5 Quick and Easy Wintertime Chicken Keeping Hacks

December 19, 2017

I love hacks. They're generally easy, inexpensive (often repurposing items you already have) and super practical. So I thought I would share with you five of my favorite wintertime hacks that I use in my own chicken keeping.


Use the Snow

My first hack costs nothing and takes no time. It involves using snow as coop insulation. Did you know that snow is a wonderful insulator? Especially on your coop roof? Leaving any snow that piles up on the roof instead of shoveling it off (assuming your coop roof is structurally sound and can handle the weight) is an easy way to keep your chickens' body heat and any warmth from the sun trapped inside the coop and not exiting through the roof. Same goes for snow banks piled up around the sides of the coop, leave them right where they are. They will help trap warmth inside the coop as well.

Borrow from Fido

Steal your dog's heated water bowl to use for your chickens this winter! The plug-in plastic bowls are perfect for keeping your chickens' water from freezing - and if you have a second bowl, you can use that for warm oats or feed moistened with warm water for your flock through the winter. They love the "porridge" I make for them with their regular layer crumble and some water, and maybe some sunflower seeds or dried fruit.

Feed the Birds

Don't limit yourself to the chicken keeping aisle of the feed or hardware store. I often grab bags of bird seed for my chickens. They particularly enjoy the woodpecker mix with peanuts and dried fruit as a change from their regular scratch grains. I also pick up BOSS (black oil sunflower seeds) for my chickens in the wild bird seed aisle in bulk bags.


Curtain Call

Save your old shower curtains (or pick up a few at your local secondhand store). They are perfect to use to make a wind block in your run. Secure them at the top using the grommets that are already there with short bungee cords, twine or clips and then tie down the bottom to keep the curtains in place. Your chickens will love having a nice corner outside where they can get out of the wind.

Save the Tree

Here's another free hack. When the holidays are over, and your Christmas tree ready to come down, don't throw it out. Instead lean it up in a corner of your run. Your chickens will love napping under it or perching on the branches. Just be sure that the tree hasn't been treated with any chemicals - so only use trees you cut down yourself or source from a local organic tree farm.




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