look what I found today. I heard a rat squeel by the big fountain where we have a rat trap under. I ran over and saw the rat flopping around. Oh no that means poisonous snake. I froze on top of the fountain brick. I grabbed the skim pole and started moving the bushes, nothing!!!! Oh no now what do I do??? I stood there and watched. I saw the dead rat move. I waited. It moved again and again. I moved the bushes again and there it was with the rat in its mouth!!! Ran inside and got camera and long handled hand shovel. Took pics and then it met its demise. I don't mind snakes except the poisonous ones. This is my 2nd Copperhead I have killed here
I HATE copperheads!! Glad you got it. I have been wanting to get me a rat terrier. My schnoxer hound went up to the road and got killed and now the creek rats and chipmunks are back. Are the rat terriers really good ratters?
I may be looking for another dog too. My large poodle is thirteen years old and her health is really starting to fail. Instead of seeing her suffer all summer in the heat, might be the kindest thing to have her put down now. That is going to be a tough tough day.
Rat Terrier and Fiest both are great for Rats, Squirrels and Chipmunks too I sure the way mine went after the one at Grandfather Mountain lol. They grab them and shake em like a rag doll then crunch their head. We had to put my Fiest down last year at 14 and my Rat Terrier is 13 now but still going strong. I flood the rat holes and they grab them when they try to come out. My Rat Terrier hates big birds too. If she sees as Great Egret, Great Blue Heron, or Buzzard down my the pond she takes off like lightening going after it. Recently she has been going after Crows. They also will attack Racoons and Oppossums. They are good preditor dogs for such a small size.
the Rat Terrier isn't but the Fiest was just a tad sometimes when she got old or if she was after something. That really doesn't mean anything though as they are all different. We had a Dalmaton that was so stupid and spastic we gave her away as soon as I got her spayed. Rescued a deaf one that was the best and smartest dog you would ever know. most people didn't know she was deaf. We trained her with a flash light, stomping on the floor and hand signals. She loved everyone
Took her Thursday. I didn't think I was going to cry, but I did, and later that night too. It is going to be different here. No bark bark bark every time I go outside, that irritated the life out of me. I still miss her regardless. She was a great guard dog. Not sure how I will feel here without her around. I said, she would be my last dog, as I was so tired of the dog poop in the yard. We'll see if I can hold to that.
My town does not feel as safe as it used to, even ten years ago. Just knowing she was outside made me feel better. Maybe I should set up security cameras and alarm system, or at least some extra lighting.
Donna, I hope you don't mind me jumping in on this thread. I have a snake question and your thread photo pretty much sums it up.lol I have lots of copperheads in my area.
Yesterday while working in the garden, all the chickens made a commotion and ran in all directions. I looked around for dogs, hawks, the usual things that would spook them..nothing. About 40 minutes later I found my roo gasping for breath, his comb was a deep purple, he wasn't getting oxygen. I felt his neck and looked in his mouth, but he passed away within minutes. I couldn't feel any swelling on his body, but wasn't in the mood to check him out closer.
Now, I wish I had looked him over, because I'm wondering if it could have been a snake bite. Has anyone seen a snake bit chicken? Does it sound like a possibility, or is 40 minutes too long for the venom to do them in?
I'm sorry about your Rooster. I just lost my favorite, as well.
Death from venom can take longer or shorter, depending on circumstances, like where the bite occurs, and how much venom is injected. I've seen chickens kills snakes, but only black racers and corals. I'd guess if the chickens attacked, the snake might have gotten the Roo, who probably would have been the leader.
Thanks, Catmad. That the venom could actually kill them was what I was wondering about. I guess I'll never know how he died, but extra cautious picking beans these days.
Sorry to hear about your roo, as well. This guy wasn't special for any breeding purposes, actually he was a red broiler that escaped freezer day...but he turned out to such a well behaved and protective roo, I hated to see him go out like that.
I didn't know any critters other than the mongoose were immune to snake venom, but apparently there are a few, and some are birds. If you're interested, this will explain better than I can, but it does say chickens are not immune, tho their feathers may offer some protection.
I am glad to hear you executed this thing. I hate them Copperheads..they a re just plain mean!
Our Anatolian Shepherd got bit on the back leg and face by a copperhead a few weeks ago, he made it and is doing great but it rotted out a big spot on his leg, not so bad on his face though...he will have a bad scar on his leg. Thanks to our anatolian shepherd...we have killed 1 copperhead and 2 cotton mouths on our property this year and he killed a rat snake.
