The telltale signs of a great dust bath.

The telltale signs of a great dust bath.

I let the ladies out of the run to wander in the snow, when one of them stopped right by the doorway and shook like a dog. The dark spot is all the dirt she was carrying around with her after her in-coop dust bath.

Snow Chickens

The ladies have been completely terrified of the snow, until recently.  I had to show them that it wasn’t dangerous by opening their door and calling them out with some scratch treat, but the other two followed Big Bossy out as she came toward me.

Winter Care for Chickens

taken from wikimedia, author addshore

I’ve had several people ask about housing and caring for hens in winter, and it’s best to start thinking about it now while the weather still allows for easy modification of the coop.

People are often shocked to find out that coops in Michigan don’t need to be heated. They do, however, require adequate ventilation- in cold temps, the breath & waste from chickens create a damp environment in ventilation restricted coops, which can lead to condensation, frostbite, and ammonia buildup.

A good example of a coop suitable for Michigan’s winters is located here:
http://www.greenchickencoop.com/

Robert Plamondon has a thorough write up regarding proper winter care on his website:
http://www.plamondon.com/faq_winter.html