Well, if you are an owner of chickens in Texas you know about our sudden weather changes. Here we go again. Snakes! Unbelievable but SNAKES in my coop last week. Our weather went from a low of 15 degrees to a balmy humid nearly 78 degrees at night and this all happened in only 48 hours.
In our coops I have built “snake rooms” which are snake proof enclosures that will raise up to 2000 young juvenile chickens during warm weather. In the late spring, summer and fall each night chickens are put inside these rooms at dusk. ( rooms are about the size of a 4 car garage)
But this winter I was lax, here in January and forgot about snakes from out of the creek (Hey its JANUARY and 15 degrees!) To make this short and sweet, the temperature climbed to 78 degrees the other night and snakes went into the coop and made short work of some pullets in the corner. (ggrrrrr!!!!) Lesson learned, at anytime if the temperature at night reaches 50 to 55 degrees, ALL chickens will go in the closed rooms. That’s Texas weather folks.
Well, on a happier note, I did discover “wash tubs” for raising baby chicks. I purchased several 1 x 6 foot oval “sheep dip galvanized or wash tubs” from a hardware store as a temporary quick fix for a batch of young chicks in my brooder room. During sudden heavy rains I have a small leak in the back roof drain which gets the floor wet. No amount of hay can keep the room dry in a 4 inch rain. So, I purchased these tubs with the intention to keep just hatched chicks away from the leaky hole in the roof.
I found several great benefits to using these instead of my bare wood floors and litter for chicks. These tubs retain heat. The metal stays warm under the 250 watt hanging heat lamps the side metal walls keep the heat inside and the chicks warm. The chicks do not wander too far apart in a large 24×12 foot room. As the chicks get older I turn the wash tubs on the sides and again the heat from the hanging lamps is retained by the metal sides and makes a small warm air pocket for the chicks to sleep in. I place sections of hay or piles of litter in the tubs to keep the chicks from piling up on top of each other.
As always before adding chickens to any room, I spray the floors and walls with a solution of organic probiotics that eliminates germs and bad bacteria. My chicks, pullets and hens all THRIVE is Texas sudden weather changes, In most poultry farms there are “acceptable losses” from some communicable diseases in poultry. Thankfully, this will not ever be an issue at Blue Star Ranch as I have the proper mix and balance of bacteria’s to keep my flocks healthy in all weather changes.
If you have a chicken coop where ever you live, be prepared with the items you need in ALL seasons of weather. Don’t wait until a storm or heat wave to come up with creative solutions for your chickens safety.