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hendi_alex
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Re: Hello Chickens!

Hard to believe that these chickens were just hatched in early February. They are growing very rapidly. I'll build a couple of nesting boxes in June or July. We have three Australorps and three Rhode Island Reds.

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Eclectic gardening style, drawing from 45 years of interest and experience. Mostly plant in raised beds and containers primarily using intensive gardening techniques.
Alex

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hendi_alex
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Re: Hello Chickens!

I moved them to finisher feed about two weeks ago, probably should have stayed on starter for another week or two, but I figured that it wasn't a big issue. I also started tossing out some scratch food and guess they will snack on that if they wish. Each day I gather spring weeds for forage. The chickens get really excited when tossed those piles of green material. They seem to like tall red sour weeds, and the clover looking, yellow flowered sour weeds best of all. I'll continue to toss them forage until I get their free range area completed. Right now I've got a maybe 50 by 75 foot area planted in rye, sweet peas, sun flowers, and corn. In another month or so, I'll fence the area and let the chickens roam and forage during the day.
Eclectic gardening style, drawing from 45 years of interest and experience. Mostly plant in raised beds and containers primarily using intensive gardening techniques.
Alex

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Re: Hello Chickens!

Why did you put them on finisher food? That's for meat birds?

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hendi_alex
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Re: Hello Chickens!

From the Tractor Supply site:

"DuMOR® Poultry Grower/Finisher 15% Feed is a complete formula for growing or finishing young birds to market or laying age."

Designed for growing and finishing poultry from approximately 10 to 18 weeks of age
Provides essential nutrients for optimum growth and finishing poultry

https://www.tractorsupply.com/webapp/wcs ... _vc=-10005
Eclectic gardening style, drawing from 45 years of interest and experience. Mostly plant in raised beds and containers primarily using intensive gardening techniques.
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digitS'
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Re: Hello Chickens!

Alex, they are called bird-brained for good reason. As them become more adventuresome, they will eat most anything. Certainly, most anything if they are bored with life in their pen.

Some folks claim that chickens won't eat things that are dangerous to them. They should try telling that to the vet who treated a hen by removing "one hundred and fifteen objects including several screws, nails, wire, pieces of glass, linoleum and a bullet were found in that little chicken." :roll:

I think that most poisonous weeds don't taste good, even to a chicken. However, I have had experience with what seemed to be a perfectly healthy pullet going into convulsions and dying after one of her first forays around the backyard. Afterwards, I discovered the 4 pullets had found the rhubarb on the other side of the greenhouse from their coop. Most of 1 leaf was eaten. I have a suspicion that it would cause a dreadful bellyache at the very least and may well have caused that chicken's death that same afternoon.

If the weeds are edible to humans or to other livestock, they are probably perfectly safe for a chicken. Once they begin laying, those eggs will be the result of nutrients in excess of what is needed for their own bodily maintenance. Some green plants just don't pack enough nutrients by pound to be a very complete food. I'm thinking of something like lettuce . . . still, the vitamins and other things in that plant may be a very healthful addition to their diet.

Steve
We are each other's harvest; we are each other's business; we are each other's magnitude and bond. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks

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hendi_alex
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Re: Hello Chickens!

Lift Off!!!! First egg from my little flock of six birds. Guess I'll have to build a nesting box or two today.

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Eclectic gardening style, drawing from 45 years of interest and experience. Mostly plant in raised beds and containers primarily using intensive gardening techniques.
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Re: Hello Chickens!

Awesome! :D -- what will you make with it?

...hmmm that just made me think of a children's book "Guri and Gura" :lol:
:arrow: https://www.amazon.com/Guri-Gura-Rieko-N ... 0804833524
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hendi_alex
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Re: Hello Chickens!

This is the smallest egg that I've ever seen from a large breed chicken, probably is common from an immature bird though. The egg is about half the size of a large egg. Will probably just fry it this week-end.
Eclectic gardening style, drawing from 45 years of interest and experience. Mostly plant in raised beds and containers primarily using intensive gardening techniques.
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hendi_alex
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Re: Hello Chickens!

