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who has chickens

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Re: who has chickens

Post  Turan on 1/24/2014, 1:53 pm

Rose, I love the full variety you all picked out. It is so much fun watching them develop. Are you getting chicks or young hens? I am curious where you are getting singles of each type? We did that one year at the feed store, they had a lot of different varieties and we got one of each but it was serendipity which they had.  Very Happy 

My new favorite is the Brahmas. Ours are the light. They are so calm and easy going and yet are great foragers. I have heard they dig a lot if confined though, so excellent for turning compost piles and but also eating all the worms. For us they are the ones that roam the pasture/ fields the furthest. We have not lost any to dogs/coyotes either but that might be luck because they are too big to be easy flyers. My daughter loves the Barred Rocks. She had one that would sit by the living room window watching and listening while she practiced her flute.
I am going to need to pick up a couple more this spring and have been day dreaming over the chicken catalogs as well as over the seed catalogs. Its a January pass time Laughing 

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Re: who has chickens

Post  bnoles on 1/24/2014, 5:19 pm

@FamilyGardening wrote:HI Bob  Very Happy (pictures are from Meyers Hatchery)

a Buff Orpington is the chicken I picked out

my husband picked a Buff Brahma

our 13 year old daughter pick a Barnevelder

our 7 year old picked a Barred Rock

and we all decided together to get a Black Australorp

we cant wait! it was hard to only pick out 5, but that's all we are allowed here in the city limits....we are thankful they change the law here and we are allowed to even have 5 of them  sunny 

how many eggs per week do your ladies give you? and are they about the size of a large store bought egg? or bigger?

did you get them as day old chicks?

I noticed the woodchips in the coop......do you like using the woodchips? we are wanting to us them as well.....are the woodchips just in the run part of the coop or do you also use them inside of their house? and are you using the deep layer concept? as we have been reading about and are also thinking of trying this method

hugs
rose

Excellent choice of birds Rose.  I love my Orpies and the Barred Rock would have been my 2nd choice.  These are hardy birds and during the productive months they each average an egg 6 days per week so I get about a dozen and a half per week.  Right now with the shorter days, I am only getting 6-8 eggs per week.  I am not using artificial light in the coop to encourage laying, they deserve their winter break.  I do not heat the coup in any way and temps have reached 5 degrees once or twice here already.  The size seems to be between large and extra large by store standards.

My birds were purchased when they were pullets and have lived in their fortress since coming home with us.  We too live in the city and we are not allowed to let them free range.

Eggs were only one reason we wanted chickens and compost was the other.  I use chips in both the run and in the coop which allows for the deep composting method.  I cleaned the run and coup out in mid Fall and got some really great material to add to my composting operation.  I throw leaves, weeds kitchen scraps and garden waste in the run and these little ladies are excellent little composting machines.

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Re: who has chickens

Post  FamilyGardening on 1/25/2014, 3:01 pm

glad to hear the deep liter method is working for you Bob with your chickens....we hope it works well for us too!  Very Happy we are nervous to try it...but going to do it  Razz 

Turan.....we purchased our new 5 chicks that are due in April from Meyers Hatchery....cant wait to here about your new chicks....if you want chicks before april Meyers min order is 15, but after that I believe the min order is 3

hugs
rose

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Re: who has chickens

Post  walshevak on 2/1/2014, 8:14 pm

Motherearth News article on chicken coops and runs.  Might solve the sturdy vs movable problems.


http://www.motherearthnews.com/diy/portable-chicken-coop-zm0z12amzmat.aspx?PageId=1

Kay

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Re: who has chickens

Post  southern gardener on 2/7/2014, 7:11 pm

Well, the little girls showed up. We have reinforced the pen(s) and I have a perfect little chicken watcher to keep a watchful eye on them.



Hope these girls are here for a loooong long time!!

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Re: who has chickens

Post  sanderson on 2/7/2014, 11:42 pm

Little chick and chickies! A.D.O.R.A.B.L.E.

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Re: who has chickens

Post  bnoles on 2/8/2014, 8:25 am

SG.... Excellence X 7! Best wishes on the chicken adventure, they are so enjoyable, especially with children around.

