Hello and thank you!

Colorado Chick

5 Years
Sep 27, 2014
Hi there, I am Colorado Chick, and have my first set of Buff Orpingtons. The three girls i have are Henny Penny (After the childhood story), Buttercup (After the movie character in Princess Bride), and Pixie (after my niece). I first found BYC about 7 or 8 months ago to learn about the breed that i wanted. A post here https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/buff-orpingtons-chicken-breed-information-pictures sold me especially with the scarlett johansson line. that made me laugh. But after reading about the breed and comparing it to what i have to offer in the yard, they are what i chose. And i tell you i couldn't be happier with them. Those girls can make me laugh! My husband and i are very into birds, he has his master falconry license, so a wide variety of hawks and falcons have been under our roof. We used to race pigeons, i have parakeets, so birds are always in our life. We love feeding wild birds, and dont worry, the chickens will be kept away from the hawks :).
This website has been a great help, i visit it as often as i can to research how best to take care of my girls. I am very very very into giving my animals the best feed/nutrition that i can, so i have been researching feeds here. I am also preparing my coop for winter, and am researching heated waterers, etc. I spent this afternoon enjoying the sun while reading this website, with the dogs calmy chewing on bones next to me. The chickens were safely tucked in their yard :)
i will post pictures of my set up for the chickens as soon as i can, i just got my camera working again tonight. I look forward to any and all advice you may have. especially when i post pics so you can see my set up, and the chickens themselves, so you can give opinions on their health. Thank you all for the things that i learned while "Lurking" on this website. I look forward to all that i will learn in the future!
Sounds like you know birds! And yes, photos would be great. :) We like sharing photos.
that is a beautiful bird! and i love your tag at the end. Thank you very much. Yes we do have a good grasp on birds, but still each individual species can teach you more and more. I know that feather condition and scale condition on the legs are essential on most birds, but i know nothing about comb health, and how and what signs to check for in chickens. ill get the pics tomorrow, all i have for now is my avatar. Ill try for a better one of that too :)
that is a beautiful bird! and i love your tag at the end. Thank you very much. Yes we do have a good grasp on birds, but still each individual species can teach you more and more. I know that feather condition and scale condition on the legs are essential on most birds, but i know nothing about comb health, and how and what signs to check for in chickens. ill get the pics tomorrow, all i have for now is my avatar. Ill try for a better one of that too :)

You are in Colorado..so..cold winter. A great thing that works for a chicken's comb and wattles from freezing..Vaseline. :) I am in Utah, I also use a heat lamp. You will get a lot of different opinions on that one..but, my girls are happy with the warmth once it hits down around 30, I put the heat lamp in.
And, thank you for the compliment. :)
Yes i did read one of the threads where a lot of people have a lot of views. I do have heat lamps, but i am going to see how it goes without them first. I know that BO's are tough, as birds in general are tough. I am going to do a lot of other things first, for example high protein feeds, wind protection, and the best nesting materials/insulation i can find (Cant use hay because of the hawk). I have experienced with other birds and animals that temperature changes from their coop/house to the outside can cause colds. My coop is super small, so i think that they will be ok. They are tucked in-between buildings, and a dense garden and fence, so they are pretty good when it comes to the wind. Do you think i will need to create an area that will be free from snow for them? i may be able to rig something up with a tarp if so.
Welcome to BYC. After you posted the link on BO.s & Scarlet Johannson I had to go and check it out. Very well written review. My friend had a Buff Orp. she was crazy about. It used to perch on her shoe and liked her to swing her foot back and forth. She kept saying how big it was getting and then it crowed. Holly had to find a new home.

If you put "swimming hens." in the search box, you should uncover a great set of pictures of a lady, her daughters and swimming buff orpingtons - no joke, in a pool.
Welcome to BYC. Glad you decided to join our flock. You have some very cute names for your chickens. My granddaughter (pictured in my avatar) names our hens after Disney Princesses. I've raised Buff Orpingtons for years and they are a wonderful breed; very friendly and gentle, and (good in your case) very cold hardy. I don't recommend using heat lamps as they too often seem to cause fires in some way or another. Feathers are wonderful insulators so as long as your coop is draft free with good ventilation and dry, your BOs should be fine. Moisture is a greater enemy than cold. Please feel free to ask any questions you may have. We are here to help in any way we can. Good luck with your BOs.
Hello there and welcome to BYC!

So glad you could join our community! Great that your husband has his master falconry license! I fell in love with these falcons years ago while seeing a demonstration on how they are trained and used. Love it!

