What to Feed Chickens in Winter to Lay a Lot of Eggs and be Healthy

Winter with its frosts and lack of greenery is difficult for pets. Chicken owners are well aware that in the cold season, birds are less likely to lay and become ill more often. Poultry farms light and heat chicken houses in winter, but an average family can’t afford it. To make sure that the chickens survive the winter and lay well, it is worth diversifying their diet.

How to feed chickens in winter – the best tips

  • During the cold season, birds spend more calories to heat their bodies. Therefore, the daily ratio of feed in winter is increased by about 15%.
  • The largest percentage in the diet of chickens in winter are cereals: corn, wheat, or barley. The grain should be crushed before feeding.
  • Wet mash in winter should make up about 30% of the total feed. The mash is usually made of several types of cereals, potatoes, and fish oil. This wet feed is given separately from the dry feed in winter, 4 times a day. In comparison, dry grain is usually poured into feeders twice a day.
  • Chickens will lay more eggs in winter if the protein is added to the feed. This can be a bone meal or crushed eggshells. Protein is very important to add to the birds’ feed if you want to breed domestic chickens.
  • In winter, chickens suffer from vitamin deficiencies. You can compensate for this with vegetables such as beets, zucchini, pumpkin, and grated carrots. The birds are also given boiled potatoes. During the day, cabbage leaves can be placed around the coop.
  • Greens in winter are very useful for the digestion of chickens and the vitamin composition of the eggs. It is especially important to feed greens to young chickens under 2 years of age in winter. For this purpose, nettles, clover, mouse peas, and other herbs are dried from summer. A handful of grasses are added to the daily feed. If you don’t harvest grass in the summer, you can buy it at the bazaar.
  • Shredded shells can be bought in farm stores to add to the birds’ feed. Adult layers can do without such additives, but young laying hens and broilers need shells very much.
  • A useful source of protein and fat for hens in winter is cake. Breeders are recommended to add a little cake to the feed twice a day.
  • If chickens are sick, thin, or shedding in winter, it is worth buying mineral supplements in the feed at a veterinary store. You can also crumble a piece of chalk into the wet mash in the morning.
Avatar photo

Written by Emma Miller

I am a registered dietitian nutritionist and own a private nutrition practice, where I provide one-on-one nutritional counseling to patients. I specialize in chronic disease prevention/ management, vegan/ vegetarian nutrition, pre-natal/ postpartum nutrition, wellness coaching, medical nutrition therapy, and weight management.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

A Place of Power: How to Make an Apartment Cozy Without Repairs

What Porridges are Bad: The Best Tips for a Healthy Diet