht, sie tappen frisch fröhlich im Regen rum und werden pitschenass. gruss

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