Wrapping a corralchicken coop: lay a thick layer of fresh straw, cover the windows with transparent plastic, provide good ventilation in the room, put bales of straw along the inner walls for insulation, andcurtain nesting places with curtains to prevent eggs from freezing. However, it is equally important to prepare for the winter and a pen for hens.
Chickens need fresh air and physical activity all year round, so you can safely lure them out of the hen house at any time, except in strong windy weather. Birds will become much healthier and tougher if they spend a lot of time in the fresh air instead of crowding in the hen house.
There are cases when chickens have to be transported from a warm climate zone to a colder one. However, they can experience a real shock. But if you do it right and prepare the coop well and paddock for the winter, the birds will feel great.
I want to share with you the secrets that will help in the cold season to create comfortable conditions for chickens in the hen house and pen.
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Wrapping the corral with transparent plastic
It is known that chickens are rather cold-resistant birds. But I noticed that the strong wind caused them a special concern. Protective plastic will block the wind and also prevent the ingress of snow. If you have a small corral, you can wrap it completely( except for the top - you do not want your corral to collapse under the weight of the snow cap!).If the pen is large, wrap it on one side only - preferably the one from which the wind blows more often.
Since my corral is quite spacious, I wrapped it only on the northeast side and in the corners. The result was a U-shaped wind protection. I also wrapped with plastic a part of the pen next to the exit from the chicken coop, which is covered with a solid roof. Thus, it turned out a great protected zone right a few steps from the chicken coop.
Plywood, pallets, tarpaulins, and even bales of hay or straw can also be used for wind protection, but I still prefer transparent plastic.
He passes the sun rays well, so the hens in the pen are light and cheerful. In addition, it keeps the heat inside, creating a greenhouse effect. Use only very strong transparent plastic for wrapping the corral, since thin, most likely, it will tear during strong gusts of wind.
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The advantage of tarpaulin is the presence of eyelets. You can screw the big hooks into the fence posts and fix the tarpaulin on the walls of the paddock with carbines or large rings, and with the onset of spring just remove it. In addition, in calm weather, you can fold the tarp and fasten it to the upper hooks, and with the onset of inclement weather, lower it down again.
Areas under a canopy
Since the top of the pen you most likely have is open, provide the hens with a place under the canopy. A doghouse or just a small area under the roof is a great option. Kurams like to nap in the daytime in a booth on a warm bed of straw.
Hens do not particularly like walking in the snow. Lined with straw paths will encourage them to move more around the pen on sunny winter days, and also save their paws from freezing during walks. Raking old straw from a chicken coop, I scatter it over the pen and form tracks from it.
Stumps and Logs in the Pen
After the chickens come out of the hen house to the pen, they will appreciate the stumps prepared for them, the logs or just the branches of the trees - so they will not have to stand on their feet on the cold ground.
If you lean spruce branches to the fence of the pen, chickens will use them not only as a roost, but also as a shelter with a shed, where you can hide from gusts of wind.
On dark and cold winter days, chickens can get bored in the pen. Having installed a dust bath, which is no longer available to them in the garden, you will occupy the hens with a useful task, since this procedure is an excellent prevention of external parasites. You can use a rubber bath, a children's pool or a large plastic container.
Fill the bath with a mixture of sand, dry soil and wood ash.
Then install it either in the hen house or in the pen, if there is a zone under a strong canopy.
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Nourishing treat to lure the birds out of the coop
So your pen is protected from wind and snow with plastic or tarpaulin;the tracks are lined with straw;there are several logs on which it is convenient for chickens to sit;their favorite dust bath has been installed, and now only one thing remains - to lure the birds out of the coop. Sunflower seeds or flour worms work best!
I hope my simple advice will help your chickens to spend more time in the winter in the paddock in the winter - this will not only have a beneficial effect on their health, but will also help you keep the coop longer clean!
Warm beautiful chicken coop - video