1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

!Hey Alaskans!

Discussion in 'Where am I? Where are you!' started by alaskan_crew, Jun 7, 2007.

  1. alaskan_crew

    alaskan_crew Chillin' With My Peeps

    132
    0
    129
    Jun 5, 2007
    Wasilla, AK
    Hi there to all you Alaskans!

    I'm out here in the Valley and have a few questions on raising layers. 1st of all, can anyone post some pics of their AK coop so I can see how to make mine winter proof?

    Also any suggestions on when to supplement light and how long? Will a regular light bulb in the box provide warmth in the winter? Is it safe to put a light in the box?

    Does anyone here have layers that lay all thru winter? Tips on preventing frozen eggs?

    I know it seems like winter just ended but I also know how quickly it seems to return! Just want to make sure I'm protecting my new Golden Comets.

    Thanks in advance for your tips! Hope some of u can post pics!
     
  2. AK-Bird-brain

    AK-Bird-brain I gots Duckies!

    May 7, 2007
    Sterling, Alaska
    I'll ask my wife to post some pics, were currently in the middle of a coup remodel. Decided to double the size of their fenced run to give them more room. also giving them a new 8x10 covered area (last winter they didnt care to walk in the snow, and I dont care to shovel them out every time it snow's.
    were down on the kenai peninsula.
    as for weather proofing, use foam board not fiberglass insulation. be sure to cover it or they will pick it apart and eat themselfs out of house and home.
    We use a timmer for the lights (1 white heat lamp, and 1 red heat lamp) the white is set to turn on about 7 am and off at 7 pm the red kicks on at 7pm and off at 7am. the red light is over their perch and the white is near their food and water. the white light also keeps their water from freezing.
    We check for eggs at least 3 times a day, before work after work and before bedtime. best way to prevent frozen eggs is to check often and keep the coup above 32. we have 16 girls 13 layers and 3 banties. we get between 5 and 12 eggs a day even in the winter.
    Good luck, were not experts but were willing to share what has and hasnt worked for us.
     
  3. alaskan_crew

    alaskan_crew Chillin' With My Peeps

    132
    0
    129
    Jun 5, 2007
    Wasilla, AK
    Thanks for posting Ak-Bird-Brain!

    Not sure if I have done this right...but I just have a coop and nesting box w/perch NO run. Should I make one?

    Also, do layers lay at any ol' time of the day? I was thinking just in the a.m. If I use just one red heat lamp, does that count as a supplemental light source in the winter?

    I hope your wife will be able to post some pics!!

    Thanks again!
     
  4. AK-Bird-brain

    AK-Bird-brain I gots Duckies!

    May 7, 2007
    Sterling, Alaska
    We get the most eggs between 10 and 3 and sometimes we'll get one as late as 9pm.
    We also started out with no run but have found that the more room they have the happier they are and the happier they are the more eggs they lay.
    I'm not sure if only 1 red lamp would count. if you had 1 lamp lit 24 hours for heat they wouldnt get the periods of light and darkness they need to stimulate their egg laying.
     
  5. AK-Bird-brain

    AK-Bird-brain I gots Duckies!

    May 7, 2007
    Sterling, Alaska
    AK-Bird-Brain-Wife here... with some photos of the chicken coop and the insulation. The coop is built 2" R-19 foam board sandwiched between two sheets of 1/2" plywood (the floor is 3/4"). My DH wired it for lights/heat, and I keep two to three heat lamps in there during the winter. He may have said this before, but I keep one red one on all the time aimed at the water to keep it from freezing. Then there is another red and one white one, on timers, for the hens. The white one is on during the "day", and the red one is on at night, to help simulate more equalized daylight hours. There's about an hour overlap, so they get a little extra heat early in the morning when it's the coldest.
    We just replaced the original roofing with zinc/aluminum sheeting to help with snow removal. Here's the coop before:
    [​IMG]
    We used the "metallic bubblewrap" to insulate the ceiling, which helps keep it cooler in the summer (it was like a greenhouse before) and warmer in the winter.
    [​IMG]
    We have a wireless sensor that transmits the inside temperature to a base we have indoors so I can monitor the temps for my girls.
    Then, in the middle of the winter, DH created a sort of awning out of the same metallic bubblewrap, and we suspended the heat lamps under it. It "lowered" the ceiling and trapped the heat in there closer to the chicken's roosts and nest boxes. [​IMG]
    I don't have a picture of that, since it's down right now... sorry. As you can see, we had a little moisture/mildew problem with the original design (I tagged it with bleach water) but now there's hardly any buildup at all.

    Here's a picture of the expansion in progress.
    [​IMG]
    We're adding a covered outdoor area to give the chickens more snow-free area (and hopefully less muddy!) and more than doubling the size of the run. We're thinking of keeping them compartmentalized, though, so we can segregate aggressive hens, or ones that aren't well if we need to. As it gets colder and we start adding back the insulation and heat sources, we'll add more photos. Hope this helps!

    Oh, and we actually get eggs at all hours. I've gone out at 8am and found new eggs, and as late as 10pm. And since they're all different sizes and colors, I know that particular hens don't always lay at the same time each day. I can say that I find the majority of them in the early afternoon, though. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2007
  6. alaskan_crew

    alaskan_crew Chillin' With My Peeps

    132
    0
    129
    Jun 5, 2007
    Wasilla, AK
    Wow, thanks so much for taking the time to take and post the pics Ak-Bird-Brain(s)!!