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Re: who has chickens

Post  sanderson on 2/8/2014, 4:01 pm

My daughter just texted me this chicken joke.  Had to share:

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Re: who has chickens

Post  southern gardener on 2/8/2014, 5:38 pm

Welp. we lost one. Went out to check on them, and it was just laying there under the lamp with the rest of the others. Looks perfectly healthy, no missing parts, bites etc Sad

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Re: who has chickens

Post  sanderson on 2/8/2014, 5:46 pm

Oh, so sad. I pray the others live to a ripe old age.

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Re: who has chickens

Post  bnoles on 2/8/2014, 6:04 pm

I hate to hear that SG.  I know things like this happen often, but it still hurts none the less.  How is your grand daughter taking it?

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Re: who has chickens

Post  southern gardener on 2/8/2014, 9:31 pm

@bnoles wrote:I hate to hear that SG.  I know things like this happen often, but it still hurts none the less.  How is your grand daughter taking it?

She doesn't know yet Sad She's only 3, so I don't think I'll tell her. I don't think she'll notice, but her older brother, he'll notice. We have lots of animals here, so I think they'll "roll with it". Still sad tho  Sad 

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Re: who has chickens

Post  Triciasgarden on 3/4/2014, 8:21 pm

Here are some good facts about chicken eggs I just read about and thought I would share.

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/interesting-facts-about-chicken-eggs

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Re: who has chickens

Post  cheyannarach on 3/4/2014, 10:37 pm

Thanks for sharing, reading it now Smile

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Re: who has chickens

Post  sanderson on 3/4/2014, 11:14 pm

Nice article. Makes me want to have some.

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Re: who has chickens

Post  gwennifer on 3/5/2014, 11:17 am

@southern gardener wrote:
@bnoles wrote:I hate to hear that SG.  I know things like this happen often, but it still hurts none the less.  How is your grand daughter taking it?
She doesn't know yet Sad She's only 3, so I don't think I'll tell her. I don't think she'll notice, but her older brother, he'll notice. We have lots of animals here, so I think they'll "roll with it". Still sad tho  Sad 
Well, not that anyone asked for it, but this is my advice: I wouldn't try to shelter her from it.  Children need to learn about life and death in a healthy way.  Research has showed that children who have had and lost pets during their childhood have better coping skills when it comes to dealing with the death of loved ones.  Not that you need to make a point of making her notice if she doesn't ask.  I'm just saying.

Coincidentally, just yesterday I asked a little girl (pre-K) in my class how her chickens were doing and she stated matter-of-factly that one had died.

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Re: who has chickens

Post  southern gardener on 3/5/2014, 2:49 pm

@gwennifer wrote:
@southern gardener wrote:
@bnoles wrote:I hate to hear that SG.  I know things like this happen often, but it still hurts none the less.  How is your grand daughter taking it?
She doesn't know yet Sad She's only 3, so I don't think I'll tell her. I don't think she'll notice, but her older brother, he'll notice. We have lots of animals here, so I think they'll "roll with it". Still sad tho  Sad 
Well, not that anyone asked for it, but this is my advice: I wouldn't try to shelter her from it.  Children need to learn about life and death in a healthy way.  Research has showed that children who have had and lost pets during their childhood have better coping skills when it comes to dealing with the death of loved ones.  Not that you need to make a point of making her notice if she doesn't ask.  I'm just saying.

Coincidentally, just yesterday I asked a little girl (pre-K) in my class how her chickens were doing and she stated matter-of-factly that one had died.

Yep, no sheltering here. We raise and butcher some of our own animals. The kids are here for the birth, castration, shots, butcher etc. She is only 3 and didn't notice, but the 5 yo did right off the bat. He was the one who noticed the hawk sitting in the tree a few hundred yards away when another one was killed the other day. He told little sister one had died, and she said "ohhhhh, that's sad, but we have more huh gramma". They roll with it, but it's still sad and maddening! We are down to 4 of 6 chickens and they aren't even out in the "open area" yet ;/

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Re: who has chickens

Post  FamilyGardening on 3/10/2014, 11:26 pm

for those of you that have chickens.....

we are getting our new baby chicks next month and went to the feed store today to buy a few things....

I have read a lot on taking care of chickens, and Love the book *Fresh Eggs Daily*

Is there a difference in feed-grade Diatomaceous Earth for use in dust baths for our chickens then food-grade Diatomaceous.  I understand food-grade means it can be consumed by humans, but is there any difference from feed-grade and food-grade to use with our chicken care?

