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Cold Weather Chicken Care

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Cold Weather Chicken Care

Molting

Have you Noticed an undue amount of feather loss? Fall and early winter times when a chicken will often molt. She will lose up to 90% of her feathers growing new ones in their place. This is very stressful for the bird and she will cease to lay during this time.

It Takes Time

It can often take a month or more to complete the cycle and resume laying again, so don’t be alarmed if you don’t get eggs for a while. The best thing you can do is provide your hen with the proper nutrition helping her through this process. She needs protein to grow new feathers. High protein treats like sunflower seed hearts and mealworms are great ways to boost protein intake. Using a water-soluble vitamin and probiotic powder will also ensure she gets the vitamins and minerals she needs to produce healthy glossy plumage and get back to a healthy laying cycle.

Tolerance

Chickens will amaze you with their extreme cold tolerance. In fact, chickens are better at withstanding cold temperatures than they are at withstanding the heat of summer. Small comb varieties like Americaunas, Cochins and Brahmas are exceptional in the cold. If you own any large comb breeds like Leghorns, Anconas, or Rhode Island Reds, be sure to monitor their combs for any sign of frostbite. Bag Balm or Vaseline swiped onto the combs before nightfall can help prevent moisture from settling on the comb. Routinely checking your birds is key to ensuring they remain happy and healthy.

The Essentials

Finally, you will want to make sure your birds are receiving plenty of water and food. Either of Zamzows premium chicken feeds will do your flock wonderfully throughout the winter. Since the ground will be wet and possibly covered in snow, most chickens will not venture far to forage. It’s important to keep your flock entertained in the run by providing them with extra treats and foraging opportunities. Zamzows Scratch Grains and Cracked Corn make great winter treats. They help keep the birds entertained scratching around in the run which, in turn, helps keep their metabolism up. It is vitally important to keep water fresh and ice- free. This can be accomplished in many ways, and Zamzows offers several varieties of heated waterers for keeping water ice-free.

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