Read the story here. Advertise at Before It's News here.
Profile image
By Backyard Farming
Contributor profile | More stories
Story Views
Last hour:
Last 24 hours:

Getting Chickens Ready for Winter Part 1

% of readers think this story is Fact. Add your two cents.

It’s that time of the year. Zombies and vampires have been roaming the streets. Turkeys have lost most of their hope and have reached the “acceptance” step of the 5 stages of grief as they approach their demise. Santa is gaining weight getting ready for his 2011 Holiday tour. It’s also time to consider what you are going to do to get your chickens ready for winter.

First things first. Most chickens will be OK in the cold winter. My Swedish ancestors had chickens and I think it gets cold there. Chickens have been raised and bred to withstand cold. You don’t need to do a lot to protect them. If you wonder whether or not your chickens are going to survive check out your breeds and their hardiness here.

So why do we need to help them during the winter. It takes energy to stay warm and survive. We have found that by taking a few measures we can help them stay warm, which in turn gives them more energy to make eggs. It doesn’t take much to keep your egg production decent throughout the winter wonderland. The next two articles will cover some of the things to keep your chickens laying.

Check Your Chicken Coop

Your chicken coop needs to keep your chickens dry. When it rains in the fall I go out to the chicken coop to see if there is any water leaking into the coop. If there is I note where it is and then fix the roof on a dry fall day. Her I am replacing shingles on the roof last weekend. Check the walls for openings or weakness. Essentially you want to batten down the hatches.

reshingling the roof

Another coop issue that a lot of people don’t think of is ventilation. You need to keep moisture out of your coop, but at the same time let moisture escape. Chickens create moisture. Your chicken coop can’t be an airtight box. Make sure you allow for some airflow in the coop through windows or natural openings. We cover all of our openings with chicken wire.


Bedding is important during the winter. It helps your chickens insulate themselves when they nest, and it absorbs moisture and smells. We prefer to use pine shavings for our chicken nesting boxes. We can get a huge bale of pine shavings at the local feed store for about $12. We spread it out in the lay boxes and on the ground of the coop.

Nesting box with pine shavings

You can also use hay or straw as bedding. This is another cheap way to line your coop. In our previous home, Marisa and I noticed that a lot of the neighbors would decorate their porch with straw bales during the fall. Since we lived in suburbia, they had no use for the bales once they were done using them for decorations. We were able to get them for free and rarely had to buy any. Both the shavings and hay break down through the winter. As they decompose they will add some heat to your coop to keep the chickens more comfortable.

We also shred our junk mail, and bills that don’t have a lot of ink in them and put it in the coop mixed with the straw and shavings. Its is additional insulation, and it breaks down enough once we put it in our compost pile that we are able to use the junk mail to grow vegetables.

Our next article will talk about additional things to do for your chickens, including what we have found to be the most important in helping chickens deal with the cold, a heat lamp.

Read more at Backyard Farming


Before It’s News® is a community of individuals who report on what’s going on around them, from all around the world.

Anyone can join.
Anyone can contribute.
Anyone can become informed about their world.

"United We Stand" Click Here To Create Your Personal Citizen Journalist Account Today, Be Sure To Invite Your Friends.

Please Help Support BeforeitsNews by trying our Natural Health Products below!

Order by Phone at 888-809-8385 or online at M - F 9am to 5pm EST

Order by Phone at 866-388-7003 or online at M - F 9am to 5pm EST

Order by Phone at 866-388-7003 or online at M - F 9am to 5pm EST

Humic & Fulvic Trace Minerals Complex - Nature's most important supplement! Vivid Dreams again!

HNEX HydroNano EXtracellular Water - Improve immune system health and reduce inflammation

Ultimate Clinical Potency Curcumin - Natural pain relief, reduce inflammation and so much more.

MitoCopper - Bioavailable Copper destroys pathogens and gives you more energy. (See Blood Video)
Oxy Powder - Natural Colon Cleanser!  Cleans out toxic buildup with oxygen! 
Nascent Iodine - Promotes detoxification, mental focus and thyroid health.
Smart Meter Cover -  Reduces Smart Meter radiation by 96%!  (See Video)

Report abuse


    Your Comments
    Question   Razz  Sad   Evil  Exclaim  Smile  Redface  Biggrin  Surprised  Eek   Confused   Cool  LOL   Mad   Twisted  Rolleyes   Wink  Idea  Arrow  Neutral  Cry   Mr. Green

    Load more ...




    Email this story
    Email this story

    If you really want to ban this commenter, please write down the reason:

    If you really want to disable all recommended stories, click on OK button. After that, you will be redirect to your options page.