Starting my little farm in Springboro pa need advice (im new here)

silveradoman

Hatching
5 Years
Oct 2, 2014
5
0
7
Hey there all im new here, Name is Keith im from north west Pennsylvania and my family and I are starting a little farm and I have raised chickens for the last few years at my wife's grandfathers, (not many about a dozen or so) ... I recently bought some acreage and just today finished my coop, however im looking to find a couple good egg producing breeds that are good and hardy to our cold winter climate. The grandfather had Rhode island reds but did an ungodly amount of insulating his coop and heating it just cause he said they needed to stay warm, is this true? I have a metal shed I converted into a rather stunning coop, (ill post pics as soon as I figure that part out). I really don't want to have to insulate if I don't have to. He never had much luck keeping his birds alive more than a year or two. I have the chicken encyclopedia but want some real world advice. quick side note I have three little girls always at my side helping under the age of 4 ( yes I stay quite busy) lol so im looking for mild tempered birds. Thanks all I know this is a lot for my first post god bless
 

Kelsie2290

Free Ranging
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Feb 18, 2011
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Hello :frow and Welcome To BYC! Congratulations on your new farm!
Adult chickens usually don't have a problem with cold and as long as they have a dry and draft free coop, they should not need supplemental heat, (unless there is a drastic temperature drop, like30* or more overnight, then you might want to add some heat) ... Ventilation is important, especially in winter when they are in the coop a lot, with a metal coop you'll need to watch that you don't get a lot of condensation leading to frost bite etc... here is a nice article from the Learning Center on ventilation https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/...-go-out-there-and-cut-more-holes-in-your-coop

Here are a couple of links to some nice chicken breed comparison charts you might like that list cold weather tolerance and laying ability http://www.sagehenfarmlodi.com/chooks/chooks.html and http://www.albc-usa.org/documents/chickenbreedcomparison.pdf and http://www.mypetchicken.com/chicken-breeds/breed-list.aspx
when you have narrowed down your choices, don't forget to check the BYC Reviews section for member reviews on the different breeds. https://www.backyardchickens.com/products/category/chicken-breeds
So far as more layer breeds go, for egg numbers alone, the Red Sex Links (Golden Comet, Red Stars, ISA Browns etc) for brown eggs are probably the most popular layers around. If you want breeds that don't lay quite as well but will lay for a longer time, Australorps, Orpingtons (lots of people really like these, great pets though broody), Plymouth Rocks, Sussex, Delaware and Wyandottes are some other popular breeds that are usually pretty easy to get along with, they all lay different shades of brown eggs. The Easter Egger, often sold as Ameraucana by hatcheries, are a fun breed because they usually lay green/blue eggs, and they tend to be very nice birds, and then there are the Welsummer and Marans for dark brown eggs. All those breeds usually do fine in the cold weather.
You might also like to check out your state/country thread to see what people in your area have. https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/270925/find-your-states-thread
 

Mountain Peeps

Jesus is my life
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6 Years
Apr 23, 2014
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My Coop
My Coop
Welcome to BYC! Please make yourself at home and we are here to help.

Good luck with your planning! Look froward to seeing those pics!

RIRs (rhode island reds) are cold hardy breeds and do well in cold weather. Yes, it is true that all chickens need to be kept warm in the winter. Insulation helps some but you also need a draft free coop with proper ventilation and warm, dry bedding. (Wet bedding mixed with cold temps causes frostbite.) The chicken waterer also needs to be heated. If your coop is built properly then you don't need heat lamps.

For breeds what else are you looking for besides mild tempered? Is egg production a need? Are you going to be eating your birds? Or are you just looking for pets?

Breeds that are good for both pets and egg production include (my personal favorite!) buff orpingtons, black australorps, speckled sussex, wyandottes and easter eggers. If you are just looking for a pet that will not lay super well then the cochin and silkie are for you. If you are planning on eating your birds then buff orps, black australorps, faverlloes, cochins, barred rocks, EEs and game birds are all good. If you are looking for egg-cellent egg layers then leghorns, sex links and RIRs are your best bet.

You may want to check out our learning center too.
https://www.backyardchickens.com/atype/1/Learning_Center

Best of luck and glad you joined!
 

CherMoz

Songster
6 Years
Mar 26, 2014
788
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South Central Wisconsin
Welcome from Wisconsin
frow.gif
We can get pretty cold here, too. We do not give our chooks any supplemental heat, and they do just fine.
 

silveradoman

Hatching
5 Years
Oct 2, 2014
5
0
7
Thanks so far im loving the advise and yes I need to work on the condensation issue on the roof portion of the coop... should I have ventilation in the roof itself? and I am installing windows but worry about the blowing snow entering. will be reading on venting properly

and I am looking for good egg producers that make for good meat birds if I choose to.
thumbsup.gif
 

Mountain Peeps

Jesus is my life
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Apr 23, 2014
28,457
6,074
677
Colorado
My Coop
My Coop
Thanks so far im loving the advise and yes I need to work on the condensation issue on the roof portion of the coop... should I have ventilation in the roof itself? and I am installing windows but worry about the blowing snow entering. will be reading on venting properly

and I am looking for good egg producers that make for good meat birds if I choose to.
thumbsup.gif
I'm not that smart when it comes to where to insulate. But there are some very knowlegable members here that can help with that. Feel free to ask here https://www.backyardchickens.com/f/9/coop-run-design-construction-maintenance

For what you are looking for, RIRs, buff orpingtons and australorps are your best bet for breeds.
 

silveradoman

Hatching
5 Years
Oct 2, 2014
5
0
7
just finished reading the ventilation article and it was extremely helpful!! needless to say y work cut out for me tomorrow ! thanks to you all
 

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