New in WI

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by Chooksaurus, Aug 8, 2009.

  1. Chooksaurus

    Chooksaurus Songster

    Aug 8, 2009
    NW WI

    New member from northern WI here. We started a flock in April, mainly for the benefit of our daughter, who was is Kindergarten at the time. We have a dog and she has a few fish, but it is a good learning experience for her to raise chickens. (And as a bonus, the eggs will be nice!) Then the flock slowly started growing...

    We now have a mid-sized flock of 17 birds: 5 Indian Runner Ducks, 3 Rhode Island Red hens, 5 Barred Rock hens, and 4 mutts, whose pedigree or sex have yet to be determined. (The mutts were in a box at the local feed bin when I picked up feed, the others were all "planned" as ordered pullets.) The RIR are nearing 20 weeks, the BR about 4 weeks behind, and the mutts somewhere in between. The ducks are about 10 weeks old, but grew like weeds and outweigh the heavy girls. Too bad we had to order straight run on those, because we ended up with what seems to be 3 drakes and 2 quacking females. 2 of the drakes will be culled, as might 2 of the 3 mutts who's sex is not yet obvious.

    My main concerns at the moment are how to prepare for the upcoming winter. I ran electricity to our coop this summer, but a water line is out of the question. My biggest worry revolves around the ducks, since everything that comes out of them is much wetter than the chickens. Ventilation seems to be answered here, so my lesser worry is whether I need to do more than a couple of heat lamps for heat during the nights. I live on the tip of Lake Superior, and it is not uncommon to go a month with overnights in the -20F's with windchill.

    Gonna keep reading and researching. I see there are a few cheeseheads from close by, so hopefully I'll pick up some good tips. Other than that, I just wanted to say "hi".
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2009
  2. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast

    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    HI and welcome to BYC!

    I think it's hard here in the summer, I can't imagine raising chickens there in the winter. (I lived in Milwaukee from 1983 to 1987.

    Good luck... I'll bet it's BEAUTIFUL there in the summer.
  3. Graiae66

    Graiae66 In the Brooder

    Aug 3, 2009
    Welcome to the forum--I've learned a LOT here! [​IMG]

    Dee in Georgia
  4. Kelso

    Kelso Songster

    Aug 6, 2009
    Welcome from Killeen TX.
  5. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Welcome from Indiana...hope you find all your answers here on the forum! [​IMG] Brrr...just mentioning those winter lows gave me chills....
  6. One Acre Wonder Farm

    One Acre Wonder Farm Songster

    Feb 20, 2009
    [​IMG] from Vermont, where we understand the cold, long winters!!

    If you have electricity in the coop then a heated waterer is a good bet for keeping water from freezing. I have to hand carry water to the coop in the winter [​IMG] it is a pain, but the only workable option for now. I use empty plastic-milk-gallon contqainers. As long as the coop is well insulated and draft free you shouldn't need a heat source. My girls did just fine last winter with a couple weeks of -25 nights.

    This will be my first winter with ducks, but by all accounts they are much hardier than the chickens (no combs/wattles to freeze and always wearing down jackets) and don't dig being cooped so I'm really not as worried. We'll build an A-frame type structure and herd them in at night but they'll be able to range during the day.

    Good luck, this is a great place with tons of great info and friendly people. Nice to have you here! [​IMG]
  7. English Chick

    English Chick English Mum

    Jun 27, 2008
    Cheshire UK
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

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