With winter fast approaching and the days getting shorter and shorter, it has me anxious to prepare my coop and ensure that my chickens will be able to survive the winter. I find the winter always hard for me to keep up with all the work related to my chickens, so here is a few points I’m focusing on winterizing my chicken coop this year
- Heated water – every year it feels like keeping up with watering my chickens is the biggest problem. If you don’t have enough heater waterers, then your chickens will soon become dehydrated and your egg production will drop significantly. It is extremely important to have a plan for how you are going to keep your water heated!
- Clean out the manure before the cold hits – take advantage of the cooler weather and clean out your coop before the freeze hits. It is always harder to clean out manure with it frozen to the ground. It’s always nice to start out with a clean coop prior to the winter hitting, because you also don’t always feel that motivated during the winter to cleaning it out.
- Clean out the nesting boxes – start out the winter fresh with clean bedding for your hens to lay their eggs. They’ll thank you!
- Keep out moisture – over the last couple of years our coop has had a lot of problems with moisture getting in during a hard rain or melting snow. Work on sealing all the holes or leaks in your coop to keep it completely dry during the winter. This will go a long way to keep your chickens health and your eggs free from debris.
- Ensure your chickens have enough dirt to take dirt baths – before winter starts it is good to ensure that your chickens have had a bath, and that you have plenty of loose dirt for them to be able to take their bath in. If the ground in your coop is matted down and not loose, then it might be a good idea to loosen it up with a shovel. This will uproot some worms for some good protein and loosen up the soil so they can take a dirt bath. Here is a video I made of the chickens taking a dirt bath.
These are just a few ideas I’ve using to prepare my chickens for winter. I’d love to hear your ideas.