first time chick "mother"

1northbirdlady

Hatching
5 Years
Apr 11, 2014
7
0
7
This is my first time raising chickens, I thought I would jump in with both feet...2 light brahma pullets, 2 black australorps, 2 columbian wyandottes, 2, rhodes island reds, 1 buff orpington and 1 pearl white leg horn...they current reside in a stock water trough in the guest bedroom (it was due to be redone this year anyway). I got them March 26, 2014 and never knew they could be so entertaining and such wonderful stress relievers. I have MS and they are, for my piece of mind, great little therapists. I am building their coop at the end of the month (April) and it will be spacious and lots of room to roam around, 10'x10'. The run will be 40'x60' with a chicken garden (so they will not be in my Straw Bale Garden). I am concerned about installating the coop as we had a bad winter... for about a week it was -40 degrees. Also, we get some very hot days here in Montana's high desert...90s - 100s. If this happens again next winter, will this harm my girls? Our dog, Kol-A-Na, has decided these girls are her charges. She really gets upset in she hears them peeping. She just wants to help them but doesn't know how. Our 2 elderly Bengal cats have introduced themselves by sitting by the trough and mumbles at the chicks, who aren't particularly impressed. I hope I can really do this raising of chickens well.
 

Kelsie2290

Free Ranging
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Feb 18, 2011
36,684
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Hello :frow and Welcome To BYC! Congratulations on your new chicks, really nice assortment, sounds like you will have a very pretty colorful flock! You might like to check out the BYC Learning Center for starters, lots and lots of good articles on all aspects of chicken keeping you'll find helpful. https://www.backyardchickens.com/atype/1/Learning_Center Here was a nice thread from last winter with a lot of winterizing tips and things you can do coop wise https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/822765/winter-is-coming-checklists-tips-advice-for-a-newbie generally chickens are pretty cold hardy, and as long as they have plenty of ventilation and a draft free dry place to roost they do fine.
And it might be good to check out the Montana thread for chicken keeping neighbors and what advice they have for dealing with your weather https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/99679/montana
 

TwoCrows

🌻🐣🌻
Project Manager
Premium Feather Member
Mar 21, 2011
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Welcome to BYC!

I am so sorry you have MS. It must make it difficult to go about your day. But yes, chickens can be great therapy!! Chickens can survive some brutally cold temps as long as they are dry and out of drafts. And by dry I mean the moisture from the pooping and breathing needs to go somewhere and not fall back down as water or frost on the birds. So make sure to incorporate lots of venting in your eaves and have your birds roost low to the floor. So as the birds roost in relatively quiet air, the moist warm air will rise and get caught in this moving air near the vents and go right out the roof. I like to tack an old towel to the roost bar to keep the feet warm. Chickens loose heat out the feet. So warm feet mean warmer birds. You can always add some heat with heat lamps. Not enough to really heat anything or add heat to the coop, as you want them to be able to go outside even on the coldest of days. But just enough to keep them a tad warmer than they would be at -40 degrees. Just make sure to permanently attach your lamps to the wall or ceiling so they can't fall and start a fire. If you use heated dog water dishes for water, always set them on bricks or cement blocks and not directly on bedding so you don't start any fires.

You have a wonderful colorful flock! Definitely follow the link to the learning center that Kelsie has provided. Lots of great reads on all the aspects of raising your new brood. Welcome to our flock and enjoy this new adventure!
 

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