It All Started with a Raffle Ticket

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by 901434, Aug 19, 2014.

  1. 901434

    901434 In the Brooder

    Aug 19, 2014
    Last year at the county fair my 10 year daughter asked for money to buy a raffle ticket. (We were in the poultry barn). I gave her the money and didn't think more about it. Then in January we received a call that we were the winner of 5 day old baby chicks and we needed to come pick them up. Panic! We live in Wisconsin and endured the coldest winter in history. That week we reached -50 wind chill temps and it wasn't warming up. All the research we did said chicks needed to be kept at 90 degrees. Well, we put hand warmers in a shoe box and went to pick up our straight run chicks. They stayed in our bedroom for a week, then the entry way, then the basement until the weather finally warmed up to move them into the barn. We ended up with a Leghorn Cockerel (Coronal Sanders), a pair of Phoenix (Mr and Mrs Clever), a crooked toed Phoenix cockerel (Pepper) and a sweet Cochin pullet (Truffle).

    Who would have thought that these 5 birds would change our life? Now we have over 30 chickens. We have a big horse barn that we are converting the stalls into chicken coops. The horses have been gone for years because I had major back surgery and couldn't ride any longer. Now instead of storing everyone's camper, boat and trailer for the winter...we have chickens, goats and rabbits.

    Anyone who ever would say, "It is just a dumb chicken" is so very wrong. I spend hours in the barn just watching them. They have true relationships. Everyone gets along...well almost everyone, lol. They have formed bonds with the other animals, including the goats, cats, and dog. Yes, I said cats. Truffle and our cat Twilight hang out all day together.

    My husband always asked me why it takes me so long to feed? I tell him it takes a long time to hand feed 30 chickens their meal worm snack and make sure everyone gets some petting. He thinks I am crazy yet he builds me more coops. We are now getting ready for the winter. I have done a ton of research how to prepare. I would appreciate any advise regarding heat lamps, how to keep the water from freezing, special food, lighting, bedding, etc. Do you keep the door open to the outdoor runs or shut them in for the winter? It gets very cold here. We always move the rabbits in for the winter but the goats love the snow and always go outside to play. The chickens share the outdoor run with the goats but we can separate them and put them in the other coops. Wondering what I should do?

    I would get info from BYC all the time and finally joined. This is my first thread. I am looking forward to meeting you all. The nice thing about this forum is that everyone here is crazy about chickens. I am a 44 year old married mother of 3. I have a 21, 20 and 11 year old. My youngest is crazy about the chickens also. Believe it or not but she has all 30 named and knows exactly who everyone is. I am a surgical technologist at a local hospital but when I am at work as all I can think about is getting home to my hobby farm.

    I wish more people would realize the joy that animals can bring. They relieve stress, are entertaining and give back. Everyone is always calling to see if I have extra eggs, lol, which I always do.

    Well, I could go on forever but I will say goodnight for now. Hope I hear from you soon.

    1 person likes this.
  2. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years.

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    One way or another people quickly get involved with chickens. Winning the raffle was serendipitous. Welcome to BYC
  3. kikithebird

    kikithebird Songster

    hello and welcome to byc
  4. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Crowing

    May 14, 2014
    Welcome to BYC, Melissa! Glad you decided to join our flock. You're right, we are all chicken crazy here. :eek:) If you haven't done so already, I would suggest visiting our Learning Center at There is a lot of useful information there. There is a good article on Winter Proofing Your Coop at that will answer a lot of the questions in your post. Please feel free to ask any other questions you may have. We are here to help in any way we can. Good luck with your flock.
  5. mightymax

    mightymax Songster

    Oct 8, 2013
    Central Coast, CA
    Hello and Welcome to BYC !!! :welcome A raffle ticket is what did it, huh? IDK...sounds suspiciously like the culprit was chicken math if you ask me. 5 to 30...that's quite a !!! Good to have you aboard!:thumbsup
  6. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Bird is the Word

    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    Hello there and welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    Wow, that was one lucky raffle ticket!! About your question on closing the birds in for the winter...Chickens should have access to the out of doors every day of the year for good health. If they chose not to go outside, that is their choice. But don't shut them up for the entire winter. While you will need to close up the coop at night to keep them warmer and out of all wind, they will enjoy going outside even on the coldest of days. Don't over do the insulation either. If it is too warm in the coop, they won't be able to go outside and staying in a stuffy coop all winter will lead to respiratory ailments.

    Enjoy this wonderful adventure you are on! Sounds like you are really enjoying your birds. They are so much fun aren't they?!
  7. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 Free Ranging

    Feb 18, 2011
  8. Mountain Peeps

    Mountain Peeps Change is inevitable, like the seasons

    Apr 23, 2014
    My Coop
    Welcome to BYC! Please make yourself at home and we are here to help.

    You've received good advice above.

    Glad you joined us!:)
    1 person likes this.
  9. 901434

    901434 In the Brooder

    Aug 19, 2014
    Thank you all for welcoming me. I can't wait to sit tonight and search the site for more info, advice and read the forums. So much to do and so little time. Till next time. Melissa
  10. BayBay Peepers

    BayBay Peepers Crowing

    Apr 5, 2013
    Welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

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