Colorado

Aacre

Songster
6 Years
Jan 9, 2014
651
55
123
Western Slope, Colorado
Greetings all,

My name is Connie and I'm in Loveland, CO. Been here for 8.5 years, before that, Montrose for 18, and grew up a hippie kid in Boulder etc.

I've had chickens most of my adult life, but for a chicken-less stint of 10 years. We moved to this house in September of 2012, chickens added spring of 2013. We then lost half our birds in the Big Flood. 30+ inches of water on our whole place. Lots of damage to shop and grounds - minimal overall to the house. Thankfully we had flood insurance, but that didn't help the trauma!

We are mostly back together now, thankfully. I have recently been enlightened about breeder/ show quality birds, and found a flock of Blue Laced Red Wyandottes, that I now own. They are 2-4 years old and I'm hoping to get lots of eggs this spring. Sue Sterling lines. I'm also interested in Blues/Blacks/Splash - Blue Wyandottes and just had a shipment of 10 chicks in from Nittany Wyandottes. They are pretty little babies!

I'll be adding from 3 good breeders of BLR's in the next month, 10 chicks each, so I'll have a good group to start with. I used to show top quality Alpine and Oberhasli goats, horses, rabbits, and am currently showing 2 mini dachshunds. Why I didn't do SQ chickens before is beyond me. Maybe 'cause I was raising children? My hubby and I have 11 - 7 mine, 3 his, one ours. Last one is almost 17 and I can hardly believe that.

I have a small mixed flock of hatchery birds, that I'll phase out eventually, but they are flood survivors.. Plus I had ordered the rare pullet mix from McMurray's - 50 and only 15 survived, gah! Not replacing them but going to focus on the wyandottes - oh and maybe some top Ameraucanas. :)

Since it's been so cold, I've been doing a LOT of reading here. Just got caught up with the last months or so of this thread. Good reading!

I have 1.35 acres with a 60x40 fenced garden. I'll be starting plants next week and am planning on growing LOTS of flowers this year. I live on a busy street and hope to sell some flowers and eggs.

Good to be here!

Connie - who needs to figure out how to add a signature.
Welcome, Connie!
 

Pozees

Songster
7 Years
Jul 8, 2012
3,535
202
218
Pueblo, CO
Welcome Connie - at the top right corner of the page, if you hover your cursor over your user name you should see links you can click, including your profile and "edit signature" - either will work, your profile has lots of things including your signature.
 

yawningreyhound

Chirping
6 Years
Oct 31, 2013
160
11
98
7,000ft, Northern Colorado
Hi Coloradans!...reading about questions from people about heat. I have some, too!

I heated the coop all day long while the birds were out in the run. I only got a difference of about 6 degrees. But the pop door was open all day.

I just want to leave the lamp on all night. It's in an actual socket fixture that Jim installed, not a hanging from a hook with the silver hood arrangement, and it's as high up inside as we can get it.

I'm not completely confident that my coop is an adequate shelter for them...I think they'd find cozier digs out in the wild.

I mean, it's a building built by a Colorado "coop builder", but the floor had lots of space in between the lumber (the builder uses old barnwood and doesn't re-rip them so they are straight). I put a piece of Foamular down and custom fit it to the floor and walls so there's no drafts from the floor. I covered that with vinyl stick on. The sides were a layer of barnwood and a layer of OSB but only halfway up, so we put up a piece of masonite over the one barnwood layer area (I think I should insulate whatever space is behind there, now that I'm thinking out loud to you guys). The roof is corrugated with holes at every corrugation so I'm counting that as providing good ventilation, but I'm also counting that as a hugh heatsink of radiating inside heat out. So I've left it snowcovered the past several days, it's so cold it's not sliding off. Which I guess also tells me it's not radiating much heat out of the coop. But there's only the 5 degrees difference from the outside that the birds themselves provide.

I caulked every opening on the showing vertical wood, which was mostly every piece. And the wood is barnwood, not 2x4s. It's actually crate material that she gets from her husband who works where his product is packed in these barnwood crates plus she orders barnwood...i think it's a 1x3 or 4 (so actually .75 x 3 or 4).

I started to Foamular the four inside walls, but with the masonite covering, I was giving up valuable space. as it is it's 41x45. In hindsight, maybe I should've sacrified the inch.