Just a drive by to say hello to Donna... Hope all is well with you these days! I think of you often.
AND to say hello to L_F_J... I had to put my dog down and when she was so old, she didn't have control of her digestion like she did when she was younger.. I am the same way that I don't want to deal with any more poo.. I'm DONE! It's been months and I almost got a chihuahua the other day.. but when I saw poo in the yard from the neighbor's cat.. I changed my mind.. LOL
just feeling like doodie. Having RA flare, new body part each week. Heat is kicking my but already. it makes me sick to my stomach and feel like I will pass out. It is all I can do to care for my animals. It ends up being a all day affair having to keep coming back inside every few minutes to cool down. Going to send as many chickens as I can with my friend Tuesday when he comes. I really hate it!!
Have you seen those cool vests they seel for riding horses in the heat. It has pockets you put those frozen "ice"packs in and it stays cool for hours in the 90 degree heat. A lady I know in south Texas swears by hers. Might work well for you.
DonnaB that sounds an awful lot like lupus. Perhaps it is the sun and not the heat. For people with lupus the sun somehow restricts the oxygen in the blood.
Guess you've been tested for lupus, but the way you describe the joint pains moving around, sounds very similar to what I go through. First in one knee, then the other one, then my shoulder, then the other one, then my wrists, one at a time. It is weird. For a few days recently I could not open my hand, it was frozen in a fist. Thankfully none of this lasts long, as long as I stay indoors most of the time.
I have to get a good dose of sickness before I learn, each and every year, that I cannot go outside in the day. lol
Cajun cold makes me hurt terrible. Heat gives me some pain relief but to hot to use heat now especially with having hot flashes too. Its the meds during the day and hot flashes at night. I am so miserable and have had no sleep in weeks. A few times a month I knock myself out with pain pill or xanax. Sometimes I am so worn out I wake up but go right back to sleep but keep waking up. Last night I slept from 3:30 to 5 :25 a.m. cold not go back to sleep for hours. Read until 10:00 a.m then dosed on and off til noon
LFJ got tested for Lupus many times. RA Dr checks it once in awhile also my Thyroid. That can make you heat sensative too. They keep checking but not finding anything so far. See Cancer Dr July 7th for another scoping
Lupus cannot always be found in the blood, though, thankfully, mine was. I had the positive ANA and the LE cell. A man I spoke with at a lupus support meeting years ago said his tests were all negative, yet he had lupus. Lupus is sometimes diagnosed simply by symptoms. The main ones are fatigue, rashes, and joint pains. There are many others though, including hair loss. Half of us are allergic to the sun, but not all.
Being sensitive to cold is also a symptom of lupus, called Raynaud's syndrome.
These doctors on a station coming out of Odessa, TX, were saying in a video I watched online the other night that fibromyalgia, which I've also been diagnosed with, is often caused from heavy metal poisoning. I had those amalgam fillings put in my mouth at age seven. I also lived in a small town, Borger, Texas, that was surrounded by petroleum plants. I have never been tested for mercury, but I assume my level is high. Rosemary is a source of iodine that is supposed to help flush some of those heavy metals out, and nourish the thyroid. I've also taken lugol's iodine, but it is rather harsh.
Anyway, I hope you can feel better soon. My heart goes out to you.
Just lost my rooster, M. Poirot last Wednesday. I found him dead in the run w/a copperhead nearby. I think that is what got him. We have caught five copperheads so far this year which is bizarrely unusual as in the past five years we have only seen a couple on this property. The peacocks usually set off such a ruckus when they see a snake but I only heard the hen honking this time so I didn't go over to check until evening. I know there is at least one more out there as our crazy sheppard mix got bit this past weekend. Gave her Benadryl and babie asperine and she was fine but we can't find this snake.
Screech owls were flying around the house last night making a bunch of noise. I like that they are here, but they really set the dogs off so no sleep for me LOL! DH didn't notice. I looked in my birds of Texas book and read that screech owls will hunt snakes. So maybe that is what they were after. Hope so...
Strange you mention the river, because I was just wondering if the drought had caused the snakes to move closer to humans in order to get water. I don't know that much about snakes, maybe they don't need that much water, but it was a thought. Is it possible their food supply diminished with the drought? I'm sure many of the rabbits and mice died, I just assume. It was sure a horrible horrible time for all of us, animals and people, but esp the animals.
