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Montana - Page 320

post #3191 of 3308
Originally Posted by cicknmama View Post

I use a bucket heater. It works great because it sits close to the bottom of the bucket and keeps the nipples from freezing. I did go out one morning to find them stiff, but just wiggled them a little and they came loose easily. Works great!
Thank you, I ordered two of the API 250D 200 Watt Pail and Bird Bath De-Icer with guard and a 6' cord.... We are going to be gone for 2 weeks and so we are setting up a Garbage can with the vertical nipples and then I can put both heaters in the big garbage can.. I sure hope all of this works... Rae
post #3192 of 3308

I'm out of browning, way north and COLD.  have a SMALL flock and I duck, love to garden, c.ook, quilt,.. love to conne.ct .   .with others  in this treasure state.

post #3193 of 3308

Hey Darleneme, you're not that far away from me! (Only in Montana is three hours away considered "not that far", lol!) I love to cook (especially bake) as well and tried my hand at gardening this past spring/summer...Glad to meet some fellow Montanans!

post #3194 of 3308

I do worry about the girls during the winter.  We're not there to check up on them as we're snowbirds and are in Arizona at the moment.  For water I bought a tote from Walmart...10 or 15 gallons I'd guess.  Bought a 250 watt stock tank heater that is okay to use in plastic.  Added some horizontal nipples.  So far the house sitter says it's all working well.  The girls (and 2 boys) are in Kalispell. 


The house sitter says they are still laying 6 eggs a day as usual even with the weather in the single digits.  They won't walk in the snow so I guess it's good that I bought tarps and clear shower curtains to cover their run. 


Reading about everyone else's chickens and what they've done to help them through the winter is helping me cope with my separation anxiety.  The house sitter is such a nice man but he doesn't realize my need for pictures and information and telling me about what the girls are doing. 


So please, I'm asking you to tell me how your girls are coping.  What your girls are doing.  Anything and everything will be appreciated. 

post #3195 of 3308
Hi wamtazlady! I totally understand your worry about your chickens. This is the first winter that I have chickens (and only my second winter in Montana) and I have been kind of wringing my hands and fretting about them. I'm an hour north of Kalispell, so pretty close to where you live. My six girls have stopped laying but otherwise seem quite happy. We have a bit of snow on the ground, but I let them out to free range this afternoon. They mostly hung out on/under the porch, out of the snow, I threw some scratch under there and they were happily pecking around as if it wasn't 20 degrees outside.
Mine have a deep bed of pine shavings inside their chicken house, and at night three of them kind of snuggle down together in the shavings. The other three like to roost. I have the same set up as you do for the water, and so far it's working well. Although the ducks all go for a morning swim and splash all the water out!
post #3196 of 3308

The house sitter says he opens the door to their run, and they just look but will not set a foot across the threshold.  Guess they are pansies. 


I am surprised and pleased that mine are laying just as many eggs as they did in the fall.  The older ones hatched on Feb 27th.  I do have 4 others I was given that hatched in June.  When I left in early November they still had pink combs so they probably won't lay until February.  My neighbors were all complaining that their girls had all but stopped laying. 


I have never spent a winter in Montana so have no idea what it's like.  It seems to be colder than what I remember growing up in Pittsburgh from what I read online.  Otherwise I have mostly lived on an island in Washington where it seldom gets really cold.  I did my best to try to get the coop and run as ready as I could.  Did a LOT of reading here in the forums. 


I'm also using pine shavings.  The coop is tucked into the house.  The house is L shaped so those two sides of the coop won't get any wind.  Have 2 vents up high.  One hardware cloth covered window in the side that faces the house.  Their little chicken door stays open to their run that is covered in tarps and clear shower curtains on the sides.  I have no heat and no lights in the coop.  The food and water are in the run.  I did my best to see to the comfort of the girls as well as making it as easy as possible for the house sitter. 

post #3197 of 3308
You guys will never guess what I found on the hen house floor! I was gathering all the eggs and I noticed the hens all looking at something on the floor, I looked and it was this very tiny egg.... here's a picture of it... I'm not sure it really shows how tiny it is but that's a quarter laying next to it.....
post #3198 of 3308
I can't post the pictures....😕
post #3199 of 3308
post #3200 of 3308
YES! It let me post the picture! Rae
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