New to chickens

Discussion in 'Beginners Forum' started by RitaS, Jul 21, 2020.

  1. RitaS

    RitaS Active Member

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    At times it gets pretty nasty in Ohio.
    If I put 2 coops together will they separate themselves to roost at night ? Or should I maybe separate the roosters if they start fighting?
    So undecided lol
     
  2. robin416

    robin416 Administrator Staff Member

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    Why are you asking me those questions? I thought you were rehoming them.

    My first suggestion is to rehome at least one of the boys, two if you can.

    Most of your wind in the Winter comes from the WNW and NW, that would be the side to close up. You can have one of the other sides, like the East side with a rolled up tarp to drop when weather gets dicey.

    No, they are a flock. They'll roost together.
     

  3. RitaS

    RitaS Active Member

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    I
    I’m asking you because you have the answers. If you would rather I didn’t ask I won’t
    I can’t re-home them in good faith knowing they’re game birds.
     
  4. robin416

    robin416 Administrator Staff Member

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    AH HA!!! It worked!

    Sorry couldn't resist.

    You can rehome them safely. There are folks that won't have anything else but gamebirds. They love the breed.

    They are a personable breed, the males are seldom aggressive to humans. The problem is trying to integrate them with other breeds or a new flock. They demand top spot in the flock and will do everything they can to get that top spot. Males living together is next to impossible where we can get away with it with other breeds.
     
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  5. Sylie

    Sylie Super Moderator Staff Member

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    As for the winterizing question. Some people believe that because chickens have down they don't need any warmth, they are fine outside in the elements as they are. Those are the chickens that you find with black combs, toes, wattles literally frozen off. Chickens ARE susceptible to the cold just as much as we are.
    Think of it this way...would you want to be outside 24 hours a day, day in and day out with no shoes, socks or hat, only a winter coat? Even if you had a group of friends to cuddle with, would you enjoy yourself? Do you think that you would be warm enough?

    The belief that chickens don't need protection from the cold comes from the really old days when chickens were not pets, they were not live, living creatures, they were things to be owned, used for their purpose and when they die, you get a new one, who cares. Kind of like a lawn mower. But that being said, would you leave your lawn mower out in the elements day in and day out?

    I'm not saying that you should or should not winterize your coop, I'm just pointing out that there are different beliefs and you have to decide how you feel and what kind of effort you want to put into the chickens.

    Just because a chicken survives the winter does not mean that it was happy, comfortable or even well for that matter, many die in the winter from respiratory illness, frostbite, predators because they can't move around in the snow as easily to get away etc.

    I'm really not giving an opinion here, only a few things to think about before winter does come in. I live in Iowa and I winterize heavily, I would not want to be in my girls shoes (o_O)

    I even shovel the yard so they don't have to walk in the deep snow (boy, after rereading this last sentence, I may be babying them just a little bit? hahahaha)
     
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  6. RitaS

    RitaS Active Member

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    Well I understand babying them ... it’s easy to get into.
    No I wouldn’t want to be in the chicks shoes either & no I wouldn’t leave my mower out lol. I’m the type that would want to bring the chickens inside to my enclosed porch if it was bitter outside. lol
    Sylie, What do you do when you winterize the coop , if you don’t mind my asking ?
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2020
  7. RitaS

    RitaS Active Member

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    Could my hen be a black sex link ?
     
  8. Sylie

    Sylie Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Anything is possible (black sex link question) but I am so awful at the genetics thing that maybe Robin or Mitzy would be better to ask.

    The actual coops themselves are heavily insulated to start with. Thats a year round thing, we built the coops ourselves and put 2 inches of insulation (floor has foam, walls and roof have blown in insulation). The first year I noticed their combs were getting frostbit and their water bowl was always freezing. It's important here to explain the coop set up...This coop (I have 2 and they are different shapes etc so I am only talking about the big one now) has 2 floors, upstairs and downstairs. In the upstairs my husband cut a hole in the floor in the corner, covered it with metal hardware cloth, built a frame around the hole with 2x4's and covered them with metal plating. Then he covered the 2 walls in that corner with more metal plating. Next he hung the heat lamp in the corner sticking out diagonal so that it wasn't close to either of the walls and was centered over the hole, he made sure that it was securely attached to the wall (I can't explain how he did it, sorry but it can't be knocked down) then used 2 metal grates with small squares (1 inch ) as the 2 sides that were exposed to the chickens area so that they can't reach the lamp, if they freak out and start jumping around or whatever, they cannot hit the lamp accidentally or anything. This provides heat upstairs and downstairs at the same time. In the light zone downstairs it stays about 36 or so (depending on the temp outside since the pop door is open all day lol) and drops to anywhere between 29 and 32 in the zones farthest from the light zone. Upstairs stays a very nice 36 to 40. Every week I go in and wash the lamp bell, wipe off the bulb etc. to keep it working properly and for safety.
    Next I put pine shavings 5 - 6 inch depth on the ground in their run and finally I wrap the entire run in clear plastic to keep the wind, snow and cold out. The run stays around 26 degrees depending on outside temp with no supplemental heat in there.

