Chickens & Ducks in Colorado at 7200 feet =)


5 Years
Sep 7, 2014

New here and just started with 8 chickens and 3 ducks. Everything is going well but a little worried about winter preparations. Also have not let them free range yet but love that they don't let our leftovers go to waste! We've collected about 8 eggs so far.

Thanks for looking, I'll post a picture of my coop soon.
Hello there and welcome to BYC!

Ah.....another member at 7,000 feet! Here here in New Mexico! Lots of members here from Colorado. Mountain Peeps will be around shortly and she is from Colorado up in the mountains as well.

Here is a nice thread on winterizing and getting read for winter...

Just make sure you have adequate ventilation in your eaves of the coop. Chickens can survive brutally cold temps as long as they are dry and out of all drafts. So seal up all cracks around the roost bar, have them roost low to the floor and put in about 1 square foot of vent space in the eaves per bird, vents opposing each other. When the chickens are sleeping, the are pooping and breathing. All this activity lets out incredible amounts of moisture. This warm moist air has to go somewhere. It will want to rise. And if there is not enough venting in your eaves, this wet air is going to cool and either fall back down as water or frost, chilling the birds and making them wet. So ventilation is important. Keep the bedding clean in the coop as well so you are not adding to the moisture. And no matter how cold it gets, never close all these vents! You are not trying to heat the coop, only trying to slow the air down on a windy night. The coop should never be warmer than the outside air as the birds should be able to go outside even on the coldest of days. And good air in the coop is very important to respiratory health.

I like to tack an old towel to the roost bar in early winter to keep the feet warm. Warm feet mean warmer birds.

Good luck on this new adventure you are on and welcome to our flock!
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Welcome to BYC! Please make yourself at home and we are here to help.

Like Two Crows said, ventilation is probably one of the most important things to have in winter. Without proper ventilation your birds will get frostbite, respiratory illnesses and other problems.

Other things to do to help keep your chickens snug this winter include using straw as a bedding, using the 4" inch side of a 2x4 roosts. I also put a towel that has been in the dryer and put it on the roosts to warm their feet. Make sure that there is no water spillage or moisture collection on the bedding as this can also result in frostbite. On the very cold nights you should rub vaseline on the chickens' combs and wattles to help prevent freezing.
Here's a link on frostbite.

You don't need a heat lamp if you have ventilation, proper bedding, proper roosts and proper feed. In the winter you should be feeding your normal layer, grower or chick feed along with scratch as this will keep the birds warm especially if you feed it in the evenings.

I too live in colorado at 7500 feet so I know how the winters work! If you do the suggestions listed above. your birds will do great in the winter!

Good luck!
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Thanks for the replies and helpful information! Sorry for the late response back. We've just added a little (human) girl to our family yesterday!

The winterizing information is great to know and sounds like an easy one to make a mistake on.

We started with:

- Two Barred Rocks
- Two White Orpingtons
- Two Black Sex Links
- Two silver laced wyandottes

And for added trouble we decided to get three Khaki Campbell Ducks. Ended up with two Drakes.

So 8 chicks and 3 ducklings that all survived (I was told we would likely lose some)

So far we have almost a dozen total eggs. All small brown ones and not sure who laid them but if I had to guess I would say the the Barred Rocks seem to be making the lay noises... /?

Here are a few pictures of our journey so far....


I too live in Colorado! Unfortunately, I can't offer any winter advice as this is my first winter being a "chicken mom". From everything I keep reading here on BYC ( and I do A LOT of it), chickens are tough when it comes to cold:)

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