The festive season is perhaps the time when we are at our busiest. It is also the time when your hens will rely on you most for their well-being. The honeymoon period is officially over and the welly warmers are officially on!
A henâ€™s body temperature is warmer than a humansâ€™ and they will cope better in cold temperatures, than hot temperatures. However, there are a few things that we can do to help them out a little bit over this chilly time.
1. Give them something warm for breakfast – some layers mash or crumble mixed with warm water, mealworms, sunflower seeds and garlic will really set them up for the morning. Warm porridge oats is also another popular alternative.
2. Provide somewhere dry for them to shelter during the day. In addition to their coop, they will need a field shelter to protect them from the elements, whilst they are out and about in their run. Here at Warwickshire Chicken Coop we sell handmade field shelters, that not only protect your hens, but will also keep any feed protected from the elements. View our shelters. (LINK TO: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.477587822294111.133161.309340389118856&type=3)
3. Warm your hens up just before they go to bed, by throwing them a handful or corn or wheat for them to scratch around for. This will get their body temperatures up, so they will remain warmer for longer over night.
4. Place an old blanket/duvet/rug over the roof of your coop to provide an extra later of insulation. We also add extra bedding inside the coop, and bubble wrap the interior walls for double protection. We also sell some products such as coop covers, thermal insulation, snuggle safe pads (hot water bottles for pets!) and other essentials for keeping your hens cosy and warm.
Finally, and it sounds obvious, just be vigilant. Drinking water is likely to freeze, so donâ€™t leave it out during the day. Foxes will also be on the prowl for food, so lock your hens in nice and early. Wild birds and vermin will also be looking for an easy meal, so bring chicken food in at night, put rat traps down and buy the wild birds their own feed to peck at!