I'm a Parrot Head. Daughter wants chickens!

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by ParrotLover, Feb 1, 2013.

  1. ParrotLover

    ParrotLover New Egg

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    Hey everyone!

    Last week, I worked with a guy that has back yard chickens. After talking to him at length about it, I discussed it with The Boss (you know... She Who Must Be Obeyed). She was generally OK with the idea, but we have a few questions/concerns we need to work out before making the jump...

    First, we have a family member that needs to be considered. 15 years ago, my wife and I bought an Umbrella Cockatoo that we consider to be our oldest child; he is truly a member of the family, and is treated as such. Our concern here is the possibility of him getting sick from any chicken-borne illnesses.

    Second is our climate. We live fairly close to Las Vegas, Nevada in the desert southwest. Summers here are *hot*! We will start hitting over 100 degrees in the first week of June, and we won't get out of triple digit temperatures until the first week of September. Winters are generally mild, with a few weeks in January seeing over night lows in the high teens. Humidity is very low year round.

    So with those concerns in mind, we are currently looking at starting with 3 (4 if my five year old daughter has any say in the matter) Buff Orpingtons. I see in the review section that BO's are listed in the "All Climate" category, but am wondering if the desert southwest heat is really considered in that rating. Temperatures over 100 degrees with direct hot sunlight are tough on the hardiest of creatures... I'm already concerned for chickens I don't even have yet! Would BO's be OK here in the desert heat?

    Every spring, I take my kids to the local IFA store so they can see/handle/play with the rabbits and baby chicks. Last year, my daughter was absolutely thunder struck by the baby chicks. This post is in preparation for this year's visit; I just don't know if the wife and I can say "NO!" to her again this year...

    I've been pouring over this site for hours upon hours now, and am impressed by the knowledge to be found here. Hopefully I'll find more information about the above concerns as I continue my reading of these pages, but if anyone here can help a guy out with a response, it would be truly appreciated!
     
  2. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

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    Greetings from Kansas, ParrotLover, and [​IMG]! Great to have you aboard. The heat last summer was a beast here in Kansas - like all over, I know. I have a bunch of different breeds and of those I felt my Buff Orpington's suffered the most. They were lethargic - more so than any of the other girls. That's just my two cents - others may have had different experiences. Good luck to you!
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2013
  3. ParrotLover

    ParrotLover New Egg

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    Thanks, redsoxs :)

    Darn, I'm sorry to hear that your Buff Orpington's didn't care for last summer's heat. As mentioned, the heat here is brutal, but we do have one advantage: the lack of humidity. We take our heat dry out here. I travel extensively for work (in fact, traveling is what I *do* for a living) and I find that the humid Kansas summer heat is much harder to take than the dry desert heat. But I don't know if chickens feel the same way about it. :)
     
  4. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

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    And that lack of humidity may make all the difference in the world - I think they are worth a try. I guess I should have clarified - we had a lot of hot day days, a lot of humid days but the days with both high heat + high humidity were the rough ones on the birds. I didn't lose any but it was close a couple of times. Best of luck to you!
     
  5. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    Hello and welcome to BYC [​IMG] I used to live in an extremely hot part of South Africa and I had a huge flock, mostly mixed breeds and 40 Lohmann silver hens. They handled the heat well, but we did have high humidity, thankfully! Providing adequate shade, lots of cool water and opportunities for the chickens to cool their feet (I made them mud puddles) helps. Have a look here:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/products/category/chicken-breeds

    You can click on the "climate tolerance" tab on the left to see which breeds are listed under "heat". That should give you an idea.

    As for your lovely Cockatoo... I think you should ask here:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/f/57/caged-birds-finches-canaries-cockatiels-parrots-etc

    It's been many years since we had caged birds and chickens on the same yard and we didn't have problems, but I had budgies. I don't know about Cockatoos.
     
  6. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC. Go to the Nevada thread and express your poultry keeping concerns to your 'neighbors'. They can best give tips on maintaining birds in that environment. Good luck with this adventure.
     
  7. rlh1

    rlh1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hello. I just saw this thread and thought I would post an idea,that I'm going to try for my flock this summer. Fill a 2L bottle most of the way with water and freeze it. I'm going to start with four so I can rotate them out. Put them out in the coop in the shade or wherever your girls hang out so they can lay against them to help cool off. We used to do this for our pet rabbits when I was a kid. Just an idea, don't know it it will work or no.
     

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