Caring for chickens in winter.
Backyard chickens are actually quite hardy creatures and cope with cold much more easily than they deal with heat.
But there are some easy steps you can take to make sure that your flock survives even the coldest of winters.
On this page you'll find links to information about how your flock will cope in the cold, and some recipes for winter-friendly treats they'll gobble up.
So when the first frosts start, or when the first flakes of snow begin to fall in your chicken run, this page is the place you'll want to be.
I cover some controversial topics - like:
- whether it's necessary to heat your coop in the winter months
- dealing with the problems winter can sometimes create
- how to make sure your chickens have the best possible nutrition to see them through to the Spring.
If you don't have enough time to read everything now, pin this image so you can come back when you need it.
Scroll down to see all the different topics, then click on any of the headlines or images to go to that page.
My seven best tips for helping your chickens to keep safe, healthy and happy during the cold of the winter months.
From food and drink that help maintain body temperature and boost the immune system, to how toes can be protected from the winter frosts, there's a quick tip here that everyone can use.
"Should I heat my chicken coop?" is one of the questions I'm most often asked about the winter months.
In this article I outline 12 simple, inexpensive ways to keep your chickens warm and safe in winter, without resorting to the potential dangers of fire in the coop.
Chickens can mostly keep themselves warm during even the coldest of snaps. But their extremities - comb, wattles and feet - can be susceptible to frostbite.
Here is all you need to know about how to spot the symptoms, why it happens, and how to prevent and treat it.
Frostbite is avoidable. Don't let your flock suffer this winter.
Did you know that the size of the roosts you use in your coop can help protect your chickens from frostbite?
Chickens keep their feet warm by hunkering down over them at night, covering their toes with downy feathers. If your roosts are too narrow, their natural heating system won't work.
Make sure you know the ideal measurements of a roost to keep your flock's toes safe in winter.
When nights start drawing in and hens slow down - or stop - laying eggs, there's a temptation to add lighting to the winter coop.
But is it advisable? And if so, what kind of light is best?
This article looks at the pros and cons of having extra light in the coop, and reviews the scientific evidence about whether or not it does damage to the chicken.
Between moulting and re-feathering, dealing with the cold and not being able to forage so well when the ground is hard and covered in snow, your flock will thank you for a few choice treats to help them withstand winter.
In this article you'll find ten of the best high protein treats for your chickens, properly researched information about why they're so beneficial, and warnings about why and how they should be fed in moderation.
Winter foods tend to be high in protein and fat. But are festive foods more or less appropriate for chickens to eat?
This article reviews 20 common festive foods which you may think of feeding as treats, and reviews the health benefits – or otherwise – of each, based on proper research studies.
If you want to treat your chickens at Thanksgiving or Christmas, start here.
So you know all about what makes for healthy, high protein treats for your chickens in winter. But how do you feed them?
One option is to make this high protein platter. It combines several ingredients into a tasty dish your chickens will beat a path to your door for!
The great thing about this recipe is that you can mix and match. Substitute whatever's in your kitchen cupboards.
A great favourite with my flock during cold Italian winters.
Why is garlic beneficial to chickens? At what age can it be given? And how much is enough?
This article deals with all the proven benefits of feeding garlic to chickens, particularly in the winter months when the immune system needs a boost.
It also covers whether to feed fresh or powdered garlic, whether fresh should be cooked or raw, and how it is best delivered.
Fermentation can sometimes sound more complicated than it actually is.
The one thing that's not in doubt is that it's an excellent source of nutrients for chickens, helping to boost their immune system and prevent any winter-related illnesses.
If you've always wondered whether or not fermenting is good for your flock, this is an article you should read.
So you've concluded that fermenting feed would be good for your flock, but you don't know where to start?
It's really a straightforward process.
This article walks you through it, in four easy to follow steps.
Looking for information about how to keep chickens safe throughout the year?
Each season has its own issues, so knowing how to look after your flock right through the year is critically important.
This series of articles look at chicken care every month. Each has a total of 20 easily managed tasks to be completed before the month is out.
Joining my twice-monthly newsletter means you will also benefit from a free downloadable checklist for each month.