Heated Chicken Waterers

Heated Chicken Waterers

Heard heated chicken waterers can make life easier, but aren’t sure which to buy? Not even sure they’re safe? In this article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know!

For people like us, who raise animals out of the comforts of a heated home, cold is a serious problem. If the temperature drops too far, water freezes. While some animals can break ice – with breath and a hot tongue, or a beak – there are limits to what these resources can do. And when temperatures plummet, dehydration can be a major problem for your fur or feather babies.  One solution – heated chicken waterers – are a simple method of providing water to your flock. Today we’ll look at the kinds of heated waterers available for our chickens. 

Our Favorite Heated Chicken Waterers On Amazon:

Do Chickens Need to Drink Water?

Oh yes, chickens absolutely drink water. It might be funny to watch them – they fill their mouths and then tip their heads back – but water is an absolutely necessary part of their daily diet. Actually, an adult chicken will drink a few cups of water per day. Get a group of 20 chickens together, and they’ll likely go through as much water per day as a cow. 

Are Heated Chicken Waterers Safe?

Mostly, yes. You need to watch out for how hot they get, and how much electricity they draw. It’s best to look at your user manual and reviews online for the specific unit you’re considering.

Are There Different Types Of Heated Chicken Waterers?

Not including home-made, there are three different types of heated chicken waterers:

Automatic Waterers 

These waterers contain a basin that has one or more openings at the base that open only when chickens use them. These are generally clean, neat, and very hygienic. Depending on the valve, these waterers also avoid dripping water and frozen puddles beneath them. However, some parts are more prone to freezing.

Gravity-Type Waterers 

These operate under the same principle as the automatic waterers, save for one major difference: the distribution method. These jugs generally are attached to an open pan (also known as a “drinker”) that your chickens will drink from. Because they are open, you run the risk of your birds contaminating the pan. The drinkers are also pretty easy to break off. 

Open Pans Or Dish-type Waterers 

These are often a pan set out over a heated base. They run the same risk of contamination as the gravity waterers, which will require more scrubbing than, say, the automatic waterers. Elevating them off the ground in the heated base will help to reduce the muddying of waters. 

What Makes The “Ideal” Heated Chicken Waterer?

This is a complicated question. There are several key elements to consider:
  • How cold does it get in your area?
  • How many chickens are in your coop?
  • What material works best for you?
  • Should it rest on the floor or be elevated? 
  • Is it durable enough or will it freeze? 
Affordability is another concern. Some options – like batteries – can cost a lot over time. Some heated chicken waterers (especially the do-it-yourself variety) could put unnecessary stress on your wallet.  How many chickens have you got? The answer to this will determine the size of your waterer, as you don’t want to be slogging out into the cold every couple of hours to refill the water of your birds.  In other words, the ideal waterer will completely depend on your flock. Just make sure it’s durable so in the event that the water does freeze, the container won’t rupture or break.  Let’s further explore these questions below.

How Big Should It Be?

As previously mentioned, a flock of 20 birds will drink about as much as a cow – that’s a whole lot of water to provide. If your flock consists of fewer than 5 birds, a single 2-gallon waterer should suffice. Most single waterers range in size from about a gallon to 3 gallons. The heaters in heated chicken waterers are very adept at cooling off smaller areas, but anything larger than that could run into problems with the law thermal equilibrium, which states that temperatures will seek a balance.  In extremely cold weather, some heaters might prove insufficient in warming large quantities of water.  With the addition of more birds, you will probably need more heated chicken waterers. Some sources recommend having on three-gallon waterer for every 10 to 12 chickens. 

What Kinds Of Automatic Valves Are There For My Heated Chicken Waterers?

Nipples are a type of automatic valve that is fast becoming a preferred method of watering chickens on cold winter days. These are designed to not release water until your chicken pokes it with their beaks.  Floating valves are small cups of water. When your chickens dip their beaks into the cup, they press on a floating valve that releases fresh water into the cup. This provides a constant set amount of water in this hanging waterer.

Should I Use Plastic Or Metal For My Heated Chicken Waterers?

Ultimately, that is your call. Both materials are excellent in cold weather. Plastic waterers are durable and do not break easily. Galvanized metal also holds up very well in extreme cold BUT freezes faster than plastic. Both can be found with internal or external heaters, though plastic heaters usually have the heating element in the base. 

Should I Hang My Heated Chicken Waterers Or Lay Them On The Ground?

This is an important question, that depends, in part, on what you have available in your coop or in your pen. One clear benefit of hanging waterers is you can raise it off the ground, and your chickens are less likely to roost on them (which means less poop). Elevating the water from the ground reduces the chances your flock will poop in it.  Ground-based waterers don’t have to be messy, however. A waterer set upon a heating pad can still get that required height and also remain equally clean to hanging heated chicken waterers. 

How Often Should I Refill My Heated Chicken Waterer?

The easy answer is “Whenever they need filling.” Since most waterers can hold upwards of a couple of gallons, they have a bit of staying power. Still, you should be checking your waterers at least once every day. That way, you can top off the containers when you see they need it, and you can see if they need to be cleaned. Your chickens might have made a mess of the waterers, and you’ll want to clean them up as soon as possible. 

Are There Heated Chicken Waterers Without Electricity Needed?

Some heated chicken waterers don’t require electricity, such as solar powered heated waterers. Others include battery-powered heaters. You can read this article here for an excellent how-to that breaks down a number of means of keeping your chickens hydrated – and all without electricity!

What About Solar Heated Chicken Waterers?

The simplest solution would be to have a large black tub that is not too tall for your chickens to reach. Place this into the sunniest part of the coop, and over the course of the day, the heat from the sun might prove to be enough to keep your flock hydrated. In colder climates, however, this might not work as well, and alternative heating might be required. 

Are There Do-it-Yourself Heated Chicken Waterers?

There are a number of sources out there across the internet that offer solutions for homemade water heaters. Here’s 2 that we like:

Where to Find Heated Chicken Waterers?

