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 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
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
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
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.