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How to get ready for winter layers?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by LuvinMyPeeps, Aug 26, 2008.

  1. LuvinMyPeeps

    LuvinMyPeeps Songster

    Aug 22, 2008
    Powhatan, VA 23139
    Hi! I am a 43 year old newbie to BYC and chickens. After buying some baby pullets (if there is such a thing? (the feed store told me they were 8 to 10 weeks around July 23rd ish). If my math is right, they are about 13-15 weeks now & should start laying in early October. Since it's getting darker, should I begin with a small night light or a brighter light on a timer now to ease them into extended night light, or wait until they start laying? Our winters aren't that cold, usually 10-20 degrees. What do you think?

    Can you also recommend a good book on chicken health?

    Even though I know they're too young, I'm *obsessing* about them laying! I keep counting the weeks to make sure I haven't made a mistake...check the caledar four times a day... visit them morning, coffee breaks & lunch (I am able to telecommute to work).
    I have no patience and am ready to order chicks while I'm waiting. The catalogs are addictive and I want ALL of them! This is addictive! Ever since I got them my DH says I've thought of nuthin' by my peeps! Ugh.....hellllpppp meeeeeee........ [​IMG]

    When I got them I didn't think they would be this cute - and with personalities! Our black cochin, Mrs. Puffs, is a doll. She comes right up to me and I pick her up and she'll run up my arm and sit on my shoulder. She'll peck my wedding ring and fall asleep when I pet her head. She's a sweetie pie!

    Thanks a bunch for any help you can give me!

    Can't.....resist.....the......urge to buy......more.....catalogs are calling my name.....[​IMG]

  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Boy, if you came here for help with an addition, you've found the right place! You'll have hundreds before you know it! LOL

    I personally don't do anything special for winter layers or any of my birds really. Both the pet and livestock bunch get the same treatment with the exception that the pet bunch is here for life. I find winter layers may take a bit longer and the 22 week average or so is just "standard" for production birds like leghorns and sexlinks. For just plain back yard types, banties, and fancies, it can take 6-8 months before your first egg even if they are spring chicks. Most books are written with the production leghorn in mind for numbers, stats and so on. A health book that is nice is by Gail Damerow? "The Chicken Health Handbood".

    You can supplement with light if you want but they will lay when they are ready. Some like to keep laying up and some like to let them rest for the winter. They'll do fine in a cold and non drafty coop. Just keep the humidity down with good ventilation and they'll be good to go!

  3. LuvinMyPeeps

    LuvinMyPeeps Songster

    Aug 22, 2008
    Powhatan, VA 23139
    Thank you for the warm welcome!

    Being that I'm obsessed with my babies (and i'm not talking my 2 wonderful kids ;-) I am starting to build a chicken run. I bought the Chick N Run and Hutch combo, but since it's not mobile it's hard to move around. My attempt sofar is for a mobile 4 x 4 x 8 foot run on wheels. The sides and one end is up...I'll post pictures in the other forum once I can get the hang of posting.

    Thanks so much for your help!
  4. Chicken Love Addiction

    Chicken Love Addiction In the Brooder

    Aug 24, 2008
    Salem, OR
  5. ...and I'm glad you're haging such fun. I wish I had obtained hens YEARS ago. My golden comets are 16 weeks, so I'm waiting for eggs...and thinking about winter, too. We insulated and we've ordered a metal waterer with a heater base.[​IMG]

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