Raising Chicks in the Winter

Uff Da

Apr 27, 2019
Does anyone who lives in areas with cold winters* hatch chicks through late fall? How much extra effort does it take? Do you do anything differently from spring and summer hatches? Do you have a special setup? How do you handle integration in close quarters?

*By "cold winters," I mean sub-zero. Oftentimes when I ask for cold weather advice, I get comments from people who think 30 degrees is "cold." ;) :p I'm going for zone 5 and colder! :lol:


Jan 13, 2019
I raised several batches of bantams last winter. I kept them in my shed (not insulated, plastic), and they lived in a metal trough with two heat lamps on them. I did realize my chicks weren't as healthful/vigorous as my spring batches. I think that was bc they lived in a small brooder for weeks on end, never getting to play outside. It was kind of depressing for me, seeing the poor chicks stuck inside. They didn't grow as fast, and weren't as resistant to diseases than my other birds. However, everything I bought at Murdoch's was way cheaper bc it wasn't even close to chick season. And I had an advantage showing them in the spring bc they were older than most who were hatched in early spring. I definitely would not do it again, the cons outweighed the pros, but maybe your situation is different. Hope this helps!!

Folly's place

11 Years
Sep 13, 2011
southern Michigan
I don't here in balmy southern Michigan, it's just better when there's no snow and they can enjoy finding goodies outside. One year, long ago, one of my bantams hatcher twelve bantam chicks in the barn and raised them all beautifully, but that was unplanned, and never again!
Brooder raised chicks will need heat longer, and there's nothing reliably attractive outside.
Having chicks shipped, either in the cold, or extreme heat, is asking for disaster too.

chickens really

I am a legend
Premium Feather Member
7 Years
Sep 8, 2015
The Funny Farm....Alberta, Canada
I have hatched Broody raised Chicks in subzero temps and it definitely is challenging.
I have to run a heat lamp over part of the Brooder where feed and water is so Chicks don't chill once eating and drinking. Momma then sleeps with chicks out of the heated area. Definitely trying to introduce them all to the flock is a challenge when it's so cold outside no one wants to leave the Coop.

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