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Caring for Chickens in Winter: Tips for Happy and Healthy Hens

Chickens are hardy animals when it comes to combating the ups and downs of our climate here in Queensland, but if you want your hens to thrive, and stay happy and healthy this winter, there are a few tips you should keep in mind.

Caring for Chickens in Winter – Minding the Coop.

The key concern during winter when it comes to caring for your chickens, is the added moisture in the air. As rainfall becomes more predominant, there is an increased risk of mould development in your chicken coops.

Mould can have a severe effect on your hen’s health and wellbeing. Leading to disease, respiratory issues and in some cases death. The best way to prevent mould is to make sure the coop is well ventilated and stays clean. When cleaning your coop, we recommend using aglime, this is a cheap and effective way to keep help control mould and odour.

Regular cleaning and maintenance should be performed to make sure your hen’s environment is healthy and monitored for any mould or pests that may be hiding there, this includes mites and lice. See our blog My chickens have worms, mites, and lice, how do I treat them? | Capalaba Produce to learn more about the signs for an infestation and what you can do to prevent and treat them if they are found.

You should also provide a bedding material that is heat absorbent, to help your hens through the cooler nights, just be mindful as many commonly used materials are prone to developing mould, and therefore will need to be changed more frequently.

Caring for Chickens in Winter – Diet

Just like most animals, hens will start to consume more food during the cooler months to stay warm. So, make sure you give them extra food during this time.

We recommend using a high protein chicken feed such as Farmbies to ensure their diet is well rounded, as well as adding an addition of cracked corn to their diet before they go to sleep. This is a great way to warm your hens up from the inside out.

Another fantastic way to keep your chickens healthy during winter is by giving them Black Solider Fly larvae or Mealworms to their diet. These are both a fantastic source of protein which will keep them nice and warm through the cooler winter days & nights.

On top of a well-balanced diet, make sure your hens have access to plenty of fresh, clean water.

Caring for Chickens in Winter – Watch for Predators

During winter, predators become more present as food scarcity can come into play, therefore your hens can quickly become their next target. Check out our blog 7 Ways to Secure Your Chicken Coop to see how you can fortify your coop and keep your chickens protected this winter.

Caring for Chickens in Winter – Staying Active

Keeping your hens active during the colder months is an important aspect to keeping them healthy.

Introduce foraging games, toys and puzzles to keep them stimulated. This will help to increase their body heat. Seesaws, swings and towers are great ways to add some fun to their days and get them actively moving this winter.

With the help of these tips and tricks you are well on your way to keeping your chickens happy, healthy, and secure all winter long.

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