Hay prices here are still way high. I paid $16 for a small bale last week.
I'm sure the food supply for snakes as well as many other animals was decimated by the drought: very few bugs, no frogs, all vegetation dried up, etc. The rat snakes like me because my chickens keep them supplied with eggs; I think they have already eaten all the resident rodents. The river was - and is - very low, but it never dried up so water was always available. So maybe my share of snakes is staying at the river.
Around 1963 they built a dam close to Borger, Texas. Bulldozers and heavy equipment were brought in and for two years they were digging out the earth to build this lake. A small town nearby struggled to deal with the hundreds and hundreds of snakes, especially rattlesnakes, that moved out of that canyon.
Thanks. Luckily the sheppard mix (Queenie) recovered almost immediately--hybrid vigour I think. Santo is much better as well. DH and I joke that, what with all the antibiotics he has taken, his colon is cleaner than Gweneth Paltro's!
Gosh, I really don't need rattle snakes! =8~O
A little off topic, but not much: I recently got a DVD which relates a study conducted by Texas A&M in cooperation with Univ. of Kentucky and I think San Angelo State Univ. about re-introducing wild quail back to Texas. The study stated that the researchers went into this study thinking that the shortage of wild quail must be due to the introduction of fire ants. But it turns out that the major factor contributing to the loss of quail population in Texas is more due to the exponential growth of the various snake populations here in Texas. They attributed that to the loss of snake predators. Also, it seems that mother quail like to bring their young up in ragweed. So grow that ragweed and get rid of those snakes!
We have plenty of ragweed! Another thing that I have read is that quail like to share their habitat with cattle and need large areas of semi-open land to thrive. In cooperation with a neighbor who also raises cattle, we have tried to establish a quail population on our properties but only had about 90 acres of uninterrupted desirable habitat. Parts of his land are too wooded and much of ours is too open. So far it is not a success, and I don't think it is because of excess fire ants - not so sure about snakes. What are snakes' natural predators? (Besides my dogs.)
Horay for you and your neighbor for trying to get them started again! I think it does take a while. DH and I are eyeing a ten acre plot we haven't done anything with yet. We have quite a lot of good habitat all around us. We are going to talk to the NRCS lady when she comes out to our property to see if they have any advise. I have to say that I love all birds, but I think quail is one of my favorites.
Hopefully no snakes will come crawling up her leg while he talk to her!
That is so neat, Terry and Porkpal. I'm proud to know you both :0) I remember how thick the quail where when I was a kid, I miss them. They are a favorite of mine, as well. I've been wanting to raise some in pens, but don't think I have what it takes to 'thin' the flock. Just too tiny and cute.
In the depression here in the panhandle of Texas, some of my ancestors/relatives, whatever, were hunting quail and putting them on the train to go back east. Guess they served them in the restaurants there.
Thanks for asking about the snake predators. I wanted to know too.
That's some great history to share, LFJ. My Great-great grand parents lived on the the Plains. Still have lots of photos of my great-grandfather with long stings of quail. And catfish, and havalinas, pheasant, wild turkey..hmm come to think of it, I don't know if he ever posed for a picture without a dead animal.lol
Snort! I have ancient relatives posing with a still in the background! Many relatives (from GA, TN, and IL) posing with dead animals of some sort or other. Also, gentlemen siding on their mules posing with their guns and various hounds. It was a different time...LOL!
I have had Rat Terriers for about 34 years now. I have one that is now 18 years old. She is blind but otherwise in good shape. I can't bring myself to put her down, because she is still in control of all her other faculties. She barks when she wants to go out so no accidents. The poo is small so don't really notice it. They are terrific snake and rat/mousers. One of mine got a chicken and I beat her over and over with the carcus. She doesn't bother them anymore. She doesn't know that she isn't as big as anything else, including my horses. lol The blind one was the same way when she had her sight. I think they are just the greatest dogs! I have one of those fake owls by the coop and nests. PTL I haven't seen any snakes around. I need to get a roo to take care of my girls. I have Cinnamon Queen and Rhode Island Reds that are crossed with somthing else. I really like them.
