In the Brooder
8 Years
Jul 16, 2011
As the nights start to get cooler and longer, this newbie to the chicken world is wondering what you do to winterize your coops. We are in S. Ontario, so not too terribly cold, but certainly below zero for long periods. And, we don't tend to get a lot of snow where we are, but last year we had more than usual.

Our coop is inside a barn, with one south-facing outside wall. There is a run adjacent to that wall, which I have thought about putting straw bales around, so that the girls could stretch their legs on less cold days. The straw bales would serve to prevent snow drifts accumulating in the run, and to cut wind when the girls are out there. I have read about putting wider roosts in the coop for winter, which makes a lot of sense. We also plan on putting a heatlamp in the coop, and using as necessary.

What are some other tips for winter weather chicken management?

One thing that comes to mind is to put a nice coating of vasceline (petroleum jelly) on their combs (if they have large combs) to ward off frostbite.

Sounds like your chickens have a good shelter and will be just fine. Good idea with the bales of straw around the run. That will be a nice wind breaker......

I always hang a heat lamp about five feet above the water bucket, which helps keep it from icing over.
Sounds like you have things covered!
And even in frigid weather, if there's no snow, they will want to go outside, so your straw bale wind breaks will be great. Some line their run sides with tarps to do the same thing (because icy wind - chickens don't like about as much as they don't like snow). Having a coop built inside a barn is a huge plus for your birds
I take a minimal approach. No heat in my coup except the stock tank heater in my 5 gallon bucket for the water nipples. Chickens don't need heat, they always wear their down underwear everywhere they go! I will give the coup a good cleaning, add an extra thick layer of wood chips, and seal up any drafts. This year I have a few more chickens than last year. Last year I had a few days were the windows were frosted on the inside. This means moisture on the inside that is not being vented out. I will be adding some vents up high to help that.

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