Pennsylvania!! Unite!!

TillyPeeps

Songster
Oct 13, 2015
938
411
160
Central PA
A lot lol. I have silkies, ameraucanas (silkied and smooth), English orpingtons, blue egg laying silkie project birds, penciled turkeys (plus a few other colors), a big African gander, 2 muscovy ducks, and a polish roo lol. Here's are a few pictures :)

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I also have an etsy shop where I make and sell hen saddles of all sizes and chicken tutus (believe it or not, people love them!)

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Welcome from Cambria County! Is your run roofed? If so, it's pretty easy to just throw some plastic up around the sides of the run or clear tarps/ shower curtains and throw some straw in the run for them to hunker down in on exceptionally cold days. That's all I do for mine. Always leave a gap near the top though for ventilation. Trapped air/moisture leads to frostbite. If your run is not covered, hourly someone else can give advice. My turkey run is not covered but I don't do anything special for them.
I didn't know that you have English Orpingtons. I always want some Buff Orpingtons! Love their color! Do you only have Blue?
 

TillyPeeps

Songster
Oct 13, 2015
938
411
160
Central PA
Hi everyone! I'm from Delaware County (just southwest of Philadelphia) and have 4 ladies gearing up for their first winter in a big coop we just built. (It was 5 chickens until yesterday, but a neighbor's dog broke into our backyard and mortally wounded our Ameracauna in front of my preschooler and toddler (big drama for our quiet suburban neighborhood! Still working out some big feelings over here...))

Reading through this thread--I'm pretty much a southerner by PA standards and we haven't seen real snow in what feels like ages--I was figuring on just keeping with plenty of deep litter pine shavings in the coop and closing the windows/extra vents aside from the eave ventilation. Think that's enough to keep 4 ladies warm in a 56 sq ft coop? We have a fully roofed run--south wall is the coop and somewhat protected on the west by our house. We live in the woods--so it cuts the wind, but also keeps things from fully warming up during the day sometimes.

Nice to get to know you all!
Welcome from Centre County! Your setup sounds great. My coop is in woods too, but I still decide to wrap it with clear tarps for winter. It's not really necessary. I just want to keep them more confortable.
 

snailpenguin

In the Brooder
Jul 4, 2020
12
10
17
Welcome from Centre County! Your setup sounds great. My coop is in woods too, but I still decide to wrap it with clear tarps for winter. It's not really necessary. I just want to keep them more confortable.
As a fellow woods person, do you have any suggestions for ranging the chickens in the woods in a protected manner? I have a modular PVC mobile run covered in 2" plastic mesh that I've been using to move them to fresh vegetation (protects them from hawks, but only deters predators. It keeps them confined, but it's not entirely flush to the uneven ground, so a determined chicken can escape if she wants--which I suspect led to our recent dog-disaster). All the wheeled tractor-type runs just don't seem feasible for the woods--I want them to be able to eat all the crazy ferns and understory plants we have and keep the bug population down, but still want to protect them. Moving the vegetation into the run to them just isn't the same (and doesn't give me the tick-eating benefits of chicken ownership...)
 

TillyPeeps

Songster
Oct 13, 2015
938
411
160
Central PA
As a fellow woods person, do you have any suggestions for ranging the chickens in the woods in a protected manner? I have a modular PVC mobile run covered in 2" plastic mesh that I've been using to move them to fresh vegetation (protects them from hawks, but only deters predators. It keeps them confined, but it's not entirely flush to the uneven ground, so a determined chicken can escape if she wants--which I suspect led to our recent dog-disaster). All the wheeled tractor-type runs just don't seem feasible for the woods--I want them to be able to eat all the crazy ferns and understory plants we have and keep the bug population down, but still want to protect them. Moving the vegetation into the run to them just isn't the same (and doesn't give me the tick-eating benefits of chicken ownership...)
I have a large run for them, and let them free range when we at home (We have a fenced yard). I totally undertands your concerns of bug control. Have to spray ourselves before going to coop because all the bugs in woods. Not fun! But our girls are too spoiled to do the bug control job. :rolleyes: If you want to move them to different areas, I would think electric pultry netting should be a good choice. Hawks are usually not a big problem in woods, especially if you put several shelters there, like old umbrella, free wood pallets, table, chair, etc. They can hide in bushs too. Electric fence will definitely stop dog, fox, raccoon, bear...
 

snailpenguin

In the Brooder
Jul 4, 2020
12
10
17
I have a large run for them, and let them free range when we at home (We have a fenced yard). I totally undertands your concerns of bug control. Have to spray ourselves before going to coop because all the bugs in woods. Not fun! But our girls are too spoiled to do the bug control job. :rolleyes: If you want to move them to different areas, I would think electric pultry netting should be a good choice. Hawks are usually not a big problem in woods, especially if you put several shelters there, like old umbrella, free wood pallets, table, chair, etc. They can hide in bushs too. Electric fence will definitely stop dog, fox, raccoon, bear...
I should look into the electric netting. We have a red-tailed hawk problem, at least now during migration season? We lost our first chicken to one. Our trees are mostly black locust and seem to have ideally placed limbs for the red-tails to perch on and stalk them. Of my original six, five would take cover without fail, but the Buff Rock we had nicknamed "Too Dumb to Live". She was bright yellow and would stand in a clearing and stare straight up whenever there was a disturbance, then one day she was just gone, so we started using the PVC mobile run when the remainder ranged.
 

TillyPeeps

Songster
Oct 13, 2015
938
411
160
Central PA
I should look into the electric netting. We have a red-tailed hawk problem, at least now during migration season? We lost our first chicken to one. Our trees are mostly black locust and seem to have ideally placed limbs for the red-tails to perch on and stalk them. Of my original six, five would take cover without fail, but the Buff Rock we had nicknamed "Too Dumb to Live". She was bright yellow and would stand in a clearing and stare straight up whenever there was a disturbance, then one day she was just gone, so we started using the PVC mobile run when the remainder ranged.
I don't really have any experience about hawks, so hopefully someone else can give you a better suggestion. We have lots of ravens here, so hawks got kicked out of this area. I'm only dealing with raccons, fox, and bears.
 

Cluckingitup

Chirping
May 20, 2019
59
112
96
Pennsylvania
Hi everyone! I'm from Delaware County (just southwest of Philadelphia) and have 4 ladies gearing up for their first winter in a big coop we just built. (It was 5 chickens until yesterday, but a neighbor's dog broke into our backyard and mortally wounded our Ameracauna in front of my preschooler and toddler (big drama for our quiet suburban neighborhood! Still working out some big feelings over here...))

Reading through this thread--I'm pretty much a southerner by PA standards and we haven't seen real snow in what feels like ages--I was figuring on just keeping with plenty of deep litter pine shavings in the coop and closing the windows/extra vents aside from the eave ventilation. Think that's enough to keep 4 ladies warm in a 56 sq ft coop? We have a fully roofed run--south wall is the coop and somewhat protected on the west by our house. We live in the woods--so it cuts the wind, but also keeps things from fully warming up during the day sometimes.

Nice to get to know you all!
Hi! I am not too far from you- Chester County, about a mile from Maryland. I had 5 in a coop that is 4X6 (not counting nesting box spaces) and they were fine last winter. Only 2-3 times did the small waterer I keep inside have a little ice on top, outside waterer is a different story. We do get a lot of wind being on top of hill and I used a tarp to cover 1/2 the run on the windy side and that also seemed to work well. Sorry you lost your Ameracauna.
 

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