Are your chickens prepared for the upcoming winter? Miller Manufacturing acquired the full line of API™ heated products in early 2014, and we are excited to offer these products to you for the upcoming cold snap (sorry to remind you, but it’s bound to happen eventually!). Protecting your backyard poultry from the bitter cold starts with the coop and continues through to the feeding and watering. Below are five key things you may need to do to prep for the winter ahead:
- Insulation: insulating both the coop itself and providing extra bedding material (such as straw) will provide chickens with the warmth they need. Backyard Chickens has a great article on the Deep Litter Method, if you’d like to learn more.
- Heating: if you choose to heat your coop (a hotly debated topic among chicken keepers), the Little Giant® Brooder Lamp can be used to supplement both heat and light, possibly increasing your egg yield in the winter months. Be sure to affix it very securely and keep it away from any flammable materials. Adding the API™ TCO35 Temperature Controlled Outlet can help to eliminate excess electricity usage by only turning on the lamp when the temperature reaches 35 degrees or below.
- Ventilation: while you want to avoid exposure to drafts, ventilation is necessary to keep your coop and flock healthy.
- Fresh drinking water: the API™ Heated Poultry Fount is the perfect solution to keep water ice-free for well-hydrated birds throughout the winter. If you already have a Little Giant® galvanized waterer that you prefer, add a Little Giant® Heater Base to keep the water flowing.
Also, remember that certain breeds do much better with the cold winters than others. Ameracauna, Brahma, and Rhode Island Reds, to name a few, are great breeds for cold climates. Chickens with larger combs are more prone to frostbite. Preparation should start before you even pick or hatch your chicks in the spring: do your research if you live in a Northern climate. You can find out more on our Miller Pinterest page!