Winter can be a challenge for any farm, and the same is definitely true for our chickens. Below are a number of items that we have found useful in the cold weather and that make things a little bit easier for us (and our chickens!)
- WATER TUBS
We have found totes to be our best winter water option when the temperatures are just around freezing. Their larger size means that they take significantly longer to freeze and when they do freeze, it’s often just a layer of ice on top that’s easily broken to give the birds access to fresh water. We use 10 to 12.5 gallon tubs with lower sides. For some of our shorter breeds (like Silkies or Olandsk Dwarfs), we put pavers around the tubs to give them a boost.
When temperatures are staying below freezing, we use smaller rubber tubs and 2.5 gallon buckets for water. We switch out frozen containers for fresh containers in the morning and as needed. The smaller size of these tubs make it easier to switch out water containers.
- LARGER HANGING FEEDERS
Like many people, we use hanging feeders for our chickens. Our favorite feeders are these Harris Farms 25lb Feeders. Their large size allows you to keep plenty of food available for your birds and cuts down on how often you have to refill feed. They also sell 10lb feeders if you are looking for a smaller feeder.
25lb Hanging Feeder
- WARM GEAR FOR CHICKEN CHORES
Whether you spend a lot of time outside with your birds or a little, it helps to have clothes that will keep you warm and dry while you do your chicken chores. We have found some of these items to make a huge difference on frigid days.
Insulated bib overalls are our go to item for winter chores. I can’t say enough about how easy and comfortable they are to work in, no matter what the weather conditions. Plus, they keep whatever you are wearing underneath clean and dry.
We have rubber, waterproof boots that are dedicated to working in our chicken pens. Not only are they easy to throw on but having boots specifically dedicated to chicken chores allows you to maintain biosecurity for your birds and not expose them to anything harmful that you might track into their pens.
Gloves that give you enough dexterity to work in but still keep your hands warm and protected from the wind are a must on bitterly cold days. There are several kinds of gloves that we use but I think the most versatile and sturdy work gloves that we’ve found are Mechanix Brand gloves. These are an example.