Chickens in Winter: An Update

This is our first winter with chickens so I thought I’d give a small update.

In December, we got an average of one egg per day for two weeks. I’m assuming we had two chickens laying consistently, probably the Plymouth Barred Rocks. They are smarter than our three Rhode Island Reds. Since the winter solstice began, though, all egg production has ended.

The chickens are handling the cold well. This week, the average temperature was about 8 degrees. They mostly stayed in the coop but would come out for feeding time in the morning. When the sun came out in the afternoon, I would sometimes see them wondering the run.

My only concern is they spend most of their day in the coop. The coop is small. One of my projects for this winter is gathering enough pallets to make a new, larger coop. Their poop is condensed to our little coop instead of spread throughout the larger run. My leaf bedding plan worked great in the fall, but we are out of leaves now. I need to buy straw to make their bedding fresh and clean. Once I do that, I’ll feel better about their living circumstances.

Overall, the hardest part of chickens in winter is the actual act of going outside in freezing weather to feed and water them. They don’t take much time to care for and I’m happy with the overall experience.

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