Preparing Your Flock For Severe Winter Weather

In the coming days, the United States is going to experience some of the coldest weather in almost 40 years. A polar cyclone with the pressure of a category 3 hurricane will descend on the middle and eastern half of the country. Numerous advisers and warnings are in place in anticipation of the polar airmass.

For backyard chicken keepers, this presents unprecedented challenges. Throughout the past decade of owning chickens, I have never encountered temperatures that are forecasted for the coming days. Like many backyard chicken keepers, I am making preparations to weather the worst of old man winter. Below I have some tips to help you prepare your flock for severe winter weather.

Wrap to buffer the winter winds.

Help your flock buffer the worst of the winter winds by wrapping your coop in construction-grade plastic or feed bags. Supplying your flock with a windbreaker will aid them in the ability to keep warm. Chickens are well adapted to living outdoors and keeping warm by generating body heat and trapping it with their feathers. If a cold blast of wind lifts their feathers, they will lose all the heat that worked hard to achieve. Installing a windbreak around the coop will have the added purpose of keeping the elements out of the coop and pen. During times of frigid weather, keep your flock confined to the coop and pen. Chickens can freeze to death if they are subject to cold bitter winds for sustained periods.

Provide plenty of feed.

To keep warm in cold weather, chickens will consume extra calories to help them generate necessary body heat. In times of severe winter weather, it is important to make sure that your flock has access to plenty of food. To ensure that all members have access to calories needed provide several feeders. Offer them high-calorie treats such as a scratch or cracked corn. While I don’t treat my flock too often because it dilutes the nutrition they need from their feed, in times of severe winter weather I make an exception.

Offer bordom busters

While winter weather rages, confining flocks to the safety of the coop and pen, they can get bored. To prevent boredom related behavior issues, provide essentials to keep your backyard flock mentally engaged. Place a sandbox in the pen and fill it with play sand, in a plastic bottle poke small holes and fill them with scratch, scatter mealworms on the pen floor, and provide hours of pecking fun with a flock block.

Liquid water is essential.

When temperatures plummet, water is necessary. In addition to increased calorie consumption, water aids chickens in regulating their body temperature. Take steps to make sure that your flock has drinkable water. Employ a heated waterer, make a tin-heated water base or haul fresh unfrozen water out to your flock several times a day.

A note on heat lamps.

Although it may be tempting to supply a heating source in your coop, refrain from doing so. Heat lamps are dangerous, and responsible for many tragic coop, house, and barn fires. Your flock comes factory installed with down coats, the same coats that we put on in cold weather, they are wearing. Chickens do not need heat, rather assist their efforts in keeping warm by implementing the steps aforementioned in this post.

Providing your flock with a wind-free environment, plenty of food, and clean drinkable water is all they require; they can do the rest.

I hope these tips help as your make preparations for the coldest temperatures in decades. You are not alone, backyard chicken keepers all over the nation share the same concerns, I am here to offer a little direction. If you have any questions, please post in the comments, I will check often and get back to you promptly.

I am a multi-disciplinary writer, blogger, and web content creator. If you like this post, peck the subscribe button.

If you like this blog, please visit my portfolio, The Works of Noelle Moser

As always, thanks for reading. Till next time, keep on crowing!

~ The Kuntry Klucker Crew ~

Decorating with Chickens.

As chicken enthusiasts, we spend many hours decorating our coops, shopping for just the right accents to tie the coop together. While the girls might not appreciate our efforts, as a chicken owners, we want our girls to have a nice place to call home. Backyard chickens provide many things eggs, companionship, entertainment, fun, and decoration. Today I invite you inside and show you how I use my chickens to decorate my home.

My house is a simple, one-level ranch-style home. Some people see simplicity as mundane, I see simplicity as a blank canvas. The hub of my home is the kitchen. As a family, we spend many hours cooking, gathering, and sharing life’s stories in this room. Naturally, it’s my favorite room in the house. As a chicken keeper my kitchen theme is chickens.

First, I decided what colors to reflect my country chicken theme. I decided on sage and dark brown. I painted the cabinets to incorporate these colors. The lighter sage color offers fun, dark brown below brings grounding. The butcher block wood countertop adds an overall farmhouse feeling to the room.

To break up the brown, I hung towels over the bottom cabinets. The towels add an extra touch with chicken embroidery. On the floor in front of the cabinets, I have rugs with the incorporated colors of sage and brown.

The pantry is free-standing in one corner of the kitchen. To tie the color of the cabinets together, it is the same dark brown.

The space above the cabinets is a decorating platform. I have collected various chicken theme objects that I continuously add. Because the top of the cabinets is shrouded in a shadow, I weave some mini LED lights to illuminate my collection.

Over the sink, I adorned the window with ruffle curtains in a country chicken print. The curtains have various sage and brown hues.

Opposite the stove, nestled in the breakfast nook, stands an antique drop-leaf table. Painted a yellow accent color on the table rests an indoor spice garden. Above hangs a Tiffany stained glass light fixture. This light fixture introduces splashes of yellow and sunflowers into the overall kitchen decor theme.

Pictures of my girls comprise the wall decorations. In the hallway leading to the guest/hall bathroom, hang photos taken of the girls throughout the years. Guests that visit my home stop and take in the pictorial journey of my ladies.

Above a canning shelf hang photos of my first flock of Buff Orpingtons.

In the corner of the dining room, a triple-tier metal basket holds eggs collected from my flock. As a free-standing storage basket, this allows eggs to be kept at room temperature while saving much-needed counter space.

Above the egg tier, hang more pictures of my flock. Directly across from the front door, this display initiates many conversations about the lavish life of my girls.

Throughout my home, accents of my chickens are seen. From the sofa to the living room plant display, my girls are the focus of my farmhouse.

Keeping backyard chickens has many benefits beyond the humble egg. You can use images, eggs, and other gifts from your girls to decorate your homes. Many make wreaths from feathers shed during molting, ornaments from egg shells, and decorations from feed bags. It only takes a bit of imagination and a little creativity to create a farmhouse theme utilizing your flock.

I am a published author, multi-disciplinary writer, and blog contributor. If you like this blog, please visit my writing portfolio.

The Works of Noelle Moser

If you liked this post, peck the subscribe button. As always, thanks for reading. Till next time, keep on crowing!

~ The Kuntry Klucker Crew ~