Here at Chickens for Backyards, we’ve talked repeatedly about what you should do when caring for your chickens in the winter. But what about what you shouldn’t do? Being aware of what not to do will help prevent you from making these mistakes in the first place. Read on to learn more:
Don’t tightly insulate your coop
You might think that tightly insulating your coop will help keep your chickens warm. And indeed, it will. Unfortunately, not only will your coop retain heat, it will also retain moisture, and moisture in a chicken coop can lead to mold, frostbite, and respiratory ailments in your chickens. So, when you insulate your coop, make sure there is still plenty of ventilation to allow air to flow throughout the coop and reduce moisture build-up.
Don’t keep your chickens in the coop all winter long
Just as we don’t like to spend all of winter indoors, neither do our chickens. They still need some time outside, and many hardy breeds can withstand cold temperatures easily. So, keep the coop door open during the day so your chickens can come in and out when they please.
Don’t always heat your chicken coop
This may seem counterintuitive, but you really don’t need to heat your chicken coop all that often. In fact, heating your chicken coop can be a fire hazard, so in most cases it’s best to just insulate it well and give your chickens plenty of bedding. They can handle colder temperatures, and they’ll find ways to stay warm. However, if your area experiences a sudden and severe drop in the temperature, then a heater can be handy.