New to Backyardchickens

Johnbyrdgates

In the Brooder
Dec 7, 2019
3
41
37
Howdy! I’m John and my wife Cathryn and I just inherited 6 hens and a rooster from our next door neighbors. They are one year old and we’ve been letting them ‘graze’ in our back yard all year.
I’m building a coop using a combination of different designs I’ve seen on this and other sites that will be large enough, elevated, wrapped in ½” hardware cloth and insulated.
I’m currently researching ideas for winter watering and watering and feeding in general. We travel for up to two months at a time and I’d like to devise feeding and watering that would be infrequently tended to.
Our “farm” is a 1/3rd acre lot in Rockport, MA with lots of plants that the chickens have been fertilizing this year. Hawks occasionally soar overhead and there are no rats running around at night, raccoons, skunks, coyotes, fisher cats, foxes and neighborhood dogs. Still, we haven’t lost a chicken yet...
 

BullChick

Enslaved by a Duckling
Premium member
Apr 17, 2012
41,507
60,463
1,427
Coffee shop
:frow Welcome to BYC! Have you found your state thread?
https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/find-your-states-thread.270925/
There are heated water bowls, and DIY solutions to make one. You can also have a heated nipple water system. I believe that would actually be best. You can have it hooked up to a bucket with a trough heater in it. As for the feed, I have a 55 gal tote with PVC elbows for my larger flocks, and a five gallon for the smaller.
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cmom

Hilltop Farm
Nov 18, 2007
21,644
11,421
641
Florida
My Coop
My Coop
:welcome :frow I'm sure you will figure out your and the chickens needs. We used to travel during the summer months. We were lucky and had someone we could rely on to care for our birds. Now we are homebodies. I did put auto waterers at all of the coops. Our situation is much different than yours as we live in Florida but in years past would travel to the Northeast during the summer months. Good luck with your flock and have fun...
 

Johnbyrdgates

In the Brooder
Dec 7, 2019
3
41
37
Thank you, everyone for the fantastic welcome! We knew we’d come to the right place!
I plan on installing a 55 gallon barrel in the run with one of RonP’s stainless steel stock pot heater ideas under it. I’ll weld up a barrel stand so as not to squish the stainless pot.
We have neighbor kids that can keep an eye on things but we still want to keep daily chores to a minimum.
For a feeder, I’m leaning towards a PVC pipe design I saw somewhere if I can find it again.
You are all wonderful! Thanks for the great welcome!
 
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