Home Tips What Do You Do With Backyard Chickens In The Winter

What Do You Do With Backyard Chickens In The Winter

A Caucasian mom sporting a stylish fedora affectionately holds two chickens in her urban backyard farm.

What do you do with your backyard chickens in the winter? Do you need a heater? Should you provide them with light?

Answers to all your questions regarding backyard chickens and winter lie beneath. Let’s check them out!

Img source: istockphoto.com

Where Should You Put Them?

Backyard chickens should end up in a chicken coop once the weather starts getting bad. As soon as it gets cold (before it gets snowy), gather your chicks around and move them to the coop.

Do They Need A Heater?

As long as your chicks are in the coop during winter – you don’t need a heater. A heater is nothing more than a fire hazard, and we’re sure you don’t want that much fried chicken at once. All jokes aside, you don’t need a heater. Your chicks will huddle together for warmth.

Do They Need Light?

This one’s a toss-up. Some chicks require enough daylight to lay eggs, while others don’t. You’ll have to do your own research and figure out whether your chicks need supplement light or not.

When Should You Feed Them?

The best practice when it comes to feeding your backyard chicken during the winter is feeding them corn during the evening. Having them feast on delicious cracked corn keeps them busy with digestion during the night, which will keep them warm.

Do They Need Entertainment?

Since they’re all cooped up (pun intended), you’ll need to give them something to have fun with since they can’t roam around the backyard. The best thing you could do is hang a head of cabbage on a string. This will keep them occupied for hours on end and happy during the wintertime.

Img source: istockphoto.com

How To Protect Them From Frostbite?

Frostbite’s a genuine concern during winter months, especially when it comes to breeds with larger combs and wattles. However, there’s a neat little thing you can do to help them. All you should do is rub some petroleum jelly on their combs and wattles, and they’ll be fine.

Should You Let Them Out In The Snow?

You could let them in the snow, but generally speaking – chickens don’t really like snow. They would much rather spend their time inside of the chicken coop. On the other hand, if it’s relatively warm outside – they might just come out and prance around the snowy yard for a while.

Must You Keep Them Closed At All Times?

Not really. The general rule of thumb is to let the chicks do what they want. Leave the door to your chicken coop open during the day, and let the chicks do as they please. As long as it’s not too cold, they won’t mind spending some time outside. As soon as they get chilly – they’ll find their way back. Don’t you worry!

How Much Space Do They Need?

As long as you don’t cram them together where they can’t move around freely – they should be content. Don’t line them up in a cage, as that’s borderline animal cruelty. Just get them a chicken coop that’s big enough for them to roost and move around. That should keep them jolly until the spring.


Hopefully, providing you with these answers have given you enough knowledge to take care of your backyard chicks during the winter.