Chickens are less active and roost longer in cold weather
Q My chickens live in a big run — roughly 10x6m. During the winter they seemed perfectly happy in there, but recently I’ve noticed that they get up later, go to bed earlier and don’t roam about much, preferring to spend most of their time under a tree. Could they be bored? Should I get them some toys? A Michelle Dunn says: The behaviour you describe is completely normal for this time of year. When it is cold and days are short, chickens conserve their energy by staying on the roost for longer. During the day they are less active as there are few insects and no fresh growth for them to eat. Toys are unlikely to cheer them up, but you could try putting some fresh vegetables and fruit in the pen which they will definitely enjoy. Make things interesting for them. Hang titbits just out of reach so they have to jump for them and scatter fruit or vegetable treats around so that the chickens have to hunt for them. Providing their overnight roosts are sheltered from frosts, wind and rain, the chickens should be fine through the cold weather.
Few insects mean chickens are less active during the day in winter