How To Keep Chickens Warm in Winter? (With and Without Electricity)

How to keep chickens warm in winter? It is a common question by most of the chicken raisers in the starting of winter. Most of the experienced poultry raisers know different ways to keep chicken coop warm with and without electricity.

But if you are a newbie, winters can give a headache to you and your flocks. Don’t worry, this guide will help you to insulate your chicken coop from in and out.

Most of the hens of various chicken breeds lay eggs during the winters. If you don’t want them to stop laying eggs in cold climates, then you need to keep your chicken coop warm.

There are various ways to keep chickens warm in winter. One of the method is using the best chicken coop heater. But here, you will know amazing ideas to keep coop warm even without electricity.

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

To set up a poultry farm in winter is quite challenging, but after reading this, you can keep your chickens warm all day and night. So, let’s understand how to keep your chickens warm in winter?

13 Best Ways To Keep Your Chickens Warm in Winter: With and Without Electricity

These tips will solve your winter chicken coop problems. Many chicken breeders face difficulties managing their chickens in freezy cold. Well, that will not happen again because you can easily insulate your chicken coop in winter after reading these steps.

Winter is difficult for your chickens to stay warm. The following are the best ways to keep chickens warm in winter.

1. Minimize Holes and Leaks To Keep Chicken Coop Warm

Before the winter, you need to make sure that there are no drafts or any air leaks available in the coop. Holes and leaks in the chicken coop will let the cold breeze inside the house and make your chickens a little uncomfortable.

The holes are not good for warming the coop. By stopping these leaks initially, you can keep your chickens warm in winter without electricity.

The farmer must repair the chicken shelter and close all those filthy holes to avoid cold air inside the coop. The chicken coop will remain warm unless there is no incoming icy wind.

Set your best winter chicken coop before the arrival of winter. You won’t face any problem as the coop will remain warm. To make it even warmer, you can use a chicken heater.

You can cover the chicken coop with a tarp for better covering of any holes and air leaks,

2. Right Choice of Food To Keep Chickens Warm in Icy Winter

Right Food Choice for Your Coop in Winter Icy Wind
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The farmer must make sure that the chickens should be supplied with excellent food with a decent amount.

The right type of food can increase their immunity against the cold weather. Winter caring avoid any type of soft and no shell egg’s problem in laying hens.

These ladies need special treatment such as a food supply with a higher protein rate, and enough water supply. Giving the best quality food and occasional treats to your boys and girls keeps their body warm during cold.

3. Application of Deep Litter for Warming the Chicken Coop

Application of Deep Litter for Warming the Coop
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Providing a proper chicken coop bedding is most important in winters. Applying it in deep litter system keeps your chicken warm all the day. There are different type of coop floor bedding which you can use to heat your birds in winters.

People use wood shavings and rice husk as the first choice for chicken coop floor bedding. These materials keep the coop floor warm and provide a cozy living in freezing weathers.

Before winters, spread bedding about half feet in height in small coops and one feet in large coops. This will provide a good amount of heat inside the chicken coop without electricity.

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

Hens are so comfort-seeking birds. They won’t lay when they find out some trouble or some situation against their natural habitat. Adding a few light bulbs in your coop can provide comfortable egg laying eggs.

If you add a few 150-250 watt bulbs inside the chicken coop, it will provide a good amount of heat inside the chicken coop.

Put one of two bulbs inside the chicken coop provides easy and comfortable egg laying in winters. You can use infrared bulbs for lighting and heating, both 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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Hanging vegetables works like an exercising tool for chickens in winter. Your chicken will stay warm by pecking on the cabbage or other vegetables.

My chickens love to peck on hanging vegetables like cabbage, cucumber, apple, or corn. Unlike humans, chickens are feeling quite joyful. Their pecking and jumping toward the hanging vegetable help chickens staying warm.

You can check our list of few best chicken toys.

6. Allow Sunlight Inside Chicken Coop in Daytime

It would help if you modify your coop with a few architectural changes. Not only enough space but providing sunlight in day time reduce moisture and keeps the chicken coop warm.

The coop should get a design of a cold frame or greenhouse type of addition. Sun rays will help you to insulate your chicken coop in winters.

When the weather is a little good, they can move out and enjoy the sun without leaving the definite area. It will give a good feeling to your chickens that they can enjoy the winter, along with some sunlight in clear weather.

7. Protect Your Coop From Frostbite

It is obvious that chickens are not doing well in winter. They require a warm environment around the coop. Choosing a good chicken heater or heating pad can be a wonderful choice for keeping the temperature a little raised. 

heating plate for chickens
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Here are two of the best chicken coop heater:

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 a little warmer than the normal way, so the coldest winter climates won’t leave any choice. The breeder should do it.

8. Keep Your Chickens Away From the Snow

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.

Keep Your Chickens Away From the Snow
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The availability of snow completely ruins their lifestyle. So, keep them away from the snow. Do not let your birds leave the coop. Supply them enough food, water, protein, and a Thermo chicken perch (checkout 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 the snow into water. However, the chicken raisers must pay attention to pass the snow inside your coop.

 9. Don’t Go Hard on Your Chicken Flocks

Chickens are fond of roaming outside. They can judge the weather condition.

If your chickens want to go outside, do not stop them. They have the right sense of the weather. A little sunshine is better for them because it keeps their body warm.

The sunlight will surely please their mood. If the conditions are worse, they have the best tendency not to go away but stay inside the coop. So don’t go harsh with your flocks.

It will be worthless to waste all of your energy and time just for trying to keep them inside the shelter. 

10. The Best Choice for the Chickens Is a Roost

The Best Choice for the Chickens Is a Roost
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Building a good roost for your chickens is most important in early winter. Chicken roosting bars are one of the best thing to keep the chicken warm during cold weathers.

Chickens love to roost together. The farmer should build a roost with some altitude, at least 2 to 3 feet above the ground level.

The farmer should do some inspection with a flashlight during the evening. Try to keep all those birds in the highest place. Chicken roosting bars and perches are one of the best ways to keep chicken warm in winter.

11. Feed Your Chicken With Corn in the Evening Time

Feed Your Chicken With Corn in the Evening Time
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Give corn in evening treats helps your chicken to remain warm during the cold winter nights. Some people prefer to provide popped 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 the healthy food at night.

Also, they are an excellent source of protein, which will help chickens to stay warm in winter nights.

Also read: Can chickens eat popcorn?

12. Divide Them to Avoid Unwanted Death

This is most important if you have many chickens in a single coop. Sometime because of excessive cold in winter, mainly small size chickens climb on top of each other in a corner of the shed.

Because of this, all weak chickens die by pressing below the others. This causes unwanted death of flocks in your farm.

To avoid this type of loss, divide your baby chicks and chickens in the batch of 30-50. Mainly, this issue mostly happens in rural areas with high electricity power cuts.

So, for many flocks, use a space heater and separate your flocks to maintain heat inside the chicken coop.

13. Use Brooders

Use Brooders
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Can we use brooders as a heater in winter? Yes, of course you can. Brooders are not only brooding equipment, but they provide good heat inside the chicken coop. 

You can use few best brooding lights to keep chicken coop warm. It will make your boys and girls more comfortable.

Most of the chicken farmers use infrared bulbs in winter to keep their baby chicks and other flocks warm inside their coop.

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 now handle any worst situation for your chicken flocks in winters. In this guide, we have included various easy ways to keep chickens warm in winters..

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

I hope these above points help your chickens to stay warm in winter. How you keep your chickens warm in winter? Must share your experience below.

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Hi, I'm Bijaya Kumar, and I've been raising chickens for the last 12 years. For the past 30 years, backyard poultry farming has been a family business for us. We raise chickens of different breeds in the backyard.

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