It was part of a gift from the people whose birds I watched while they evacuated during the floods. It's very cute looking, but I'm beginning to really question its efficiency. I wonder if this is REALLY what they built barns out of back in the day. Probably. Chickens lived in THOSE barns, but they were huge, with places for the birds to get out of any draft if they just moved around. They're prisoners in my coop. I felt I had to make it draft free so I modified it a lot. It was actually supposed to be the storage for the coop and the other one is the actual chicken coop...but it's so holey I just started from scratch and modified the storage coop.

Here's a picture or 3 with some narrative......

It's 45 wide by 41 deep with a height to the roofing of 36"; the shelf is 14" above the nesting tunnel.

That masonite is covering just one layer of barnwood. And it's not insulated, so behind the masonite, there's lots of vertical cracks for air to come in. I should've caulked those before putting up the masonite. I can fairly easily dissemble it and do that.

The door is the entire wall I'm looking into from. And the door is barnwood plus OSB sealed all round when closed.
I have wood chips and straw throughout. By the droppings, they seem to prefer the highest point which is the shelf above the nesting tunnel and the nesting tunnel itself (which some wise BYC'r foretold!). And one sits on the roosting bar. In the same place. But not all the time either, which tells me all of them are either on the shelf or in the tunnel. They used to squish 3 to a 12x12 nesting box at their previous coop, but they were the newcomers, introduced completely incorrectly...5 of them with 22 other resident ladies. And they were mercilessly pecked on their tails for months there so I think that's why they squished so many to a box. And when they free ranged (which I think is the only thing that saved them), they always went off by themselves to a pinetree far far away. I so worried a fox was going to get them. And a fox got one of the original 7. One drowned in the pond which I think she was drawn to because the residents were guarding the resources all the time. I learned about all these probable behaviors after I was able to get internet and a book...kinda late. Like weeks late.

Do you guys think the building is an adequate building?

I've left the heat lamp on and it's holding steady at a -5 outside and 9 inside the coop. So it's only added about 9 degrees over what the hens' bodies add. Interesting.

I thought I was going to cook them out of there.

Sorry to prattle on....I'm just so new at this.

Oh, and the pop door is now at the lower right foreground and I shut it and it's draft free.

I'd hate to be providing an inadequate shelter for them.



It's the building on the left....The one on the right is the original coop.
 

Aacre

Songster
6 Years
Jan 9, 2014
651
55
123
Western Slope, Colorado
It looks better than mine!
Everything of mine is always a work in progress. I am actually very lucky that we don't have many problems because I KNOW my coop isn't as secure as I'd like it to be. If a raccoon really wanted to get in, he could get in- with ease. But I guess with the coyote population around my area, we just don't have raccoons. We have foxes, but they haven't even tried (neither have coyotes). I think they are over at the neighbor's all the time getting their chickens because they are a lot easier to access over there than here.. Anyway, What I'm saying is that I think your coop is looking pretty satisfactory!
 

trsturself

Songster
6 Years
Mar 24, 2013
1,702
226
163
Elizabeth, CO
We have that same flooring too. Your coop seems better than mine. Ours is just 1/4" plywood. No insulation. No drafts either though. My birds seem fine and come running out when we open it in the morning.
 

Dnetschke

Songster
7 Years
Dec 19, 2012
712
23
108
Berthoud, CO
Greetings all, 

My name is Connie and I'm in Loveland, CO. Been here for 8.5 years, before that, Montrose for 18, and grew up a hippie kid in Boulder etc. 

I've had chickens most of my adult life, but for a chicken-less stint of 10 years. We moved to this house in  September of 2012, chickens added spring of 2013. We then lost half our birds in the Big Flood. 30+ inches of water on our whole place. Lots of damage to shop and grounds - minimal overall to the house. Thankfully we had flood insurance, but that didn't help the trauma!

We are mostly back together now, thankfully. I have recently been enlightened about breeder/ show quality birds, and found a flock of Blue Laced Red Wyandottes, that I now own. They are 2-4 years old and I'm hoping to get lots of eggs this spring. Sue Sterling lines.  I'm also interested in Blues/Blacks/Splash - Blue Wyandottes and just had a shipment of 10 chicks in from Nittany Wyandottes. They are pretty little babies!

I'll be adding from 3 good breeders of BLR's in the next month, 10 chicks each, so I'll have a good group to start with. I used to show top quality Alpine and Oberhasli goats, horses, rabbits, and am currently showing 2 mini dachshunds. Why I didn't do SQ chickens before is beyond me. Maybe 'cause I was raising children? My hubby and I have 11 - 7 mine, 3 his, one ours. Last one is almost 17 and I can hardly believe that.

