How To Take Care Of Chickens In The Mountains
Chickens are great animals to have as pets. They’re fun to take care of and they give you fresh eggs! Keeping chickens in the mountains can be difficult. There’s a lot of things you need to make sure the chickens have to withstand the mountain climate. In this post we wanted to teach you how to care for your chickens while living in the mountains. Let’s get started!
A Place For The Chicken’s To Live
The first thing that is needed is a place for your chickens to live in. We asked one of our project managers what he and his family did to create a place for their chickens to live in and stay safe:
“We enclosed a lower deck of our cabin using wire and frames to create a safe place for them to live. Then, inside that enclosed deck we put a coop where they could shelter from the cold and weather. An important thing about chickens that don't get to graze through, you will need to supplement them with the things they would usually find in the grass. Things like sunflower seeds, dry meal worms, and a variety of other things can remedy that issue pretty easily. You also need a heating element for winter months. We have ceramic heat bulbs that keep the house nice and cozy, even in 20-degree weather.”
If you’re building a coop that is not on an enclosed deck it is important to dig-proof the sides so animals can't dig into the coop and get to your chickens. This can be achieved by digging down about 6 to 10 inches on the outside perimeter of the coop and installing an 18" to 24" wide wire strip that continues from the side walls down and away to create a buffer space that cannot be dug through.
Here is an example:
In an enclosed coop, you need a minimum of four-square feet per chicken. If you have an outdoor run for them it needs to adhere to the same rule. One nest box for every three chickens is also needed. Nest boxes don’t need to be bigger than about one square foot.
Besides a place to live in, chickens have other requirements to keep them happy and healthy. Of course you need to provide food and water for them. To keep dirt and debris from getting into your chickens’ food and water, hang their feeder and water dispenser from chains and small hooks from the ceiling of their outdoor run. This will also keep their water and food from being tipped over and spilled. Chickens keep themselves clean through dust baths. If you don’t have an outdoor run for them you will need to either provide a space in your yard for them to roll around in the dirt or a dust box that provides enough space for your chickens to roll around.
Keeping chickens in the mountains is definitely doable. They’re fairly easy to raise and can provide you with fresh eggs! Do you have any tips we didn’t mention? Tell us in the comments!