First time backyard chicken-keeper! Excited + picture of my new chickie-babies!

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by MisfitMarie, Oct 20, 2014.

  1. MisfitMarie

    MisfitMarie Songster

    Oct 20, 2014
    Portland, OR
    Hello, everyone!

    After quite some time researching backyard chicken-keeping, I decided to take the plunge! I'm twenty-seven, and this is my first time caring for chickens on my own; however, I did have them for about twelve years in my youth. Despite the fact that roosters are technically "allowed" in my area, I do live in a tight neighborhood and decided to pass on having a rooster (wouldn't want to bother anyone with the crowing) and brought six hens home instead. I bought them from a local feed store. They were labeled as "Ameraucanas", but I am assuming that they are, in fact, Easter Eggers... which is completely fine by me. Admittedly, I'm just interested in the colored eggs after growing up around a large variety of brown-egg-layers. =)

    I'll be having a chickie-baby photo shoot later this evening and will be posting pictures of the six little ladies. I tried to select chicks with specific markings to tell them apart. Here is a decent picture that I happen to already have:


    *Since this picture was taken, they have been moved to a much larger tote, and their water has been raised up slightly.

    Top left is Goldielocks (pretty blonde coloring). Directly behind her, to the right, is Eve.

    Bottom left is Speckles (has a speckled face).
    To her right (pretty soft brown coloring) is Tinkerbell. She is the bossiest and also the bravest (first one to run up to me).
    To her right is Baby Rae.
    And far bottom right is Muffin.

    A quick concern: Poor planning on my part. My chickies will be about two months old in the MIDDLE of winter. I live in the Southeast part of Washington State, where freezing temperatures and snow are not uncommon but also not "extreme". Should this be a concern when it comes to moving my hens outside? What can I do to make sure I am well-prepared, and they stay safe from the temperatures?

    I hope you like my cuties, and I'd like to hear about your own as well! I've been wanting to do this for a long time.
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2014
  2. liz9910

    liz9910 Crowing

    Apr 8, 2012
    Northern California
    [​IMG] when they are fully feathered, as long as you have a coop that is well protected from the elements I think they should be fine. Draft free but ventilated. Have you checked out our Learning Center yet? It is very helpful:
  3. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Bird is the Word

    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    Hello there and welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    Oh they are adorable! I can tell you love them very much!

    You can slowly acclimate them to the outside temps over time. When they are fully feathered at about 6 weeks old, if you have an attached garage you can move them out there with a heat lamp. Work them down just as you did inside the brooder until you are down to the garage temp. You can lower the temp by 8 or so degrees instead of 5 each week. Then once you get them down near freezing, move them to the coop. Keep the heat lamp with them for nights only and work them down more 8 or so degrees each week. Sounds like a lot of work, but you can do it. You don't want to shock them to cold temps. So slowly work them down by 8 or so degrees in various areas depending on how warm these areas are until they can tolerate your outdoor temps. Go slowly. May take all winter, LOL, but eventually they should do well in cold temps. Once you get down near freezing, you don't have to monitor the temp. Just have the light out there so they can use it if they want to or not. You may find they harden up quicker than you think.

    Good luck with your new babies and welcome to our flock!
  4. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Crowing

    May 14, 2014
    Welcome to BYC. Glad you decided to join our flock. Congratulations on the new chicks. They are adorable, and yes, you are correct, they are Easter Eggers. Our Easter Eggers are my granddaughter's (pictured in my avatar) favorite chickens. She loves their colored eggs. I love the names of your chicks. My granddaughter names our hens after Disney princesses. Please feel free to ask any questions you may have. We are here to help in any way we can. Good luck in getting lots of different colored eggs.
  5. ProviderEx

    ProviderEx In the Brooder

    Aug 27, 2014
    Hello and welcome Marie.

    I am also new to this whole chicken thing. My first post is HERE if you want to see it.
    From what I have read, chickens can handle pretty cold temperatures. In fact they handle cold better than hot.
    I'm sure one of the experts will chime in and give you great advice shortly.
  6. TaraBellaBirds

    TaraBellaBirds Songster

    Jul 13, 2013
    SW Kansas
    New chicks are such fun. Let us know breeds as you post pics later! You'll love your EE's, I have both EE's and Ameraucana's they each have their merits.
    As for cold I am sure they will be fine but if you are worried you can get a heat lamp for added warmth especially in transitioning.
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2014
  7. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Crowing

    Jul 24, 2013
    Welcome to BYC! [​IMG]We're glad to have you. If you have any questions, feel free to ask!
  8. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Crowing

    Jul 24, 2013
    [​IMG] Glad you joined us!

    Feel free to ask lots of questions! We're all here to help. [​IMG]
  9. N F C

    N F C snowing & blowing

    Dec 12, 2013
    Welcome to BYC and congrats on the new little ladies! [​IMG]
  10. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Crowing

    May 14, 2014
    I meant to answer this part of your post earlier and somehow missed doing it. Your EEs will be fine in the winter as long as your coop is well-ventilated to keep moisture from building up and dipping from the ceiling, is draft free, and moisture free. EEs are cold hardy, and their feathers are excellent insulators. Moisture is a much greater danger to their health than cold.

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