Need help from my fellow Alaskans!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Alaska animal lover, May 1, 2008.

  1. Alaska animal lover

    Alaska animal lover Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 30, 2008
    Palmer, Alaska
    I live in Big Lake, I have no experience with owning chickens, and I want to get a few Layers.
    Some of my questions are;
    What is a good breed of layer for Alaska? I would like them to produce a decent sized egg.
    It gets down to 50 below here. I will be building a coop for them with heat lamps but if you have any tips about construction I would love to hear them.
    They will be able to free range in the summer, but should I give them oyster shells in the winter? Do I just mix it with their food or give it to them separatly?
    As you can see I am a total newbie to this and have a ton of questions! I just want to research it as much as posiible so I don't kill a bunch of chickens!
    Thanks in advance,
    Aimee
     
  2. JudyMcKinn

    JudyMcKinn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    SW MO
    I am sure not from Alaska, but can answer one of your questions. Definately give them oyster shell, and I would put out an individual pan of it--not mixed with the feed.
    If you don't think you will be enlarging your flock, I would build something with enough room that they can stay shut in, in the severely cold weather, and still have some room. If you insulate, and I imagine you will have to, in that temp., --chickens will peck at insulation, so you will need to cover it with something--cheap paneling, or thin plywood, etc.
    Hopefully someone from Alaska will answer you. I think we have a few from Alaska on here.
     
  3. Mrs MIA

    Mrs MIA Chick Magnet

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    Quote:Let me know if you have any other questions! [​IMG]
    Welcome to BYC!
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2008
  4. Alaska animal lover

    Alaska animal lover Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 30, 2008
    Palmer, Alaska
    Thank you all so much! Is there a better place for my questions? I don't want to post in the wrong area.
    I will have to make a list of questions. [​IMG]
     
  5. Mrs MIA

    Mrs MIA Chick Magnet

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    Just go to the index and find the section that best matches your question. But here is good for general questions, too. [​IMG]
     
  6. Wolf-Kim

    Wolf-Kim Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you really want breeds that have the big single comb or big wattles, you will want to dub(cut off the extra skin) them. This keeps the more exposed parts to a minimum.

    -Kim
     
  7. snowydiamonds

    snowydiamonds Chillin' With My Peeps

    I like the coop to also be comfortably big enough for me to stand or hunker down in there w/them, that way we can interact, I can clean and collect eggs, while watching them for any signs of well being and otherwise. Windows or plexiglass windows facing East and South will ensure you are capturing "free heat." Doesn't seem to matter if there is a floor or dirt floor as long as you don't have to take precautions of animals digging in.

    My coops are old and used so I've got a bit of sprucing up to do this year, so will provide before and after pics once I start. Edited to include, live in Nome!
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2008
  8. Alaska animal lover

    Alaska animal lover Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 30, 2008
    Palmer, Alaska
    I just want the ones that lay eggs.[​IMG] I don't care what they look like as long as they have a decent personality. I really don't want to have to cut anything off.[​IMG]
     
  9. Mrs MIA

    Mrs MIA Chick Magnet

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    I've dabbed Vaseline on my leghorn's combs to help prevent frostbite, too. As long as they have someplace to go to get out of the elements, they should do all right. A flat 2x4 as a perch helps, too... allows them to tuck their feet under their feathers to keep them warm. I've seen the birds out and about at -20, though, and they do just fine. [​IMG]
     
  10. Wolf-Kim

    Wolf-Kim Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Then go for the ones Mrs.AK-Bird-brain suggested. She should know what's best for the area. Hope you have fun! Good luck with your future flock!

    -Kim
     

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