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I got chickens!

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I got chickens!

Post  cheyannarach on 3/16/2013, 12:52 am

I got chickens!! But I got one gave to me that needs extra attention, I think it's a runt, any pointers?

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Re: I got chickens!

Post  FamilyGardening on 3/16/2013, 1:04 am

no help with the chickens but wanted to congrat cheers you with your new babies ....how exciting!!

hugs
rose

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Re: I got chickens!

Post  brainchasm on 3/16/2013, 1:29 am

So jealous!

If this gardening thing works for me this year, next year's project is building a coop and getting some laying hens.

Should be fun, here in the city!

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Re: I got chickens!

Post  April on 3/16/2013, 8:04 am

We love our chickens! Someone turned me on to the book Raising chickens for dummies when we first got ours. It's a great book if you've never had chickens before. Everything you need to know is in there. Congrats & good luck! They are one of the best & easiest pets to have!

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Re: I got chickens!

Post  czechens on 3/16/2013, 10:15 am

Good for you! Chickens are eternally fascinating and just so darn much fun. - I have eight beautiful layers which are my substitute television (talk about daytime drama!), my amazingly wonderful egg providers, and my walking composter. I take my kitchen scraps--nothing eggy or meat--toss it into the run, and it comes out compost! Thank you, ladies!

As to your runt, it will need some close watching to make sure it gets enough food and water. The others will probably work it over pretty well while the "pecking order" is being established, but that should settle down in time. If it's really weak or sick, I would screen it off (but don't remove it completely) until it gets a little stronger, but don't wait too long because it's going to have to take its place in the flock sooner or later, and the older they get, the more damage they can do. Hard to watch but part of the life of a chicken, unfortunately. Here's some potential good news, however: my former runt has gradually asserted herself and worked her way to the top and now is the dominant battle-axe of the bunch. Payback time!

My best thought for a small flock in an enclosed space--If you end up with a rooster, get rid of it. They are unrelentingly rotten.

Here's a website with a lot of information: backyardchickens.com.

Good luck! Have fun!


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Re: I got chickens!

Post  jimmy cee on 3/16/2013, 10:33 am

Chickens bring back a memory of my youth.
2 uncles of mine had a farm in the Catskill Mt area, Hannacroix to be exact.NY state.
Cant recall the year, a Plymouth convertible, 2 passenger with a rumble seat was their car.
This was in the 40s
From NYC they moved to that area and developed a chicken farm.
All I remember is chickens every where, I know they numbered in the thousands.
I was only allowed to water them because they were afraid I may drop some feed on the ground.
Feed was expensive in those days !!
Water was heavy in pails, needed to be pumped from a well, I was a strong young lad of 10 - 13
and these native Germans took advantage of that.
Heck these buckets were almost as big as I was, if I recall I had to walk on my toes to keep from them hitting the ground.
They raised these chickens to sell for various methods of cooking, and selling eggs.
Eggs were packed in large wooden crates, some were shipped to our apt in NYC where we sold them to neighbors, returning the money to the farm.
About 5-6 large buildings housed these chickens, during the day when I went in I could only hear loud cackling and crowing, an awful noise, at night it was so quiet I could have heard a pin drop on the soft filled floor.
A large pot of boiling water was going when slaughtering chicken day came, some chickens just had their heads cut off, some a knife through the throat leaving the head intact.
Chickens without heads flopping all over, then dipped into boiling water quickly to help remove feathers...
I have many fond memories about chickens, especially some of those vicious roosters, and that they were.
Chicken tasted differently in those days, I recently found out why.
When I cook chicken in a crock pot, it resembles chicken eaten in those days of yore.
And I'm certain methods used in raising them were not the same as today..affecting taste.
Being a child growing up in NYC, allowed to visit a farm during summer days were an important part of my development in all aspects. Chickens, Chickens, Chickens..I cannot get them out of my head....

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Re: I got chickens!

Post  bnoles on 3/16/2013, 10:40 am

Congrats on the new chickens, I am so jealous! I put the finishing touches on my coop and run yesterday and it is now ready for the tenants, unfortunately, it will have to remain empty until we do our vacation thing in a couple of weeks. I can't wait! Going for 3 barred rock layers and no roosters.


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Re: I got chickens!

Post  czechens on 3/16/2013, 10:59 am

jimmy cee - I share your "vintage" and also your experience. My grandmother had hundreds of leghorns, most of which she butchered (I got to pick pin feathers in addition to pumping and carrying buckets of water - yippee!), but she kept the hens and sold eggs. At that point in time, we had to carefully wash them and pack them in crates, all for the handsome remuneration of 16 cents a dozen. She also had a couple of roosters from hell, which terrorized me constantly. Don't like those roosters! Anyway, my great love for my tough-love Czech grandmother made me want to emulate her in every way possible, so I got a little flock of chickens of my own as soon as I could arrange it. I love what you said about all the commotion during the day and still as death at night. Sometimes I go out there with a flashlight just to check and make sure they're all in the house, they're so spooky quiet at night.

bnoles--Barred rocks are awesome. I have two Rhode Island reds, three black sex-link, two amercaunas (lay green eggs) (but no ham), and one hilarious little Polish--all great layers and definitely great composters!

