Even though it seems like chickens are fragile creatures, they have certain characteristics that can let them survive through whatever weather may come. But you have to take note that not all chickens are alike.  While some can withstand winters, others preferred to sun bathe during summer sunshine. It will all depend on the weather that you have when you decide to purchase the right kind of chicken so as not to waste money and time raising them and just have them end up in a chicken graveyard.

In the winter it is important not to overheat your chickens.  If you get breeds that are good cold weather birds you shouldn’t be pumping heat into their chicken coops, this can kill them much easier than the cold weather.  Usually a well constructed chicken coop without cold air getting in will be enough to keep your chickens warm enough even during the coldest nights.  You could insulate your chicken coop as well, which would keep it warmer, just be careful if you decide to add heat to your coops. 

Just keeping them warm at night isn’t the only thing that you need to keep an eye on during the winter.  Chickens can be affected by frostbite on their wattle, which is the part that hangs from their neck, and also on the top of their head, which is called their comb.  You can rub moisturizer on these parts every other day to keep them from getting frostbite.  The other thing that you have to make sure does not happen is their water freezing.  If your chickens’ water freezes, then they obviously cannot drink it, I shouldn’t have to explain why this is a bad thing.  You can purchase electric water heaters that will keep your water above freezing and will prevent this from ever happening.

If you live in places where summer is the only known season, your chickens are prone to be exposed to excessive heat all the time.

With this, they might be in risk to dehydration. The only thing that you have to look out for during summer is that their water supply never runs dry. It must always have clean water. Don’t let your chickens roam around without providing them a sort of shade. If there is no run, you can provide ventilation inside the pen. During heat waves, hens would lay lesser eggs. If this occurs, it is a typical sign that your chicken is stressed because of the excessive heat. Their egg laying tendencies will go back to normal once the heat recedes.

If things get worse, you have to observe the behavior of your chickens. What are manifesting? If you’ve seen that one catches a cold or is acting a bit odd, isolate the chicken instantly to prevent further spread of the disease. Don’t forget to provide water and feed to the isolated animal.  Then, when things are manageable, consult with your vet. Tell him or her how your chicken/s are reacting. Are they having: mites, abnormality in the stool (blood, worms and white droppings), sneezing and teary eyes, depressed, unable to mingle with the flock, and loss of appetite.  Tell your vet what you actually see so that he or she can give you the appropriate answer to your dilemma. These are only bits of areas that you have to ponder upon regarding raising your chickens in winter or summer atmospheres. It’s better to be safe than very sorry.

John Locke is an expert on chickens and everything related to chickens, come over to his site on blueprints for chicken coops to find blueprints for all types of coops.  http://www.squidoo.com/blueprintsforachickencoop

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