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

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

  1. Sabz

    Sabz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    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 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    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 Out Of The Brooder

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    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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