Saturday, January 23, 2010

Probaby NOT a waste of my time...

I've been spending HOURS reading posts on its a Chicken Forum and a place where if you have a question, someone has an answer. I found so much cool information on here and some really cool pictures. I also found some stuff about cold weather coops, and for it being WAY below zero this past two weeks my chickens are doing a lot better than what was expected. I think if I could just post questions and answers on that forum ALL day I probably would. Today I was looking under the tab of chicken egg production, or something like that and I clicked on the topic of HUGE EGG and MAAAAN it was a big egg... they said it was "an egg inside of an egg" I wish they would have posted a picture of the egg inside of an egg. I also saw a picture of a funky looking egg with like starbursts type of patterns on it, some kind of genetic mutation or something. Anyway, if you're bored and want to learn about chickens (and dont take anything to heart because I read on there that chickens cannot and will not produce eggs if the weather is below zero and you dont have an actual heater in your coop, hello? I'm living proof!) check it out!


  1. A few tips from a (former - don't have time now) chicken keeper here in Delta. Make sure that the roosts are wide (couldn't tell by your pics but they looked a bit narrow) so that the chicken's feet won't freeze this winter. A two by four works, allowing them to tuck their feet under the feathers. Also, to reduce your feed costs, try adding scraps from local foods. Chickens are like hogs and will eat ANYTHING. It will affect the egg taste (fish makes eggs taste like fish, for example) - but if your buyers like gull eggs, a little fishy taste might be okay. We collect waste food from local businesses for our hogs. The same could be done for your hens.

  2. Saima,

    Found your blog through ADN. Just wanted to say HI and Quyana Cakneq for blogging from the Bush!!

    It's great to see more bloggers from the bush.

    Happy Blogging!!

    Ann Strongheart

  3. Great to see someone else raising chickens out here in the bush. We are down here in Bristol Bay and have been at it a few years.
    Couple of things, which you probably know but just in case;
    Keep the coop free of drafts as much as possible but don't get it so tight it 'sweats' in the winter. We insulated ours and they seem to do fine.
    YES, feed them food scrapes.
    I do feed fish, lots of it in the summer when we have it, but steam or bake it first. There is an enzyme they can't digest well. It also stops you from getting any fish flavor in the eggs. Makes HUGE eggs too.
    The roost 2x4 thing is VERY important for their feet.
    Good Luck, so exciting to see.

  4. Greetings Saima!
    Congrats on your new coop. I've been raising chickens for eggs, and pets for many ,many years. Only a part of that time here in Alaska (Valdez).
    I just wanted to give you a heads up, for many years I didn't have any preditor problems, but last winter Ermin took out my hens AND rooster. I tried burying the chicken wire in the ground so as it froze it would be near inpossible to dig up. But Ermin can crawl right through the stuff. I found that out as they returned this winter and killed my 6 new hens.
    Hardware cloth is the only safe barrier once they find your coop.
    And's a lot wetter down here, but try to keep the coop floor as dry as possible, so their feet stay as dry as possible, so as to avoid toe problems.
    Anything else I can do to help, feel free to drop me a line!

    Steve in Valdez

  5. Nice finding your blog through the article today in ADN. I'm Nan and have a blog Retired in Alaska. We live in Homer and I LOVE chickens and used to keep them many years ago while living in CA where I grew up. Have through about having them here and I see you do not put any heat in your coop this amazes me the chickens can take the cold like that. Nan

  6. Okay, here are some answers to some of your concerns.. maybe I shouldnt have posted saying that I have no heat, I have a 250 watt red heat lamp on at night, for MAYBE six hours, and then I have a flood light during the day for a few hours because we dont get enough sunlight here in Kotzebue. And the roosts that they sleep on are wide enough, I havent run into any frostbite. I try to check on days that it is twenty below or more, on every chicken. I feel their toes and their combs and none of them have gotten frostbite (THANK GOD!). My coop is pretty much draft free,there is a small vent hole where the extention cord goes in but it also helps with the smell , I think. I do feed my chicken scraps but not JUST scraps. I know the enjoy it but I try to keep them balanced for egg production. They get all our fish scraps and veggie scraps and bread scraps... I tried talking to the produce manager at the store here but he said I had to dumpster dive for veggies if I wanted them.... I'm not that hard up on getting veggies for my chickens. Maybe in the summer. I havent had any predator problems yet, our coop has a door with a lock on it and they cannot go outside because its FREEZING outside! :) But my boyfriend is going to build them a little door in the spring and we plan on having a run for them. I learned from a lady in wasilla that we need to fence it all the way around, even the top. I think ravens would be more of a problem than anything around here. Plus, my mom has a dog that stays outside during the summer, I think she'd make a good watchdog. :) Thanks for the comments and advice, I'm always open to whatever! :)

  7. Hello from Southern Illinois, When it gets cold here we feed our chickens warm water and a vitamain supplement. It does help them lay in cold weather. Also chickens will"lay" out after sometime. When this happens you can force molt them. Put them up in a dark place for a couple of days without feed and this will cause them to grow new feathers. My name is Randy Vickery and my mail is

  8. Saima,

    Wow, what a great thing to find your blog. I am a nurse considering moving up to Kotzebue for a 2 year stint, and it is nice to see a peek of the positive side of living in the Arctic. I am planning a trip to Kotzebue in March and in the meantime will keep following your blog :)
    PS I am a Julia Child fanatic too!!!!!! One of my concerns was being able to get ingredients way up north,........

  9. Lol, I love the story of the big egg. There is even a video on You Tube if you want to see what it looks like. Here's the YouTube link:
    Happy chicken keeping! My chicks live in balmy Seattle; they don't know how spoiled they are by our temperate weather. Cheers, Sonja