2021 has had the oddest weather I ever remember. Christmas is 80F here in central Texas. I’m laughing that it will be the third summer we’ve had in 2021. With two mini-winters and a handful of Springs and Falls. In fact, I call 2021 “The Year that Normal Forgot”. Many of my trees have dropped their leaves, and already have ‘new’ leaves thinking it is Spring!
But what does that mean for your chickens? Well, the good news is that they are more built around the length of daylight more than the actual temperatures. As winter comes, many hens stop laying to take their winter break. You can delay this by giving a couple of hours of extra light for laying hens before dawn (see our Chicken Coop Light Kit as one solution). Another thing to do is make sure their roosting areas are not in a drafty spot.
And this is a good time to re-check the security of their coop and run. Predators are getting hungry and always looking for a way to get their midnight snack of chicken! I was shocked that at the grocery store, chicken wings are over three times the price of chicken breast meat and I think the predators know it! Make sure there aren’t any holes they can push through. You’d be amazed at how tiny a space they can penetrate, for example mice can get into my bee hives through the narrow ¾” opening!
It’s also a good time to check the hen’s feet. Keeping chickens warm in the winter should be a priority to prevent health problems, as the cold and wetness will make any foot issues much worse.
Finally, have things ready in advance for the coldest of winters. We learned that lesson down here in Texas this February combining both the harsh temperatures and rolling blackouts. Brrrr! You might want to prepare your home as well, a small generator will really make a difference if you lose power for hours or days. And please be very careful with legally wiring it as well as exhaust fumes.
Have a very Merry Christmas. Our Savior is born to save the world!