Hi all!! I'm a newbie with two newly adopted twelve week old GLW hens. I adopted them from my brother-and sister-in-law. She has been giving me a lot of advice on raising chickens and she referred me here. I live in Berks County, PA. Any advice for my area? How will they winter? Should I provide a heat source or will they be ok without one? These are my first chickens ever and I'm going to see how things go with them before getting anymore, so it's just the two girls to keep each other warm... Are there any ailments that GLWs are susceptible to? I'd appreciate any advice so I can do right by my girls
Your wyandotte girls should do just fine in the winter. They are good cold-hardy birds and their combs are small, which means less risk of frostbite and less heat loss. In regard to heating the coop, I'd recommend searching the learning center (second tab at the top of this page). There are LOTS of threads on that topic. In this part of the world, you will probably be fine without, especially if you are also insulating the coop. My four girls did just fine without heat, with insulation, and with a 40 watt bulb inside a cinder block, which is to keep the waterer from freezing over in the most extreme cold. The problem with heating (electrically) is that, if the power goes out, and your girls are acclimated to the heat source, they will freeze to death. Without the heat source, they should actually put on a little extra down and insulate themselves nicely. My only question is whether two girls are enough to snuggle-generate together? I, too, am a little concerned about this coming winter since one of my original girls died in April/May, and the remaining three have not really bonded with the new fourth girlie enough to imagine she will be invited into the huddle. Fortunately, her chosen roosting spot is actually very close to where we have the cinder block waterer heater, so hopefully that will make up for not being part of the "mean girls clique."Good luck, and welcome to the PA community!