Top Five Ways to Keep your Chicken Warm this Winter!

Photo of Kassandra Smith

Kassandra Smith

Senior Editor • Backyard Chicken Coops

Last Updated: 21 July 2020

Silkie chickens in chicken jumpers eating watermelon

1. Chicken Jumpers!

So you may not have heard of these egg-cellent chicken warming fashion statements, but we assure you, once you have, you’ll be sitting by the fire this winter making personalised versions for your entire flappy family! Check out our pattern for knitted hen jumpers here!

2. Deepen the Coop Bedding

At all times of year the nesting boxes of a chicken coop should contain 6-10cm of bedding, we recommend Hemp Bedding. However in Winter we suggest you double this. Don't stop here, get heavy handed with the hemp and put a nice thick 10cm layer down on the bottom of the entire coop and run, this will help insulate the coop for the girls, whilst providing them bedding to forage in. Your chickens will snuggle deep into the bedding and stay warm and dry. Grab some hemp in a package today and save up to 15% 

Silkie chickens nesting in hemp bedding

3. Evening Corn Feeding & Breakfast Porridge  

During winter a great way to keep your chickens warm all night long is to feed them a handful of cracked corn right before bedtime. The corn takes all night to digest, which means the body will naturally warm itself! And it’s an absolute favourite treat – and who doesn’t want to spoil their family of flappers during the freezing, cold winter? At breakfast time, when you go to collect those gorgeous fresh eggs, share with them a bowl of oats & water, heated up as porridge. They will loooooooooove you for it! Healthy, and the perfect winter warmer. 

Cracked corn kernels backyard chicken treats

4. Add a Heat Lamp

Despite the fact that we feel the cold, chickens handle it surprisingly well! However, if you live in an area that consistently experiences temperatures below 8oC throughout winter, a heat lamp is a great way to warm the coop just slightly to keep your girls comfortable. Note, it is important that the lamp is not left on for extensive periods, nor should it be used to heat the coop over 10oC as you will stress your hens with the unnatural winter temperature change. You can purchase a thermostatically controlled outlet for under $20 that will automatically activate the heat lamp at temps below 1.5oC and shut off power at 8oC which is a more comfortable temperate for your girls.

5. Hang a Chicken Pinata

Just like all of us, flocks of chickens can get a little bored and moody when they’ve been cooped up all winter. Although keeping them cooped up is sometimes essential for their well being in cold rain or a windy day during winter, it can cause your otherwise perfect family of flappers to bicker and peck at one another. So why not give them something to do on those long cooped up days – Hang a pinata from the Roof! Dinner and a game, it will surely keep your girls amused, pecking at it all day as it bobs around!

Come rain or shine, hot or cold, something we’ll never be able to control is the weather! This can be a worry and concern when thinking about the safety and comfort of your backyard friends.

Cluckily, you can prepare for all seasons thanks to our friends over at Chickenpedia. I recommend their brilliant Weatherproof Chickens course to all my readers! They have compiled a guide of everything you need to keep healthy chickens through the seasons (which is more than you think!) with a great set of checklists and downloads to keep. Dangerous conditions including dehydration and frostbite can be avoided with the correct information and actions. Whatever the weather, this course will help you keep your chickens happy and healthy all year round.

As chicken keepers, we want to do an eggcellent job when caring for our feathered friends. Many chicken keepers struggle to handle chicken health or behaviour issues, especially in the first few years of having a flock. Chickenpedia have comprehensive online courses on everything you didn’t know you need to know and then some more! From healthcare to raising baby chicks to feeding and behavior, you’ll find beginner-friendly courses that’ll give you the knowledge and confidence to successfully look after your chickens.

As a member, you will get access to ALL their fantastic courses. No need to wing it, become the ultimate chicken eggspert! Check out Chickenpedia and their amazing courses today!

Sources and further reading