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How do more "social" breeds fare in NE winter?

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by Adenium, Jan 28, 2012.

  1. Adenium

    Adenium Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 28, 2012
    Connecticut
    Hi all,

    i've been reading here for a while as my husband and I are thinking about starting a backyard flock. He's in love with the look and described personality of Silkies, and we'd like to have 4-6 hens for 1) guilt-free eggs, 2) the beauty of watching them out in the yard, eating bugs etc. when we're home and 3) the ability to pick them up, spend time with them, etc. We don't want really "don't-touch-me", runaway hens, but of course they won't be in the house with us and we won't be holding them all the time.

    The thing is, while we know people raise Silkies in New England (we're in CT) we're a bit worried about them being lonely and bored in winter. If you get a breed that's better adapted to being handled, and that wants attention, does that mean they will lose those traits when they spend more time in the coop during the winter? Or will they be miserable and feel neglected? (This is coming from a Siamese cat owner - a pet we got for the needy, snuggly personality....which means we feel very guilty the few times we're away for more than overnight). I've heard of giving them entertainment like hanging cabbages, etc., but I'm trying to figure out if we'd be mean chicken parents to get a more social, docile breed and then have them cooped up for a long winter. We'd try to shovel out the run and let them out if they're up for it, but it would be a lot different from summer and fall when we'd be out in the yard longer and letting them roam with us. We haven't made our final decision on chickens, and this is a major reason.

    I'd appreciate any input. Hope this is the right spot to post this!
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2012
  2. ChickenAddict92

    ChickenAddict92 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 14, 2012
    Upstate NY
    [​IMG]!!!!!!!!!!! About the more social breed thing . . . here in Upstate NY it's really cold and snowy most winters. I have 3 Dominiques, a breed known for being docile, and their personality is the same as the hatchery said they would be. I think the only thing that can really change how friendly the breed is is how much you hold them and give them treats as chicks. I did both of those things and all 9 of my girls are very friendly and are okay with being picked up. I mean, none of them hop in my lap, but on the other hand they don't struggle and wiggle that much when I pick them up.

    I shovel out the girls' run if it snowed a lot, but if it's below 10 outside or it's really snowy they don't go out. I think the best solution to keeping the chickens happy in winter is getting a big coop. The inside portion of my girls' coop is a 6' by 9' (for 9 chickens).
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2012

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