Keeping chickens in winter

For chicken breeders, especially beginners, the question of wintering birds is acute. In order for the birds to survive the low temperatures without damage, the farmer must create the necessary conditions. Naturally, the maintenance of laying hens in the winter will differ from the care and costs of hens in the hot summer. Poultry require warming of the “dwelling”, additional lighting and special nutritious and fortified feed.

Temperature conditions

Naturally, in an unheated barn, birds will freeze with the onset of cold weather. The permissible temperature in the chicken coop is +15 degrees Celsius. Poultry can withstand low temperatures, but their performance indicators will noticeably “fall”. They stop laying eggs in large numbers and can become sick. In addition, harsh frosts threaten frostbite on the earrings and combs of roosters. Experienced breeders lubricate them with grease or petroleum jelly.

The optimum temperature in the “winter” chicken coop should be + 23-25 ​​degrees.

Keeping chickens in winter


Poultry breeders should take care of their wintering in advance. In cold weather, chickens are kept in:

  • insulated chicken coop;
  • special greenhouse (mainly made of polycarbonate);
  • cells.

Insulating a chicken coop, regardless of whether it is located in the country house or in the courtyard of a residential building, is quite simple. To do this, you will need the following materials:

  • Styrofoam;
  • cotton wool (mineral);
  • foil foam.

The process of warming the house takes place in several stages.

  1. Floor. Bedding should be made from environmentally friendly organic materials. Straw, moss, hay, and sawdust are perfect. Layer thickness – no more than 20 cm. As necessary, the material must be added. A complete replacement of the insulation is usually carried out at the end of February.
  2. Walls. From the outside, they can be pasted over with foam blocks. If the winter is quite severe, but you can also insulate the walls inside.
  3. Roof and ceiling. The roof of the chicken coop before the onset of cold weather needs to be repaired. It should not have cracks or breaks. If there is an attic, it is advised to lay it with a dense layer of straw. The ceiling must be clean and dry.
  4. Windows and door. It is very important that poultry do not suffer from drafts in winter. To do this, it is enough to hang the door with an old blanket or bedspread.

In winter, the length of daylight hours decreases, which directly affects the egg production of chickens. Thus, during the cold period, it is important to provide additional lighting in the chicken coop.

  1. To increase daylight hours, LED or fluorescent lamps are perfect. In addition, you can put an ordinary household product in the house.
  2. Excessive lighting will negatively affect the behavior of birds: chickens will start to worry and fight. A light bulb (60 W) is best installed under the ceiling, near the feeders.
  3. Lights are switched on in the morning hours (5.00–6.00 o’clock), and are extinguished already at lunchtime (12.00–13.00). As soon as it starts to get dark outside, the breeder should turn on the lighting in the chicken coop again. An excellent solution would be to purchase a special timer that will help turn on the lighting in the house automatically.

A special place in the “winter” chicken coop is given to the ventilation system. It must perform the following functions:

  • supply of fresh air;
  • purification from harmful vapors that emit feathered excrement;
  • maintaining the required temperature and humidity.

Among other things, additional heating is important for the chicken coop. In most cases, infrared lamps are used.

Keeping chickens in winter

Keeping chickens in winter

Keeping poultry in winter in a polycarbonate greenhouse in the country has several advantages. For example, chickens will be safely sheltered from bad weather and predators, and breeders do not need to build additional space in the garden. In addition, polycarbonate is strong and durable. However, owners who send chickens to spend the winter in a greenhouse should take care of the presence of perches and nests in it. Also, additional heating equipment, such as diesel stoves, will be placed in the greenhouses. They do not smoke and are equipped with special regulators, that is, the breeder can set the required temperature depending on weather conditions and the area of ​​uXNUMXbuXNUMXbthe territory. Such a device is suitable for breeding chickens in the cold season.

Chickens are kept in cages when the frosts in the region are especially severe. They are fixed as high as possible from the floor and put a ladder. This structure is necessary so that the bird can go outside on its own during the thaw period.

Note that in winter, laying hens should be released for a walk. They withstand quite low temperatures (down to -10 degrees below zero). If the thermometer of the thermometer “passed” the indicated mark, then it is better not to let the chickens out of the “dwelling”. The walking area should be cleared of snow and sprinkled with hay (or sawdust). Walking is best done on a clear day at noon.

Keeping chickens in winter

How do chickens lay in winter?

In order not to be left without eggs during the cold period, pay attention to the diet of birds. For them, you can buy special feed or prepare food yourself. So, the diet of birds should consist of:

  • wet mash (from cereal cereals);
  • boiled root vegetables (beets, pumpkin, zucchini and potatoes);
  • hay (mainly deciduous plants);
  • sunflower cake;
  • fishmeal.

For broilers, special compound feeds are purchased that are adapted to the age of the birds. Also, worms or bloodworms can be added to poultry food as a source of calcium or protein. In addition, containers with chalk and fine gravel can be placed in the house.

Winter maintenance of laying hens requires a certain miscalculation. Excess feeding leads to obesity, thereby reducing egg production. One bird needs 150 grams of feed per day. In addition, clean drinking bowls with fresh water are important for birds. It should be at room temperature. Experienced breeders advise introducing fish oil into the winter diet of chickens.

For adult chickens, its dose is 2,5 ml per day. Fat is given to birds all winter.

Keeping chickens in winter

Keeping chickens in winter


    So, in order for the chickens to survive the winter without problems and not stop laying eggs in the proper amount, several important conditions must be met.

    1. Create comfortable conditions of detention. We are talking about a warm chicken coop without drafts and dampness. At a temperature not lower than +15 degrees, the egg production of chickens will increase by 40 percent, and the breeder will be able to receive up to 30 food products per month.
    2. Extend daylight hours. By choosing the right lighting in the chicken coop in winter, the owner will increase the productivity of birds by 20%. However, the “working day” of chickens should not exceed 14 hours. Otherwise, they will completely stop producing eggs.
    3. Create a “spring” diet. One of the great ways to increase the egg production of chickens is to feed herbs. It is suitable for those who have a greenhouse. The owner feeds the birds with grass all year round, thereby increasing their productivity by 50%.
    4. Build new nests. Laying hens love comfortable places that are isolated from the environment. By creating small comfortable nests in the shape of a rectangle with a visor, the breeder will receive more eggs from laying hens.
    5. Reduce the number. In close quarters, chickens rush worse – this fact has long been proven by scientists. The optimal planting density is one bird per square meter. m.

    Keeping chickens in winter

    For information on how to keep chickens in winter, see the following video.

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Anna Evans


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