Your Buff Orps will not need a heat lamp. Chickens can adapt to the coldest of temps if allowed to acclimate to the fall and early winter temps. There are members here on BYC from Alaska that are keeping chickens through Minus 40 degree temps on a regular basis. They have no insulation in the coop, no electricity, none of it. The most important factor in keeping your birds warm in the winter is good ventilation. You want to keep your birds roosting low to the floor in quiet air and 1 square foot of vent space per bird in the eaves of your roof. While your chickens are sleeping, there is a lot of moisture building up from all the pooping and the breathing. This warm moist air needs to go somewhere. With good venting, it will rise up and catch this positive air flow and go out the roof. With out good venting, this moist air is going to fall back down on them as water or frost causing the birds to be wet, chill and get frost bite. Keep your bedding clean and dry, remove all water at roosting time so you are not adding to the moisture in the coop. Dry drier driest. The birds themselves omit heat. So as they all snuggle up together, there is a nice bubble of heat surrounding them. Just make sure to seal all cracks around the root bar to stop all drafts.

Never close off all venting even on the coldest of nights. If it is going to be a very windy night during the winter, you might close off a few of them to slow down the movement of air. But you still need this moist air to be whisked out of the coop.

Chickens need to get outside everyday in the winter. If your coop temp is too much warmer than the outside air, they will be stuck in the coop all winter. This will lead to all kinds of sickness and respiratory ailments.

If however, it is planning on getting down to 30 or 40 degrees lower than your AVERAGE over night low, then you can add a small heat lamp. So if your average over night low is 10 and it is planning on getting down to Minus 30, you might consider a heat lamp until the temps return back to normal over night lows. You are not trying to heat the coop, only add heat around the birds, bringing up the temp a few degrees. ALWAYS permenantly attach a heat lamp. Do not rely on the clamp as they can fall and cause a fire.

You can also tack an old towel to your roost bar in early winter. Chickens lose heat through the feet. So warm feet mean warmer birds.

So just let them adjust to your temps as fall turns to winter. Your birds will do just fine if you don't try to keep them indoors too much. Let them decide when they want to come back to the coop and they will appreciate it if you shovel paths in the snow so they can get out for some exercise on those snowy days.

Good luck on this new journey and enjoy all your flocks, hawks included!!! :)
I've had chickens for years..have used the heat lamps, they do really well..they come out in the day..yes, I do have tarps. They go in and out. I give them scratch under the tarp area so they can..play. :p I am not bragging, but...I have not had an upper respiratory illness in my flock for over 2 1/2 yrs. I really believe that is because I started hatching and keeping my own birds to watch that I would want to keep. Also, I do NOT allow other people that own chickens to walk in my chicken's area ... where they free range. No one goes past my gate, except family. No one in my family have chickens. :) The grand kids love the chickens. :)
thanks for the info. Especially about the feet. See hawks and pigeons are different when it comes to their feet, there is very little blood flow to the feet, so they are able to handle temperatures just fine, or more easily rather. So thanks for telling me that. My coop is super small, and based what i am learning, i didnt choose the best. But with a little touch here and there, it will be fine. It is basically a dog house with four nest boxes. No venting. The roof does lift off, so i can prop it open about an inch or so, which would allow enough air. Then weight it down so raccoons cant get in there. I will remove a portion of the floor where there arent nest boxes and put expanded metal. The air flow requirements for pigeons are even more so than what chickens require (Based on what i am reading) so i think we will be just fine. I do not have a roost bar in the coop, i didnt think of needing one in the winter when i bought this. Being that they all sleep together anyway on the bottom nests, i think i will temporarily remove the top nests (Which are removable anyway) and place a 2x4 across it. From what i understand it is best to place it with the 4 inches facing upwards? and also, when we use a smooth surfaced perch for any of our other birds, they can get what is called bumble foot, it is basically a dangerous sore that can develop from having to grip on smooth wood. Is that a concern with chickens? if it is, all i need to do is wrap the board in sisal rope.

Thank you all very much for the information and kindness. I joined a cat forum a while back seeking helping with a cat that was diagnosed with diabetes. NOT ONE RESPONSE. You are all like a different soaping forum that i am on, and you are so willing to help and very kind. And you didnt give me the cold shoulder when i mentioned falconry- so many people do that :) I look forward to seeing the progress of my girls with your help!
I had planned on posting pics today, wouldnt you know it, a storm rolled in and it hasnt stopped raining. I may be an extremist and get out there anyway!!!! :)

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