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raising chicks in th winter

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by vstillman, Jul 21, 2011.

  1. vstillman

    vstillman New Egg

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    Jul 21, 2011
    I know I am a bit early posting about winter and I apologze if this question has been answered....

    We want to get a jumpstart for next spring and was wondering the ins and outs of incubating your own eggs in the winter. The part I am concerned about is the growout period...we have had a few casualties in the spring this year with the newer chicks dying because of the cold at night. Does anyone have any info? We live in Northern California, and we only go below freezing 2 or three times a year. We have had casualties when the temps get aroun 40 degrees or so...but only with the younger chicks. We put them out once their fethers come in completely...and we have even waited an extra month after they have feathered out, andwe still get casualties....not all of them, but one or two. And we have narrowed it down to it being the cold... I think its the pecking order thing and one gets pushed out. But I am open to suggestions! We have barred rocks, americanas, and silkies, we have been raising cickens just under a year. Just recently we have an influx of people wanting to bychickens from us and that is the reason for wanting the jumpstart for spring of next year...

    I was also thinking of putting in some heat lamps if necessary.....
    Any info appreciated...
    Thanks
    Vickie

    ps...most casualties happened in the early spring with the younger chickens...no older chicken casualties....and once this summer when we had a very unusual nighttime temp of 40 degrees after the usual 50 degree nights...bu the weather has been very unusual this year for us here....
     
  2. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

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    I'm surprised by your experience. I incubated chicks this past winter that hatched in January. At 3 weeks I was putting them outside for 2-3 hours at a time, and they moved out full-time around 4-5 weeks. I live in the midwest where the summers are scorching and the winters are freezing. By the time my chicks were outside full-time, we were still getting nights that were sub-freezing and they did just fine without supplemental heat. I'm not sure what you mean when you say the pecking order means some get pushed out? Mine start life outdoors in a grow out coop where the door is shut at night so no one gets left outside overnight. Can you not shut them in?
     
  3. vstillman

    vstillman New Egg

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    Jul 21, 2011
    Really? That is encouraging...No, our coops dont have doors....I will let my husband know...maybe that is our problem? A draft from no door....?
     
  4. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

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    My Coop
    Drafts are definitely bad for chickens so I would venture a guess that that is your problem. Chickens need good ventilation but don't tolerate drafts well and that sometimes causes stress to new owners building coops - striking that balance. A BYC'er named PatandChickens has written up a nice article explaining both so you might look her up in the user list. I think it is on her personal page.
     
  5. vstillman

    vstillman New Egg

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    Jul 21, 2011
    Thanks again!!!!
     
  6. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

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    My Coop
    I have had winter chicks. I do provide a couple of heat lamps.

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