The cold winds, the rain and the dreaded white stuff. Seems like only yesterday we were laughing at the hens rolling around and dust-bathing in the summer sun, is there a funnier sight?? lol.
The winter is here and most of the hens are witnessing it for the first time! I personally enjoy the changes in seasons and it is lovely to see the hens experiencing something new but there are a few things to be cautious about when it comes to looking after our precious girls.
Most hens will do fine through winter, they do after all have their own built-in feather duvets but the girls that are still lacking in the feather department need to be kept an eye on, knitted chicken jumpers are a worthwhile idea and if anyone out there is a whizz with the knitting needles and would like to donate some jumpers for us to distribute they would be received gratefully!
In really freezing conditions you can put vaseline on the girls combs and wattles to protect them from frost bite and remember to check the drinking water isn't frozen up!
I tend to give our hens a warm breakfast to keep them toasty and mixed corn at night. In the coop, lots of straw for them to snuggle down in. Its important that the coop is reasonably free of draughts and definitely free of water leaks. If you are concerned your coop isn't warm enough I came across a great tip.. An old piece of carpet on the roof covered with plastic sheeting acts as roof insulation and keeps the hens body heat inside the coop, sounds cosy! Just be sure not to cover the ventilation at the top of the coop. There is lots you can do to help make winter a nicer experience for the first-timers. Comments here are very welcome if anybody wants to add anything or request chicken jumpers. I have a few bundles of wool up for grabs here for anyone who wants to get busy with clickers!