Some questions about winter readiness.....

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Mystyk13, Oct 31, 2007.

  1. Mystyk13

    Mystyk13 In the Brooder

    Oct 28, 2007
    We have 5 chickens, 3 ISA Browns and 2 Black Sexlinks. I am wondering a few things as this is our first winter with them! We do have a coop for them, and we do have the light in there so they get 14 hours of daylight. We only have two of them laying right now, waiting on the other three still! We got them in August and they were I believe 9 weeks old. My questions are do they need sand in the winter for cleaning themselves? Do they need to come outside everyday? Would they want to with all the snow?! Will rubbing vaseline on their "waddles"? help them not to get chapped? What about their feet in the snow? Do we need to have the coop heated at all? And if so what is the ideal temp for them? I think that is all for now! Sorry for so many, but we are new to this and just not sure about much right now! By the way-we live in MI...Thank you ahead of time for any answers!![​IMG]
  2. Standard Hen

    Standard Hen Songster

    May 17, 2007
    Hi there,,,if you look through some of the past post you will find a ton of info on getting ready for winter. My chickens go out in anything except cold pouring rain and even then I still open the doors so that they can go scratch until they decide they have had enough.. The coop does not have to be heated or insulated, just make sure there are no drafts and it is dry. I put shavings and hay in for them. I also mix cracked corn in with their pellets as it helps the body to generate heat and keep them warm. I use heated dog bowls for water and this year I have more chickens than I did last year so I will have one of the heater bases with a large waterer on top of it and use the dog bowls in my other pen that has less chickens. As long as they have access to get into their coop should they want to get out of the elements they should be fine. Many people do put vaseline on their combs but I have not yet and have had no problems. Also I have all standard winter hardy breeds. Try and look for the other post as many contributed their ideas also. Good luck and winter is on it's way!
  3. Heidi

    Heidi Songster

    Mar 18, 2007
    Northwest Michigan
    Welcome Mystyke - I live in Michigan too. This is my first time having chickens in the winter too. I have the coop filled with wood shavings and add every week. I also have a light that comes on in the morning at 4:45 am so they get the 14 hours required for laying. I plan on leaving my chicken access door open so they have the choice of going out in the snow or staying in. I also plan on snow blowing down to the ground when it does snow so they can walk around on the frozen dirt. Good luck with you girls! [​IMG]

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