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Chickens in Winter?

Chickens in Winter?

We get a lot of questions about keeping chickens in the Canadian winter. Most people are amazed how easy it is to keep them, even here in the great (and cold) white north.

What breeds are good for winter?

Most breeds sold in Canada are winter hardy. Sex links, Chanteclers, Barred Rocks and Orpingtons are few worth mentioning. All breeds of chickens will grow in extra feathers as the weather cools to prepare them for the winter.

Do your coops work in Canadian winters?

The line of Omlet coops work great in Canadian winters! We have tested them without any issue. The hens were happy, warm and laying eggs even on the coldest of days!

Do I need heat in winter?

Adding a heat lamp or heater to a coop is a big no-no! Your hens won't grow in any extra feathers to help them acclimatize to the cooling weather and if the power were to go out (as it tends to do in winter) your birds will freeze quite quickly.

How do I keep my hens cozy in the run?

Your hens will behave the same way as they do in summer if you can stop snow and wind getting into the run. Using our run covers, you can create wind blocks and cover from the elements. Chickens only have issues with the cold when the draft parts their feathers and cools down their bodies. No draft, no cold birds.

Will they go outside? Do I need to leave food in the coop?

Your hens will happily leave the coop all winter as long as the run is snow and wind free. If you free range, you may find some of your birds a little reluctant to wander around in the snow.

Food and water should only be available to your flock in the run. Putting food or water in the coop is unnecessary and will create extra mess and moisture in the coop. There are no benefits to food or water in the coop.

Will the water freeze?

Once the temperature regularly dips below 0°C your water will freeze. You can change the water throughout the day, replacing the ice with water or you can use a heated chicken waterer.

Will the eggs freeze?

It takes a few hours, but your eggs will freeze. We find it best to check for eggs more often in the winter to avoid cracked shells.

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