I have a small mixed flock of hatchery birds, that I'll phase out eventually, but they are flood survivors.. Plus I had ordered the rare pullet mix from McMurray's - 50 and only 15 survived, gah! Not replacing them but going to focus on the wyandottes - oh and maybe some top Ameraucanas. :)

Since it's been so cold, I've been doing a LOT of reading here. Just got caught up with the last months or so of this thread. Good reading!

I have 1.35 acres with a 60x40 fenced garden. I'll be starting plants next week and am planning on growing LOTS of flowers this year. I live on a busy street and hope to sell some flowers and eggs. 

Good to be here! 

Connie - who needs to figure out how to add a signature.
Welcome to the Colorado thread. I'm in Berthoud.
 

Dnetschke

Songster
7 Years
Dec 19, 2012
712
23
108
Berthoud, CO
Did my last candle yesterday. Filled up both water areas and now I'm in the lockdown. Hopefully I'll get a pair or 3 out of this run. :fl
OK guys and gals,
Early birds out and I have one more piping right now.
Question
1-how long should I leave the early bird in the incubator.
2-how long till I step in to help the one piping?
3- hire long overall till I call it quits on the other eggs?
 

Pozees

Songster
7 Years
Jul 8, 2012
3,535
202
218
Pueblo, CO
Quote: 1 - they can stay in the incubator 24-48 hours post-hatch, I usually wait until they are pretty dry and fluffy and up on their feet - which most often doesn't take more than 12 hours - unless there are active pips/zips. If chicks are really dry and you are past 24 hours since hatch, especially if they are responding to you approaching and peering in with a light by excitedly peeping as if they are looking for food and water, then they will have to go to the brooder no matter what, so you can load a spray bottle with very warm water or point a misting humidifier at the opening point of the incubator, remove the chicks gently and close it back up - it really helps to have a second person there to take the chicks as you remove them. If they are bantams or hatched from pullet eggs I would not wait more than 24 hours, they usually need food and water sooner.

2 - I rarely help - if a chick does not have the strength to get hatched it probably isn't going to live - but - if it is very expensive or rare or you have a child or spouse pleading with you to help, you should not help until it has been at LEAST 12 hours since pip, closer to 24. They sometimes rest a long time from pip to zip. They need to push free of the shell on their own. If you have had dips in humidity that may have cause the membrane to dry out (shrink-wrapping) you can use a spray bottle or q-tip (my preference) to moisten the membrane you can see, and wait 30 minutes.

If the chick is moving but doesn't seem to be getting anywhere after that (a hatching chick has to be able to rotate itself around the inside of the fat end of the egg, chipping away at the hard outer shell and piercing the inner membrane in the process, if the membrane dries and they can't turn, they can't hatch), steam up the bathroom, wring out a hot washcloth, remove the egg from the incubator quickly and bring into the bathroom cradled in the wash cloth, and chip off pieces of shell around the pip hole to try and find more dry membrane which you can then moisten. If you see blood, stop and return the egg to the incubator. I don't mean a dot, I mean bleeding - the membrane has blood vessels that have to receded and close off before the chick can finish hatching, and sometimes they will pip because they need fresh air and then rest while the blood vessels close off and the yolk finishes absorbing.

3 - The absolute longest I've waited was day 25. After you remove chicks from the incubator candle the other eggs. If you see movement there is still a chance they will hatch. I personally don't wait past day 22 anymore unless I see a really active chick internally pipped. I don't want to perpetuate chicks that don't hatch in 21 days, whether for my own future breeding or someone else's. I know how heartless this may sound, but I consider it part of the selection process mother nature would have made had a hen hatched the eggs - she will not stay on the nest more than 2 days after chicks start to hatch, they need to eat and drink. I will let the incubator run another 12 hours if I see activity. What I have seen occasionally is a chick moving but can't hatch, for whatever reason, and it dies without externally pipping. Whether this is a nutritional deficiency or genetic weakness I cannot know. Most of the time, what is going to hatch will have at least pipped externally by Day 21 if the incubator temperature has been correct and if all eggs were set together.

Not one person who has taken the plunge and hatched chicks in an incubator has had a problem-free, uncertainty-free hatch at this elevation. That you are getting chicks to hatch is wonderful news!
 
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