You can usually find them at farm stores, like Tractor Supply. You can also find them on Amazon here: We hope this information about heated chicken waterers helps you keep your chickens hydrated and healthy, even through the bitter chills have arrived! Stay warm!
Best Hatcheries to Buy Frizzle Chickens

Best Hatcheries to Buy Frizzle Chickens

If you’re looking for one of the most adorable chicken breeds out there, then you might be in the market of a Frizzle. These chickens are a bit different. Not in just one way, but in a whole lot of different ways. Perhaps the biggest difference is their feathering. Instead of growing feathers that lie flat against the body, a frizzle’s feathers curl outward and away from the body! In effect, this makes these lovable chickens look more than a bit like a feather duster (though we would strongly discourage confusing your Frizzle for a duster). These curly feathers account for every single feather on their body, and as a result, they might look unruly and untamed, like your curly hair does in humid weather. But don’t be tricked! One of the most consistent qualities of a Frizzle is a wonderful, lovable temperament. Their even-keel temperament is every bit a defining trait as their curvaceous “locks.” 

The most challenging aspect of finding these wonderful birds is finding one. Unlike standard breeds, a Frizzle doesn’t breed true. Instead, their curly feathering is the result of recessive genes. If the hen has the curly gene and the rooster has the curly gene, then there is a 25% chance that their offspring will be a Frizzle (hyperlink “a 25% chance” to https://thefrugalchicken.com/frizzle-chickens/). That might seem low, but that’s genetics for you! The good news is that a Frizzle could potentially appear in a number of different chicken breeds. In the list below, not only will we be sharing with you locations where you can find your own Frizzles, but also what breeds of Frizzles are available. 

Ideal Poultry offers a wonderful piece of information that any future Frizzle owner should consider when buying these windswept-looking birds: “Frizzle plumage is determined by two sets of genes which are quite difficult to manage. Various combinations of these two sets of genes results in plumage of three types – natural, frizzle and extreme frizzle or curly, therefore it is possible to order frizzles and receive some chicks that do not appear to be frizzled, although they carry the frizzle gene.” 

1. Ideal Poultry (Hyperlink hatchery name to https://www.idealpoultry.com/product/1406/63)

Average Straight-Run Assorted Cochin Bantam Frizzle: $4.06

Ideal Poultry has been hatching eggs since 1937. As they near their centennial anniversary, they have developed quite a distinctive boasting right: that they are the largest supplier of backyard poultry in the USA! With a headquarters located in Cameron, Texas, Ideal Poultry can fulfill all of your poultry needs through their website, mailing list, and easy access payment options. With generations of experience, they have a FAQ page that answers loads of very important questions that a novice chicken owner might have. 

Advantages

  • Optional Marek’s vaccine for 20¢ per bird. 
  • Discounts range starting at orders of 25 or more. 
  • Assorted Frizzle Cochin Bantams are a selection of Black, Red or White Frizzle Cochin Bantams. 
  • An order of Frizzle chicks will be an assortment of the three varieties of Cochin Bantams. 
  • Have a minimum dollar value on poultry: $30. 
  • In the event of chick death during shipping, they will either reship chicks or credit your account. 

Disadvantages

  • Ship exclusively to the USA. 

2. Meyer Hatchery (hyperlink the hatchery name to https://www.meyerhatchery.com/productinfo.a5w?prodID=BRCBS)

Average Straight-Run Black Frizzle Cochin Bantam Chicken Price: $4.34

Meyer Hatchery is based in Polk, Ohio, and boasts itself as the “premier Poultry Source.” Priding itself on customer service and availability, Meyer Hatchery provides a variety of chicken breeds to meet customer demands for color and diversity. They welcome mixing and matching of breeds of the same poultry type to meet minimum order requirement for safe shipping. To help with orders, they have a calendar of hatchings. 

Meyer has a variety of means of communication, including multiple phone numbers, fax, and email. They also run a blog that covers everything from breeds to plant pairing with chickens, feed, cooking recipes, fowl entertainment, and survival tips.

Frizzle chicks are available through August, September, and October. 

Advantages

  • Discounts start with orders of 25 or more chicks. 
  • Website is up-to-date in real time. 
  • Accepts checks and credit cards.
  • Optional vaccination.
  • Member of the National Poultry Improvement Plan (NPIP), and provide NPIP VS Form 9-3 free of charge. 
  • Offer orders of over 100 chicks. 

Disadvantages

  • Limited store hours that change with the season.

3. My Pet Chicken (hyperlink the hatchery name to https://www.mypetchicken.com/catalog/Baby-Chicks/Black-Frizzle-Cochin-Bantam-p315.aspx)

Average Straight-Run Black Frizzle Cochin Bantam Chicken Price: $4.20

My Pet Chicken got started in 2005 by Traci Torres and her husband, Derek Sasaki, two novices to the chicken world who had a dream to help other novices in their farmers’ goals. To do this, the put free how-to information on the web and offered some unique products and services. 

The website launched in 2005 and in 2006, their flock had grown to the point to where they started offering chicks for sale from their headquarters in Monroe, CT. The site has been mentioned in another of publications, and serves tens of millions of page views per year.

Advantages 

  • Offers Marek’s vaccinations on all standard chicks at the click of a button.
  • Consistent hours of operation. 
  • A good source for questions about ordering chickens, chicken care, and about raising chickens.
  • Full refund for any bird that has been incorrectly sexed. 
  • Can ship a minimum of three baby chicks.

Disadvantages 

  • Limited availability.
  • Does not have a storefront.
  • There is a 10-chick maximum on this breed.

4. Purely Poultry (hyperlink the hatchery name to https://www.purelypoultry.com/frizzle-cochin-bantams-p-1085.html)

Average Straight-Run Frizzle Cochin Bantam Chicken Price: $5.76

As a family-owned business, Purely Poultry has some of the best customer service around. They pride themselves on their knowledge of their products, selection, and how-to details related to everything they offer, including ducks, chickens, geese, and lots of other birds! 

Located in Durand, WI, they guarantee live birds with every order, which is a good promise, indeed! Frizzle Cochin Bantams come in a variety of colors; Purely Poultry offers chicks in white, black, and red. 

Advantages:

  • Each order backed by live arrival guarantee.
  • Discounts start at orders of 25 chicks. 
  • Small order minimum on chicks.
  • Other kinds of poultry offered, too.

