When you have chickens, fall is an important time to prepare the chicken coop in anticipation of approaching winter days, so that the animals can stay warm and dry.
Here are some tips for properly arranging and strengthening the chicken coop during cold weather.
1. Empty and clean the chicken coop
The first step is to completely empty the chicken coop, removing its accessories and litter. This allows for a thorough cleaning.
We use natural and non-toxic cleaning products to disinfect all surfaces and equipment.
2. Check/Improve insulation
It is important to check the waterproofing and insulation of the chicken house. If necessary, additional protections can be added.
To prevent rainwater or snow from flowing down the walls, gutters and a water collector can be installed to avoid water stagnation on the ground.
To enhance the insulation of the chicken coop, walls can be doubled with wooden boards, plywood, or cork.
Pour renforcer l’isolation du poulailler, on double les parois avec des planches de bois, contreplaqué ou du liège.
Polystyrene should be avoided, as it can be pecked by the chickens and is toxic.
3. Ensure proper ventilation
Good ventilation is essential in a chicken coop to regulate humidity indoors and prevent respiratory problems in chickens.
Ventilation can be provided through vents on the walls or roof to ensure optimal air circulation without creating cold drafts.
Note that regular cleaning of these vents is important to prevent blockages.
5. Install lighting and heating
If temperatures drop well below 0°C, heating lamps can be installed in the chicken coop.
However, they should only be used when necessary, as excessive heat could make the chickens vulnerable to diseases.
Adequate lighting should also be provided for the chickens to compensate for the reduction in natural daylight hours during winter. A special low-energy lamp can fulfill this task.
6. Install thick and insulating bedding
During winter, a double layer of bedding should be spread on the floor of the chicken coop to improve insulation, absorb moisture, and provide a comfortable environment for the chickens. Straw, wood shavings, or hemp can be used as bedding materials.
It is important to regularly replace this bedding to maintain a clean and dry chicken coop.
7. Provide an outdoor shelter
Chickens need to be able to leave their coop even in bad weather. An additional shelter in the enclosure is important so they can take refuge in case of wind, rain, or snow.
The chosen materials should be resistant and waterproof.
- A covered shelter: a wooden structure with a roof can be installed.
- A tunnel or tarp: a tarp can be stretched over part of the enclosure to create a sheltered space.
8. Reinforce security
During winter, predators may be tempted to attack the chickens. Therefore, it is important to secure the premises to prevent such incidents.
The following steps should be taken:
- Regularly check the fences and doors of the enclosure.
- Install nets to protect against aerial access.
- Install an outdoor lighting system to deter potential intruders.