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Re: I got chickens!

Post  RoOsTeR on 3/16/2013, 12:40 pm

Congrats Cheyanne! You will love having chickens and most likely will never be without them again.

We love our roosters. They serve a purpose on the farm. I can see if they are backyarders, maybe not so much, but they give us baby chicks to carry on the flock. They protect the ladies when need be. And they taste good in the crock pot, on the grill, or in the smoker Very Happy
Also, my opinions on runts differ when raising them like we do. Shocked

If you are new to raising chickens or are thinking about it, get the book by Gail Damerow: A Guide To Raising Chickens. It's one of the best out there.
http://www.amazon.com/Storeys-Guide-Raising-Chickens-Facilities/dp/158017325X
The best modern day resource for chickens in my opinion.

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Yep

Post  R&R 1011 on 3/17/2013, 1:21 am

@brainchasm wrote:So jealous!

If this gardening thing works for me this year, next year's project is building a coop and getting some laying hens.

Should be fun, here in the city!

^^^^Same here.

Congrats! Im jealous as well. Dont forget to post pictures. Smile

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Re: I got chickens!

Post  jazzycat on 3/17/2013, 4:12 pm

I really, really want some chickens! One thing at a time though. I have my hands full learning about gardening right now. Not to mention, I have a Siberian Husky and 4 cats, and I'm not sure how well they would take to chickens. Two of my neighbors behind us have chickens, and I know several other people who have them. I think they are so cool. But the one time my husky was around some, she chased them all over the place (didn't kill them, I think she was trying to "play" with them. She does that with the cats, and they chase her back). So I'm afraid she might try to kill them, and that would be tragic. I wouldn't want to risk it, until I could build some fencing that I can move around, so they could get out and roam free without worrying about Bluebell getting to them. And then there are the cats. One of my cats used be feral, so he hunts. He eats his kills, and he is good at keeping the rat population down. I know that he's also killed some birds in the past too though, because I occasionally find clumps of feathers. And he can jump fences. soooooooo.... I know he leaves the neighbors chickens alone though. I guess I could lock the cats in the house whenever the chickens are out roaming. We have a pet door, so they come and go as they please.

If anyone has experience with this, suggestions are appreciated.

And you don't need a rooster for the chickens to lay eggs? Why do you need them then, if not for that?

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Re: I got chickens!

Post  camprn on 3/17/2013, 4:15 pm

@jazzycat wrote:

And you don't need a rooster for the chickens to lay eggs? Why do you need them then, if not for that?
You only need Roosters if you want chicks.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-to-raise-backyard-chickens-in-your-city-the-basics-of-raising-chickens

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Re: I got chickens!

Post  jazzycat on 3/17/2013, 9:41 pm

Thanks camprn. I feel like such a dummie. Very Happy

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Re: I got chickens!

Post  camprn on 3/17/2013, 9:52 pm

@jazzycat wrote:Thanks camprn. I feel like such a dummie. Very Happy
No, no, no, none of that now! You are learning! There will be a quiz next week. Shocked Very Happy

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Re: I got chickens!

Post  dmj24 on 3/17/2013, 11:45 pm

It is a crazy business keeping the chickens safe.
I have a double chain link dog kennel. It is covered over with chicken wire . To keep the hawks out. The first time i had a problem was with a racoon. So we fixed the top really secure since it got in thru the top. Worked great. For about 6 months
One morning i went out and 2 of my girls were dead and the breasts eaten.. The next morning, 2 more.
Turned out to be a weasel. It got in thru the gap between the chain link panels. Maybe 3 inches.
So i ended up giving the rest of my girls to a BYC friend who i met on line. Turns out she lives down the street and has an aviary. Rather than let the weasel finish the job 1 chicken at a time.
So if you use chain link, be careful of weasels.
I do miss my girls. But my friend has dogs for protection. And i get to visit them.
Good luck with your birds!

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Re: I got chickens!

Post  Kelejan on 3/18/2013, 2:49 am

@camprn wrote:
@jazzycat wrote:Thanks camprn. I feel like such a dummie. Very Happy
No, no, no, none of that now! You are learning! There will be a quiz next week. Shocked Very Happy
jazzycat, I bet you knew all the time: it just slipped your mind. Very Happy

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Re: I got chickens!

Post  cheyannarach on 3/19/2013, 1:26 pm

Thanks for the links and book ideas! So as far as the runt goes... dead Sad . Happened the next day while I was a work, I wanted to take her with me but I didn't want her to get too cold so I fed her before I left but she died anyways. Then this morning one of the white leghorns was dead but none of them were acting sickly yesterday so I am suspicious that my four year old may have squeezed it a bit to hard silly me The rest of them are looking good though, it's amazing how fast their feathers grow on their wings!

Rooster do you just let nature take it course on the runts? Shocked

I am very undecided on Roosters so far, I want some chicks but I don't want chicks in my eggs I am going to eat, I would never eat eggs again pale Also I want a chicken you can show at the fair, I think my kids would get a kick out of that (and the 10 year old inside me What a Face ) Are they just roosters or both hens and Roosters.

