Many times people ask us how we care for our chickens in winter weather. We are happy to share our experiences with you so that you can learn from us. Using a heated water for chickens has saved us many worries over our chickens in winter.
The chickens have an open bowl of water on the outside of their coop that is filled with rainwater. When the temperatures drop below freezing for the first few nights in November, the chickens find a thin layer of ice on top of their water bowl. They can and will drink the water around this or peck through to get a drink.
When the temperatures are below freezing for most of the night, the water will not thaw enough the next day for the chickens to get a drink. Because of this, a heated watering device is a good solution if you can’t bust ice several times a day for them when it’s cold.
As long as you have a reliable source of electric, you can depend on this keeping quite a few hens happy for several days. Last winter, we used this 3 gallon heated water for 4 chickens and it would easily last them 7 days before needing to be filled. What a fantastic time saver in the winter.
No electric? No problem.
If you have a chicken coop that does not have access to electric, you have another option. Of course, it requires you attend to it daily and sometimes even twice a day. You want to make sure that your chickens have access to fresh drinking water at all times.
These Fortex bowls are the easiest bowl on the market to use in winter weather. You can smack them around and they won’t break like your typical plastic will.
How Do I Keep Chickens Laying in Winter?
You will find that providing your chickens with supplemental light in winter will up their egg production. During those long days of darkness, the chickens aren’t getting enough light to have the desire to lay eggs.
Read our article here about how we use supplemental lighting in our chicken coops.
You’ll find it doesn’t take much extra lighting, just a little boost.