Three Tips for Keeping A Consistent Temperature for Hens During Winter
Make sure your flock is prepared for the cold weather. Extreme high, low, or variable temperatures will adversely affect egg production and overall health. The ideal temperature is 70°. During the winter months, keep the temperature above 50°. By taking the proper steps towards winterization and temperature control, you can keep your flock healthy and productive.
Here are a few ways to winterize your flock:
1. Keep them warm.
Take care to block drafts yet still providing ventilation. Drafts in your coop – entering through the roof, doors, windows, or in holes – can let the bitter cold winds in. Make sure you patch and seal any drafty windows and seams in the coop.
Don’t seal up the coop to the point where it’s airtight. Keeping vents open and air circulating is key to avoiding respiratory issues. Vents that face away from your property’s prevailing winds will keep air moving without letting in the cold winds. Fresh air movement is important to ensure healthy birds, preventing eye damage or blindness from ammonia burn during the winter months.
2. Keep them dry.
Ensure that the roof of the coop does not have any leaks. Provide a fenced run that’s free from snow so they have a place to scratch during the day. Adding hardwood chips can cover muddy spots in the run and keep their feet dry.
3. Keep water from freezing.
There are several ways to do this, including keeping the waterer in the coop, store the waterers inside a heated building overnight, or using a heated waterer base.
For more information on caring for your flock, read our Guide to Raising Day-Old Chicks.