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Re: I got chickens!

Post  RoOsTeR on 3/19/2013, 2:30 pm

@cheyannarach wrote:Thanks for the links and book ideas! So as far as the runt goes... dead Sad . Happened the next day while I was a work, I wanted to take her with me but I didn't want her to get too cold so I fed her before I left but she died anyways. Then this morning one of the white leghorns was dead but none of them were acting sickly yesterday so I am suspicious that my four year old may have squeezed it a bit to hard silly me The rest of them are looking good though, it's amazing how fast their feathers grow on their wings!

Rooster do you just let nature take it course on the runts? Shocked

I am very undecided on Roosters so far, I want some chicks but I don't want chicks in my eggs I am going to eat, I would never eat eggs again pale Also I want a chicken you can show at the fair, I think my kids would get a kick out of that (and the 10 year old inside me What a Face ) Are they just roosters or both hens and Roosters.

You won't have chicks in your eggs unless they have been sat on/incubated etc for 21 days. Collect your eggs daily and it won't be a problem. You will know when your ladies are broody. Blood in eggs is NOT the beginning of a chick like a lot of folks would like to think. It's usually from the hen during the laying process.
Roosters are awesome and everyone needs a Rooster Razz course I am biased. tongue
Like I said above in my previous post, I like having roosters around. They do have a purpose and they are like most birds...have all the great colors and markings.

I don't want to come across as cold or ruthless, but I live on a farm and we've raised lot's of chickens over the years. Runts and weak chicks are usually that way for a reason and 9 times out of 10 don't make it even with extra care. I find it much more humane to end suffering early than to prolong it for my, or my families interest or feelings. I feel it's my responsibility. Sorry if that's harsh Embarassed

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Re: I got chickens!

Post  cheyannarach on 3/20/2013, 6:26 pm

Sad That's sad... You sound like my hubby. I am hopeless when it comes to something that needs help.

That's good to know about the roosters though! Then I am for sure getting roosters, I want chicks and roosters are just pretty too.

Has anyone ever ordered chicks online? If so where from? I wanted to get some funny looking chickens Laughing

One more question... When different types of roosters and chickens have chicks do they come out different looking? Kinda like puppies (mutts) thinking

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Re: I got chickens!

Post  Nicola on 3/21/2013, 12:24 am

Congratulations, cheyannarach! (And condolences, as well.)
@April wrote: We love our chickens! Someone turned me on to the book Raising chickens for dummies when we first got ours. It's a great book if you've never had chickens before.
@czechens wrote:Chickens are eternally fascinating and just so darn much fun. - I have eight beautiful layers which are my substitute television (talk about daytime drama!)....Here's a website with a lot of information: backyardchickens.com.
Interestingly, the founder of that website (with a great forum, like here) is a co-author of that book.
Good thing you are waiting 'til after vacation, bnoles, it may be awhile until you have another. It can be hard to find a good "chicken-sitter".
@jazzycat wrote:I really, really want some chickens! One thing at a time though. I have my hands full learning about gardening right now. Not to mention, I have a Siberian Husky and 4 cats, and I'm not sure how well they would take to chickens.....But the one time my husky was around some, she chased them all over the place (didn't kill them, I think she was trying to "play" with them. She does that with the cats, and they chase her back)
Go ahead, concentrate on your SFG while you research keeping chickens, and plan it out. From my own experience I advise you to be very, very, very careful with a Husky around chickens! One who lives down the street got loose and killed my first small flock. I've since learned that Huskies are one breed with a high prey drive, so that "play" can be deadly.
@dmj24 wrote:It is a crazy business keeping the chickens safe.
Oh, I'll say! Before I get more chickies, (if I do) I'll have to re-work the whole chicken area in my yard, so it is practically air-tight, to make it as predator-proof as possible.

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Re: I got chickens!

Post  cheyannarach on 3/21/2013, 2:42 pm

I couldn't imagine coming out to find all the chickens dead Sad

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Re: I got chickens!

Post  CapeCoddess on 3/21/2013, 3:01 pm

I saw on the news this morning that a guy in PA recently bought and received 200 chicks, posted about it on Facebook, and came out the next day to find all his chicks were gone!

How would you ever get your chickens returned if they've been chicknapped? Are they tagged or something?

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Re: I got chickens!

Post  cheyannarach on 3/21/2013, 6:36 pm

Wow where did he leave them, that would be terrible and expensive to replace! They are not tagged so I think they are just gone, what a bummer. Mad

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Re: I got chickens!

Post  jazzycat on 3/21/2013, 10:15 pm

Nicola, you're right about huskies having a high prey drive. I was afraid to even get one because of my cats. But she's fine with them. I don't think I would want her loose around birds though.

On the other hand, my fiance' had a border collie, and he got into the chicken coop and killed 14 out of 20 chickens before they got to him. I guess you just never know.

I'm not giving up on the idea of it. If/when I finally do get some, I'll just have to be sure I have a moveable fence (or something) to keep her away from them when they're out foraging.

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Re: I got chickens!

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