Greetings From Montana- Noob Here

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by BassSurfer46, Mar 7, 2016.

  1. BassSurfer46

    BassSurfer46 New Egg

    Mar 3, 2016
    Not a noob to chickens, just a new guy here on the site.

    I live in Hamilton, Montana, which in itself is a long story, with which I shall not bore anybody unless they ask.

    Suffice it to say that I wish I'd moved here 50 years ago. I am married/widowed/married again, three surviving kids and four step kids. None of the children - hers or mine - live here and only my now oldest son live in Montana, but I haven't heard or seen him for over a year.

    (Don't ask - it's family dynamics whereas: when you see the new baby the first time you tell it that you love it and until something changes that opinion it doesn't have to be repeated again. Yeah - that's got 'wrong' all over it, but that's the way my family was.)

    I'm retired since 2004, and I've gotten back seriously into music again after a 47+ year hiatus.

    I play bass - I build basses and I am also an accomplished guitar and harmonica player. I can hold my own the best with a bass though.

    Last place of (poor) choice for residence was Anza, California - poor because of the bad air that was quickly killing me. Now that I'm in clean air, I'll die* a little slower.

    * I've lost a lot of lung capacity from Agent Orange, non-recreational chemicals I got into when I was younger and much more bulletproof. Solvents and paints and oils and fuels and brake fluid, asbestos, all sorts of carcinogens, and exhaust from diesels and nitro-methanol fuels.

    Anyway - I've settled IN here finally and it's about time to add some chickens. I just got back yesterday from a local feed store that had an open house - free food (the biggest interest was there) - and surprise! - two chicken "experts" who told me some interesting things, some things that I do not believe at all and the rest is questionable.

    I was interested in some Sex Links - and they asked me what they were. OK - now that kinda threw me.

    ON to food quality - they said that the highest protein percentage in the high protein feeds was a little over 18% and that scratch is a full-bodied food for all your chickens, 24/7.

    See where I'm at here? I don't believe that these experts knew anything about chickens, what to feed them or if they need to be planted head down - or feet down.

    I guess it's on the McMurrey (sp?) and order chicks by mail.

    Here's my dilemma -- will Sex Links winter over pretty well - it gets cold here. The first year we were here we hit -15F for a week, not so bad the next winter, but there have been slips into the SUBs a few times for the past few winters although snow is in the "becoming to be in very short supply" category ever succeeding year.

    Having been a SoCal resident since 1962, and only been above the 46th parallel since November 2011, I wonder what the best bird for survival factors in these cold - not necessarily snowy - winters would be.

    For the record, I've raised Cochins, Reds and some Barreds, a lot of Polish (I know - they are too frail for winters here rats!), some Sex Links, a bunch of Australorps, lots of Araucanas, and Jersey Giants, all in Southern California (SoCal).

    Now, I know the JGs - which I want a lot - are going to take a long time to mature, but if I had some other earlier egg layers, then that's OK.

    Again, my concern is with the cold winters and I'm looking for input on a heavy breed, small combs/wattles/caruncles and 1-a-days,

    We have eagles and lots of red tails around here and a gaggle of owls too. There's an occasional red fox and I saw a single Canadian Wolf a few years ago. I knew he was a Canadian Wolf because he barked with a Canadian accent.

    I expect to have the cage run totally screened with 1-inch mesh to keep other wild birds out for sanitation reasons.

    So - is there anyone with an idea on how'd they do it if they lived here?

    Oh --- an' Hello from Montana.
  2. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Flockless Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    Hi, welcome to BYC and many thanks for the intro.

    I'm allergic to cold weather, so I know zilch about cold weather hardy breeds. If you check out your state thread ( you are sure to meet other BYC members near you who can give you some advice.

    All the best
  3. BantamFan4Life

    BantamFan4Life LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO. Premium Member

    Jun 15, 2012
    Welcome to BYC! I'm glad you joined us! :)
  4. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    Hope things go well for you. Actually 1/2" hardware cloth, securely attached to frame, is considered the gold standard for chicken fencing. Cost more, lasts much longer, cannot be torn through like flimsy poultry wire. It can keep most predators out - maybe not wolves (have never seen them) and certainly not Bears. Bears come and go as they please.

    One person chased them off with fire crackers, after a few sessions, they avoided her farm like a plague.

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