Nesting box completed this a.m. Built entirely of repurposed and scraps of lumber.
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Eclectic gardening style, drawing from 45 years of interest and experience. Mostly plant in raised beds and containers primarily using intensive gardening techniques.
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Re: Hello Chickens!

Good idea to have a slippery top on the nest box, makes them not roost on top. We have to do the same.
Built them a nice roost, new nest boxes, and they lay under the roost and roost on top of the nest box, :eek:
So nest boxes have to come out, and metal slippery roofing be put on. Will be putting wire under the roost.

Those little tiny eggs are cute aren't they. :) They also taste very good. :) Congrats on the first egg. :D

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hendi_alex
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Re: Hello Chickens!

I read to make the roof angle pretty steep to discourage the chickens from getting on top. I don't think that they will be able to get on top of this one. The coup roof is too flat though, and I'll likely put a barrier up to keep them off of that space.
Eclectic gardening style, drawing from 45 years of interest and experience. Mostly plant in raised beds and containers primarily using intensive gardening techniques.
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Re: Hello Chickens!

I noticed that, was a very good idea. The nest boxes we have were actually made for bantams. They would

have stayed off, not the big girls. :( So next nests will be the 5 gallon bucket type. For the big girls.

Yes it would be a good idea to make the roof a bit different, they roost every where they aren't supposed to. lol.

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Re: Hello Chickens!

Alex, get that fine looking nest box in there pronto!

It is the nest that the pullets treasure. If it has eggs in there, that's fine too but an egg kicking around on the coop floor is just some odd, oblong thing to them :? . There is a danger that it will break and the chickens will eat it. That could lead to baaad habits Image.

It may not take much convincing to get them in those nests but if they try to build a nest elsewhere, do what you can to discourage them. Yes, they are all likely to want to lay in the same nest but that's okay. A nest that amounts to a little depression in the corner of the coop may not get the same respect as a nice, comfy nestbox and, once again, they may treat an egg found there as tho' it is food . . . grrrr!

Not only is it good to keep them from roosting on top of the boxes but it should be absolutely forbidden for them to roost IN the boxes! No fouling the nests and that is exactly what roosting birds do . . .

Once they are comfortable with using the nests for the proper purpose, you may want to hang something like burlap over the front. A hen intent on laying is perfectly happy to push her way into a dark nestbox. She isn't likely to want to roost in there in the dark. When the eggs are laid in the box, they won't be seen. Bad habits once again are avoided. If I remember right, you don't have a rooster. Some of those jerks can be big trouble when it comes to egg eating but any feather-brained chicken can become a deviant :roll: . Keep 'em on the straight and narrow.

Steve
We are each other's harvest; we are each other's business; we are each other's magnitude and bond. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks

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hendi_alex
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Re: Hello Chickens!

The photo is of the nesting box in place. I mounted the box at a much lower level than the roost perch. The chickens have become accustomed to roosting in the box every night, so I doubt that they will likely change their habit of that. I just went down and fed them some table scraps and every bird was perched in the roost box. Clearing the eggs out each day will likely avoid any bad habits, but hopefully they begin to use the nest boxes in the future. As a novice I'll just have to wait and see how things go, and adjust as is necessary.
Eclectic gardening style, drawing from 45 years of interest and experience. Mostly plant in raised beds and containers primarily using intensive gardening techniques.
Alex

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hendi_alex
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Re: Hello Chickens!

First of two forage areas is now in place. New 32 foot by 24 foot fenced in area quadruples the 10 x 24 coup area. In the future I'll put one more forage area of approximately the same size. The idea will be to move the chickens between the two areas, allowing forage material to recover or renew. This fall the chickens will have to stay in the coup for a few weeks after we plant a fall and winter mix of forage plants.

Grand total of four eggs were produced this week. Just the start of what we hope is a steady stream of fresh, high quality chicken eggs.

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Eclectic gardening style, drawing from 45 years of interest and experience. Mostly plant in raised beds and containers primarily using intensive gardening techniques.
Alex

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