Winter Feeding in the Coop


In the Brooder
9 Years
May 6, 2010
I have 8 girls that mostly free range. They also have a large pen (covered area about 6x10ft that is completely protected with fencing from predators connected to their coop (small barn).

So far, my girls have enjoyed table scraps every day. Generally, I throw them on the ground in the pen area, and they go in there to feed. (I don't like throwing them directly in my backyard or my dog thinks the food is for her.)

I'm new to the WA area and dealing with snow and chickens (only had them in TX before). So, I'm trying to figure out how to feed in the winter, especially when snow is on the ground.

#1 - I figured the covered pen will not be snow covered, so anyone think I should still allow free range during the day from the coop to the pen area? Or - will it be too cold for them to go outside and feed? Or - will it be allowing too much cold into the coop having the door open all the time? Should I open it for only a couple of hours a day?

#2 - Should I still throw the food into the pen area as I have been doing? I don't know if the food scraps will freeze up and if the girls will be able to eat them?

#3 - Should I put the food in their coop for the winter? They already have grain in their coop and water (in addition to more water in the pen area). Do I just throw the scraps in the coop, or do I have another bucket or something to put the scraps in?

#4 - Will I need to cut way back on the scraps I feed for the winter months? Do they slow down that much on eating?

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