Winter is around the corner in my part of the world

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by alaskachick, Sep 5, 2010.

  1. alaskachick

    alaskachick Songster

    Jun 13, 2010
    Wasilla, Alaska
    Here is Alaska we are starting to feel the chill in the air. It will be my first time wintering chickens. I really don't know what to expect and frankly I am kinda worried. Our temps here are anywhere from 32 to below 20 depending on what winter month it is with the coldest being in Jan, Feb. I was wondering what chickens do in the winter. Do they venture out side much or do they mostly stay inside the coop? Do they still dust bathe if they have the loose dirt available? Do their appetites decrease or increase? If you have any info or suggestions please share. Thanks.

  2. dawnchick

    dawnchick In the Brooder

    May 13, 2010
    You really should research this on here; we have Alaskan members.

    I know chickens generally prefer to stay off the snow, though some will venture out. I have seen it recommended that the space to be provided be increased to 10 sq ft per chicken of coop space in climates like yours, as they will spend a lot more time indoors. Usually they will venture into an outdoor area at least part of the day if it is basically protected from snow. A wind break on one side helps, too.

    I live in the SE US but we do get below freezing and the waterers do freeze. The chickens will go out on cold windy days but only around midday, and they like it a lot better if the sun is out.

    They handle colod pretty well, actually. Not everyone in Alaska heats their coop. But you have to deal with providing unfrozen water, of course. It can be done inexpensively, for example with a light bulb below the waterer.

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