Chickens in winter

BabyTot

In the Brooder
Sep 13, 2019
13
23
29
Northern Utah
This will be my first winter raising chickens and I'm worried about them once winter roles around I'm not sure what to do, snow can get quite heavy around here and it can get super cold. I'm not sure how to keep them warm and out of the snow and I'm just worried about EVERYTHING! I'm really scared for them to get sick or cold or get frostbite or anything like that, so if you have anything you could tell me and help that would really be appreciated <3
Also the breeds of chickens I have are:
ameraucana, barred rock pullets, buff orpingtion pullets, black Australorps, and a white silkie bantam (all of them except my ameraucana are under a year old) sorry this was really scatter brained
 

cavemanrich

Addict
Premium Feather Member
7 Years
Apr 6, 2014
17,683
61,750
1,317
Melrose Park Illinois
First,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, STOP worrying, since chickens can tolerate cold better than heat. Also good to put your location in your profile. I answer posts from peeps living in Carolina s, worried about winter.
The most important factor for your chickens is proper ventilation of your coop. Some of your chickens may encounter frost-bite even in best ventilated situations. Your breeds are of the cold hardy variety, with the possible exception of your silkie bantam. (I am not sure how cold tolerant they are:idunno)
If the bantam is less than tolerant of extreme colds, then you may need to bring her in to a warmer place for the night, like your garage. Not good to bring into a much warmer place, like the inside of your home. The large temperature difference is not good for them.
Make sure they have plenty of feed, including high calorie carbohydrates, like grains such as corn. I can already hear a mob of peeps claiming that chickens do not need extra carbs, and that regular 18% protein feed is all they need. To each his own. :old
Ether way, the chickens should live thru the winter just the same.
Make sure they have fresh, liquid water available. You may need a heated water dispenser, or just keep supplying them water and replace once frozen over.
Ask any other questions you may have. I'm not sure what else to add, and not here to write a long book:).
WISHING YOU BEST,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, and :welcome
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
99,298
139,026
1,807
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
so if you have anything you could tell me and help that would really be appreciated
First, show us your coop and run.....pics inside and out.
...and....
Where in this world are you located?
Climate, and time of year, is almost always a factor.
Please add your general geographical location to your profile.
It's easy to do, (laptop version shown), then it's always there!
upload_2019-9-27_7-47-21.png
 

chickens really

Crazy Mother of Goats
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Sep 8, 2015
62,663
109,134
1,657
The Funny Farm....Alberta, Canada
Yes..Knowing your location definitely will help.
What's cold to some people isn't considered cold to others. I run heat. I have an totally insulted Coop. My Run is covered with a tarp and then vapour barrier plastic on the sides the wind blows in. My Coop definitely isn't room temperature although my water doesn't freeze solid. I have the heat over the waterer..
Here was definitely get cold. -30C with windchills too.
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
27,872
22,065
907
Southeast Louisiana
Location is a good place to start. What are you actually dealing with? Your situation is probably not as desperate as you think it is. I've seen chickens sleep in trees in below zero Fahrenheit weather when I was in Tennessee. Some members of this forum in Nova Scotia and upper Michigan have posted about their chickens sleeping in trees in their winters. These chickens were not on a bare dead tree limb overlooking a bluff and squawking defiantly into the teeth of a blizzard. They were in a pretty sheltered area. There can be conditions where that could be dangerous but chickens really can handle cold weather much better than many people think.

What your facilities look like can help us help you. What do you have to work with? You may need to make some changes to get ready.

I took this photo when it was +4 Fahrenheit. The wind was calm and I gave them the choice to come out or stay in. They decided to come out. If a cold wind had been blowing they would not have been out in it. They don't mind the cold, but they do mind a cold wind.

Ice.jpg


My chickens hate to wake up to a white world. They do not like change and a white coating on the ground is a big change. It normally takes them two or three days before one ventures out in the snow, The snow in this photo started falling after they were already outside. The change was gradual enough that they never bothered to be scared of it.

Snow Feb 2013.JPG
 

BabyTot

In the Brooder
Sep 13, 2019
13
23
29
Northern Utah
First,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, STOP worrying, since chickens can tolerate cold better than heat. Also good to put your location in your profile. I answer posts from peeps living in Carolina s, worried about winter.
The most important factor for your chickens is proper ventilation of your coop. Some of your chickens may encounter frost-bite even in best ventilated situations. Your breeds are of the cold hardy variety, with the possible exception of your silkie bantam. (I am not sure how cold tolerant they are:idunno)
If the bantam is less than tolerant of extreme colds, then you may need to bring her in to a warmer place for the night, like your garage. Not good to bring into a much warmer place, like the inside of your home. The large temperature difference is not good for them.
Make sure they have plenty of feed, including high calorie carbohydrates, like grains such as corn. I can already hear a mob of peeps claiming that chickens do not need extra carbs, and that regular 18% protein feed is all they need. To each his own. :old
Ether way, the chickens should live thru the winter just the same.
Make sure they have fresh, liquid water available. You may need a heated water dispenser, or just keep supplying them water and replace once frozen over.
Ask any other questions you may have. I'm not sure what else to add, and not here to write a long book:).
WISHING YOU BEST,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, and :welcome
Thank you so much I really appreciate the help!
 

BabyTot

In the Brooder
Sep 13, 2019
13
23
29
Northern Utah
Location is a good place to start. What are you actually dealing with? Your situation is probably not as desperate as you think it is. I've seen chickens sleep in trees in below zero Fahrenheit weather when I was in Tennessee. Some members of this forum in Nova Scotia and upper Michigan have posted about their chickens sleeping in trees in their winters. These chickens were not on a bare dead tree limb overlooking a bluff and squawking defiantly into the teeth of a blizzard. They were in a pretty sheltered area. There can be conditions where that could be dangerous but chickens really can handle cold weather much better than many people think.

What your facilities look like can help us help you. What do you have to work with? You may need to make some changes to get ready.

I took this photo when it was +4 Fahrenheit. The wind was calm and I gave them the choice to come out or stay in. They decided to come out. If a cold wind had been blowing they would not have been out in it. They don't mind the cold, but they do mind a cold wind.

View attachment 1919126

My chickens hate to wake up to a white world. They do not like change and a white coating on the ground is a big change. It normally takes them two or three days before one ventures out in the snow, The snow in this photo started falling after they were already outside. The change was gradual enough that they never bothered to be scared of it.

View attachment 1919127
I live in northern Utah this is my coop and sorry if this post was annoying, I'm really good at worrying
 

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wyoDreamer

Free Ranging
10 Years
Nov 10, 2010
5,530
10,088
551
NE Wisconsin
It helps that you are in Utah - that dry air will be your saving grace to help keep humidity low inside the coop. The coop part looks a little small for 5 chickens, so they will need their outside space during the day.
If it were my coop and I still lived in Wyoming at 7400 feet, I would wrap that coop and run in a heavy clear plastic (opaque 6 mil plastic works great). Both slanted sides and the back would be totally covered and a piece of wood along the edges to hold the plastic tight. Face the door side away from the prevaillng wind to keep out as much blowing snow as you can.
You will only want to cover the door end with plastic when it is actually snowing heavily, make sure to open it on sunny days. The sun will warm that enclosure up way to hot for the chickens if you totally seal it up.
It also needs to have air exchange in the coop part - cold dry air in, hot moist air out. Moisture is what causes frostbite, not cold.
Here in Wisconsin, my chickens choose to be outside in -30 degree weather if it is sunny and not much wind.
 

MANNA-PRO

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