    I showed my husband and we are going to do some major reconstruction! What temp do you guys maintain in the coop during winter? Also, what type of layers do you have? If I add 2 more girls, would it really be that beneficial to keeping all hens warm in the winter?
    I really like brown eggs and was told that G.C.'s are very cold hardy. Do you know of other brown egg layers that would mix well with my pullets?

    One other question..is it unheard of for a hen to lay more than one egg a day?

    Ok, one MORE question..I paid $7.50 for each of my pullets...is this about avg?

    Thanks again guys! I look forward to your posts!
     
  7. AK-Bird-brain

    AK-Bird-brain I gots Duckies!

    May 7, 2007
    Sterling, Alaska
    Quote:Mrs. AKBB here again. [​IMG] You're welcome... glad to help! Most of the girls are cold-hardy, so anything above freezing is good, but I try to keep the coop between 55 & 65F. There's a doubled-up towel over the doorway so they can go in and out as they please and not let in too much cold. I didn't have any frostbite on any of my original birds, but we adopted a sebright bantam that lost all of her toes because she didn't have any place to warm up at her old home. The hens surprised me by the amount of time they spent outside in the cold and snow, but as long as they have a place to go to warm up and room to move, they're happy.
    I have barred rocks, a light brahma, and a black australorp which are all cold-hardy (tiny rose-combs) and lay beautiful brown eggs. I have two auracanas which lay green eggs, but not so consistently. The brahma is the only one that hasn't gone broody on me yet. I also have a White Leghorn that survived really well, but I kept an eye on her comb for signs of frostbite. Those big combs are susceptible, and I've heard that vaseline helps protect them, though I haven't had to try it yet.
    It is not unheard of to get more than one egg a day from a hen, but not common, from what I've heard.
    Hmm, I just paid $1.99 each for bantam chicks, and $1.89 for a White Leghorn pullet at CadRe Feeds in Soldotna. Now, either you have some super-duper high quality pullets, or they're a fancy breed, I don't know which. Either that or they're just "cheeper" down here. [​IMG]
    I just have to share pics of our newest babies...
    [​IMG]"Elvis"
    [​IMG]Little "Yet to be named"
    I have a small brooder box that I made up on the wall inside the coop.
    [​IMG]
    The brooder box is on the wall opposite the nests, near the water and food and grit. There's a drop-pan underneath so the droppings don't land in the food. That's Buffy, my Buff Orpington (also an excellent brown layer) and Flair, one of the Auracanas, at the watering can. I have a heat lamp that clips on that shelf and is trained on the can to keep it from freezing in the winter. [​IMG]
    If you're ever on the peninsula, give us a shout out and you can check it out in person if you want.

    P.S. The coop itself is 8x8", with 10 nests and a dropping pit (that's a whole 'nuther post!), and it kept 17 girls happy. They tend to lay in the top nests, but I'm not sure if that's because it's warmer, or just out of the way.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2007
  8. alaskan_crew

    alaskan_crew Chillin' With My Peeps

    132
    0
    129
    Jun 5, 2007
    Wasilla, AK
    Hi there Ak-Bird-Brains!

    I love the pic's of the chics! Soo cute. I'm thinking that my girls were probably just over priced or something! Maybe, I'll post an inquiry for some cheeper (ha-ha!) pullets located out here in the Valley! I like the looks of Buffy so maybe I'll get 2 of those or I also like the look of Barred Rocks. Do I need to worry about fighting during the intro?

    We just picked up some free OSB board from Craigslist so we can begin a "real" Ak house. Thinking about calling it "the Omelet House"! Anyways, we have it built totally wrong! It is mostly posts w/chicken wire walls and only 2 walls of siding. I know now that this is not going to do for winter!

    We plan to hit the 1st run of Reds on the Russian and later maybe book a charter out of Homer for the halibut and try to hit a few clam tides out that way as well...so maybe between all of that we can stop by. I'll post ya if we can make a quick visit! Thanks for the invite!

    I love the pic's and I look forward to seeing more as you can post them!! Thanks!!
     
  9. AK-Bird-brain

    AK-Bird-brain I gots Duckies!

    May 7, 2007
    Sterling, Alaska
    Mrs. AKBB here...
    Well, we got the new enclosure finished this weekend. Not without bumps and bruises, etc., but we did it!
    [​IMG]
    The hens are happily destroying the new yard. [​IMG] But there hasn't been nearly as much squawking and pecking today as there has been!
    [​IMG]
    They're happy!
    We decided to put the old roofing material (clear corrugated sheeting) along the left side of the covered enclosure as a wind-break. It actually keeps it quite warm in there. DH added wire for an electric fence, to keep out neighbor dogs, and hopefully discourage further bear activity.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2007
  10. Laurieks

    Laurieks Where did the time go???

    948
    3
    138
    Aug 14, 2009
    Sonoma County, CA
    2007?
    I coulda sworn there was an Alaskans thread, but now I can't find it, so am bumping this one.

    This is a long shot but I have to try: Can anyone direct me to a someone not too corporate who can send me smoked salmon?

    Thanks!

    Laurie
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by