    So, long story short and to summarize lol!
    heat lamp (heavy safety measures in place)
    pine shavings in the run
    plastic wrapping on the run
     
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  9. Poultry Judge

    Poultry Judge Moderator Staff Member

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    Yes, you don't want a lot of cold wind moving moving through the coop. I would start making plans to re-home a couple of the roos, it might be easier now than to have significant problems later, especially if you are in an area where you can't have roosters. And as the ladies have said, game cross roos are going to be higher maintenance. They are colorful though!
     
  10. RitaS

    RitaS Active Member

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    Thank you all for everything, it’s been a great help to me.
    I have spoken with the potential new owner & she is willing to take all of my chickens. I told her they were game birds & as far as I know 4 roosters.
    I would like to see the chicks grow a little more so maybe in 2-4 weeks they will be moved.
    I’m starting to see some hard head pecking , looked like a rooster & a hen. He knocked her off balance & when she walked away he went after her.
    I am amazed at how many different colors my chicks are & although I don’t want to keep them, I think they’re all beautiful.
    Thanks for sharing how you insulted your coop. I can’t do the insulation but if for whatever reason they stay here I’ll definitely put plastic around & pine shavings in the run.
    I’m out in the country so having the roosters would be ok except the neighbors might not like to hear them lol.
    Thank y’all again !!
     
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  11. Poultry Judge

    Poultry Judge Moderator Staff Member

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    They are very colorful! Given that you have no history, you won't be able to sort out the genetics on the game cross issue until they are older. You have already done a lot of work, why don't you keep some and then get another breed you like? You seem like you are hooked on these guys and I think folks on this forum enjoy helping. If you have issues rehoming roos you can contact us. We are in Northeast Ohio and are a licensed animal sanctuary and wildlife rehabilitator.
     
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  12. RitaS

    RitaS Active Member

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    With my schedule I don’t feel I give enough time to my chickens. I work 6 days a week & only go home to them roosting . Like this morning I left before they were up & they will be in the coop before I get home.
    My friend says she will take all of them & she already has chickens.
     
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  13. RitaS

    RitaS Active Member

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    I have sand covering the run. Momma has been scratching & throwing sand straight into the waterer. I came home last night & saw there was no water, only sand. Is there a way to prevent this or a waterer I can get ?
     
  14. robin416

    robin416 Administrator Staff Member

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    We all deal with things in waterers that don't belong. Can you raise it up? It won't keep everything out but it sort of slows it down. Most times I've got mine up on a concrete block and it still ends up with shavings in the waterers.
     
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  15. RitaS

    RitaS Active Member

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    I’ll give that a try. Thanks
     
  16. Poultry Judge

    Poultry Judge Moderator Staff Member

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    I have a few old silver plate serving trays that are very low and I set the waterers on those for the chicks and that works pretty good. You could probably use any type of tray that is low enough for your babies to navigate. You have to be even more creative with ducks in a brooder situation!
     
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  17. robin416

    robin416 Administrator Staff Member

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    Hers are old enough to hop up but when I have some a tad younger I make it a stair step with something lower. Right now my keets have a 4X6 to jump on to reach the waterer on the concrete block.

    Ducks in a brooder with a waterer? That would be a full time job keeping those clean.
     
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  18. RitaS

    RitaS Active Member

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    Oh my the one chick now has a “mask” around his eyes like momma....I think it’s one of the roosters. He looks much more grown than the others.
    They didn’t stay babies very long
     
  19. Poultry Judge

    Poultry Judge Moderator Staff Member

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  20. robin416

    robin416 Administrator Staff Member

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    Nope, they never do.

    Don't forget to get some pics of the birds before they go to their new home. You will enjoy looking back on the adventure you had with them.