The feed store only carried feed-grade

Thanks
Rose

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Re: who has chickens

Post  littlejo on 3/11/2014, 7:22 am

Rose
Ask the farm store owner, if he cannot answer, have him call his supplier. The source/additives may be the difference, may be the feed type is from some sort of GMO additive? I think the DE is from diatoms from salt water, which 'should' make it the same except for purification process?
I use food grade, did not know there was a feed grade.
Jo

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Re: who has chickens

Post  Pollinator on 3/11/2014, 10:35 am

I just got some Buff Orpington chicks from a farm store, and I didn't think to check them for "pasty butt." This is kind of like chicken constipation, and it happens with incubator-hatched chicks, but not with hen-raised ones. I was more interested at the time, in trying to sex them, so I'd get more pullets than cockerels.

When I got home, two of them had pasty butt (which is usually fatal, if not treated fast). I suspect they had it when I picked them up. The affliction is caused by the lack of the proper bacteria in their digestive system.

So I spent the evening carefully washing and wiping their little butts, with warm water soaked cotton balls, drying them with a hair dryer, and then coating their vents with olive oil for laxative effect. One of the two obliged by pooping immediately, but the other I did not think would last the night, as it was red and swollen around the vent.

I also fed them (immediately) some yogurt to give them the need pro-biotic bacteria. The three healthy ones ate it eagerly, the two sick ones had to be force fed.

The good news is that both the afflicted ones did survive and are now bright eyed and energetic. They both lost some growth, so they were significantly undersized compared with the others, but they are now catching up, so it's getting harder and harder to tell which ones they were.

I've learned a couple lessons, and will pass these on to others. When you get chicks, it's a good idea to check their vents at the store. If they have pasty butt, it will be obvious, with gobs of hardened poop preventing them from voiding.

Secondly, when hatching from an incubator, or when purchasing chicks, immediately feed them some yogurt to give them the vital bacteria they need to survive.

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Re: who has chickens

Post  Turan on 3/11/2014, 11:56 am

I do not know if the feed DE has been cleaned enough to pass for human food use.  It is the variety you need for chickens though.  It also works as a insecticide on plants.  The variety you do NOT want is the stuff for swimming pool filters.

Wiki seems pretty thorough about it. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diatomaceous_earth#Pest_control


Last edited by Turan on 3/11/2014, 11:57 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : not enough coffee)

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Re: who has chickens

Post  FamilyGardening on 3/11/2014, 11:13 pm

thanks for the advice pollinator glad to hear your little chicks are doing ok  Very Happy 

turan and littlejo......we ended up calling the company for the DE and it turns out that they do not sale a feed grade DE, what was sold to us was the DE herbicide that can be used around pets, but they are not suppose to ingest it  Shocked its not for use for chickens.....we need the food-grade for chickens....so frustrated as we asked the young sales gal that day for food-grade DE....im glad it was not sitting right with me and we didn't just go with what was sold to us!

thanks
rose

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Re: who has chickens

Post  FamilyGardening on 3/16/2014, 4:18 am

cheers  here are our six new 5 day old baby chicks!

We decided as a family to cancel our order that was due next month and get our chicks local. It saved us a lot of money this way.

1.  Blue Ameraucana  ...................our daughter picked out

2.  Golden Laced Wyandotte.....husband and son picked out together

3.  Barred Rock.............. ............. our son picked out

4.  Black Australorp...............daughter and I picked out together

5.  Rhode Island Red .....................my husband picked out
6.  Buff Orpington ..........................I picked out










we are having a blast with them! They are so cute and funny!

hugs
rose

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Re: who has chickens

Post  bnoles on 3/16/2014, 8:22 am

Hi Rose, nice job on the variety. Look forward to seeing the mix of eggs down the road.

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Re: who has chickens

Post  littlejo on 3/16/2014, 9:19 am

Rose, good picks! And yes, it will be interesting to see what color the eggs are. While they are young, if you put your hand right in front of them, and tell them to step up, helping them onto your hand, they will eventually learn this, then when they are full grown, they will step up for you. Be sure to pet them too. My DH has done this with ours and they come a running to see who can step up first. Makes it easier to gather the eggs for they get off nests in a hurry. Also makes them easy with the feet, no clawing.
Jo

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