Hen health throughout the seasons

A hens’ optimal temperature is between 18-24 degrees, and when temperatures start to drop below and rise above these, it can affect them in different ways. Keeping your hens warm and healthy is important to their overall health and egg production.

As the sunlight hours begin lessen through the winter months, this will affect your hens’ production schedule. By providing a light or heat lamp during times that used to be daylight hours this will keep her on her regular laying cycle.

Heating sources are not always necessary, however. If your coop is well enough insulated to their water from freezing, and/or you have a small flock that is large enough to huddle with one another, then you may  not require a heating source. Chickens are very adaptable and can tolerate colder temperatures!

Winterizing your coop

Providing infinite above freezing temperature water and clean, dry bedding will keep your chickens comfortable and healthy all winter long. Deeper bedding can keep their feet from being too cold. Dampness and draft will affect your chickens more than the plummeting temperature, and these factors of winter can quickly start the onset of frostbite. Ventilating your coop properly and ensuring it is always dry will keep your hens healthy through the winter months.

Summer months

As the temperatures start to rise in summer months this can affect your hens differently. Heat stress can be fatal to your chickens so it is imperative to find ways to keep them cool. Providing good ventilation in their coop, and perhaps with the addition of a fan to circulate air can help keep temperatures from rising. Providing shady areas in their run can help them regulate their body temperatures on a hot, sunny day. If your coop doesn’t have a shaded area for most of the day, it is easy to set up something that can provide a bit of shade for them.

Having an area where they are able to scratch into the dirt to lay on cool ground can also help them regulate their body temperatures. As always, providing clean fresh water is of the utmost importance. Sometimes in extreme temperatures if you notice your hens are distressed by the heat, adding an electrolyte can help to prevent dehydration which can be detrimental.   If your hens become too hot for a prolonged period of time, the stress can inhibit their laying production and therefore it will sometimes slow down or even stop. Keeping them cool and preventing heat stress can avoid this cease in their cycle!

Feel free to visit us and ask us any questions you may have about raising your hens!

Jenna M.