Keeping hens warm in winter

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by KaitlinJenkins, Sep 8, 2011.

  1. KaitlinJenkins

    KaitlinJenkins Hatching

    Sep 7, 2011
    Hi! I'm new to raising chickens and so this will be my first winter keeping a flock. (I am in Kansas) I am worried about keeping them warm this winter and wonder what tips and tricks I can try to use. I have four hens in a hen house w/ nest boxes and an attached run where they spend a majority of their time. Besides a heat lamp are there other methods that work?

    Thanks so much for any insight!
  2. jennh

    jennh Songster

    Jun 21, 2007
    First of all, [​IMG] and a warm [​IMG] !

    I have read many opinions on this subject. Most say that the heat lamp isn't really necessary, that they can keep their body warm with all the down/ feathers they have. I don't have heat in my coop, and I'm in Pa.

    The most important thing is to keep fresh air circulating. No drafts, just air. If it gets stagnant, and moist, that can encourage respiratory problems.
  3. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Crowing

    Oct 16, 2010
    NEK, VT
    Cover your run top and two prevailing wind sides with a tarp. This will aid them to use it this winter. I don't use any heat except a heated waterer to keep water from freezing. On real cold days and nights give them sunflower seeds as a treat, they have 9 times the fat as scratch or layer feed and will keep them warm.

    I had to add my winter pic after seeing the Cape Cod coop. You'll see how we used a tarp, kept run door open all winter to let them use the shoveled paths.

    Last edited: Sep 8, 2011
  4. Buff Hooligans

    Buff Hooligans Scrambled

    Jun 11, 2007
    As long as they can get away from the weather in a draft-free coop. They should be fine. But it helps to have a "heavy" breed such as Orpingtons or Brahmas.

  5. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Yeah - wind blocks around the run (tarps, stacked hay bales) will help. As long as the hen house is draft free (but you want some ventilation open up high to allow warm, moist air to escape), most adult, healthy chickens will be okay down to zero and below that even. If you choose to add a heating device, then just be sure that safety has been observed to the Nth degree.
  6. jennh

    jennh Songster

    Jun 21, 2007

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