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Newbie needs help!

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by ZoeysBirds, Nov 8, 2014.

  1. ZoeysBirds

    ZoeysBirds Out Of The Brooder

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    Winter is approaching, it's getting cold fast. I have 2 muscovy ducks who are 4 months old and 2 Cayguas who are 7 months old. From the get to, I've had to wrangle the ducks to put them away at night. I eventually gave up, they have a nice large (predator proof) run that they feel safe enough in at night. Well when my Muscovies were old enough to go outside, they right away started putting themselves away. I thought the Cayguas would follow suit, I was wrong. Even with the cold wet weather here, they still aren't going in their coop. Their coop is about 2.5' off the ground and they prefer to sleep under it. I'm thinking about just closing it off and hoping they'll go in there. Or is there something I can do to get them in the coop at night. Right now, I'm not closing the door to the coop behind the Muscovies in case the Cayguas finally decide to go in, but soon, really soon, I'm going to have to. I feel bad locking them away from warmth and safety from the wind and snow etc.

    I also have 2 ameracauna mixes, 2 Amber links, 1 buff orpington and 1 isa brown. They're all good chickens and put themselves away each night. Also, what's everyone's take on light for heat and light for extra light in the coops?
     
  2. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    Honestly I wouldn't put heat inside their coop, they have down under their feathers to keep them warm, as long as they are out of wind and weather they should be fine plus heat lamps can cause fires, we had a member who lost all her flock including sheep and dogs to a barn fire a couple years ago, made a big impression on me. Plus what happens when you get them all use to having heat then you lose power. It's just better to let them acclimate to the changing temps.Do you mean keeping a light on for getting more eggs? or just having a night light for them? I don't use either never have I believe in letting my girl;s have the winter off from laying if that's part of their make up. Some of my chickens lay during winter but I do nothing to encourage it as far as lighting. As for your Cayugas why not enclose in under the main house that way they would have shelter and be able to go in and out when they want too. Only thing is you have to be absolutely sure you have a secure run because as the days get colder the predators get hungrier

    Welcome to BYC
     
  3. ZoeysBirds

    ZoeysBirds Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 2, 2014
    Michigan
    Ok. I was asking about light for both reasons. But I only have 1 hen laying right now. I'm guessing my other girls, ducks and chickens, won't start til spring. Fire was my biggest concern as far as the lights. That's why I was asking. Our run is very much predator proof. I'd be amazed if something, somehow got it. My hubby went all out to keep our birds protected. Double layer of 1/4" chicken wire, the run is cemented to the ground plus he dug a 3' trench along the perimeter and filled that with concrete to keep anything from tunneling in. If I close off the bottom, I'm still putting a door on it just for added protection. I'd hate to feel so sure they're safe and have some critter prove otherwise
     
  4. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    Very good idea. double layer? does that mean a nasty raccoon can't get it's arm in through the holes because they have been known to stick their arms through and grab a duck,chicken even young geese and try to pull them through the holes which usually means the one inside will have it's head pulled off. Many on here have posted about finding that in the morning. Sounds like dh has done an excellent job making it safe. Please post pic when you can we love to see others flocks.
     
  5. ZoeysBirds

    ZoeysBirds Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 2, 2014
    Michigan
    Yup. The holes are small enough for the first 4' up that they can't get a hand through. I'll post a pic in a second.
     
  6. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    Sounds like you have it covered. Now speaking of covered is the top covered and secured so nothing can climb up and over?
     
  7. ZoeysBirds

    ZoeysBirds Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 2, 2014
    Michigan
    [​IMG]
    E
     
  8. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    Looks nice Great job. Close in the bottom and you'll have 2 separate house. Is the top covered can't tell from here. lol
     
  9. ZoeysBirds

    ZoeysBirds Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 2, 2014
    Michigan
    The top is only covered with chicken wire. We're densly covered with forest around our home and didn't want to block out the little bit of sunlight. We do plan to put some pieces of plywood or something over top to help keep more snow out
     
  10. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

    69,341
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    Western N.C.
    Might look into tin roofing too, not sure how it would match up to price with ply wood but might last longer.
     

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