Raising Layers in the Winter in Minnesota

I am seriously thinking of buying your book :) building a tractor and raising my own layers. My biggest concern is keeping chickens through the harsh Minnesota winters. I've seen that one is supposed to be able to winter them in a tractor but my greatest question is how do I keep the chickens from getting bored in the confined space over the long winter months? (I am a grandma with no children around to help.)

Comments for Raising Layers in the Winter in Minnesota

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Diatomaceous Earth is Best
by: Sue Merriam

When it comes to flea control for your chickens, it is always better to provide some kind of powder that isn't harmful to the environment. That's why diatomaceous earth is always your best bet.

Place some in an old wash tub or shallow pan in your chicken coop, and your chickens should be good until spring.

Dusting?
by: Banty owner

I have eleven banties that I raised from chicks this last March. They were free range all summer and now are confined (at night) and since we have quite a bit of snow, they do not run around when I open the door during the day.

My question is: do they need a dusting box? If so, what do I use that is easily bought? They are not laying eggs any more..

I have turned on heat lamp the last two nights.. it was 2 above. Stayed about 10 to 20 above in their 8 x 14 house.

One of the roosters chased my grandchildren a few times, until they started carrying a broom with them!! Gives new meaning to the phrase "mean as a banty rooster!!!"

Chicken Tractors in Winter
by: Sue Merriam

The greatest concern I always hear about keeping chickens in a chicken tractor is how they fare during the winter months.

Actually, they do quite well. Chickens - as with all birds - have a layer of fat under their skin, then a layer of down and then their regular feathers. As a result, they actually do better during the winter months than they do during the summer.

I've kept my hens in tractors for quite awhile now, and they have been content there. The secret is to move the tractor on a daily basis so they have a regular change of scenery.

You don't have to move them far, just a few feet will do.

Since you live in Minnesota, you will also need to cover your tractor at night with a blank or other type of insulation to protect your hens from the cold wind.

During the daytime, your hens will do just fine and won't need the blanket.

If the temperature gets below zero at night, you may also want to run an extension cord and keep a light bulb in your tractor.

Otherwise, your hens will do just fine.

Actually, they do quite well. Chickens - as with all birds - have a layer of fat under their skin, then a layer of down and then their regular feathers. As a result, they actually do better during the winter months than they do during the summer.

You can learn more about winter chicken care by clicking here.






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