My dad had a Rat Terrier for years. She came from a woman who actually had a pack she used to hunt rats for other people in the area. Clean out their barns, that sort of thing. Dad's dog was a demond with mice and rats. She lived into her early 20's so they are long lived little devils!
I have been killing lots of copperheads. None on my place. I have found them all on the road after dark. I run over every one I can get. It's strange I have not seen any black snakes or any other kind but copperheads. They are thick.
Hi! We're having another hot, dry summer - but not as bad as last year. I remodeled the coop area of my barn and I guess I annoyed the hens; they are either not laying many eggs or else they are not laying in the nest boxes. I have found eggs on the floor and in the grass so who knows where else they may be hiding them...
My hens are molting. 100 degrees outside right now so I guess they picked a good time to lose some feathers. They've been wading in the pan of water I set out for them. Goats don't seem to mind though and all dogs and donkeys are well. DH and I doing good, tooLOL! So guess I can't complain =~)!
I just ordered a metal aviary a few days ago. Since my new hens have been sleeping in the garage in metal dog pens it hasn't been smelling too good in there. I don't want to force them in with the other hens, as I think some of those old hens are just plain mean and peck my new hens in the head.
I wanted something that would give a small run if I have to be out of town or something, some shelter, and wouldn't look as bad as the one I built myself. :) It is supposed to be 6' X 10' and 6' high, and will be here next week. I am unsure where to put it. If I put it under the tree, some of the old branches could break and fall and damage it. So that is out.
I still have to find some kind of coop for them to get inside that will be warm this winter too.
I was outside this morning and it was so peaceful just sitting there watching them.
My hens are molting too so egg production is way down. Think I am gonna thin my flock before winter. Feed is too high. I paid $14 for 50# of scratch feed today. I have some apples to give the hens for the next few days. They like such treats. It's in the 90's here and humid. But it cools off at night.
Have you done anything with the house and lot you bought?
Thanks for asking. I tried to have those trees trimmed this week and had a terrible time of it. Between the man that had me sign the contract and the men that did the work, they just did not do their job. Not sure what is going to happen. He promised to send the men and the truck back here, but so far, nobody has shown up.
I wanted the trees cut way down, so the branches wouldn't break and fall on my garages. Every time we've had a bad storm, whether wind or snow, those long branches break. I'm very concerned about those trees and have been for years.
They cut the one tree and did a pretty good job, but then just trimmed the very tops of the other tall one. We had a little shouting match, at which point I threatened not to pay until they did it right. He said, "But you signed this contract" like that settled the disagreement. So, I just said, "Well sue me then, and we'll go to court and we'll talk". Not fun. I got kind of sick over the stress of it all. I think those guys just got tired and decided they were done. The young guy, the pencil pusher with the contract, was kind of stuck between us. I also think they think I am just a dumb woman and they don't have to do it.
Next morning, I headed to the landscaping store to talk to the manager or owner, whichever one I could find. The man that had me sign the contract stopped me and said they were coming back out to finish, at no extra cost. Wanted me to pay $300, which I did. So far, no one has come. They still have me down on their books as owing the rest of the money, $336.
Guess we'll see what happens.
I would like to put up a fence and carport or garage on that concrete slab, but can't do anything until those trees are trimmed, and trimmed right. I don't want to have to trim them again.
Had the carpets removed, but there is still a horrible stench in there. From what info I could find online, if they were making meth in there they could have spilled chemicals, or poured them down the drain, making the sewer line even hazardous. I have no intention of going inside. Every time I do I cough and cough. Whatever is in there is not safe.
Could you call your local law enforcement or hazmat team and have them look into it?
It's a shame people try to take advantage of customers. Don't pay them until you are satisfied and take pics of what they have done and what they did not do. Remember a verbal contract is binding and you had a deal with him. Hope it all gets done soon.
CajuninKy, last fall I planted any leafy-type veggie I could think of. Way more than DH and I could possibly eat. All the surplus went to the hens as winter feed. They loved it and it was way cheaper than scratch feed. There were some weeks I didn't even need to throw down and scratch as they were so busy with the surplus from the garden. And I love the way the yolks turn orangy when the hens have been eating spinach, collards, turnip greens, etc. This summer they got a huge bonus crop of zucchini. I love zuc and, it turns out, so do the hens. I don't know if you are in a zone where winter veggie garden is possible, but it might help to just plant something for them...