Disadvantages:

  • Relatively expensive. 
  • Not a huge advantage to buying multiple chicks – discounts are minimal.

5. Welp Hatchery (hyperlink the hatchery name to https://www.welphatchery.com/bantams/frizzle-cochin-bantam-assorted-straight-run/)

Average Straight-Run Assorted Frizzle Cochin Bantam Chicken Price: $3.77

Located in Bancroft, IA, Welp Hatchery was founded way back in 1929 by Joseph H. Welp. While their specialty is Cornish Rock Broilers, they have diversified to include a wide range of chicken breeds. To simplify their orders, they have a catalogue available for viewing or downloading (hyperlink “catalog” to https://www.welphatchery.com/uploads/WELPCATALOG2020_2020-01-27_13-51-43.html). From their shipping points in Iowa, New Mexico, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, this hatchery truly has a wide reach. 

Their Frizzle Cochin Bantams come in three colors: black, red, and white. 

Advantages 

  • Can choose the breeding date on the product page. 
  • Marek’s immunization is a one-click process.
  • Offer free shipping. 

Disadvantages 

  • Minimum orders of 5.

6. Stromberg’s Chickens (hyperlink the hatchery name to https://www.strombergschickens.com/product/bantam-frizzle-cochin-assortment?list=Category%20Listing)

Average Straight-Run Assorted Bantam Frizzle Cochin Chicken Chick: $4.15

Stromberg’s Chicks and Game Birds Unlimited has quite the name! It is appropriate, because they have a selection of birds to match the ambition of their name, with over 200 breeds available to their customers. This impressive family business got its start when Ernest and Josephine Stromberg brought 100 White Leghorn chicks to supplement the family income. Whatever they did must have worked wonders, because 99 years later (as of 2020), they are still going strong! In addition to livestock, Stromberg’s Publishing Company offers a number of books on poultry, poultry-related subjects, and myriad educational bulletins, all of which help make Stromberg’s an excellent source of all your fowl needs. 

The first farm was located in Doge, Iowa, but have since moved their headquarters to Hackensack, Minnesota. Including Hackensack, they ship from all locations:  Woodland, CA; Wilkes-Barre, PA; Marshall, TX; Winter Haven, FL, and Clarkson, KY.

Advantages

  • 13% discount offered on orders of 30 or more!
  • Free shipping on orders of $100 or more. 
  • Chicks are shipped immediately upon hatching. 

Disadvantages

  • Minimum orders of 5 chicks. 
  • Alaska residents suffer additional shipping costs and no live bird guarantee on orders shipped there.

7. Mill Valley Chickens (hyperlink the hatchery name to https://www.millvalleychickens.com/chickens-for-sale.html)

Average Straight-Run Cochin Bantam Chicken chick: $14.99

Holistic and humane, Mill Valley takes pride in the love they raise their chickens with. Indeed, they ensure that all bedding is devoid of metal wiring, that their chickens receive only the highest quality organic feed, and ensure plenty of natural lighting. With all this care and attention, they have a single goal: to get you the highest quality chicks in the best possible health. From their headquarters in Marin County, CA, they not only raise chickens, but they design coops, and offer courses on raising chickens. 

Advantages

  • All chicks are a flat rate (unless otherwise noted). 
  • Provides a number of hatching dates. 
  • All chicks come vaccinated for Marek’s Disease. 

Disadvantages

  • Cluttered product web page. 
  • Pick up or limited shipping. 

8. Daffy’s Palace (hyperlink the hatchery name to http://daffyspalaceducksandchickens.com/large-fowl-buff-orpington-frizzle-chickens/)

Straight Run Buff Orpington Frizzle Chicken Chick: $8.00

Straight Run White Cochin Frizzle Chicken Chick: $8.00

Straight Run Silver Laced Cochin Frizzle Chicken Chick: $8.00

Floridians, rejoice! Daffy’s Place is right in your backyard. Host to a variety of chicken and ducks, Daffy’s Place is located in Holt, Florida, and takes great pride in family-like treatment of all of the birds that come from their farm. They put an emphasis on humane treatment to all of their animals. They are conveniently available to potential clients through Twitter and Facebook. 

Advantages

  • Local pickup and seasonal shipping. 
  • Flat rate shipping for orders of 8 chicks. 

Disadvantages

  • Advertize the sale of day-old chicks in groups of 8. 
  • Relatively expensive, at $8.00 per chick. 
  • Local pickup. 

9. Murray McMurray Hatchery (hyperlink the hatchery name to https://www.mcmurrayhatchery.com/white_frizzle_cochin.html)

Straight Run White Frizzle Cochin Bantam Chicken Price: $5.75

Straight Run Black Frizzle Cochin Bantam Chicken Price: $5.75

Murray McMurray started his chicken business in 1917. As a banker, he sold his chicks to locals through the bank and by 1919, he had developed his own stock of chickens. During the Great Depression, he devoted himself to chickens full time. Since then, Murray McMurray Hatchery has developed into one of the largest chick hatcheries in the country. They sell more than just chickens, with ducks, geese, guineas, turkeys, other fowl and game birds all in the catalogue.

Advantages:

  • Bulk discounts available.
  • Excellent breed availability through August.
  • Black and White Cochin Frizzles can be mixed and matched.

Disadvantages:

  • Minimum order of fifteen birds at a time.
  • Limited availability. 

Without a doubt, Frizzle Chickens are truly a designer breed. Indeed, there is no guarantee that the lovely little peepers that you’ll order will even have the remarkable curled feathers that make Frizzles so special! However, there is always the option of breeding your own. The gene that produces the curly feathers is recessive, so even if your clutch don’t show the curls, those genes are just hiding away, waiting for their chance to produce the next generation of style! 

How To Keep A Chicken Coop Warm In Winter

How To Keep A Chicken Coop Warm In Winter

Not sure how to keep a chicken coop warm in winter? Then pull up a chair, because we got quite a few (battle-tested) ideas for you today.

 

(Want to know how to keep your flock’s water from freezing? Get my genius hacks here).

 

herbs for backyard chickens

 

While the winters never get too brutal here in Missouri, we still do get our share of freezing temps (usually in January and February) thanks to the polar vortexes from our Canadian friends up North.

