Saturday, January 17, 2015
Chickens in the Cold
While the bedding is frozen, biological action pretty much stops, but once it thaws, parasites and pathogenic bacteria quickly start becoming a problem. I've dabbled in the deep bedding method, with disastrous results (I lost an entire flock of 40 one-year-old hens one spring). Since then, I've either added bedding weekly (a contractor-sized bag of leaves for my 10x12 coop) or, if there's a thaw in the forecast, shoveled out the barn entirely (and of course spread it right on the snow-covered garden as a sheet mulch). I've started going by the adage, "If you can smell ammonia, it's time to clean it out." This seems to keep my flock much healthier.
Plus of course, it's good exercise!