Yesterday I watched a video about root cellars. How people in the past always had a root cellar and how to make one. Since I have the cellar next door I may buy some pumpkins when they are cheap next month and put them in there to see how they do.
I am still around. Heat & Hot Flashes have been kicking my but big time. Got rid of about 30 of my Araucana and 48 chicks friend had me hatch and still have to many. It is becoming more work than a joy to have them. My friend that took them to sell for me ended up ripping me off for about 400. I was giving him 30% plus gas money for coming to get them. He never gave me the money and won't respond to e-mails or phone calls. Last I heard from him was that he was coming June 17th to bring me my money and get more Araucana.
Isaac flooded out my pond and my yard ducks had to swim all night in their cage near the pond. We got 15" rain total over 3 days. DH let them out early the next morning and all they did was lay in the yard all day. When we got a break in the rain DH took loose a piece of fence by the house and we herded them into the chicken yard and I have been locking them up at night in the small old Silkie coop 6'W x 3'T x 12'L. to small for 12 big domestics ducks. A week later after the water was out of the upper 1/3 of their pen we got another hard and fast 3" rain and flooded it out again. So they are still up here in the chicken yard. A lot of extra work on me. The water is not draining out as fast this time since it is so saturated. Looks like my big Confederate Rose tree is dying sitting in the water.
Got House Ins. renewal yesterday and in the almost than 7 yrs we have lived here my Ins has gone from 1800 to right at 3000 and from a deductable of 500 to 3900 for Hurricane and 2500 for everything else. They are going to make it so no one can afford a home. The first increase was 2 yr after Katrina and they jumped it from 1800 to 4500. They only way I could get it back down was to up my deductable to 3500. It brought it back down to 2600, 2 yrs later it went down to 2400, 2 yrs ago it went back up to 2650 and this renewal is right at 3000. are any of your Ins going up like this????
2 Cancer spots removed in April. Was still free in July so not going back until late Jan when he wants to go into my Kidneys. Said CT would show cancer unless it was big
So sorry to hear about your water woes and that you were ripped off. I hate a thief. Did you flood from the water release from Lake Tangipahoa? My BIL did but was able to save his stuff. Other BIL was flooded in for a week but his house was high and dry. He lost his house in 1983 from the same problem with Lake Tangipahoa but he has since rebuilt in a different spot.
Glad your ducks were able to stand the flood long enough to be rescued. I know how much you love them and can only imagine how much you have invested in them.
no Cajun just the pond and lower yard flood from massive amounts of rain in short periods of time. My DD and many resident in the Moss Point, Helena area flooded when the opened the flood gates in Mobile, Ala.. She just had water on the floor since she is off the ground. Other with houses on a slab got 4 to 5'. Same thing happened in Katrina. None of those areas flood from the Hurricane but got 4 to 5' when they opened the flood gates.
Thankfully we had Tree Arborist come out this summer and remove a oak leaning badly over the garage and trim limbs all around the house giving the roof a good clearance. My house is surrounded by oaks on 3 sides Luckily nothing heavy enough broke through any of my pens out in the yard although one huge limb came very close. It landed where 2 pieces of chicken wire over lap so it had added strength.
Yes my friend stealing really hurts my heart. I fully trusted him and thought of him as a good friend. I guess I need to look at it as I have probably saved that much in feed cost since April.
Yes cancer free for now but at the check up it had only been 3 months post surgery and it was 2 new cancers rather than one in the first surgery 9 months earlier. The Jan. check up will be at the 9 month mark and then I will relax if i am still cancer free. One of my Kidneys came back not cancer but abnormal at last surgery and is why they want to go in and take a sample this time besides the bladder
Cajun ... do you feed your hens regular scratch instead of egg crumbles? And it doesn't make any difference in their laying schedule or quality of the eggs? My hens don't like the scratch. They can't/won't eat the whole pieces of corn or the milo. They will eat about 1/2 of the stuff in the bag. They love the egg crumbles and it is $14 a bag here. Since I only have a few, and don't plan to have more than 20, I think I will continue with the egg crumbles.
One of my 3 hens has started laying. Still waiting on the other 2. The guy I bought them from the end of July, said they should start laying in August. I wonder if he will replace them or refund my money if they don't start soon.