 

And trying to keep a chicken coop warm in winter is never fun. In fact, it’s usually a battle of ingenuity, and we’re kept on our toes trying to find new ways to keep the flock toasty and cozy when it’s gotten so cold we don’t even have a prayer of getting the hose getting unfrozen.

 

Now before we begin, just remember: For the most part, your chickens will be fine during the winter.

 

Every year, I get a few people who ask whether their hens will freeze in temperatures below 40 degrees, and the answer is no. Your chickens will likely be fine no matter what.

 

Only once temperatures dip below zero and into the VERY below zero temperatures (negative 30 degrees, for example) do you really need to be concerned about keeping them warm.

herbs for backyard chickens

 

In temperatures above zero, your chickens will fluff their feathers to stay warm and all the walking around and foraging will help keep their blood circulating and their body temperature up.

 

At night, they’ll bundle together on a roost and keep their little legs warm by sitting on them.

 

But you still are probably wondering how to keep a chicken coop warm in winter, so here’s some ideas we’ve used on our farm to get you started!

 

  1. Shut the door midday and let the sun warm your coop up

 

We’ve had a lot of luck with the various coops on our property by using solar energy to keep the coops heated.

 

Our coops have windows, so for the first part of the day, we can open the coop doors and let the hens forage.

 

About mid-day, you can close the doors and allow the heat to get trapped inside the coop, keeping it warmer than it would be otherwise.

 

Now, don’t ask me how many degrees this will raise the temperature – that’s going to depend on a wide variety of factors.

 

And this won’t work 100% of the time. But it might be the difference between 22 degrees and 32 degrees in the coop – and that’s a heck of a difference.

 

herbs for backyard chickens

2. Use lots of straw & clean out every week

 

Straw is an amazing insulator – that’s why you see those straw houses becoming so popular.

 

Putting about a foot deep of straw in your coop will do wonders keeping the cold air out and the warm air generated by your flock’s body heat in.

 

As a bonus, your flock won’t have to stand on a cold floor.

 

Now, you might hear that straw is not good to use as bedding – to each his own. Some people have decided that straw harbors mites, and the answer is if you don’t clean your coop, pretty much anything will harbor mites.

 

Clean the straw out of your coop weekly, and you’ll be good to go.

 

Wondering how to keep a chicken coop warm in winter? Keep your backyard chickens toasty warm with these 6 genius hacks!

3. Deep litter method

 

If you don’t know what the deep litter method is, or if you’ve heard of it but aren’t sure what it entails, then you can learn everything you want to know right here.

 

Now for full disclosure, I don’t use the deep litter method. But people who DO use it claim it can raise the coop temperature by about 10 degrees – pretty significant when your talking about daily highs in the teens.

 

The reason it generates so much heat is because the manure dropped by the chickens composts, and the breaking-down process causes heat.

 

herbs for backyard chickens

4. Radiant space heater

 

Like the deep litter method, this one isn’t going to be for everyone. If you’re not sure what a radiant heater is, you can see an example here (you can also buy one here).

 

Now note, I didn’t say heat lamp – that’s a definite no-no because they get way too hot. Every winter, there’s a slew of posts on Facebook about people who used a heat lamp and their coop went up in flames.

 

Just say no to heat lamps.

 

Radiant heaters are a different thing – they don’t get so hot and have some safety features. They can raise the temperatures in your coop a few degrees, and that can make all the difference.

 

Just note, you will need an electrical source to use a radiant space heater.

 

Now, would I personally use one of these in my coop? Probably not. I’m WAY to paranoid about fires and our winters are not that cold – it’s the odd day that things get below zero.

 

That being said, you might want to use one – and if you do, the more power to you.

 

 

5. Use a treeline to break the wind

 

We have one horse pasture that I swear is 10 to 20 degrees warmer than the others. When the water is frozen solid in the other fields, it’s not even icy in this particular pasture.

 

And the reason is that there’s a lot of trees causing a ginormous windbreak. And it makes all the difference.

 

It’s pretty insane how much a treeline can keep a coop warm simply because it’s keeping the cold winds away from your flock.

 

If your chickens are in a tractor, or if you can somehow move them behind a treeline, you’ll be able to keep the coop from losing warmth.

 

If you can use something else to create a windbreak (moving the coop behind a structure so it’s protected), then that’ll work as well.

 

If you plan to use straw in your coop, you could even buy extra bales to create a “wall” to break the wind (don’t laugh – we’ve done it and it WORKS.)

herbs for backyard chickens

  1. Use insulation around doors and windows

This one will take a bit of planning on your part, but you can save a lot of heat by simply eliminating drafts. (After all, it IS those polar vortexes that contribute to the cold in the first place)

 

Making sure your coop doors and windows have proper insulation will go a long way.

 

Don’t use any of that spray foam however (my husband loves that stuff and it’s a nightmare to look at and clean up, and your chickens might decided to taste test it – never a good thing.)

 

If you’re trying to figure out how to heat a chicken coop in winter, then spend a little and get something like this that will do the job without taking the chance your flock will try to eat it.

herbs for backyard chickens

Want genius ideas to keep a chicken coop warm in winter? Here's 6 genius hacks perfect for beginner backyard chicken mamas!

Top 10 Largest Chicken Breeds That Are Also Great Pets

Top 10 Largest Chicken Breeds That Are Also Great Pets

You might be surprised at the largest chicken breed, or you might already have an idea of the winner.

 

Giant chicken breeds are a great addition to any backyard flock! They have presence, they’re usually very beautiful, they definitely resemble tiny dinosaurs, and you’ll enjoy watching them!

 

With each of the breeds in this article, you’ll have the finest selection of dual purpose kings or egg-cellent egg layers.

 

If you’re considering adding some gentle but big chicken breeds to your flock, then this article is for you. You’ll discover the largest chicken breeds that are also great egg layers – and despite their size, they’ll easily fit into any backyard flock!

 

Top 10 Largest Chicken Breeds

  • Jersey Giant
  • Cochin
  • Brahma
  • Cornish
  • Buff Orpington
  • Malines
  • Maylay
  • Langshan
  • Barred Rock
  • Dong Tao

 

Jersey Giant

The Jersey Giant chicken is one of the biggest chicken breeds out there. However, they are more than just their size: Docile and mellow, they’re also great pet breeds! Jersey Giants are a heritage chicken breed that was developed in New Jersey in the 19th century as an alternative to turkeys. They’re good layers at 150 to 200 large eggs per year. The Jersey Giant egg color is brown.

