Presented by Beltone – A Leader in audience health care.
Although Prescott and the surrounding areas are not known for their aggressive winter weather, temperatures still regularly drop below freezing and snow covers the ground at times. For many chicken farmers, winterizing their poultry houses is important and will save your birds from the cold.
Here are some easy tips to make sure you keep your chickens safe and healthy during the winter months:
1. Prepare your cooperative
A big part of preparing your chickens for Prescott winters is making sure your coop is draft-free, well insulated, and clean. Make sure there are no large holes or gaps in the side of your chicken coop and use insulation as needed to provide warm heat to your chickens.
While grouping your co-op is a good start, make sure there is adequate ventilation so you don’t cause ammonia buildup, respiratory problems, or mold. Place vents near the ceiling so cool air doesn’t flow directly onto your birds. Also, create a vent that can be closed for cold evening spells, heavy rain, and snow.
2. Deep garbage method
A great way to keep your coop cleaner and more isolated, the deep sand method is a must. According to the Backyard Chicken Project, “The deep litter method works wonders to keep the chicken coop warm in winter. Stacking six inches (or more) of trash on the floor of the chicken coop helps insulate it. Deep trash also produces its own heat as it composts slowly throughout the season. “
3. It’s all about the hangers
By creating quality shelters, chickens can escape the cold ground and revert to their natural instincts. Chickens will puff up their feathers and huddle together to provide warmth. Make sure the hangers are not in drafts and that the hangers are large enough.
so that a chicken can completely cover its legs while sitting on it.
4. Prevention of frostbite
Although very unlikely in this area, it is good to know how to prevent frostbite in chickens. The large combs of some chickens can be prone to frostbite, so it is important to protect them. Cover the combs with petroleum jelly to isolate them.
5. Get the right chickens for this climate
Staying warm starts with the race. Some chickens can regulate the heat and protect themselves better from the cold. Chicken breeds that do best in colder climates include Ameraucana, Australop, Brahma, Buff Orpington, Cochin, Delaware, Dominique, New Hampshire, Plymouth Rock, Rhode Island Red, Speckled Sussex, and Wyandottes.
Avoid the cold and keep your chickens warm this winter!
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