Capper's Farmer

Keeping Chickens IN WINTER

Suddenly, it’s getting darker earlier, temperatures are beginning to dip, and the flock is starting to molt. Luckily for chickens, they're incredibly adaptable. Chickens are not mammals like us. They're birds, and because of this, their bodies interpret weather differently than we do.

It's important when selecting breeds to consider their hardiness in the winter climate. For New Englanders, like myself, this means keeping cold-hardy breeds. Think of cold-hardy breeds like wild birds that don't migrate to warmer climates during the winter. Like the wild birds, they stay put and overwinter.

With a little planning, preparation, proper care, and management, overwintering your chickens can be a success.

Feather Replacement

Chickens prepare themselves for winter by going through a molt each fall. If more than a year old, a chicken will molt to replace its body’s feathers with new ones. Like all birds, chickens rely on their feathers to keep warm. Some chickens have milder molts than others, and some chickens seem to lose all of their feathers at once.

The molt is very systematic. The feather loss begins at the top of their heads, then progresses to the chest, back, wings, and finally the tail. Fall molts can start

Stai leggendo un'anteprima, registrati per continuare a leggere.

Altro da Capper's Farmer

Capper's Farmer6 min letti
Threshing Day
IT was July 1938. Dad and I hitched Maud and Pearl, our team of matched Belgian mares, to the grain binder, and pulled it out of the storage shed. The humped-back machine needed some repairs. The canvas conveyor belts needed slats riveted, both on th
Capper's Farmer4 min lettiRegional & Ethnic
Great Grilled RECIPES
IF there’s one thing most people agree on, it’s a love of firing up the grill. After all, outdoor cooking methods, such as grilling and barbecuing, are easy ways to prepare great-tasting meals. Cookouts are a summer tradition, and a fun way to spend
Capper's Farmer4 min letti
NOT unlike the start of a dime store novel, it really was a dark and stormy night. Threshing was just over, and three mountainous straw piles were behind the big barn. The grain harvest was bountiful that year, during the late 1930s. It was hard to s