Thursday, October 28

New Additions and Winter Concerns

I got a call on my cell this afternoon while dropping off some items at Goodwill. My mom was on the line and she said "Where are you? We are at your house with a cage of chickens!"

I did not know I was getting more chickens. Now I have a total of 22.

My new ladies as 5 month old Rhode Island Reds. They are a very dark brown/red color and none look like roosters, yet. I am going to keep an eye on them and make sure since I am not sure I want a rooster around. But they are all very pretty and distinguished.

I kept them in a separate pen until it was dark and my ladies were asleep in the coop. Then as quietly as I could, I put the six new girls in and crossed my fingers. I am slightly dreading going to the coop tomorrow morning.

So my flock is slowly growing and I am selling eggs to a few regular customers. I am into the schedule of nightly font and feeder filling, as well as the weekly scoop-the-poop session. And I can honestly say that I enjoy having this little flock under my care. We are getting about 13 eggs a day (my lucky number!), and it is enough to keep my customers happy and my family comfortably stocked.

Winter is coming though and I am trying to figure out the best way to care for them in the cold weather. I am thinking that they will spend most of their time in the coop since I do not want them to get frostbite. The coop is big so they will all have plenty of room, even with the 6 new girls. I bought 10 bales of straw for bedding and insulation and I still have the heat lamp that we used for the chicks. Does anyone know if I should have the heat lamp on all the time? Just at night? Just on really cold days? Do I even need it at all?

Any and all advice on 'wintering' chickens would be greatly appreciated.

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