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Chickens Coop Care Seasonal Care Stories from Our Nest

Colder Days, Planning for Winter

This will be my first Winter with the girls.  Cape Cod doesn’t get too cold, but it has really gotten me to thinking about the coop and run set up as well as freezing waterers and nasty weather ahead.  As a hobbist chicken raiser, we are not doing this on a very large scale.   Our maximum flock size will mostlikely be about 12 girls, 6 of those being bantams.  It is difficult to even find small feeders and waterers that are not hobbist size for adult chickens and most smaller versions are for little chicks.

My coop is 3’x4′ and the run is 6’x9′.  I am currently using the plastic Little Giant 3 pound feeder.  I have placed it upon 2 bricks elevating it above the pine shavings in the coop.  The waterer is outside in the run.  That too is a Little Giant 2 gallon galvanized metal waterer. 

That being said, I am now looking into making the winter easy for the girls and for me too.  There are numerous options from heated pet bowls, plastic waterers with an area to plug and extension cord into, as well as a metal heater base for the waterers to sit upon.  The reviews are mixed on all choices.  Thus, here in lies the difficulties.  I guess this conversation will have to be continued…

Chickens Stories from Our Nest

When they were chicks

Here are the two Buff Orpingtons when they were 3 days old.  Still as curious as ever.   It is hard to believe that they look like full grown chickens within about 6 weeks.  They are on an organic feed from Vermont.  Who know there were so many options with the feed; mash, crumbles, pellets.  Our girls at 16 weeks are now on layer pellets.  They seem to be less messy and the girls don’t mind.

The Austrolorp, Tilly, is the head hen.  She has been at the pecking order since day 1.  It is amazing to see them grow.  She is a sweet gentle natured girl.  She is not the biggest anymore, but that does not seem to matter.  They all have unique personalities and funny quirks.  I never thought that I would ever love a chicken let alone all 6 of them.

Chickens Stories from Our Nest

In the beginning…

I became serious about raising chickens this past winter.  I really always was intrigued by them.  I however, was not sure what the necessary requirements were. Like any typical type A person, I read and read and read.  Finally, after talking to numerous people.  I ordered the girls from  http://www.mypetchicken.com/ .   I really had to wait a long time.  I ordered them in February but decided to have them delivered in June after school let out for the summer.  I did this for a few reasons.  One being that I had no where to put them.  Two, that I heard how quickly they grow and did not want my children to miss out.

I can clearly remember the post office frantically leaving 2 messages on my answering machine that day.  It was late June and hot.  I went as quickly as I could to the post office and when I arrived I was handed a peeping cardboard box.  It was about 12″x6″x6″.  I drove so carefully talking to my box all the way in my best Mama hen impersonation. 

When I arrived home, I gently removed the lid and found huddled in the corner six tiny day old chicks.  Eager to meet their new family,  we taught them how to drink and eat and placed them under the heat lamp in soft pine shavings.  We had just met the newest members of our family:  Tilly, Oyster Cracker, Sunshine, Chocolate, Feathers and Peanut Butter.