Hot Topic - How to Prepare Your Chicken Coop for Winter

Winter is cold, wet, dark and windy. All of which our birds don’t like, so preparing your chickens for this month ahead is key for maintaining health and condition and to ensure they continue to lay. Chickens use their coops for many different aspects of their life such as protection from midnight predators, to escape our inclement weather or a safe place to lay their eggs. Prevention is key whether it’s to protect your chickens from diseases, damp conditions, or predators so setting up the coop before these situations get incontrollable makes everything easier for you and your chickens.

Chickens will always seek shelter in rainy weather, so ensuring that you provide enough cover around your runs and gardens will help them to hide from the wet.

Keeping your chickens warm can be easily done by covering your coop with old carpets or blankets thrown over the top, to create a toasty environment for your chickens to shelter in at night. Do not cover your chickens with coats or jumpers as this will prevent them from fluffing their feathers, which naturally keeps them warm.

Natural foraging activity and food supply normally found from the range can become sparse in winter so ensuring there is enough food for them should be a priority to maintain.

Although we don’t get a lot of snowfall in the UK, it is still important to prepare for these conditions. Your chickens may not want to go out in the snow, however access to the range should be maintained and there should be sufficient perches for them to use as they don’t like cold feet.

Wet and cold weather unfortunately also brings plenty of mud around your gardens and the chicken ranging areas. Maintaining ground conditions can be a challenge but it is essential to keep mud to a minimum, especially if it starts to make its way into feeding tubs and water feeders. To prevent the transfer of unwanted bacterial contamination, consider covering the run for winter to stop the rain from showering the floor and becoming wet, reducing the impact of chickens churning it up which creates thick layers of mud. Hanging or raising feeders on a platform will help to prevent food and water contamination, and providing adequate drainage for water, such as using stones or gravel can contribute to a cleaner coop, better equipped at mitigating any negative health issues which may arise from heavy rain.

Ultimately, having a safe, warm and dry environment for your chickens to lay their eggs, free from mould, damp and wet conditions is important for their health and for the coop’s environment.

Anpario Direct offers an ideal product for these environments. Our natural, drying sanitising powder "Clean & Dry", is formulated with a blend of natural minerals and essential oils with enhanced absorption to help provide a dry bed in the coop and around the run whilst helping to minimise odour and smell from droppings. It can absorb twice its weight in liquid, ensuring removal of excess moisture in the environment, which could lead to unwanted bacterial growth following cleaning.


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