Discussion in 'Where am I? Where are you!' started by jchny2000, Dec 18, 2012.

  1. toodlesmom

    toodlesmom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 1, 2013
    From Mother2Hens:
    Originally Posted by toodlesmom [​IMG]
    My-brother-the-carpenter has not shown up for work on the coop for a week. When he shows, he works at the pace of molasses in January. I have my chickens all lined up and waiting, and he has barely started the job. Wow, am I frustrated!
    toodlesmom~ I'm guessing that if he isn't getting paid (as in he's doing a relative a favor), then it's not a high priority, especially if he has a full-time day job. (I am just conjecturing). It would go faster if he had a buddy to help since they would have to schedule time to meet and because there are many large components in building a coop when a helping hand is needed. Just dealing with stretching out hardware cloth to cover the coop and bury in the ground is much easier with two people. "IMO." [​IMG]

    Oh, believe me, my brother is not working for free! He is a skilled finish carpenter and is charging me the full hourly rate he charges his other customers. No family discount here. And he is a prima donna who always works alone. Currently, we are his full-time job, as he is also working on remodeling our house. Argh. I have lined up heritage pullets for a coop that was supposed to be done weeks ago. I am afraid the sellers will change their minds if I keep asking them to wait. I'm kind of in a Catch 22. Hiring someone else would make for very bad family feelings - Christmas could be ugly. But, having my brother work for us may cause me to lose my chickens, and it is turning my hair gray.

    I'm sorry to be such a cranky complainer. I should look on the bright side - at least gray hair doesn't look too bad on me.
  2. pginsber

    pginsber Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 20, 2012
    Indianapolis, IN
    Venting is helpful--we're here for you (AND-it makes me feel guilty about taking so long to finish our COOP!) [​IMG] Maybe it's the motivation I need, too.

    Instead of giving the pullets hammers, you could just bring them inside and use them as fluffy chortling blankets and footwarmers in the winter. Save money on heat, replacement windows, or whatever else you're having remodeled.
  3. Old Salt 1945

    Old Salt 1945 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 13, 2013
    Lebanon, IN
    He told me he used voodoo chants and reading of chicken entrails for the sex determination.

    He sounds like the family leech to me.[​IMG]

    I suppose liberal application of a buggy whip would also make for a strained Christmas celebration.[​IMG]

    That's always a problem when employing a relative. The better method is to bid each project. Even then, there is the problem of draws on pay and never getting the projects completed to specs. Some people cannot work without a boss who can fire them unless they perform their job in an acceptable fashion. Government workers, for example. Put in the time, collect the paycheck, if something worthwhile is accomplished, award bonus.[​IMG]

  4. pipdzipdnreadytogo

    pipdzipdnreadytogo Dorking Queen Premium Member

    Jun 9, 2011
    My Coop
    Alright, folks, there was mention of what to use for water in the winter, so brace yourselves for Pipd's big post of heating precautions!

    By now, y'all are probably tired of hearing my speech about not heating your coop, but it is relevant here. You see, while I am opposed to heating a coop for a number of reasons, I still use a heated bucket for water in the wintertime. What's the difference?

    The heated bucket I use does not have an open element, a light bulb, or any other part that could burn combs or set fire to a coop. Yes, heat bulbs can work to keep a bucket from freezing, but you run the risk of igniting dust or having the lamp fall and ignite bedding. Like it or not, chickens are clumsy. They will find a way to test how well you've hung up your heat lamp. Unless it is very secure, they can knock it down, and if it isn't high enough, they can burn themselves on it by sticking their head too close. I used to think the heat would deter them from doing so--then I witnessed one of my hens nearly walk right into a bonfire out of curiosity. Even if the lamp is out of your birds' reach and secure, chickens are dusty and dust can be ignited by the heat of the bulb or the lamp it is in. And dust or not, the bulb could shatter, making it an even greater hazard for a chicken coop. What causes the bulb to shatter? Often it's as simple as a drop of water landing on the hot bulb.

    My heated bucket also does not get any hotter than just above freezing. It does not warm the coop up, it only keeps the water from freezing. The water in it doesn't even feel warm--and it doesn't need to, as long as the girls can still drink it.

    Even with that in mind, I have no outlets in my coop and so I have to use an extension cord to plug in my heated waterer. Needless to say, unless you get the right kind, an extension cord can be as much of a fire hazard as a heat bulb.

    You might then wonder why I risk using one. Well, the extension cord I use is a heavy-duty outdoor extension cord that is rated to withstand the amount of electricity that is run through it. You should never use an indoor extension cord outside, nor should you try to run more electricity throuhg one than it is rated for. Because I have a baby monitor out in my coop year round, I check the length of my extension cord for any signs of wear and tear regularly throughout the year. Both ends are dusted regularly to prevent them from igniting. I am meticulous with this thing.

    Can the same meticulous regimen be applied to a heat lamp for your birds? Sure, but there are more risks to heat lamps than just the fire hazard they cause. For instance, what would happen if the power went out? You would have a flock of chickens accustomed to heat that may not be able to adapt so suddenly to the cold.

