New MN farmer

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by Sundog-Rockboy, Nov 12, 2019.

  1. Yes

    0 vote(s)
  2. No

    9 vote(s)
  1. Sundog-Rockboy

    Sundog-Rockboy In the Brooder

    Nov 12, 2019
    Coming up on my first winter with the chickens, and I’m very thankful for all the winterizing advice I’ve received here. (“No heat, no heat, no heat” is my mantra).

    I have two buffs and a barred rock. Her sister met an unhappy fate with a hawk last month, and the loss was a hard pill to swallow.

    We were a little overconfident letting our girls free range in the yard, even when we left the house for a couple of hours.

    The flock of three now stays pretty close to the house when they free range, only venturing out farther if their human companions are outside.

    They will be 6 months old in a few weeks, and I’m wondering if we can still expect any eggs with the cold settling in. Is it true that if I turn a light on outside in the evening, that may encourage laying? Thanks, my new community!
  2. sylviethecochin

    sylviethecochin Free Ranging

    Jun 14, 2017
    Central PA
    Yes. However, with this being their first year, there's a good chance that the BRs will lay through the winter anyway.
  3. BlueBaby

    BlueBaby Enabler

    Hello, and welcome! Glad that you joined! Good luck with your flock!
  4. BullChick

    BullChick Enslaved by a Duckling

    Apr 17, 2012
    Coffee shop

    As mentioned, they will likely lay regardless. I want to be sure that you understand keeping a hen laying un-naturally is not good for their overall health, and it’s what they do to the commercial layers. If you do choose to keep them laying each winter, consider giving them a break for a month or two. Maybe start the artificial light in February.
  5. DobieLover

    DobieLover Easily distracted by chickens

    Jul 23, 2018
    Apalachin, NY
    My Coop
    Hello and welcome to BYC! :frow Glad you joined.
    Don't do it!
  6. Pork Pie

    Pork Pie Flockwit

    Jan 30, 2015
    sourland, TwoCrows, rjohns39 and 7 others like this.
  7. fldiver97

    fldiver97 Enabler

    Aug 5, 2009
    Middleton, WI
    My Coop
    Welcome :welcome Good chance they will lay this winter. My chickens were all laying their first and second winter (no extended light or added heat). After that winter laying slowed down quite a bit and by age 4 or 5 everyone took a break during winter.
  8. gtaus

    gtaus Crowing

    Mar 29, 2019
    Northern Minnesota
    My Coop
    Welcome to the forum. I, too, live in Minnesota. Although many people advise no heat, I'm not sure that is the best advice for our Minnesota winters. Last winter, the temps where I live got down to -40F for about 2 weeks without a break. Many local chicken owners lost chickens due to the extreme cold during that period. Our local L&M Fleet store sold out on all their Cozy Coop radiant heaters because of the heavy losses by chicken owners. Those radiant heaters are low wattage and only warm the birds standing directly in front of it, not the entire coop.

    I did not have chickens last year, but I was planning on getting them in the spring. I talked to a number of bird owners who told me that they never used any heat in their coops, but last winter's 2 week period of -40F was just too much for their small flocks. Anyway, this will be my first winter with laying hens. I don't currently have any heat in the coop, but I did buy a Cozy Coop radiant heater in case it gets back down to those -40F temps. If I start to have bird loss due to the extreme cold, I'll be plugging in that heater.

    I don't plan on using any lights to lengthen daytime hours and trick my hens into laying more eggs. If they slow down this winter, that is fine with me.

    Hope to hear more from you in the future. Take care.
  9. Claires Poultry

    Claires Poultry Crossing the Road

    Hello and welcome to BYC! [​IMG]
    We're so glad to have you here with us! [​IMG]
    Thank you for joining our wonderful community of fellow poultry enthusiasts! [​IMG]
  10. Chick-N-Fun

    Chick-N-Fun Almy Acres Farm

    Jun 26, 2014
    Corning, NY
    Welcome to our FUNomenal community! :celebrate Best wishes and have lots of fun! :wee
  11. N F C

    N F C thankful

    Dec 12, 2013

    As others have said, due to the young age of your girls, they may continue to lay during this winter (be sure to gather any eggs quickly to prevent freezing). As they get older, winter laying will slow way down or cease entirely and that's normal. I personally prefer to let my flock have a winter's rest and do not provide additional light during that time.

    Best wishes to you, thanks for joining us!

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