How To Keep Chickens Warm During Winter? – 13 Best Tips

Do you want to keep your chickens warm during winter? If you are searching for an affordable and easy solution, this guide will help you.

There are different ways of keeping chicken coop warm with and without electricity. You must know those ideas to keep your flock comfortable in freezing temperatures.

All poultry raisers face a few issues when managing their flock in winter. Don’t worry; this guide will help you insulate your chicken coop from inside and out.

Various chicken breeds lay eggs during the winter. They will stop laying during cold weather if you don’t provide them with warm and comfortable nesting boxes.

Your backyard hens will love to stay warm and cozy in a freezy environment. It also helps them to keep laying eggs during the winter.

Setting up a poultry farm in winter can be quite challenging, but after reading this, you can keep your chickens warm all day and night.

So, let’s find out how to keep your chickens warm in winter.

How To Keep Your Chickens Warm During Winter? – 13 Best Tips

Below are some easy tips to keep your chicken coop warm during winter. It will help you know all about managing flocks during cold weather.

The following are the best ways to keep chickens warm in freezing winter:

1. Minimize Holes and Leaks To Keep Chicken Coop Warm

Before winter, minimize the holes and leaks in your chicken coops. It is important to keep the chicken coop warm when it is freezing cold.

Find the holes and gaps inside the chicken coop because those are major causes of allowing cold air inside.

These holes and vents may be found on coop bodies, window centers, door sides and bottoms, and roofs. Seal those gaps and openings with caulk or weatherstripping materials.

Warmth and airflow must be maintained in a chicken coop during cold weather, along with proper ventilation.

Proper ventilation prevents moisture inside the coop and avoids frostbite and other health issues in hens.

Always try to install adjustable vents to control good airflow and maintain a warm temperature inside the chicken coop.

You can cover the chicken coop with a tarp to cover any holes and air leaks better.

2. Right Choice of Food To Keep Chickens Warm in Winters

Right Food Choice for Your Coop in Winter Icy Wind
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Providing your chickens with appropriate feed and treats is essential. It keeps them warm in the winter season.

Chickens naturally adapt to cold climates, but feeding them the right food keeps them comfortable and live happily.

​It is essential to increase fats and carbs in their diet throughout the winter months since these nutrients aid in producing body heat.

Natural grains like oats, maize, and barley are highly recommended to be included in their feed during the winter.

Adding high-fat seeds, such as flaxseeds or sunflower seeds, might increase their calorie intake even further.

Always provide them with warm water during the winter. Using a heated-base chicken waterer is the best option because it avoids water freezing inside drinkers.

Hens could drink less water in colder months, but it’s still essential for their general health.

Also, you need to adjust the nutrition levels of feed according to the age and breeds of your chicken breeds.

3. Deep Litter for Warming the Chicken Coop in Winter

Application of Deep Litter for Warming the Coop
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Deep litter in your chicken coop keeps chickens warm. A deep litter system involves adding straw or wood shavings to the coop floor.

This deep litter system is a natural coop warming process. Because decomposing bedding materials produce heat, it offer additional warmth to your flock.

It works by regulating the warm temperature inside the coop and decreasing moisture by absorbing chicken poop and watery droppings.

The floor bedding, like wood shavings and hemp bedding, is kept for about 6-8 inches in height. It must be changed every month, and a new layer of bedding must be added every week. 

You need to turn and spread it regularly to keep it dry and increase the decomposition process.

Deep litter warms the chicken coop in winter, but moisture levels must be monitored. You may need to change some bedding if you observe excessive moisture or an ammonia smell.

4. Add a Light Inside The Coop To Keep The Chickens Warm At Night

Hens are so comfort-seeking birds. They won’t lay eggs when encountering trouble or situations against their natural habitat.

Adding a few light bulbs in your coop can make egg-laying comfortable. If they get alternative daylight, they will happily lay eggs at night.

Adding a few 150-250-watt bulbs inside the chicken coop will provide a good amount of heat.

Putting one of two bulbs inside the chicken coop provides easy and comfortable egg laying in winter. You can use infrared bulbs for lighting and heating during winter nights.

5. Hanging a Cabbage Work Like Exercise Toy in Winter

Hanging a Cabbage Head Can Add a Play Toy Option for Your Coop
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Gifting your hens with toys in winter helps keep them engaged and increases body heat.

Chickens are curious, so toys in their coop may keep them busy.

Winter chicken toys consist of hanging reward dispensers. With brain activation, the chicken toys promote physical activity.

Hang a dispenser with healthy snacks like dried mealworms or maize at a height your birds must stretch and hop to reach.

Another winter toy is a chicken swing. Chickens can swing! Simple wooden perches hang from the coop’s roof as chickens swing.

Chickens like perching and swinging on perches for exercise and fun. ​

Consider adding a mirror to your hens’ coop. Social animals like chickens may see their reflection in the mirror and think they have company. Some chickens fight with their reflection.

You can check our list of the few best chicken toys.

6. Allow Sunlight Inside The Chicken Coop in Daytime

The sunlight is essential to keeping your chicken coop inside warm. Build your poultry shed so that sunlight falls inside it correctly.

Sunlight provides warmth inside the coop and its members. It also prevents dampness in the coop bedding.

Adding a window or skylight helps you provide natural light during the day. 

Try to add translucent roofs and windows that allow light inside. The side parts of the roofs must be south-facing to get maximum sunlight.

⁤Sunlight warms the coop and prevents dampness in the bedding. Carefully placed windows or skylights can optimize sunlight in the coop. ⁤

Also, allow your chickens to go outside if there is sunlight during the daytime because it will help them stretch their legs and get additional natural light.

Outdoor sunlight provides chickens with vitamin D, making healthy bones and eggs. ⁤

7. Use A Modern Coop Heater To Keep Your Chickens Warm in Winters

heating plate for chickens
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If you’re tired of all-natural chicken coop heating systems, you might want to consider modern coop heating.

Modern coop heating is a revolutionary piece of equipment that provides reliable heat and keeps your backyard chickens healthy and happy.

These modern coop heaters work continuously on various energy sources to provide heat to your chickens.

Most are manual, but a few are automatic with automatic on/off switches and temperature control, so you don’t have to worry about it.

Buying a modern chicken coop heater is an excellent way to warm up your chickens during winter. Modern coop heaters are best for efficiency, keeping your flock safe, and providing equal heat distribution.

Here are two of the best chicken coop heaters:

Read here our complete guide on chicken coop heaters.

To protect your chicken breeds with large combs and wattles from frostbite, smear their wattles and combs with petroleum jelly.

The jelly keeps those regions slightly warmer than usual, so the coldest winter climates won’t leave any choice. The breeder should do it.

8. Keep Your Chickens Away From the Snow

Keep Your Chickens Away From the Snow
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Chickens do not admire the snow at all. It won’t give them a good and warmer feeling.

Even though they have feathers to keep themselves warm, they still require a suitable warming condition.

The availability of snow completely ruins their lifestyle. So, keep them away from the snow.

Do not let your birds out of the coop. Give them enough food, water, protein, and a Thermo chicken perch (check out our recommendation here).

A heater can warm the atmosphere of the chicken coop. It also keeps the snow away, as the higher temperature can melt it into water. However, the chicken raisers must pay attention to pass the snow inside your coop.

 9. Allow Them Foraging Outside in Winter

Do not restrict your chickens from going outside in winter. Allow them outside for foraging because it is good for their health and provides warmth.

Providing them space to roam and explore during the day helps them stay warm.

During foraging, chickens scratch the ground for insects, seeds, and other things that give them energy and insulation from the cold.

Sunlight provides them with heat and increases blood flow because of body activity.

By letting your chickens forage during the day, you enrich their natural environment and help them regulate their body temperature naturally.

10. Provide Heightened Perches or Roost

build perch and roost to keep your chicken body warm in cold temperatures
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Heightened perches in your chicken coop are essential for winter comfort. Your feathered buddies can relax and stay warm on these perches.

Raise the perches to avoid direct contact with the cold floor. Chicken feet and toes may freeze in winter, so this is vital.

The raised perches improve air circulation around their bodies, minimizing the danger of respiratory disorders from stagnant air.

Choose natural things like logs or branches for perches. These make roosting more comfortable for chickens and give their coop a rustic appeal. Choose branches that are wide enough to hold without hurting their feet.

Happy, healthy chickens lay more and are happier. So, give them height-adjusted perches in their coop during the cold winter months!

11. Feed Your Chicken With Corn in the Evening Time

Feed Your Chicken With Corn to keep your chickens warm in winters
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Giving corn in evening treats helps your chicken to remain warm during cold winter nights. Some people prefer to provide popcorn to their chickens.

My chickens are fond of corn. They enjoy pecking and eating popcorn and are happy to fill their crop. Adding corn to their diet can help your chicken to digest healthy food at night.

They are also an excellent source of protein, which helps chickens stay warm on winter nights.

Also read: Can chickens eat popcorn?

12. Divide Them to Avoid Unwanted Death in Winter

It is a little difficult to keep your chickens comfortable during the winter. Dividing them in batches keeps them safe.

During freezing temperatures, baby chicks go to one corner of the coop and climb over each other, which can kill weak and small chicks.

You can see this type of accident in chicks, pullets, and cockerels. That’s why still using a brooder or heater and dividing them into batches avoids injury and death.

That’s why batch your chickens by setting up an enclosed enclosure or coop with heat bulbs or heaters. You can monitor the temperature closely to ensure each batch is adequately heated.

Check each batch of your hens regularly to ensure their comfort and health. Monitor the enclosure temperatures and adjust accordingly.

13. Use Brooders To Keep Your Chickens Warm in Winter

Use Brooders to keep you chickens warm in winter
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An infrared brooder lamp is another efficient heat source for chickens. The heat from this bulb works like a broody hen, keeping the chickens comfortable.

Consider adding a clamp light to your poultry coop. This flexible light source can be mounted to many surfaces to direct light where needed.

In addition to providing light for chicken care on dark winter mornings and evenings, the clamp light helps your flock feel comfortable by giving steady brightness.

The Brooder Infrared Bulb simulates natural heat, while the clamp light simplifies and standardizes coop management.

These two electronic equipments ensure your chickens are warm and well-cared for during winter.

If you still want to know more about chicken brooders, read our complete guide on brooding here.


After reading this guide, I hope you can handle any worst situation in your backyard chicken coop. We have included various easy ways to keep chickens warm in winter.

Electrical equipment is not enough to heat a chicken coop in all situations. You need to take the support of a few other techniques to keep your chickens warm without electricity.

I hope these above points help your chickens to stay warm in winter. How do you keep your chickens warm in winter?

You must share your experience below.

Bijaya Kumar
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