As the temperatures begin to fall, Caldwell County Ag Agent Shane Bogle says it’s crucial to start considering the winterization of your backyard poultry production.
Bogle emphasizes the importance of keeping backyard chickens healthy and happy during cold temperatures to ensure optimal egg and meat production. Failure to do so can result in cold stress, which can negatively impact their well-being.
click to download audioHe added there are indicators to watch for if chickens are becoming stressed due to the cold temps.
click to download audioAccording to Bogle, you also need to consider that not all chicken breeds possess the same level of winter tolerance.
click to download audioHe also noted that the pecking order can impact the well-being of your flock during winter, particularly if there is bullying over food and water resources because weaker breeds are more susceptible in such situations.
Bogle provided some helpful advice on winterizing your chicken coop, emphasizing the importance of having essential roosts.
click to download audioAdequate space and airflow is also important.
click to download audioBogle advises caution when using a heat source inside the chicken coop during winter, as there is a potential fire risk that needs to be considered.
click to download audioBogle highlighted the importance of providing adequate food and unfrozen water to help chickens withstand the cold temperatures.
Additionally, he mentioned that egg production will decrease in the winter due to the shorter daylight hours.
To learn more about winterizing your backyard chickens, reach out to Ag Agent Shane Bogle at the Caldwell County Cooperative Extension Office.