If you’re concerned about raising chickens in the winter, I’d suggest you relax a bit. Chickens are tough and they’ll make it through quite a bit more harsh weather than you can imagine.
Chickens are amazingly adaptable. They can handle very cold temperatures and deep snow, so don’t be thinking about providing heaters for them – they’ll be just fine.
Your chickens can sustain themselves in severe cold much better than you can.
Other than shelter from the weather conditions in general, you only need to make certain that snow doesn’t inhibit their access to the basics – food and water.
In October of 2009 we had quite a snow storm here in Cheyenne that closed down roads, schools and businesses. It also closed down my chickens.
I had to wait a couple of days for the snow and wind to stop before I could go out to see how the girls were doing.
Both food and water were completely covered, but the main problem was the chickens were captured inside the nests by snow drifts.
One was peeking out of the nest but didn’t have the ability to push the snow aside. Two others were in another nest, glad to see me come out and dig them free.
The chicken house was also blocked with a large snow drift, but no one was in there.
It’s happened before that my chickens became snow bound inside the nests.
After I freed the girls, I tended to their food and water. I also tramped down the snow a bit in the yard so they would at least have a path between the house and the nests and the food and water.
Taking care of chickens in the winter is relatively easy. Just stay on top of their ability to move around and get to the basics – food and water.