Since your January weather predictions for 2011 I got to wondering: How do Chickens keep their feet from freezing in the cold Michigan winters? Is it necessary to have heat in the coop in winter?
Signed: Fretful Frieda
Poultry and birds of the air have many little tricks up their leg shanks to keep their tootsies warm in winter! As I said yesterday, No Dumb Clucks HERE!!! Standing on one leg with the other leg and toes tucked up beneath the body is one thing the ladies do. Chickens are able to keep their feet warm and blood flow circulating wonderfully in temps down to -30 degrees - but this comes at increased energy expenditure - So Remember - - - the more the energy usage, the more chicken feed must be increased! Eggselent treats for cold weather include cracked corn and SUET! The girls love it! Another idea for keepers of the coop might consider is offering outside roosts that are square, rather than round. The square roost offers greater foot and ankle support, and allows the bird to lower its body more directly on top of those cold and featherless toes, making for more warmth in icy temps!
That's all for today! Any more questions, feel free to add questions in comments, or email Lizzy in care of the ChickenWrangler!
Signed - Ms. Lizzy