New from Lynnwood, WA - Someone left their chickens and a turkey on my property, what to do...

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by LynnwoodWa, Nov 1, 2014.

  1. LynnwoodWa

    LynnwoodWa In the Brooder

    Dec 10, 2013
    Hi All!

    My name is Cyndy and I have inherited 5 chickens and a turkey from someone that I let build a run attached to a coop in my yard. I am an absolute newbie. I took them out some food and let them out in the yard today. There is two bags of food. One Layena and one is some grainy stuff that looks like you feed to many types of animals.

    My immediate issue is he took the light out of the coop. Is there supposed to be one here? He turned it on when it started getting dark earlier. Also, the turkey's name is "Thanksgiving" and it's super big now. I don't have a clue what to do with it. It is super well-fed all year and is really plump!!

    In any event, could someone please point me to the easiest sections to learn from, and tell me what to do? Do I need to winterize the coop somehow? The coop does not close 100% so it is cold in there without the light. It's not too cold outside yet but does get down to freezing a few days a year here.

    Thanks for any answers!!

  2. mtngirl35

    mtngirl35 Songster

    Dec 10, 2013
    Welcome, Cyndy!! You can click on the Learning Center tab to get info or go to the "Where are you, Where am I" forums to get advice from other chicken owners in your state. If you want to keep the chickens just fed them layer feed and offer oyster shell on the side for extra calcium. And I probably don't have to add they also need fresh water although I think my girls prefer nasty mudholes to fresh water in the fount, lol. Chickens also love fresh fruit and veggies and scratch for treats. You can search "What not to feed chickens" and get a list of what they shouldn't have.You probably don't need the light anyway. Egg production may go down a bit with shorter days in the winter but chickens usually don't need heat even when its freezing as long as the coop has good ventilation. Chickens have very wet respiration and lack of ventilation will cause damp air in the coop that is far worse on them than the cold. They are insulated with down under their feather and they will huddle up and stay warm. I can't give you any advice on the turkey as I have never raised any. Good luck with your new feathered friends. If you have any more questions feel free to ask.
  3. 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.

    As long as the coop is ventilated and has proper bedding, you don't need a light. Just know that the hens won't lay as much with less light hours.

    As far as winterizing goes, yes, you do have stuff to do. Mtngirl35 has given you great advice.

    Again, ventilation is probably one of the most important things to have right in the coop. Without proper ventilation, chickens can get frostbite easily and even he sick due to the high humidity levels produced for their droppings and breath. Although you must have ventilation, you also should NOT have a drafty coop. Drafts can again cause frostbite and chills.

    Bedding is another important thing to have in winter. If chickens are living on cold, damp or otherwise insufficient bedding they can get frostbite or can literally freeze. Straw is possibly the best bedding to use in winter. It acts as insualtion and is very good at trapping heat. Plus, chickens love to dig in and peck at straw. Pine shavings and shredded paper are another option. Avoid using sand, hay, pine needles, leaves and cedar shavings.

    You may also need to get a water heater for their water. Chickens drink a lot in winter because they need to stay hydrated. So either buy a heated waterer that you can plug in or simply buy a heated base.

    Scratch is a great great to feed in the winter. It is fattening and provides warmth. Feed it in the evenings before roosting time that way the chickens have it in their crop to when they sleep.

    A few other tips include using the 4" side of a 2X4" roost so that the chickens cover their feet entirely wheat when they sleep. This wil prevent frost bitten feet. Also, if the nights are dropping below freezing them rub the chickens' combs with Vaseline to help protect them from nerve damage. Feed your flock crumbles instead of pellets so it takes them longer to eat.

    As far as leaning goes, be sure to visit our learning center.

    Good luck and glad you joined!
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2014
    2 people like this.
  4. LynnwoodWa

    LynnwoodWa In the Brooder

    Dec 10, 2013
    Thank you so much! I posted over in the forum you suggested..

  5. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years.

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    Is this person going to show up some time later, and want his birds back ,without compensating you for your expense and trouble? I only ask because you'll get attached to them and then he will decide he wants them back.

    I don't know what you do with the turkey - I suppose he has growing him out for Thanksgiving. Welcome to Backyard chickens hope you can rightfully keep them if you want to.
  6. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master

    Jan 10, 2013
    You have already been given good advice, so I just wanted to welcome you and wish you luck with your chickens and turkey.

    Feel free to ask questions.
  7. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Crowing

    Jul 24, 2013
    Welcome to BYC! [​IMG]We're glad to have you.

    You've received some great advice already!
  8. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Crowing

    Jul 24, 2013
    [​IMG] Glad you joined us!

    Mountain Peeps gave you some good advice. Good luck with your flock!
  9. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 Free Ranging

    Feb 18, 2011
  10. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Bird is the Word

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

    Good luck with your flock. Definitely follow the suggestions by Mountain Peeps and the links by Kelsie.

    Enjoy this wonderful journey and welcome to our flock!

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: