Things to Consider While Feeding Chickens in Chicago Winter
If you own a poultry farm in Chicago, or just own a few chickens for fun, then you probably know that things can get tricky as winter approaches.
Unlike in the summer, chickens in Chicago Winter require specific care in terms of feeding, health, and every other element. They require a lot of energy to stay warm, therefore they will eat more feed to compensate. And keeping up with all of these changes might be overwhelming.
So, for that reason, we at Chicago Live Poultry have brought an article that will answer the majority of your questions about growing chickens in Chicago during the winter. As a result, you get healthy, fresh chicken.
The following are some things to consider while feeding them in Chicago Winter.
Making Sure That the Chickens are Warm
The first and basic thing that one must consider while feeding Chicago Chicken in winter is the temperature of their beds/coops. The ideal temperature for adult chickens is around 70-75° Fahrenheit, while that of chicks is around 90-95 degrees Fahrenheit. It is very important to maintain this temperature in the coop at all times, as extreme colds can even lead to frostbite and other problems for the chicken. And if you feed chickens by hand, it’s best to warm your hands because chickens often refuse to eat from cold hands.
Some effective ways to provide heat for chickens are :
- A heat lamp or any other source of heat.
- Providing a heating pad to allow them to warm up.
- Increase the meal intake, as it produces heat through metabolism.
- Provide better insulation and more bedding to the coop.
- Seal away any unnecessary holes, but leave enough for ventilation.
Keeping your chickens well fed
Another thing to consider if you own a Chicago Poultry is to keep you chickens well fed. Not everyone knows but chickens don’t eat the same amount of feed in winters as they do in other times of the year. Chicago chickens require extra food in the winter since they are normally resting following egg laying in summer and spring season. The optimum amount of feed that they require in Chicago Winter is around 1.5 % more of their normal feed.
Extra feed is required for chickens to battle the cold and keep their bodies warm through feed metabolism. You also don’t have to worry about overfeeding them because they don’t tend to overeat and you’ll find leftovers the next day.
Here are some of the more nutritional food that can be fed to the Chicago chickens.
· High quality poultry feed
This is ready made chicken feed available at your local store. Just make sure to pick the best one.
· Vegetable trimmings
Vegetables are good for everyone. Just trim vegetables into small pieces and mix it well with the feed. Corn, celery, carrot peel, dried herbs, fresh herbs, and oatmeal can be used.
· Fermented food
Fermented food provides probiotics which are very good for a chickens health.
· Extra proteins
Proteins are essential for Chicago chickens in winter as it helps in forming body heat and keeping them healthy. Provide feed with more protein concentration. Furthermore, letting them roam in the garden, eating worms and bugs is also a great source of protein.
Oatmeal is an important source of carbohydrates for the chicken and helps produce body heat during metabolism.
Not many people do, but giving chickens Leftovers/table scraps from dinner is also a great option. Just make sure to avoid certain foods like avocado, green potato skin, chocolate, beans and other foods that you normally don’t find in chicken feed.
Providing Proper Ventilation
Humidity can also be a challenge for Chicago Poultry owners. During the winter, humidity rises, which leads to an increase in germ production, including Salmonella, E.coli, and other deadly pathogens. This can cause a variety of ailments in chickens, including a cold, cough, fever, diarrhea, salmonellosis, and so on. As a result, it is critical to never allow humidity to become trapped inside the coop. Block any unnecessary holes to prevent gas accumulation, and provide an appropriate ventilation system.
Providing clean and excess water for your chickens
Many water-borne illnesses thrive over the winter, so keeping your chicken’s water clean is critical. Bleach can be used to make water safe for hens to drink. Chlorine Dioxide drinking water treatment is another popular approach for treating poultry water. It is advantageous for a variety of reasons, including being a proven quick and broad spectrum disinfectant for animal drinking water. Chickens need a lot of water in winter, so keep the water bowl full at all times.
In a poultry farm, the most important thing is to keep the chickens healthy. And we at Chicago Live Poultry will continue to deliver you articles that will help you answer such questions regarding your chickens and chicken poultry. Just remember to follow the instructions and be prepared for the upcoming winter.