Coop is almost done. DH fell off a ladder working on it and seperated his shoulder from his clavical, so he wasn't able to work on it much for several weeks. All we need now is the tin for the roof. A guy we know said he and his dad were tearing down some barns, and he would give us the 10 sheets we need. They are getting ready start on one, but can only do it on the weekends. DH is just finishing up the small stuff waiting on the tin to finish.
Hmmmm, I hope they DON"T wait until spring. I don't want to feed them that long and not get any return! One is a Cinamon Queen and the other, shoot! the name just went out of my head!, the dark red ones. UGH! Hate it when I do that. Just have the 3 until all is finished up. Waiting on a friend who is going to give us some rippled tin for the roof when he tears down a barn. May just put some chicken wire on top until we get that so I can start putting them in there, and maybe increase. Would like to have 20.
YES! Rhode Island Red. I thought about it last night as I was trying to go to sleep. lol
I bought them the end of July and the guy said they should start laying the next month. Well, they didn't and one finally did the beginning of October. I'm still waiting on the other two. UGH!
DH is going to put 2 strands of barbed wire along the bottom of the henhouse to try to deter critters, also. He buried the chicken wire about 12" deep and 12" wide then filled the hole full of rocks and topped it off with dirt. We don't have too many wild critters around here except for squirrels and rabbits. The dogs seem to keep them away.
We've found that buried chicken wire trick works very well. We also run it up about 12" along the bottom of the run. We've had trouble with racoon reaching in to try and grab the hens/peacocks. Those racoon have to keep on their toes as our two big dogs will make short work of them if they get caught. One did manage to get one of my babby peacocks this past month. The prettiest one, too. They seem to go after the ones with a lot of white or light colors. The rat-finks!
Crit, the problem with chicken wire is that it just isn't strong enough to do anything but keep the chickens inside. Even 'possums tear thru it, and raccoons hardly seem to notice it as they rip it apart.
Chicken wire laid down will tend to stop digging, but when it's used as walls, it's not very effective.
I'm not sure what barb wire will stop, but maybe you have different issues. Hot wire may deter climbers, but I've never used it.
If you have no local predators, you may be fine. I didn't think there was anywhere raccoons hadn't found, but maybe you are in such a fortunate area...
After about five years it does seem to. I think it depends on the chicken wire and the soil. We just replaced a section of our ground chicken wire. I should say that out coop itself consists of 2 x 4 inch galvanized mesh fencing. Then about 12" of chicken wire around the bottom vertically and another 12 - 24" laid on the ground around the bottom and hammered in with landscaping stakes. We've had the neighbors' Great Danes and Sharpeis (sp?) over trying to break in with no luck so far. Also various critters. Only the snakes have made it in.
Two of my 3 hens have started laying regularly. One day I found 3 eggs and thought the 3rd one was getting started. That was the only day, so either one laid 2 eggs or the 3rd hen is getting warmed up. lol It's been several days and so far no more 3 eggs. She'd better get to laying or she is gone. Not gonna feed her if she isn't going to lay eggs. She's a Cinnamon Queen and should be about 8 or 9 months old, if the guy I got her from was right about her age.
I have a question regarding the eggs and maybe and idea how to fix it. The eggs have lovely high standing dark yellow yolks, but the whites are pretty runny. Is there anything I can do to thicken up the whites or is it just what it is?
Now that the hen house is done, I may start adding some layers 2 or 3 at a time so I can watch for pecking and also determine that they are indeed laying. Don't really want to wait until spring to start adding more hens.
Crit, are you supplementing light? This time of year many hens need extra light to trigger laying. I don't do it, I figure they need some down time. Then again, I don't have issues with feeding them when they aren't "producing", mine are somewhat pets as well as egg layers. If you need to make them pay, then you should probably cull those who don't ay regularly in whatever conditions you offer.
Unless you add light, you may find that newly added layers won't lay. The stress of moving often stops them, and without the long "daylight" they're less likely to restart. If you run into that, you may just find yourself buying and then culling when they don't produce.
At least around here, laying hens aren't cheap.
Yes catmad. I am supplementing light for them. I have added about 2 1/2 hours in the morning and about 3 hours at night. That gives them light from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Now I have another question. At what air temperature should I start adding heat? The pen is still just chicken wire as the days are warm. Going to be 86 Friday, but have had light bulbs on them the last 3 nights as we were at the freezing mark. I know they need to be kept warm to keep producing also. I plan on getting some heat lamps for winter time.