Glad to be here

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by myersfarms, Oct 13, 2012.

  1. myersfarms

    myersfarms New Egg

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    Oct 13, 2012
    Good morning! I'm so glad to have found this forum! My husband and I bought our dream acreage this summer and we purchased chickens right away [​IMG]. We have done some reading on raising chickens and also got a lot of information from the people we bought them from. So far, so good. We have had one problem with one of our chickens eating the eggs, hopefully we took care of that. But now we are wondering how to care for them in the winter. We read that egg production decreases and some stop all together, and that we should keep them warm and dry and hope for the best. Is there anything else we should know about caring for them in the winter?
    Thanks!
     
  2. mickey328

    mickey328 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Welcome to BYC...glad to have you aboard! I'm jealous...we're still working on getting our dream acreage :)

    Chickens, except for some of the tropical breeds, are generally very cold tolerant. Their feathers are excellent insulation. The main thing is to keep them out of drafts. The coop needs good ventilation, even (maybe especially) in winter to keep the condensation out. Just make sure the airflow is over their heads when they're on the roost.

    When the days shorten, it triggers their bodies to slow down production of eggs so more of their nutrition goes into maintaining their bodies. You can add supplemental light to keep production up if you like, or just let nature take its course. We've noticed a drop from about 5 eggs a day to 3 or 4, and we feel if's just fine...we don't eat that many so we have enough for our own use and some to give away as well...just not quite as many.

    You didn't mention where you're located and what kind of winter weather to expect. In most cases, you won't need any supplemental heat as long as it's not drafty and they have good litter. If it freezes, keeping the water liquid can be an issue, but otherwise you just need to make sure they have a snug place to sleep and plenty of high quality food.
     
  3. myersfarms

    myersfarms New Egg

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    Oct 13, 2012
    Thank you for the feedback. We have two lights in their coop and a radio, all on a timer. They come on at 6am and out at 9pm. We live in Iowa, so we get some cold, wintery weather! We have insulated the coop, which is located in a shed. They also have a penned run. We have 19 hens a couple of years old and 2 roosters. We also have 7 chicks, about 3 months old, so we have 28 all together. We do plan on purchasing a heated water feeder within the next month We thought they should probably keep each other warm, but weren't sure if we needed to: 1. incorporate some kind of additional heat, 2. add anything to their food, and 3. do they need to go outside in the winter - is it bad to keep them in the coop all winter long?
     
  4. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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  5. myersfarms

    myersfarms New Egg

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    Oct 13, 2012
    thank you so much
     
  6. mickey328

    mickey328 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Just my take on it, but I don't like to see chickens "cooped up" LOL. If the door's open most will go in if they want to but I think most prefer to be outside as much as they can. I wouldn't use the extra light at night though...when it just suddenly goes dark they often can't find their way back in. At dusk, when they get so they aren't seeing very well, they will usually put themselves to bed. I recommend, if you're wanting to extend their light, just have it come on in the morning. I know several folks who did it at night and the girls just stayed in the run...they're all but blind in the dark so when it goes from light to dark, they can't see to find the entrance.
     
  7. jbirds2012

    jbirds2012 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG]
     
  8. Kevin565

    Kevin565 Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    [​IMG]
     
  9. aaabirdman

    aaabirdman Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Welcome to BYC
     
  10. Big A Chickens

    Big A Chickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 29, 2012
    Palmetto, Georgia
    Hi and [​IMG] So glad you joined us!!!![​IMG]
     

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