New and Confused! Help!

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by newbie32, Aug 16, 2013.

  1. newbie32

    newbie32 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 16, 2013
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    Hi everyone,

    Im obviously a newbie. I thought I had done all the research I needed before I got my 2week old girls. Wrong! I have so many questions. Please help.

    1: My temps outside hit the 111 degree mark today (we live in the desert), and Im constantly checking on chickens- they are in brooder in garage with fan. Are they in danger? I keep refilling water ALL day
    2: They keep jumping in the water and making a mess. I want to avoid diseases so I keep cleaning the water-ALL day.
    3: Can I put a deeper water container in without too much water without them drowning?
    4: I have 4 buff orpingtons and 1 silver polish and the buffs are bigger and hog the water after I first put it in-is this a bad sign? also the buffs sleep together and polish alone. I don't want them singling her out-I know they are not children but still.....
    5: went to home depot today for a misting device when I put them outside in 2 weeks- the only ones they had have a cancer warning on them! by then the temps will be 100 degrees or less I hope but I will need to know for next year too.
    6: lastly- reading different advice for bedding- I want CLEAN, HEALTHY birds-so deep bed or clean every two weeks? coop is 8 long, 4 wide and 4 high.

    Sorry lots of questions but I need advice from people that know their chickens! Thanks for any advice!
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2013
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Yes, that much heat is indeed a danger to them. Your garage may be cooler than your coop will be, and you may need to keep them in there to keep them cool enough. I've read that the line of danger for chickens is 100 degrees, and people do lose chickens to the heat every year. Shade and breeze are critical, as is plenty of water. An enclosed coop in a hot climate can get hotter than the outdoors because their body heat adds to it, unless it has good air flow. Not just vents. Mine for example has half of one wall and about 1/3 of the opposite one made of hardware cloth, plus it is open air on all 4 sides above the wall and under the roof overhang. It is like a wind tunnel in there, so much so that in the hottestpart of the day they will go in the coop because it is cooler than their yard, even with shade in the yard. We still run a box fan all summer. We also hose down the coop and the hot soil by its entrance on the hottest days. They also have good shade outdoors. You just have to find a setup there they don't get heat stressed: wings a little out from their sides and panting. They will drink extra and may have some runny poops as a result. If this happens, I put an ounce of Gatorade or so in a waterer for a little electrolyte boost.

    I don't have a problem with splashing water out of their waterers. Perhaps you need to raise them to their "shoulder" level, just as is done with feed to prevent billing it out. I have 3 of those white plastic one gallon waterers and set them on concrete blocks; works for me. I like having 3 because occasionally they knock one over. They should be old enough not to drown in the tray portion of a waterer, depending on the type of waterer. Very young chicks can fall asleep with their head in the water and drown. Older chickens drown when they fall in something like a bucket of water that they can't climb out of. If they hog the water when you put it in there, I would take that as a sign they are not getting enough to drink. I never see mine do that. I don't know anything about a cancer warning on a mister -- but I will tell you, mine do NOT like when I mist them with the hose, no matter how gently -- and the water runs off them, anyway, as far as I can see. On a really hot day I wet down where they walk to reduce the temp a bit. Somepeople put wading pools out for them to stand in, with just a few inches of water. I tried that for weeks on year but they would not go in there. Occasionally when I have felt a bird was really oveheated, I have simply dunked her in a 5 gallon bucket and swished her a bit so the water got down to the skin. Now that works!

    A lot of people use sand in their runs and even their coop. It drains and dries well if it gets wet, and when you handle poop by scooping it, sand makes it relatively easy. Maybe that would work better for you. I use pine shavings as deep litter on a dirt floor, but they don't get it wet. I only remove the litter once a year. Lots of folks would not approve, I realize. A little pelletized lime or a few handfuls of pine shavings keep it odor free in there -- that and the amount of air movement. The chickens keep it turned for me, and the poop dries in no time.
     
  3. newbie32

    newbie32 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you for replying. I read that chicks can not get wet or they will be diseased. that is scary. but if it is not a problem then maybe I should try using one waterer for bathing and one for drinking-although I am not sure how they would know which one is which.... I can see my hair greying with worry about my chicks. They DO sometimes have their wings out-thanks for the tip! Oh and btw-we are in desert so we have lots and lots of sand lol
     
  4. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Chickens don't take baths -- well, they take dust baths, not water baths. The only reason to have "bathing water" would be like the wading pool setup I described, for cooling off -- which mine wouldn't use. Chickens will drown if they are in water over their head for very long, as in a swimming pool, because their feathers get waterlogged and cause them to sink.

    Yes, I noticed the desert thing -- sand should certainly be economical for you!

    I wonder if you have read about water for ducks and somehow mistook it as water for chickens. I've never had ducks, but I know they love a small pond to swim in, and they need to be able to wash their bills after they eat, I believe to clean food from their nostrils. But that is ducks, not chickens. All chickens need is drinking water.
     
  5. liz9910

    liz9910 Overrun With Chickens

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    Welcome to BYC! You've received some great advice! Good luck to you.
     
  6. newbie32

    newbie32 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks guys! I was thinking of a wading pool when I said bath lol. I gave them an ashtray-new- filled with glass rocks and water to play with, they seem to like it :)
     
  7. BantamFan4Life

    BantamFan4Life LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO. Premium Member

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    My Coop
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  8. PAchickenlover

    PAchickenlover Chillin' With My Peeps

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    :welcome Glad you joined the site! You will love it here. People are willing and ready to try to help. :) And they are right, that much heat is a danger for chickens. But, the others have already given you great advise so for now I will just say welcome!
     
  9. Mr MKK FARMS

    Mr MKK FARMS Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC! Glad you joined us! [​IMG]
     
  10. newbie32

    newbie32 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you for the welcomes! [​IMG] I know I am going to love this site :)
     

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