 

How Much Does A Jersey Giant Chicken Weigh?

What Is The Heaviest Chicken Breed? The Jersey Giant! The roosters can weigh up to 15 pounds (they’re called Jersey GIANTS for a reason), with the black variety usually just a pound heavier than the white.

 

How Big Is A Jersey Giant Chicken?This huge chicken breed is usually between 16 to 26 inches tall.

 

Cochin

Cochin chickens are fluffy giants who are also one of the most popular chicken breeds. They’re friendly, cold hardy, and lay eggs consistently. If you add one to your flock, you can choose between a full-sized Cochin or the bantam variety (or get both. Definitely get both).

 

Standard sized Cochins are about 5 pounds, and are well-loved for their fluffy, soft feathers. They do have feathers on their feet, giving them a fun and unique appearance. They do like to be handled, especially the bantam variety (which weighs about 2 pounds – perfect for children.)

 

All Cochins love treats, and you can expect about 160 eggs per year. You can learn more about Cochins here.

 

Brahma

How Big Can A Chicken Get? Brahmas are well known because of a video of a giant rooster that went viral (owned by a man named Fitim Sejfijaj, based near Kosovo) and boasts the title of “Biggest Chicken In The World” (Guinness Book of World Records). Suddenly, everyone wanted Brahmas!

 

There’s several different varieties of this chicken breed, including:

  • Light
  • Dark
  • Buff
  • Bantam

 

In terms of their size, there’s no difference between a light and dark Brahma, although the bantam version won’t get very big.

 

When it comes to a Brahma vs. Jersey Giant, the Jersey Giant is usually bigger than a Brahma. However, both types of chickens make great pets.

 

The full size Brahmas are an old breed that can be as tall as 30 inches (although this is rare and depends largely on the breeder). Many people love that Brahmas are feather footed. They’re also great egg layers, and lay up to 300 eggs per year.


You can learn more about Brahmas here.

 

How Big Can A Brahma Chicken Get? How Big Is A Brahma Chicken?

Some can grow to around 30 inches tall, however, this will vary from chicken to chicken and breeder to breeder. Because of its size, it’s sometimes called the “King of Chickens.”

 

Cornish

Developed in the UK during the 19th century, the Cornish chicken as a squat, square body and weighs in at around 10 pounds. They come in several varieties including:

  • Dark
  • White
  • White-Laced Red
  • Buff
  • Black

 

They’re also the parent stock of modern Cornish Rock chickens, which are bred to grow extremely quickly for their meat (Cornish Rock chickens also make docile pets, if you can keep them alive long enough. They tend to have heart issues).

 

Orpingtons

The Orpington chicken breed is a heritage strain of dual-purpose chicken that was developed in the town of Orpington, in the UK. This type of chicken comes in several varieties, including:

  • Buff
  • Black
  • White
  • Blue
  • Chocolate Cuckoo (unrecognized)
  • Jubilee (unrecognized)
  • Lavender Columbian (unrecognized)
  • Columbian (unrecognized)
  • Lavender (unrecognized)
  • Chocolate (unrecognized)
  • Splash (unrecognized)

 

This docile and friendly breed is great for families because they’re calm around children and is laid back with confinement. They’re large, topping out at about 10 pounds. The hens tend to go broody, so they’re great for families that want to hatch chicks (if your hen doesn’t go broody, you can see the incubators we recommend here.)

 

As some of the best egg layers out there, you can expect about 280 eggs per year. You can read more about Orpingtons here.

 

Malines

Originating in Belgium in the 19th century, this chicken breed is one of the largest in the world (rivalling Jersey Giants for heft). The roosters can reach 12 pounds, and both male and females sport cuckoo-patterned feathers. These chickens have a calm temperament, and don’t mind being picked up. They’re fair layers that produce 150 eggs per year. While there is a bantam variety, they’re not readily available.

 

Malay

What Is The Tallest Chicken Breed? The Maylay! While not as hefty as the Jersey Giant, the Malay chicken IS considered the tallest chicken breed in the world, reaching 30 inches in height. (Although the current “Tallest rooster in the world” record is held by a Brahma). Developed in Europe from local chickens and birds from India and the Malay peninsula, they became popular because of their height. Maylay roosters weigh about 9 pounds, and the hens are fair layers. You can expect about 100 eggs per year. Today, they’re mostly kept for ornamental purposes.

 

Langshan

Langshan chickens originated in China, and made their way Westward in the 19th century. They’re feather footed, and lay dark brown eggs. They’re a hardy black chicken breed that’s heat tolerant, and is friendly towards humans. They can weigh up to 9 pounds, and lay about 180 eggs per year.

 

Barred Rock

With sharply defined barred black and white feathers, Barred Rocks are an old American breed that’s been popular since the 1700s. The roosters weigh about 7 pounds, with friendly personalities. As great egg layers, you can expect about 280 eggs a year.

 

Dong Tao

Also known as the “dragon chicken,” Dong Taos have a very unique appearance. Weighing in at about 12 pounds, members of this breed sport enlarged legs and feet. They originated in Vietnam, where they’re prized for their meat. Their big legs make it difficult to lay eggs and move around, so they’re not kept for their eggs.

 

Other Large Chicken Breeds

Rhode Island Reds

Rhode Island Red chickens are one of the most popular and well known breeds available. Although they’re fallen in popularity the past few years in favor of ornamental breeds, they’re very cold hardy, and aside from regular feed, water, vet care, and housing, they require little care. Roosters weigh approximately 9 pounds.

 

Note: There’s two types of Rhode Island Red breeds: Industrial strains, which are bred for high egg production, and heritage strains, which trace their roots back to the first Europeans in America. The heritage strains tend to be bigger, while the industrial strains are bred with only egg production in mind.

 

Delaware

Delaware chickens are also popular, and are very easy going. They’re not the heaviest birds out there, topping out at about 6 to 8 pounds. They’re great egg layers, and you can expect about 280 eggs per year.

