20 March 2014

The chickens through winter


The Coop in winter

I took up raising chickens this fall.
It was something my mostly Finnish spouse wanted to do, but I ended up taking the bulk of the duties. Thus far we only have 2 hens- a Sebright Golden  and a New Hampshire Red. We had another one but that is a story for another day. They spent the winter in the coop you see above. And it was a really cold winter. I did not heat the coop so the hens needed to produce their own heat.
I did not have a heat source mostly because the coop is so small ad there is no safe spot for a heat lamp. I also read from many chicken raisers that you let the hens produce the heat by supplementing their feed with corn. I also insulated 3/4s of the coop. 
Now that it is spring, I am pleased to announce that they survived the rugged Dakota winter.
The only thing I learned is that they need better ventilation in winter. Lots of condensation built up inside.
I had a cloth over the door on the majority of the winter. The hens have not figured it out- except perhaps the bantam. Although she seems to have fallen out the door because they often build up straw near the opening.
So far only a half dozen eggs. The Red started laying infrequently early last month.

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