New to chickens and BYC

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by FuzzyHens, Nov 16, 2014.

  1. FuzzyHens

    FuzzyHens Chirping

    Nov 13, 2014
    Frozen Massachusetts

    I'm fairly new to chickens. I have a couple of close friends who have them and I decided I wanted them about a year ago, but I was supposed to wait until we moved to our new farm...hahaha! Somehow this fall, I ended up with a young rooster who was 'too cute for soup' and two hens to keep him company and my current farm is only now on the market. oops!! The rooster is an easter-egger, one hen is an olive-egger and the other is (I think) a cochin-cross who produces light brown eggs.

    I'm really enjoying my little flock and trying to make sure they are set up for winter (it gets cold in Massachusetts). I've moved their coop into an empty stall in my horse barn, so they should be fairly comfortable temperature wise. It will get down to the high 20's in the barn at night during the coldest part of winter, so I do need to somehow heat the water. I'm looking for opinions on the best way to keep water warm safely!

    In the spring, I hope to expand my flock to include some black copper marans and cream legbars. I'm also finding I'm drawn to the bantam cochin, so I have a feeling I will have a few of these in the mix. Basically, I love the mix of egg colors and fuzzy chickens! (Can you hear my husband groaning in the background?)

    I'm looking forward to learning from everyone here. Any newbie advise is certainly welcome!
  2. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Crowing

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

    Keeping water from freezing can really be a pain. Many people use metal waterers and put special waterer heaters beneath them. Others just dump warm water on the frozen water several times a day. Sometimes, it's just too hard to stop the water from freezing- many people bring out fresh water a couple times a day and bring in the frozen waterer to thaw. I've had success using a livestock tank water heater to keep my waterer from freezing.

    You may get some more answers on how to keep water from freezing by posting in the Feeding and Watering Section: Feeding & Watering Your Flock

    Good luck with your flock!
  3. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Crowing

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

    X2 on Wyandottes7's advice.

    Good luck with your chickens!
  4. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Crowing

    May 14, 2014
    Welcome to BYC, Linda! Glad you decided to join our flock. I've always used galvanized waterers with heater bases under them to keep the water from freezing. You can see one at They work very well. Please feel free to ask any other questions you may have. We are here to help in any way we can. Good luck with your flock.
  5. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Bird is the Word

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

    X3 You can use heated water bases, heated dog water bowls, you can haul warm water outside several times a day. But never let the run out of water. There is no need to keep it heated over night since they are all sleeping. So you really only have to worry about it during the day. If you do use heated bases or dog water bowls, make sure to set them on bricks or cement blocks. Never let them come into contact with any bedding as they could start a fire.

    Good luck this winter!! If you have any further questions, feel free to ask. Welcome to our flock!
  6. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master

    Jan 10, 2013
    Welcome, glad you joined us.
  7. FuzzyHens

    FuzzyHens Chirping

    Nov 13, 2014
    Frozen Massachusetts
    Thanks everyone!

    It is the heater with the shavings that concerns me. I may just haul warm water out and see how that goes. If it becomes too labor intensive, I'll get a waterer with a heater. But I'd love to avoid that.

    Both hens are currently molting, so I'm hoping they are fully feathered again before the real cold weather hits. The cochin-cross has an abundance even while molting. I can't imagine her getting cold!!
  8. 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.
  9. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years.

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    Welcome to the flock, glad you joined us at Backyard chickens.
  10. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 Free Ranging

    Feb 18, 2011
    Hello :frow and Welcome To BYC!

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