 

Australorp

Australorps are gaining popularity (especially black Australorp chickens) because they’re excellent layers. Originating in Australia, they’re parent stock are Orpingtons, Its name is a mixture of “Australia” and “Orpington.” Males weigh up to 10 pounds, making them fairly heavy. The average hen will lay about 300 eggs per year.

 

What Is The Most Aggressive Chicken Breed?

While you will likely hear different opinions from different owners, the Silver Laced Serama rooster is fairly aggressive, and not recommended for children. Hens can become aggressive when they’re broody and their nest is disturbed. Roosters can become aggressive in the first year of their lives (when hormones kick in) and in early spring. However, most roosters chill out as they age.

 

What Chicken Lays Largest Eggs?

Breeds that lay large eggs include:

  • Rhode Island Red
  • Barred Rock
  • Jersey Giants
  • Orpingtons
  • Langshan
  • Marans
  • Welsummer

 

What Are The Largest Chicken Breeds?

  • Jersey Giant
  • Cochin
  • Brahma
  • Cornish
  • Buff Orpington
  • Malines
  • Maylay
  • Langshan
  • Barred Rock
  • Dong Tao

 

What Chicken Breeds Lay Extra Large Eggs?

  • Rhode Island Red
  • Barred Rock
  • Jersey Giants
  • Orpingtons
  • Langshan
  • Marans
  • Welsummer
Best Hatcheries to Buy Blue Laced Red Wyandottes

Best Hatcheries to Buy Blue Laced Red Wyandottes

The best treasures are often the hardest to find. Imagine the state of the world if everyone had a goblet that provided them with eternal life. In a way, it might cheapen the experience. Or, if you’re one of those individuals with a notorious history with your in-laws, it might mean that they would constantly be ringing your spouse to complain about you. 

Luckily, when we think about the Blue Laced Red Wyandottes, it’s not annoying in-laws that we have to worry about, but rather, just how beautiful and special these birds are. They were developed in New York State and Wisconsin in the late 1800s, and the color range is enormous! But the best variety of Wyandotte, the Blue Laced Red variety, is the hardest to come by. They are that special version of the elixir of life that add incredible depth of color to the flock with their blue splashes at the tips of their feathers. These dual-purpose chickens truly are a sight to behold. What makes them so valuable, though, is the fact that they do not breed true. In order to get their special coloring, breeders must breed quite carefully, and even then, there is a chance that the offspring won’t have the remarkable coloring that these exquisite birds are known for! 

As a result of the challenge of breeding them, Blue Laced Red Wyandottes tend to be a bit more expensive than most breeds. There are a number of hatcheries around the USA that offer them, however, so while the task of getting these special birds is nothing to laugh at, finding them is not as laborious as ages of research, dark web adventures, or run-ins with Nazis (hyperlink “run-ins with Nazis” to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sagmdpkWUqc). Below are ten of the best places to find Blue Laced Red Wyandotte Chickens!

1.  Meyer Hatchery (hyperlink name of hatchery tohttps://www.meyerhatchery.com/productinfo.a5w?prodID=BLRS)

Average Straight-Run Blue Laced Red Wyandotte Chicken Price: $11.13

Meyer Hatchery is based in Polk, Ohio, and boasts itself as the “premier Poultry Source.” Priding itself on customer service and availability, Meyer Hatchery provides a variety of chicken breeds to meet customer demands for color and diversity. They welcome mixing and matching of breeds of the same poultry type to meet minimum order requirement for safe shipping. To help with orders, they have a calendar of hatchings. 

Meyer has a variety of means of communication, including multiple phone numbers, fax, and email. They also run a blog that covers everything from breeds to plant pairing with chickens, feed, cooking recipes, fowl entertainment, and survival tips.

Advantages

  • Website is up-to-date in real time. 
  • Accepts checks and credit cards.
  • Guarantees gender of chicks either through refund or store credit.
  • Optional vaccination.
  • Member of the National Poultry Improvement Plan (NPIP), and provide NPIP VS Form 9-3 free of charge. 
  • Offer orders of over 100 chicks. 

Disadvantages

  • Limited store hours that change with the season.

2. Cackle Hatchery (hyperlink name of hatchery to https://www.cacklehatchery.com/blue-laced-red-wyandottes.html)

Average Not Sexed Blue Laced Red Wyandotte Chick: $3.90

Cackle Hatchery proudly boasts that they have been hatching and shipping since 1936. A third-generation hatchery based in Missouri, their mission is to provide customers with quality poultry for showing, meat, enjoyment, and eggs. They ship throughout the USA, including Alaska, Puerto Rico, and Hawaii. They offer nearly 200 different types of chickens at all stages. 

Cackle also offers many other kinds of poultry including ducks, water fowl, game birds, turkeys, and other fowl. They are also a good source for supplies and book. 

Advantages 

  • Discounts if you buy male chicks.
  • Vaccinations available.
  • Only need 3 birds to ship (or just one for male birds).

Disadvantages 

  • Limited availability (February through August).
  • Sold as baby chicks only.

3. Murray McMurray Hatchery: (hyperlink name to https://www.mcmurrayhatchery.com/blue_laced_red_wyandotte.html)

Average Unsexed Blue Laced Red Wyandotte Chicken Price: $3.90

Murray McMurray started his chicken business in 1917. As a banker, he sold his chicks to locals through the bank and by 1919, he had developed his own stock of chickens. During the Great Depression, he devoted himself to chickens full time. Since then, Murray McMurray Hatchery has developed into one of the largest chick hatcheries in the country. They sell more than just chickens, with ducks, geese, guineas, turkeys, other fowl and game birds all in the catalogue.

Sexed male chicks tend to be the cheapest, meaning you can get some serious savings if you’re planning on raising these birds primarily for meat. You can also buy pullets or mix and match your order with chicks of other breeds, too. 

Advantages:

  • Bulk discounts available.
  • Excellent breed availability through August .

Disadvantages:

  • Minimum order of six birds at a time.
  • Available only as chicks.

