Need hand holding...!!!!!!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by jcbydesign, Dec 6, 2010.

  1. jcbydesign

    jcbydesign Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 21, 2010
    Portland, OR
    [​IMG] Tonight is the night...first time for three 12 week olds out in their new coop. (fully feathered) I decided to not heat it...even though my stomach is churning and I am worried. It's going to get down to around 35 tonight. Just need someone to tell me that they will be OK so I can try to sleep.

    Another question: I was told today at the Urban Farm Store that I should not have feed or water in the coop but just in the run and they will be fine all night without water. Is this correct?

    Thanks a bunch...[​IMG]
  2. justtoni44

    justtoni44 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 13, 2010
    I hope some of the more experienced folks respond.
    My experience is I have food and water 24/7 in thier coop.
    For one thing. they are up before I am............and these young ones really need lots of food.
    Some of my chickens go out during the day, others hang in the barn.
    I let them decide where they are comfortable.
    Wish I knew more........I do not know how you did the transition. Where they in the house?
    even during summer. I let them get use to the outside daytime for a few days before I put them out
    for the night...........
    They will probably be O.K.
    I put a heavy later of straw in my young ones coop..probably just makes me feel better.
    They are pretty hardy.
    Good Luck and get some rest.
  3. HeritageHens

    HeritageHens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 9, 2010
    They will be fine. Mine aren't much older and they are doing great outside. It was much, much colder last week and mine survived that too and without any supplemental heat.

    Chickens won't eat in the dark. My coop has a large door that is open during the day and I keep one feeder and water fountain in there as well. So as much as I don't want to disagree with the nice folks at the Urban Farm Store, I don't think there's any harm in having food in the coop if it's not in the dark.
  4. mrsbos

    mrsbos Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 11, 2010
    Greenacres, WA
    They'll be fine!!! My 3 EEs have been living in the coop since 6 weeks old. They are now about 15 weeks old and have already experienced a blizzard, wind storm, heavy rain, and 26 inches of snow in the month of November alone! I only suspended the brooder lamp in the small tarp covered run when temperatures got down to 10 below zero and I had to keep the water from freezing. Their sleeping quarters are insulated but unheated. They seem perfectly happy, but have been a little irritable lately and getting on each other's nerves because the only place they've been willing to free-range, are the parts of the lawn I shoveled so it wouldn't be buried under half a foot of snow. They will not walk in snow. I keep food and water in the run, but the coop is just big enough for a nesting box and for the 3 girls to comfortably roost at night. There is no room for a feeder or waterer. They can't see to eat or drink in the dark. Unless temps are in the single digits, I keep the door to the run open so they can come out as early in the morning as they'd like to eat or drink. I open them up to free-range as soon as I'm up and dressed, but again, they don't have a whole lot of places to go. Their favorite spot is on my back patio....where unfortunately the poop is piling up like crazy and I'm waiting for it to climb above freezing some afternoon so I can hose it off! YUK!!!!
  5. cherylcohen

    cherylcohen The Omelet Ranch

    Sep 18, 2009
    SF East Bay CA
    You have nothing to worry about. At that age they are so feathered that even at 35 degrees doesn't phase them. Heck I put mine out at about 6 weeks if they are feathered. As far as food & water and light. They don't need any until they awake in the morning at sunrise. Nighttime is for sleeping.
  6. jcbydesign

    jcbydesign Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 21, 2010
    Portland, OR
    Thanks everyone. I"ve never had chickens before and I got these for my 5 yr old grandson - who just adores them - and he would be devastated if something happened. I have had them in my bathroom but for the past few weeks they have not had any heat in there (usually around 40 at night). I had to finish up the coop and run before they could do more than go out for a few hours during the day, supervised against hawks and cats... mostly cats!

    I guess I'll put some water and food in there for when it's really cold out this winter, but until then.

    Thanks again. [​IMG]
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2010
  7. woodmort

    woodmort Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 6, 2010
    Oxford NY
    Quote:I have a rule when it comes to feed stores: Don't listen to what some farm store employee tells you--most haven't a clue to what they're talking about. There was a time when the people owning the stores had chickens and their advise was generally good--now they hire people off the street that think eggs come in little slots in cartons at the grocery store. I've been keeping food and water in my chicken coop for 25 years--safest place to keep it from attracting unwanted pests. Also I don't have to get up before the chickens to let them have access to these two things.

    Hopefully your birds survived the 35 degrees and will continue to even when the temperatures get lower. Mine would kill for anything as warm as 35 right now not to mention the foot of snow on the ground that they wish was gone.
  8. HeritageHens

    HeritageHens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 9, 2010
    Quote:Thankfully, that isn't the case for the Urban Farm Store. I personally know a number of the employees and they live on farms with chickens. Perhaps it's just the way that they house their chickens such as they get up at the crack of dawn and let the chickens out of the coop. People sometimes forget that others may not have the same setup.
  9. Naughty

    Naughty Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 10, 2010
    I get up b4 my girls - so I always dump the water at night when I go out - if they are already in the coop - and that way I don't have to break ice in the morning. I have one water dish out in the yard and one in the coop near the food - all the food is in the coop - but my coop is sectioned - it is not in with the roosting area - it is in a partitioned area protected from the elements we still have grass outside that they peck at - and I throw goodies and scratch in the run to give them some reason to stretch their legs - I don't see anything wrong with putting things in the coop when it gets cold... they may survive cold - but they may not want to walk thru snow for breakfast - i wouldnt! I do have to make sure that there is water out in the y ard in case the roo gets an attitude and won't let my dog in the coop to drink... but usually so far they dont have a problem with him - he has his dog house in the same area so he is protected too... already caught him in there with a hen... figure sooner or later they'll all be in there with him - he's warm... lol
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2010
  10. Where The Wild Things Are

    Where The Wild Things Are Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 2, 2010
    I keep food and water in my coop because my girls have indoor days when they are under "house arrest". They do not have a covered run, so when it's sub zero or the snow is too deep they stay in. They get treats to play with help with boredom (suet bells, hanging cabbage, suet cage full of veggies). It also keeps their water from freezing and gives them at least one waterer the ducks cant muddy up for them. And yeah, I don't want to have to get up at the crack of dawn to let them out. I see no downside to keeping food and water in their coop.

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