I need some advice for my pullets!

Discussion in 'Chick Raising Forum' started by karina, Nov 4, 2012.

  1. karina

    karina New Member

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    Hi ya'll im new to having chickens. I have 2 barred rock 10 week old chickens. I live in Virginia and I was just wondering how their bodies know to bring in some thick feathers. I have them outside in a coop i made and i cover it with a double folded tarp just to make sure so drafts get in there. I have them off the ground and put cardboard, leaves and some straw in the bottom to keep them warm. Will they be okay? Thanks!
     
  2. sandra

    sandra New Member

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    How many do you have? Their kinda young.
     

  3. Bird_slave

    Bird_slave Junior Member

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    Hi Karina and welcome to the forum.

    Ten weeks is a bit on the young side, but under normal circumstances chickens should not need heat past the five to six weeks old mark. Whenever I hear of someone getting a few chickens I can't help but encourage them to get at least three at a minimum. Chickens are very social creatures. If you have only a pair and one, goodness forbid, should die, you are left with a very lonely chicken that could grieve themselves to death.

    However, you only have two so let's see what you can do to keep them more comfortable with winter coming on. Part of it Mother Nature is going to take care of. She equips birds with the instincts and feathers they need in time for cold weather. If they were mine, I would add a thick layer of pine shavings (preferable) or hay to the floor of their coop. A box within the coop that they can huddle together in would help too; covered kitty litter pans with some hay or shavings in the bottom work great for this. You'd want to use hay, not straw. Hay is a solid shaft, straw is hollow and in that hollow part mold spores easily form. Also, it needs to be PINE shavings, not cedar. The aromatic oils in cedar can cause respiratory problems in chickens.

    Do you have access to square bales of hay? You can surround the exterior walls of their coop with the bales and this acts as a great insulator against cold. Just be sure that the bales are secured in such a way that they aren't liable to topple over.

    One other thing I like to do for my birds when very cold weather is predicated is to cook them up a batch of oatmeal - the old-fashioned oats, not the instant. A nice warm bowl of oatmeal just before going to roost at night to fill their crops and warm their bodies from the inside.

    Keep in mind that as a general rule chickens handle cold much better than they do extreme heat.

    Hope this helps.
     
  4. Mamachickof14

    Mamachickof14 New Member

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    I agree with Sandra...they are kinda young. What about a heat lamp or light bulb? I live in New York and it gets alot colder here...I have a coop that I shut up at night with a light bulb that comes on around 4 in the morning. It's also filled with pine chips and they have 14 of them to huddle together. Just some ideas... Jen:)
     
  5. Bird_slave

    Bird_slave Junior Member

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    One thing I forgot to mention. It's great to seal up any drafts, but keep in mind that you don't want to make their coop airtight, no matter how cold the weather. There needs to be some form of ventilation, even when it's well below freezing. Completely sealed up coops become greenhouses for mold and other things that cause respiratory issues. You'll want your ventilation hole to be secure (to keep out unwanted critters) and located up high and away from their roost.