4.My Pet Chicken: (hyperlink name of hatchery to https://www.mypetchicken.com/catalog/Baby-Chicks/Blue-Laced-Red-Wyandotte-p738.aspx)

Average Straight-Run Blue Laced Red Wyandotte Chicken Price: $11.15

 My Pet Chicken got started in 2005 by Traci Torres and her husband, Derek Sasaki, two novices to the chicken world who had a dream to help other novices in their farmers’ goals. To do this, the put free how-to information on the web and offered some unique products and services. 

The website launched in 2005 and in 2006, their flock had grown to the point to where they started offering chicks for sale from their headquarters in Monroe, CT. The site has been mentioned in another of publications, and serves tens of millions of page views per year.

Advantages 

  • Offers Marek’s vaccinations on all standard chicks at the click of a button.
  • Consistent hours of operation. 
  • A good source for questions about ordering chickens, chicken care, and about raising chickens.
  • Full refund for any bird that has been incorrectly sexed. 

Disadvantages 

  • Limited availability.
  • Does not have a storefront.
  • There is a 10-chick maximum on this breed.

5. Welp Hatchery (hyperlink name of hatchery tohttps://www.welphatchery.com/layer-type-chicks/wyandotte-blue-laced-red-straight-run/ )

Average Straight-Run Red Laced Blue Wyandotte Chicken Price: $3.78

Located in Bancroft, IA, Welp Hatchery was founded way back in 1929 by Joseph H. Welp. While their specialty is Cornish Rock Broilers, they have diversified to include a wide range of chicken breeds. To simplify their orders, they have a catalogue available for viewing or downloading (hyperlink “catalog” to https://www.welphatchery.com/uploads/WELPCATALOG2020_2020-01-27_13-51-43.html). From their shipping points in Iowa, New Mexico, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, this hatchery truly has a wide reach. 

Advantages 

  • Can choose the breeding date on the product page. 
  • Marek’s immunization is a one-click process.

Disadvantages 

  • Maximum orders of 25.

6. Hoover’s Hatchery: (hyperlink name to https://hoovershatchery.com/bluelaceredwyandotte.html)

Average Straight-Run Red Laced Blue Wyandotte Chicken Price: $7.32

Another established brand if you’re looking for chicks is Hoover’s Hatchery. Hoover’s supplies many farm and garden supply stores in the United States with their chicks, making them a smart choice if you want to skip the middleman and order from the hatchery directly.

Plus, Hoover’s offers free shipping on practically everything you order. You’ll have to buy at least 15 chicks; so Hoover’s might not be the best option if you live in a city with chicken restrictions. However, as long as you’re willing to buy in bulk, it’s a smart choice. You can even mix and match your order by adding other birds of other chicken breeds along with poultry species like pheasants, turkeys, guineas, ducks, and more. 

Another benefit of ordering from Hoover’s Hatchery? Despite the fact that this hatchery is located in Iowa, not necessarily a warm-weather state, it hatches chicks all throughout the year – a must-know feature if you plan on buying chicks around Christmastime. 

Advantages:

  • Excellent guarantee and refund policy in case of shipping problems.
  • Hatches chicks during the winter, one of the few hatcheries to do so.
  • Sells other kinds of poultry too.

Disadvantages:

  • Large minimum order.
  • Offers chicks only.

7. Elk Valley Farm (hyperlink name of hatchery to https://www.elkvalleyfarm.com/product-page/blue-laced-red-wyandotte)

Average Straight-Run Red Laced Blue Wyandotte Chicken Price: $15.00

Elk Valley Farm specializes in raw milk products and rare heritage poultry. They are located in Eagle Point, OR and focus on quality over quantity. With their focus on environmental stewardship, they provide only the highest quality meat, eggs, and milk. The eggs they produce are vetted for beauty and breed standards, which means that all of their birds have tested negative for diseases and are readily available for shipping all around the USA.

Advantages 

  • Has a convenient breeding chart for predictions of hatched coloring.
  • Bred with a focus on sustainability and environmental stewardship.
  • Offer both local pick-up and shipping. 
  • No minimums for chicks picked up on the farm.

Disadvantages 

  • Color ratios of naturally hatched chicks come as what is available from sale.
  • Do not accept returns.
  • Does not ship to Alaska or Hawaii.

8. Purely Poultry: (hyperlink name to https://www.purelypoultry.com/blue-laced-red-wyandotte-chickens-p-872.html)

Average Not-Sexed Day-Old Blue Laced Red Wyandotte Chicken Price: $15.35

As a family-owned business, Purely Poultry has some of the best customer service around. They pride themselves on their knowledge of their products, selection, and how-to details related to everything they offer, including ducks, chickens, geese, and lots of other birds! 

Located in Durand, WI, they guarantee live birds with every order, which is a good promise, indeed!

Advantages:

  • Each order backed by live arrival guarantee.
  • Small order minimum on chicks.
  • Other kinds of poultry offered, too.

Disadvantages:

  • Not a huge advantage to buying multiple chicks – discounts are minimal.

9. Chickens for Backyards: (hyperlink name of hatchery to https://www.chickensforbackyards.com/product/blue-laced-red-wyandotte/) 

Average Straight-Run Blue Laced Red Wyandotte Chicken Price: $6.00

Chickens for Backyards is an online poultry store that ships orders from Phillipsburg, MO. It sells over 100 breeds of day-old chicks, ducks, geese, turkeys, and guineas with orders as low as three fowl. They have a mix and match option for all breeds, which can be shipped all in the same order. 

Shipping schedules run from February through October. On their website, they offer a comprehensive FAQ page and Chick Care information. 

Advantages 

  • Orders can be cancelled up to 24 hours before shipping. 
  • Free shipping on supplies.
  • Comprehensive FAQ that covers a range of questions from care, feed, shipping, sexing, local laws relating to chicken farming, and terms.

Disadvantages 

  • Offer a 90% sexing guarantee, and will refund 90% of the purchase price once the 90% guarantee is surpassed. 
  • Limited Availability.

