Provide extra straw in the duck coop. A Baseboard Heater keeps things about 10C. Reference to commercial products or trade names does not imply endorsement by MSU Extension or bias against those not mentioned. If you’ve read any of my previous posts about winter chicken care, you’ll know that I am a firm believer in NOT adding electricity to the chicken coop. The high tech chicken keeper. Consider adding plastic insets into windows. Insulate the Coop. My hens are safe and sound in their awesome chicken coop Ryan built for me a couple of years ago. The chickens are eating a great deal of food as mature laying birds needing to keep warm. I would have to buy the heater for $35.00 plus the water pile that goes with the heater for another $35.00. Consider suspending a head of cabbage in your coop to keep birds entertained. My name is Dainius and i live in Maine where the climate is murderously cold in the winter. A number of water heaters are available on the retail market and there are even plans for designing your own on the web. Below are some tips by Michigan State University Extension for you to follow this winter. Roosts should be built at least two feet off the ground. A mellow temperament and good egg laying are also pluses. Keep your birds well fed! I think it’s an 1/8 acre. The coop is not heated with anything too hot because we don’t want to roast our hens, but we do keep a approved heating lamp that hangs above them in the box. Use the deep litter method to keep your chickens warm and dry all winter. Their water is inside the coop along with their food. The best time to start chicks will vary for everyone. Required fields are marked *. The chickens will adjust their consumption rate depending on the temperature. Another option for those who do not have electricity in their coop is to utilize aluminum or rubber buckets, which do not split like plastic when the water freezes. Active birds are happy birds. We researched chicken breeds, chicken care, chicken books, chicken coops, and coop construction. Perennials growing in containers need extra care to get through the winter. Don’t add a heater; add insulation. I know I am happy when I get food and water. We have a standard lot in south Minneapolis. To check that this is the case, look in on them in the evening with a torch. Here in Minnesota … Do you like having bees? Chickens have their own way of staying warm and getting ready for the winter. Allow exploration. Very annoying. =). We’re actually in discussions about renovating and expanding our coop and taking advantage of passive solar to keep it warmer in the winter. This week I took a quick trip out to my favorite store, Fleet Farm to pick up a water jug with a built in heated base to keep inside the coop. It’s fairly easy to care for your chickens in the winter with a the right prep and supplies. I set it upside down for you to see the simple heat source on the bottom of the water jug. Just start with a clean coop and about 4 inches of litter (hay, straw, wood shavings, or a mix) in the summer or early fall. I’ll have to dig up my pictures from last year and make a post about them. There is very little muscle in the … In winter it’s more important than ever to make sure all of your chickens have room to roost comfortably. Keeping as much light as possible in coops will maximize egg production during the long winter months. Keeping Backyard Chickens in the Winter Minnesota has legendary harsh winters, and in recent years with the Polar Vortex, they've gotten dangerously unpredictable as well. Windows must be closed; no screens or drafty windows. Minnesota is very beautiful when there is a fresh snowfall laying above the trees and grass. It makes me think there is no place like home, but along with all those cozy feelings the bitter cold truth is the beautiful snow only lasts a couple of days before it becomes a pile of dirty hard blocks of ice chunks. When people hear about us keeping backyard chickens the question that seems to be the most popular is…. acres- I wish! Aimee,Thanks – my husband built it for me for Mother’s Day last year. Keeping Chickens in a Harsh Northern Climate: Update: I am overjoyed to hear of some Mainers who actually have used my instructable! Chicken ownership can be an enjoyable experience any time of year. During the cold months we don’t see our ladies too much. For more information, visit https://extension.msu.edu. I do a fun thing to prepare my chickens’ yard for the winter, basically taking the deep … Toss loose straw or add corn stalks, wood chips or brush to your run area; your birds will forage for any bugs that may find a home in the degrading surface. There are a wide a variety of chicken breeds, developed for egg production, meat production or good looks. MSU is an affirmative-action, equal-opportunity employer. That is a super sweet coop Kelly! This really comes down to just how cold your area gets and the breed of chickens. We cover how to get started raising chickens, chicken breeds, building coops, baby chick care, protecting chickens from predators, collecting eggs, and more. By incorporating supplemental lighting, with ideally 16 hours of light per 24 hours, hens will lay the maximum number of eggs. Other Urban chicken Keeper Friends fantastic in the winter. it up, plug it in and away... Along with their food there ’ s fairly easy to care for your have! Than ever to make sure all of your chickens have room to roost.! Is murderously cold in the winter keeping chickens through the winter months can a. All died in November ( Here ’ s more important than ever to make sure all your... 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