Keeping chickens during the cold winter months can be challenging. Do you start to wonder how cold it is too cold for chickens? What to feed chickens in winter? All valid questions that cause more stress than needs to be.
We live in Upstate New York, smack in the middle of two great lakes if you are new here. Our winters are long and can be a brutal mix of tons of snow and below-freezing temperatures.
Today, I want to share three easy supplies you need to keep your chickens in Winter.
Chickens aren’t fans of snow. So we always shovel a path outside of the chicken door coop for the flock to walk down on. They appreciate those little slices of green grass showing through.
Because we get a lot of snow, and some mornings I’m not shoveling all that, they are stuck inside the coop.
For tips on how to keep your chickens warm in winter read this one here.
PDZ Coop Refresher
To keep ammonia smells at bay, it’s my new essential item for the chicken coop. PDZ.
I get mine on Amazon because, let’s admit it, when you live out in the country, Amazon Prime is the BEST!
I’ve been using the one for chickens specifically. You don’t need much, so that it will last a while.
I clean out the coop, sprinkle a little bit throughout, and pile my sand back over it. Or you would use whatever bedding you use in the chicken coop.
A little more about PDZ Coop Refresher:
- Non-toxic, all natural and fully organically certified granular material ideal for coop applications
- No added perfumes, masking scents, or chemicals used in formulation of the product
- People, flock, and earth friendly – 100% organic materials used, no other additives
- 33 years of proven odor control performance and always “Made in the USA”
Yes, you can use the Horse PDZ, which is cheaper. This one does tend to have a better smell. BUT for my frugal friends, the Horse PDZ from Tractor Supply works just fine too.
I have yet to write a post on how much better sand is in the chicken coop. But let me tell you to know it’s amazing! When we got our first six hens, we were using the pine shavings. I found the cost adds up quickly. So we switched to straw, and it seemed to be cheaper, BUT it is messy.
I’m also not a fan of the bugs it seems to attract. So when we built our new chicken coop, I wanted to start fresh. After reading about others’ success with sand in the coop, I knew it was worth a shot.
We pasture raise our chickens, so they are not in their actual coop much except at night. As a result, the sand in the chicken coop is amazing. It’s like scooping out a litter box. One of our readers suggested this, and it’s what sparked my research.
We bought play sand from Home Depot for $4 a bag. Easy peasy. It also will work in the compost pile too.
- Things You Need to Know About Raising Chickens
- How the Weather Affects the Look of Your Eggs
- 8 Do’s and Don’ts of a Life With a Baby Mini Pig
- The First Taste of Our Own Home Grown Chicken
- Why We Choose to Free Range Chickens- Even After a Raccoon Attack
Dog Water Bowl
You really can’t keep water from freezing in the winter in our area without a heated bowl. So we use the electric dog heater water bowls. You can find these on Amazon for $20 or so.
READ OR PIN FOR LATER: How to Keep Your Chickens Warm in Winter
We keep one in each of our animal pens. The same goes for chickens. It works great. The only downside is if you get a higher bowl, you will need to fill it up more frequently. So I would opt for the shorter ones, like this.
There you have it! My the top THREE items I must have in our chicken coop for the winter. Yes, there are more things you can always use, but these are my favorites today.
Friday 13th of September 2019
Why don’t you use the PDZ for horses ? They carry it at tractor supply , bigger bag should be cheaper . I will be trying it in my bunny barn this winter
Friday 13th of September 2019
I thought about it but figured I would go with the Chicken one. We don't use much so the bag lasts awhile.