giving chickens away


8 Years
Jan 8, 2012
Okay. This is my first post and I have a few things I'm dealing with. I'm going to post them all here. PS. This is my first year with chickens and I'm loving it. They're easy to maintain and a blast to watch.

1. I have 6 chicks (Plymouth Rock) that I've been letting free range. They free range about 4 - 5 properties down from my house (no one seems to mind too much and I give them free eggs anyway). I'm thinking about giving 3 of the chickens to a neighbor (2 doors down). He wants them. The only issue is that the chickens know where they live and I assume that they would travel back to their home coop at night. I'm thinking that one way to get them to learn their new home is have them fenced in at their new home for a while. Any other thoughts?

2. What about cold weather. My chickens live near Buffalo, NY and the winters get pretty cold. We've had single digits a few nights here and I've been concerned that it's been too cold. I have a 40 watt bulb in the coop and have used it on days when the weather was cold and windy. I haven't had it on at night so that I don't disturb their sleep. What does everyone suggest?

3. Coop cleaning. I started out cleaning every two weeks then I heard that was too much. What do y'all suggest for the winter. The coop is small 4' X 6' and I use straw and pine chips for bedding. There's a lot of poop in there, but I skim off the droppings and replenish some of the chips every two weeks. Do I need to do a full cleaning during the winter, or can I wait till early March?

That's about it for now. I will be replenishing the 3 chicks with 3 Barred Plymouth Rocks. The ones I have now are white. They're great chickens and lay well during the winter. We're averaging 4 - 6 eggs per day. I was totally surprised.

All for now.
1) It sounds like you have the makings of a neighborhood flock. What do your "in-between" neighbors think about the chickens?
2) If their coop protects them from drafts while they roost they'll be fine. I'm sure they appreciate the heat, but theyt might not need it.
3) I do as you described (skimming, adding). Works well for me. My goal is to keep the interior humidity low.

Aw, sheesh. Sorry for being rude, not saying
This is a great site, I hope you find all of your answers here. I have!
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Thanks. The neighbors all seem to enjoy watching the chickens even if their yards get some droppings. This is a great forum for learning about raising chickens. I'll post some pictures of my ladies soon and a pic of my coop. Stole the design idea from this website. The coop is pretty well draft free as it is wrapped in Tyvek. It's a chicken tractor with a run made from pvc. My father-in-law helped me build it and my neighbor chipped in when it came time to siding the coop - shake shingle.
Welcome to BYC!

1) Yes, I would recommend keeping them cooped in their new home for a few days, then let out for supervised free-ranging nearby for a few days, then "escorted" to their new coop at night for a few days. They'll figure it out eventually.

2) No comment from a desert dweller.

3) I don't know if you've looked into the deep litter method, but it works for me. One coop cleaning a year in Spring. I just turn the litter occasionally and add a few inches of fresh pine shavings. Smells like pine and feathers in there

Good luck, and again, welcome!

Cold here too. As long as your coop is draft-free with good air exchange and no excess humidity they will be fine without supplemental heat. Frostbite is more of a danger in a high-humidity environment, so make sure your bedding is not excessively moist. I also use deep bed method and do pretty much what the previous poster said, cleaning once yearly in the spring. Here is a link to the deep-bed thread<br><br>
Keep in mind your area is where the different Rocks were developed, way before there were heated coops. They were selectively bred to be able to tolerate those temps, and have for hundreds of years. As long as they can be dry, ventillated but not windy, they'll thrive.
I've not raised chickens in cold climates, i'm in texas and the lowest it's gotten since i've had chickens was around 13 degrees and that only lasted a day or 2. Although my grandparents and greatgrandparents keep chickens in minnesota and I never noticed any kind of heat in the coop, just lights in the winter to help with eggs. Now they didn't have 5 or 10, they had LOTS and I imagine a bunch of chickens in a pile generates some heat.

I'm sure some breeds may be different than others, when I got my bantams I keep them in a pretty open air coop, wire bottom with a roof and plywood sides.....draft city. I called my dad when it got concerned about the weather getting cold for my little chickens...he laughed at me and told me how he had banty's when he was a kid and they prefered to sleep in a snowbank to the coop.

The most important thing with birds in the winter is food and water.

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