First COLD winter with chickens, no heat, perfect!!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Sabz, Mar 11, 2015.

  1. Sabz

    Sabz Songster

    Mar 27, 2013
    Quebec, Canada
    Well, it was my first winter with chickens :)

    Just to put you in context, this year was abnormally cold. Most of january and february was -30C. It was really a harsh winter.

    BUT, I read the threads and decided to go without supplemental heating. I tried to use the deep litter method. The little tips of the rooster's comb have frozen, but nothing major at all.

    I have 6 hens and a rooster, in a 12*8 foot insulated coop. It's painted in dark green - if that helps, and also has windows that let the sunshine inside during the day.

    The only thing I bought was a heated water bowl as it was impossible to manage otherwise.

    The egg production stopped around mid-december but now it's back on track for the last week!

    Amazing. They were laying 1-2 eggs per 2-3 days during end of february. Suddenly, last wednesday they all layed one and since then, they are all laying one egg per day!

    I also shoveled the snow in a little part of the lawn so I can carry the chickens to that place and they can eat a bit of grass lol. They won't step on the snow, little precious ones.

    So overall - yes, they can be kept without heat! And yes they survive and look happy. It can be done :)
  2. song of joy

    song of joy Crowing

    Apr 22, 2012
    Central Pennsylvania
    Good job! I noticed that it was substantially warmer in my unheated, un-insulated coop this winter than it was outside (temps 0 to -20 F outside). I think the deep litter and windows really help to create and let in heat. No signs of frostbite in any of my hens.
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2015
  3. AlletahG

    AlletahG In the Brooder

    Jul 21, 2014
    This was my first winter with chickens, and I also have an unheated coop. We had some extremely cold weather, plus a crazy amount of snow. While the chickens were clearly displeased with the weather, especially the snow, they actually kept laying all winter. From the five hens, I usually had a couple of eggs a day. My coop is very small and I use pine shavings in the bottom of it. During the day, the hens have free range, although the snow kept them in the run or on the path I dug from the back door to the run. None of them had issues with frostbite.

    Now they are laying more -- today I've collected three eggs from the nest box plus a pile of eggs that one crazy hen laid under the neighbors porch steps over the past several days. [​IMG]

    I did put some lights in the coop on a timer, just a string of Christmas lights. They came on a couple of hours before dawn, so that probably helped prevent them from completely stopping their laying over the winter.

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