I’m a new chicken Mom of 6 hens and 1 Roo, would love to hear your tips n tricks


Sep 23, 2020
Hi All,

Well, as my header reads, I’m super new to raising Hens, for eggs ONLY, I figure I should get that outta the way first! I have 2 Rhode Island’s Reds,2 Bard rocks, and 2 White leg horns, and a Roo. They just started laying about 2 weeks ago and I couldnt believe hoe exciting it was,lol. I was literally outside the nesting box pacing, then told each of them what good girls they were. Am I going crazy or is that the norm?
I live in NH and it’s starting to get a bit colder at night. I want my girls as comfy as they possibly can be without bringing them in the basement, hubby says no.... but he travels for work sooooo.... my questions are, do I use a heater or not? Do I change their food in winter? Does anyone have homemade treat recipe that they want to share with a new mom with the very best intentions? What’s the best way to keep predators away? I’ve already caught a fox, 2 raccoons,1 skunk( that was interesting) 1possum and I think I have a fisher lurking! I DO NOT want to loose even one lady, any advice is appreciated. I most recently noticed hawks hanging around too.Im scared to leave the house for fear I won’t be around to protect them from harm. I’m not kidding either....hubby’s getting hungry lol
One concern I have that’s really bothering me is my leghorns have large combs and are getting pecked at. One side is actually torn at the edge and starting to turn black! Does it hurt? Is there anything I can do for it to make it feel better and keep the Others from making it worse? A salve that taste bad when they peck it maybe...I never had this problem until the Roo came I want to add.....
I think I asked enough questions for my first post, I don’t want to scare anyone away from guiding me with all my woes:)
I can’t wait to learn how to navigate the site to get the most out of it, ty in advance for any advice or recipes you want to share for treat and also any human one to help use up my ladies golden eggs would be fantastic too❤


Don’t look back, you’re not going that way.
Premium Feather Member
May 5, 2020
On a rock in the Pacific
Wow, you have a lot on your mind!
and you are not crazy, you’re just a good chicken mama like the rest of us! You’ve joined the right group!🥰 Best to post these questions individually or search in the different threads on the forum to see if other people have had similar experiences or questions that have been answered. Congratulations on your flock! Really important to have a predator proof coop and run. If you free range them during the day you do risk predation by hawks and other daytime predators. Also many threads on the forum about how to deal with this. I keep mine in a completely enclosed coop/run with half-inch by half-inch hardware cloth.
Anyway, welcome to the forum! I’m sure you’ll have all your questions answered in time!🥰


Easily distracted by chickens
Premium Feather Member
Jul 23, 2018
NY Southern Tier
My Coop
Hello and welcome to BYC! :frow Glad you joined.
You do not need to heat the coop. That actually causes more harm than good. However, you need a properly sized, dry and well ventilated coop for cold winters. If the WLHs are getting their combs pecked, you may have a sizing problem with your coop and run. You should shoot for at least 4 sq feet per bird in the coop and 12 in the run for winters.
IMO, runs in the north should have a solid roof on them to offer a snow free space during the day and should be constructed such that it can be winterized with tarps to block blowing wind.
I use poultry netting powered with a 10,000 volt charger around my entire setup. That has kept everything from the neighbor's rotten dogs to the resident momma black bear at bay. If anything makes it through that, they have to get through the 1/2" hardware cloth I have covering everything to access the coop/run combo. I've had one hawk strike and see them multiple times daily but have never had any bird so much as injured by a hawk. The flock has lots of cover in their pen.
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Callender Girl

Sep 18, 2018
North Central Iowa
As far as chicken momma's go, you sound pretty normal! And, even if you were a bit crazy, you'd still fit in here!

First eggs are always exciting, and I still congratulate my layers for jobs well done, even though they've been doing it for years.

I would NOT heat their home. I live in an area where winter can mean minus-40 wind chill, plenty of sub-zero days and -- most winters -- way too much snow. In a well-ventilated, dry coop, your babies will be okay. Most chickens handle cold better than extreme heat.

I feed mine the same stuff year round as a basic food. I do offer a little scratch in the winter. But, feeding scratch is like feeding them candy -- not a lot of nutrition, just calories. Of course, like candy for kids, they LOVE it and would be happy to eat nothing else.

You sound like an accomplished trapper! My efforts to live trap a mink resulted in a very unhappy possum who sneered at me the whole time I was taking him to a new, more distant location. Some day, you'll have to give some details on the skunk trapping.

Welcome to BYC! I hope you get all the answers you need.

Wee Farmer Sarah

Crossing the Road
Oct 8, 2018
North Central Massachusetts
Hello and welcome to BYC! It's always exciting to greet another New Englander to the site. As previously stated, you do not need to heat the coop. My coop is a converted 8 x 10 foot shed with an attached 144 square foot run wrapped in 1/2 inch hardware cloth and topped with a corrugated metal roof. I use clear plastic shower curtains to wrap the run in the winter and it stays much warmer in there even on the coldest days. Don't focus on treats so much. Chickens are not human children that need to be coddled. Give them healthy food designed for their nutritional needs. Best of luck with your wee flock.

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