Chick­ens are less ac­tive and roost longer in cold weather

Your Chickens - - Ask Our Experts -

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

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