Year-round protection of the flock is a big concern for backyard poultry enthusiasts. From invading predators to frostbite to dehydration, winter care be an especially tough season to keep your birds safe and sound.
Predator-proofing your coop
While protecting the birds is a year-round commitment, all critters are looking for a warm and cozy place to hide out when the windchills start to drop come winter. It’s important to remain even more diligent when the temps drop to avoid unwanted guests to your coop. The Chicken Chick® offers a comprehensive guide to predator-proofing your coop.
Always remember that chicken wire is to keep your chickens in, not the predators out. Hardware cloth is an effective solution to limiting entrances for outside pests. Not sure what’s invading your coop? Installing some wildlife cams can help you pinpoint what animal you are combating and what exactly you need to pinpoint around the chicken yard.
Frost prevention begins with a draft-free, wind-protected, and ventilated coop construction. If the flock has a safe and warm spot to escape the winter chill, frostbite shouldn’t become much of a problem. Choosing the right breed of chicken in a cold climate can also help, since chickens with large wattles and combs are particularly susceptible to frostbite. If frostbitten chickens become an issue, or you fear they may, applying a small amount of Vaseline to the comb can be an easy preventative.
How do you protect your flock in the winter? From heated founts to closed-door coops, different gear around the homestead can help to protect your chickens and ducks when temps drop.