Colorado Mtn Chickens . . . am I crazy?

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by TigerMtnMamma, Jun 21, 2017.

  1. TigerMtnMamma

    TigerMtnMamma In the Brooder

    Hello, been lurking a little. Decided I'll join and see what I can learn from experienced chicken owners.
    I have not gotten my chicks yet, decided to start with chicks even though my teenaged boys wanted eggs, just too much to start.
    We live at 7,500 feet on a mountain mesa! We have lots of predators here!! We also have 2 60 pound dogs who are not afraid of some of them.
    Breeds . .well, wanting good layers and hardy for winter. Not too cold here, but lots of snow.
    We are building our coop attached to our greenhouse, so it will get a little bit of passive warmth for winter, our water will be housed in the greenhouse and then piped into the coop for not freezing.
    I'm about to purchase ckicks, we will keep them in our dog run attached to our house for now until we can move them into the coop later this summer.
    Should be an adventure!
     
  2. Cochins have really thick feathers and are good for cold weather. I believe they come in bantam varieties too.
     
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  3. Welshies

    Welshies Crowing

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    Oh, you are not crazy, trust me.
    I have been raising a critically endangered breed (Sumatra) while also dealing with foxes, coyotes, skunks, porcupines, ravens, squirrels, mice, rats, bears, cougars, wolves, lynx, neighbouring dogs and cats. And my coops are half a mile from the house!
    I also raise barnyard mix hens, a rabbit that runs with my chickens, quail, and guinea fowl.
    I am from Northern Alberta. We get four or so feet of snow every year that accumulates, and our winters can get to minus forty degrees celsius.
    What chicks are you purchasing?
     
    drumstick diva likes this.
  4. TigerMtnMamma

    TigerMtnMamma In the Brooder

    you are my Hero!!!! I'm looking through the ckicks available now. looking for good layers and hardy, any suggestions welcomed!
     
  5. Welshies

    Welshies Crowing

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    What you'll be looking for is a bird with a small comb, as large combs may get frostbitten (not a serious problem, but can be.)
    (much like this:) https://goo.gl/images/uDbVyR
    Often birds between 5 and 10 pounds are the best layers. If you want a dual purpose (perhaps you will be culling extra roosters?) bird then consider a heavier breed.
    If you look in the reviews section of BYC, you will find lots of reviews on certain breeds.
    Good breeds that tolerate cold well, and lay well, yet are large enough to be dual purpose (larger bodies means more heat, better in cold.) are:
    Chanteclers: A breed native to Canada. Small comb, dual purpose. https://goo.gl/images/G6D70j
    Brahmas: Large breed, feathered feet. Decent layers but more for meat. Roosters can be up to 14 pounds. https://goo.gl/images/2pdJ8y
    Wyandottes: Very pretty, gentle birds. Both cold and heat tolerant. https://goo.gl/images/fcSrUY
    Orpington: Very common chicken, dual purpose. Decent layers, plenty of loose, thick feathering. https://goo.gl/images/4QdkW4
    Sumatra: Critically endangered BEAUTIFUL bird, small comb and lots of feathering, decent layers of medium sized eggs. https://goo.gl/images/dRrGWS
    Australorp: Common bird, too, good in heat and cold. Good layers, dual purpose but more a layer. https://goo.gl/images/HRQEwm
    Plymouth Rock: Very common chicken breed, super friendly and good layers. Dual purpose, but more for a layer. https://goo.gl/images/KoDobr
    Silkie: Really good moms, and loose feathering makes for good cold tolerance. Good layers, sometimes used for meat. Go broody a lot. https://goo.gl/images/XEwb6q
    Dorking: Dual purpose- shorter legs than most chickens, and wonderful broodies. Go broody a ton so are used more for meat. https://goo.gl/images/1pHbbW
    Cochin: Excellent all around bird. https://goo.gl/images/SbgGfS

    There are tons of other good breeds, too many to list. Keep browsing.
     
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  6. Welshies

    Welshies Crowing

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    Easter eggers are also another good breed, they are not an actual 'breed' but easy to find, winter hardy, and lay blue,green,white, olive, and brown eggs. They are more layers, not really dual purpose. https://goo.gl/images/y9sbFy
     
    TigerMtnMamma likes this.
  7. Welshies

    Welshies Crowing

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  8. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years.

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    Out to pasture
    :welcome
     
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