    Almost every breed of chicken, even those that are supposedly intolerant of cold weather, will do just fine without a heat source. My Sebright bantams, a breed that supposedly can't tolerate the cold, have never had an issue in my unheated, uninsulated coop, even in temps below 0. As a matter of fact, the only breeds I've ever heard of needing heat are Seramas and Silkies, and the jury's still out on both of them--I've read many accounts of Silkies surviving the winter without issue, and I've even read about a Serama owner or two that have no problems with them in winter weather.

    If you're still worried that your birds won't tolerate the cold, try a safer alternative like insulation. In the winter, this will help to keep the heat that your birds produce in the coop, and you never have to worry about the power going out--just make sure it's covered well or your birds might be tempted to eat it! I'm trying a sunroom effect with the coop addition I built this year, myself. It has five windows that will all have sun on them at least at some point during the day. This again is something that doesn't rely on power, although it does rely on there being sunlight, so I guess I'll see how well it works.

    Fire safety tips in your chicken coops and barns:

    Think it's too cold for your chickens?:

    Extension cord safety:

    If I can save one person from the devastation of losing their flock in a fire, it's worth it, so be prepared to hear about this over and over again through the winter--especially if anyone posts about heating their coop. ;) Best of luck to everyone and their birds!
    4 people like this.
  5. kabhyper1

    kabhyper1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    An update on on our hatch. Momma silkie has 3 babies under her, a couple that don't have their land legs yet, so under her is best. There are 9 in the indoor brooder, who by the way no longer have bugs as far as I can tell. Momma cochin is in the barn with her three LF week and a half olds. Momma silkie still has 3 eggs under her, that I am not sure if they will hatch or not. One hatched yesterday with a little help, and I haven't seen him yet since he is under her. It is way too cold to look at them this morning. It is 31 here. It's nice and toasty under her so I am leaving them be. I hope the little guys who have the walking problem will snap out of it like Chance did. There was a little blue she hatched the other day that was the same way and it is fine now. SIde note, funniest thing ever is watching the littles, wiggle their buts and take three steps backwards to poop. Although one of them chirps loudly right before it goes, so I hope it is okay.
  6. SallyinIndiana

    SallyinIndiana Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 14, 2012
    Bargersville, Indiana
    She stopped eating yesterday so we had to put her down. It looked like she had a leg that was out of the socket so a major hip injury. This is the second time I should have put an injured chicken down but waited. I'm thinking there will not be a third time for a long while anyway.
    I'm glad you got rid of the bugs.
  7. browncow15

    browncow15 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 13, 2013
    So my fun and exciting morning... In addition to having sick kids. I meet a red tail hawk face to face! I knew there was one around but so far it's left my chickens alone. This morning it decided they would make a good breakfast. What surprised me is it's the same size as my chickens!! Thank goodness I was out there when it happened and it got stuck in the netting so maybe it's traumatized enough it won't try again. Guess I should start carrying my gun when I feeding the morning too!
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2013
  8. bradselig

    bradselig Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 29, 2012
    Warren, IN
    So I've been talking with a buyer of my quail eggs and what he was going to do with them. Come to find out he does falconry! I may have found a new hobby! Raptors have always interested me and I've looked in the past the requirements of owning them. Now I've spent all morning reading more about the sport.

    I've had hawk attacks happen while I was out with the birds as well. Thankfully they didn't get any those times, but they are my main predators here.
  9. pginsber

    pginsber Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 20, 2012
    Indianapolis, IN
    My thoughts are turning to sexing the recently hatched RIR chicks. We live 6 miles from downtown Indy, and unfortunately, roosters are not welcomed in our subdivision. [​IMG]

    I've heard of vent sexing, but in researching how to vent sex, it seems I missed the chance to sex the chicks as day olds...after learning about vent sexing, I'm not sure I'd have been successful anyway. I also learned about feather sexing, but it seems I've missed the chance to feather sex as day olds, too.

    I found some seemingly reliable info on sexing 4 week olds. They are 2 weeks old now, so I can try that out in a couple of weeks.

    One BYC person posted that RIR females will have a small black stripe going down their heads. If that's reliable info, that would be useful.

    I also found a BYC post that suggested this: Tie a ring on a string and hold it just above the chick, very close to it's body but not touching. The ring will swing in a straight line back and forth for males and in a circle for females. Really? This sounds like crazy talk. Does it have to be a full moon out, too?

    Any reasonable tidbits on sexing suggestions for 2 week old RIR?
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2013
  10. toodlesmom

    toodlesmom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 1, 2013
    Thanks, Old Salt and Pginsber! You both gave me a good laugh! Thanks, everyone, for letting me vent. Grrrr! There, now I'm done.

    My DH and I have decided to consult Angie's List for a carpenter or buy a ready-made coop for now. We can always build a bigger one next summer if need be and make this one our 'honeymoon cottage' for breeding later on.

    Snow expected tomorrow! Brrrr!

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