10. Hatch Poultry Farms (hyperlink name of hatchery to https://www.hatchpoultry.com/products/blue-laced-red-wyandotte-chickens)

Average Straight-Run Red Laced Blue Wyandotte Chicken Price: $4.00

Hatch Poultry is unique among many vendors in that their primary focus is quails rather than chickens. That is not to say that they lack an extensive selection of chickens, with no fewer than 17 different breeds available, incliding Leghorns, Sai Pan, Jungle Fowl, Rhode Island Whites, Wyandottes, Ayam Cemani, and Silkies. They got their start in Maine, and have spread all over the state as well as branching out to Florida, California, Ohio, and Texas.

Advantages 

  • Offer discounts to commercial customers. 
  • Offer no less than a 50% hatch rate. 
  • Free domestic shipping on orders over $75.

Disadvantages 

  • Orders have a 7-day wait before placement in the shipping calendar. 
Why is My Hen Crowing?

Why is My Hen Crowing?

Most experienced chicken owners have had this experience – or at least one similar. You’re sitting in your living room, enjoying a cup of coffee while you listen to your hens cackle and chirp in the backyard coop. Then all of a sudden, a crow breaks through the morning area. 

A crow? Why is my hen crowing?

Relax. You probably didn’t mistakenly receive a rooster in your chick order (although you may want to double check, since this does occasionally happen!). Chances are, your hen is crowing for another reason. 

Here are some of the most common reasons why hens crow – it’s really nothing to worry about.

Common Reasons Why Your Hen Might Crow 

The Pecking Order

You are likely already familiar with the pecking order in chickens, but if not, now is a good time to brush up on it! The pecking order is an established order of dominance that makes itself clear very early on in a group of chickens’ lives. Whenever new chickens are introduced to the flock, the pecking order must be reestablished. 

Often, hens will crow to establish their places in the pecking order. They do this to assert their dominance and establish a territory – just like roosters will. If your hens are crowing, chances are, they’re on some sort of power trip.

Keep in mind, the crow won’t sound exactly like a rooster’s, but if you’re new to raising chickens you might have a hard time differentiating between the two. The crowing might sound a bit strangled and terse, in fact. 

You’ll know that the crowing behavior is related to a pecking order issue if there are some other behaviors that are going on in the flock. For example, there might be some aggression among your chickens or even some bullying behaviors (like feather picking) going on.

In most cases, this will sort itself out in a matter of a few days. If it doesn’t, though, you may need to remove the more dominant hen and isolate her until she calms down a bit. A new pecking order will be established in her absence, and things will likely be more mellow upon her return.

Lack of a Rooster

If you once had a rooster but no longer do, occasionally, a hen will decide to take his place and start crowing. This is usually also related to the pecking order or flock hierarchy, and more often than not occurs as your hen imitates the behavior of roosters.

Presence of Male Sex Hormones 

Wait, a hen can turn into a rooster? Well, sort of. 

It is entirely possible for a hen to develop a few male sex hormones, either from birth or sporadically. As a result, you might notice your hen adopting more masculine features, such as the production of spurs, a slowing in egg production, the development of pronounced wattles and plumage, and – you guessed it –  a crow. 

A hen is born with two ovaries, just like a human. The left ovary grows and develops, producing all the estrogen a hen needs to regulate the production of ova (or oocytes in chickens). They release into the oviduct tract. 

The right ovary, on the other hand, does not develop as the hen grows, instead remaining dormant, tiny, and mostly undeveloped.

Spontaneous sex reversal can occur if the left ovary is damaged or stops producing the required amounts of estrogen for some reason. Since the left ovary is the only one producing any estrogen, without it, her levels of estrogen will drop and her testosterone will rise. She will start to transform to take on male characteristics and behaviors. 

But is she now a rooster? Well…kind of. Technically, she is still a hen. Interestingly, though, once the left ovary totally fails and the right one turns on, it will develop into a male sex organ, known as an ovotestis, which can actually produce sperm and cause your hen to try to mate with other hens in the flock! 

Usually, these kinds of changes aren’t at all noticeable unless there is some kind of hormonal issue in your hens. This cause of crowing isn’t as common as others, but it can still happen – and is something to be aware of.

What Are Normal Noises for Hens to Make?

If you think your hen might be crowing, listen carefully – it might not be a crow but instead some other kind of noise that your hen is making. Here are some of the most common. 

Cluck of Contentment

When you spend a lot of time listening to your hens as they free range around the pen, this is a call that you will likely hear your chickens making quite frequently. It sounds like a calm, peaceful, and low murmuring. They make this sound to indicate to each other that they are all in earshot and are doing well. 

Alarm Call

This is perhaps the second most common chicken noise you will hear – but it’s not necessarily one you want to hear. If your chickens start the alarm call, which sounds like a fast, loud, and persistent repetitive clucking, you need to check to see what’s going on. Left unaddressed, that call will turn into a sharper, more piercing shriek or scream – it means something is coming after them.

Egg Song

The egg song is most often heard by coops with multiple hens, where they’re all vying to get into the nest boxes at the same time. It sounds loud and persistent and will continue until the noise-making hen gets her way and is finally able to wiggle into a nesting box.

Broody Growls

If you’ve ever had to deal with a broody hen, you are probably familiar with the broody growl. When a hen does not want to leave her nest, she will puff her chest up, growl, and even hiss when challenged. 

Later, the broody growls should shift – if a broody hen is allowed to hatch her own eggs, she will start to murmur and coo to her unhatched chicks. This often starts before the eggs hatch, when the mother hen is starting to talk to her chicks inside the eggs. 

You can sometimes hear the chicks talking back! 

Food Call 

Last but not least is the food call. Although this is usually the rooster’s job, if you don’t have any roosters in your backyard flock, you might find that one of your hens takes this job upon herself instead, as the dominant leader. 

When she finds good food, she will announce it with a sort of “tuk tuk” call to draw in the rest of the flock. It’s similar to the call used by a mother hen when she talks to her young. 

Hens Can Crow – And It’s Usually Nothing to Worry About 

Believe it or not, it is possible for a hen to crow! Fortunately, it is usually nothing you need to worry about. It’s usually a sign that one hen, in particular, has established dominance over the other hens in the flock. The crowing behavior may go away on its own over time, but if it doesn’t, there’s no reason to panic. It is totally harmless. 

In rare conditions, it is possible for a hen to develop male characteristics, but this is not common. As long as your hen is acting normally besides the crowing, carry on! It’s just a bit of backyard noise.