New to chickens!

DraftXJumper

Songster
May 27, 2017
110
67
116
Wisconsin
Hello all! I am a mother, wife, and "mom" to several fur-babies (a draft-cross, a collie, a rescue pomeranian, a rescue kitty, and now four little chicks). I have an Animal Science degree from the University of Wisconsin, but our primary focus was dairy cattle and production animal agriculture in general, so I don't know much about raising backyard chickens! We live in a very small town (pop 3000), on a big corner lot, backing up to farm fields and bluffs. We only have one neighbor sharing our lot line, and he's very animal-friendly, so I'm hoping to let our girls free-range a bit under supervision. We'll see when we get there!
 

oldhenlikesdogs

Grateful
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Jul 16, 2015
45,543
79,505
1,462
Wisconsin
Welcome, are you still living in Wisconsin? You sound like you have a nice little place. Chickens are pretty easy compared to dairy cows, and much more enjoyable in my opinion, I'm an ex dairy farmer.
:welcome
 

DraftXJumper

Songster
May 27, 2017
110
67
116
Wisconsin
Welcome, are you still living in Wisconsin? You sound like you have a nice little place. Chickens are pretty easy compared to dairy cows, and much more enjoyable in my opinion, I'm an ex dairy farmer.
:welcome
Yes, still living in Wisconsin! Love our little town and our house, but wish it could be plopped somewhere with a better climate... ;)
 

oldhenlikesdogs

Grateful
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Jul 16, 2015
45,543
79,505
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Wisconsin
Yes, still living in Wisconsin! Love our little town and our house, but wish it could be plopped somewhere with a better climate... ;)
The way that I see it as a Wisconsin resident myself, we don't have poisonous snakes, or gators, and there's not many bugs for a few months of the year. I'd rather be cold than too hot, as well.
 

DraftXJumper

Songster
May 27, 2017
110
67
116
Wisconsin
I love the heat and can't handle the cold at all! I need more sunshine than we seem to get around here! If it wasn't for our great school district and house, I'd be outta here!
 

Smidgelet

In the Brooder
May 28, 2017
9
14
20
Hello Wisconsiners. I am also new to this whole chicken world, 4 hens. Super excited, husband not so much. Ha.
Any thoughts on your Wisconsin (cold winter) coop? Any thoughts on premade coops?
 

oldhenlikesdogs

Grateful
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Jul 16, 2015
45,543
79,505
1,462
Wisconsin
Hello Wisconsiners. I am also new to this whole chicken world, 4 hens. Super excited, husband not so much. Ha.
Any thoughts on your Wisconsin (cold winter) coop? Any thoughts on premade coops?
I would avoid the premade coops, they are flimsy and impractical especially if you need to keep your chickens locked up in winter due to a snowstorm. I would build something from scratch or buy one of those premade sheds sold at the Home Depot or Menards.

My bantam coop is insulated and is on the back end of the barn. It stays slightly warmer in it during the winter than the outside temperature. I also have a large pole building for my large breed flock. It isn't insulated, and there's always a east facing door that is open. In the summer another large door gets open for better ventilation.

The roosters in that she'd get frostbite on their combs, but otherwise everyone does fine in the winter and they can come and go as they please.

Make sure your coop is large enough to keep your chickens locked up somewhat during the winter, and that you can get into the run to shovel out the snow if necessary. You can never have too big of a coop, but you can have too small of a coop.
 

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