First winter with chooks

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dakota

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First winter with chooks
« on: November 23, 2007, 18:49 »
I've been wondering for a few weeks now,how will the chooks cope with their first winter, not only them but am I doing right for them as this is my first venture into poultry. I got them in May this year POL so I'm a bit apprehensive if the weather turns really bad.  The 5 of them appear to be in really good condition at the moment. I keep feeding them layer pellets adlib,and late in the afternoon I feed them cooked veg the same as me and my wife have for our lunch,we always cook more than we want so theirs  always some left over,with this I mix about 5ml of cod liver oil,how often a week would you recommend this. On the odd days I do'nt have veg,I cook then diced carrot and swede  and also sweetcorn which I purchase from my local Farm Foods freezer supermarket its very cheap 75p for a 750grm bag,they love it I feed them about 8oz between the 5 of them. I also add apple cider vinegar to their drinking water,again can I feed this every day? I mentioned in a previouse posting that I had fitted an automatic pophole opener again I emphasise what a great device this is,o k its not cheap but I consider it worth every penny especially now the cold dark mornings are with us. I've read with great interest  on this forum, many threads,some being slightly controversial,one that especially comes to mind is  regarding lighting.  At first,with being a novice keeper I did'nt know what to think ,because  lighting the  the coop was something I was considering.  Well a while back I purchased a system from Rooster Booster and the outcome as really surprised me at the way the chooks have responded to it.I have placed the main light in the inner coop run,with an extension light in the 8ft run that I built onto the main coop, At this time of the year the light is set by the manufacturer to come on at about  3am, the pophole also opens at this time  on the light sensor.The first morning it was set,I got up at 3-30 to check,and yes all 5 were scratting about in the shavings I let them out in the outside run when its daylight about 7-30.  What surprised me  is when it starts to get dark in the afternoons,obviously at this time of the year no 2 days are the same,e.g. today in Nottingham it  was a lovel'y bright sunny clear,bitterly cold day,so they did'nt go into the coop till about 4-15pm but yesterday it was very dark and raining on and off all day and they went in at about
3-15pm,now here's  what really surprised  me,although the lights were on, on both days the chooks ignored them and went staight up onto the perch and thats where they remained. There is'nt lighting in the perch area,but like I've said there is in the run below and the lights are set to go off at 8-0pm the pophole also closes at this time.So to me this proves the chooks have a mind of their own.The main reason I fitted the Lights was because I did'nt like the idea of them being on the perch from 330pm to 7-30am. As for egg production I got 4 yesterday,2 today,a month ago I was getting 5 most days. A long posting I hope you find it interesting. please reply to my request re;feeding cod liver oil and cider vinegar
                 Best Wishes   Edward

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richyrich7

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First winter with chooks
« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2007, 19:26 »
Yes Dakota very interesting, cod liver oil I would give once a week, thats what mine get if I remember  :oops:  cider vinegar I think is ok to give all the time but I'm not 100% sure Munty or one of the others will know.

Glad you don't let them out into the main run during the night hours BTW foxy may come a looking. :wink:
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Aunt Sally

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First winter with chooks
« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2007, 19:43 »
You seem to be enjoying your hens Edward  :D

As Richy said cod liver oil no more than once a week.  It's vitamin D that aids Calcium absorption in the gut and too much can cause brittle bones.  AVC all the time is fine  :D

This year's POLs should lay over winter during their first winter anyway, with or without extra light.  

And as Richy said make sure they are well protected from foxes.

I'd not give them too much cooked veg personally, some mixed corn in the afternoon will give them calories to keep warm overnight, especially as they are not tucked up warm in bed during all the hours of darkness.
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Lilac

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First winter with chooks
« Reply #3 on: November 23, 2007, 20:54 »
I hope you don't mind me stepping in on your thread Edward, but I was just going to post some questions about winter when I saw you had already asked.

I would like to ask, where can you get cod liver oil from? I mean I know it comes in capsule form from the supermarkets etc, but where can you get it in liquid form?

Are there any other handy hints us first timers should know for over the winter?

Thank You

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richyrich7

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First winter with chooks
« Reply #4 on: November 23, 2007, 21:25 »
Well depending on how many chucks you have the capsules are fine I put a pin hole in one and squezze it out onto 4 bits of bread = 4 chucks and thats probably loads enough. But you can get it from Wilko's in the bottle or your local chemist if you feeling rich.

Can I reiterate what Aunty says about mixed corn usually I give it about 1/2 hour before bed time, gets the reluctant ones back in the shed  :wink: about a handful each I give mine roughly 1/2 ounce I think. Too much corn makes them fat.

Birds with big combs may need a touch of vaseline on the combs on the very cold nights.

And most important they need fresh air, cold wont kill 'em. but draughts and damp conditions may

Oh and make sure the water is not frozen before you leave 'em in the morning they need water more than anything.

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babe

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First winter with chooks
« Reply #5 on: November 23, 2007, 21:25 »
Quote from: "Lilac"
I hope you don't mind me stepping in on your thread Edward, but I was just going to post some questions about winter when I saw you had already asked.

I would like to ask, where can you get cod liver oil from? I mean I know it comes in capsule form from the supermarkets etc, but where can you get it in liquid form?

Are there any other handy hints us first timers should know for over the winter?

Thank You


your feed shop should have it, look in with the horse supplements

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dakota

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First winter with chooks
« Reply #6 on: November 24, 2007, 08:11 »
Quote from: "Lilac"
I hope you don't mind me stepping in on your thread Edward, but I was just going to post some questions about winter when I saw you had already asked.

I would like to ask, where can you get cod liver oil from? I mean I know it comes in capsule form from the supermarkets etc, but where can you get it in liquid form?

Are there any other handy hints us first timers should know for over the winter?

Tha
nk You
      Hi, Lilac

                                       I purchased my first  500ml bottle of codliver oil from Boots, then my wife saw it in Wilko's where Richyrich as mentioned, and yes its more than half the price  Best wishes   Edward

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dakota

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First winter with chooks
« Reply #7 on: November 24, 2007, 08:15 »
Quote from: "dakota"
Quote from: "Lilac"
I hope you don't mind me stepping in on your thread Edward, but I was just going to post some questions about winter when I saw you had already asked.

I would like to ask, where can you get cod liver oil from? I mean I know it comes in capsule form from the supermarkets etc, but where can you get it in liquid form?

Are there any other handy hints us first timers should know for over the winter?

Tha
nk You
      Hi, Lilac

                                       I purchased my first  500ml bottle of codliver oil from Boots, then my wife saw it in Wilko's where Richyrich as mentioned, and yes its more than half the price  Best wishes   Edward
 ' Just to put things staight I mean its  its HALF the price that Boots charge' Sorry for the confusion

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Lilac

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First winter with chooks
« Reply #8 on: November 24, 2007, 10:55 »
Hi

Thanks for the information. Sadly we don't have a Wilkos near here, so I guess a trip to Boots is on the cards. :wink:

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slowef

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First winter with chooks
« Reply #9 on: November 24, 2007, 16:48 »
How about Tesco got mine there, it was about 6.00 but it lasts ages



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