How To Keep the Hens Warm

How To Keep the Hens Warm

It is one cold and blustery day outside in West Virginia today. We got about 3-4 inches of fluffy snow and the chickens mostly stayed inside the nice warm chicken coop the whole day. The guineas were out and about though, mostly on our front porch begging for oatmeal. We do give them the option of going outside all year long, and there were a few “diehards” scratching for grit and treats that just might be lurking under the snow.

Close up that coop!

We really buttoned up our chicken coop early this fall with straw about 8 inches deep on the concrete floor and straw stuffed in the outside double walls. Our coop used to be a horse barn with several double walled stalls, so it was easy to just stuff straw in all the outside walls. Really keeps it cozy.

We also took scrap lumber and even thick cardboard and covered every crack we could find on the chicken coop walls. That really cut down on the drafts. We used cans of  spray foam for the corners and tight spots. That worked really great.

We have some vents up at the peak that we leave open for ventilation and just open one door in the winter. The window stays shut for now, and really needs to be washed.

Nest boxes are full of fluffy straw and the water has a heated float that keeps it just above freezing.

Turn up their inside furnaces!

We also up the cracked corn and fresh veggies from the house when it’s cold out. We even make hot oatmeal for them on really cold mornings. It fires up the chicken’s little inside furnaces a bit. Chickens really do produce a lot of body heat and huddle together when they get chilly. Today we gave them a pumpkin that had been in the basement. What a picnic they had… for about 10 minutes.

Lights help!

Other than that, we have an overhead light we leave on in the barn aisle and a heat lamp with a red bulb in it for the “Tenderonies”, like our Sultans and Silkies. They know it’s just for them too and bed down under it faithfully. Just make sure that the heat lamp is super secure and the chickens can’t reach it, so you don’t have a fire. Of course the Sultans have an old parrot cage in the house when they get really cold and will come to the door and let us know they want in. Our birds aren’t spoiled… much.

Chickens are pretty hardy and don’t need a lot to survive, especially the heirloom breeds. So, if you just do the basics and the inside of the coop feels draft free and comfortable when you’re out there and have your coat on, it’s a pretty good bet your babies will be just fine.

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One Response to “How To Keep the Hens Warm”

  1. Chicken Coop says:

    A warm Chicken is a happy Chicken. Thanks for sharing the informaiton
    Chicken Coop recently posted..The Important Thing to Consider When You Build Chicken Coop Plans

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