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mrsgreenthumbs
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Sooo..... We bought the chickens!

[img]https://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c388/queenofdabbws/Family/S5030660.jpg[/img]


Oh wait... wrong picture ;)

[img]https://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c388/queenofdabbws/Hens/S5030663.jpg[/img]

We got 1 Road Island red, that one is daddy's. 2 Barred Plymouth Rock, and bubba picked out a Arucana that lay's green egg's. :D
Words of wisdom from the women of my family:

"I poured my dish water out the pan over my plants and never once in all my 96 years have I wasted money on "BUG SPRAY"!'

"Aww honey all you gotta do is love something to make it grow."

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Ozark Lady
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Aww, sweet.
Araucanas (sp?) also lay gold or pink eggs, not just green ones.
Did you have them sexed or just get straight run? If straight run, what are you going to do with the roosters? They don't lay eggs, but, they are good for fried chicken, since I just don't see you setting up a family group of mama, papa and the kids! At least, not till we get you out of there and out in the country where you have more room to grow!

I got 1 new chick yesterday. Just one. I heard a baby hollering, and there was mama with just one baby. You would think if she were going to set eggs that she would have more than 1. I didn't bother it, let mama raise it.

Babies! And so, the countdown begins... you are going to have to build something or other to contain them! ha ha Or housebreak and potty train them, no easy task.

You made some good selections, those are dual purpose breeds, calm quiet, peaceful, easy going, but they are larger breeds. They will lay large to extra large eggs. If your Rhode Island Red is a rooster he can get almost turkey sized, but that size normally comes with age. But, you will need larger nests than for bantams. But, all in all, I would say good choices for beginners. I think chickens are kind of like dogs, the larger breeds are not as nervous and hyper as the smaller ones.

Take alot of photos those babies will grow almost before you know it.
Talk to your plants.... If your plants talk to you... Run!

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mrsgreenthumbs
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Well I'v been researching and going back and forth on the decision for about 2 years. I almost backed out too! But now that we have them and have watched them for 2 day's, I am ABSOLUTELY positive this is the right choice for our family. I can't imagine continuing to support a business that neglect's and abuses these birds. They have SUCH personality! And to top it off... they nourish us. No added antibiotics, nothing just organic healthy birds giving back to us. And with how much I'm in the garden.. I doubt it will be a big deal to clean the coop every day, if not 3 times a week at the least. We are currently collecting recycled (dumpster diving, thrift store shopping, lumber yard reject bin cruising, and ad's on craigs list and free cycle) material. We have (from my calculations) 4 weeks to finish this project. And we are recording videos of the process for other beginner's that might want to follow down the same path. So far we have spent about 51 bucks in total. That covered their chick feed, watterer, feed tray thingy, littler, heat lamp, and the chicks them selves. The chicks we got are 1 week old, the woman at the farm supply store said we had a better chance of getting hen's than the other option that were 1 day old chick's (they were also bantam's unlike our gals) I was leaning toward the barred rocks because I read they are more inquisitive, friendly, and calm birds. And I decided on the regular rather than bantams because these breeds (from what I have read) tend to lose their flight ability as they mature. Plus my DH is looking forward to nice big fresh egg's!

Ozark lady - if we have roosters... -sigh- well they can't stay here! that's for sure.. I guess we will have to either... -gulp- let him feed us in his own way.. or more likely try to find him a good home... Either way I'm sure it will involve a little white lie to a 6 year old. :oops:

Were hoping to recycle as much of the building material for the run and coop as possible so the plan for the coop is constantly evolving at this point but we know for sure we want to build a hoop house for the main run, and a short fence around our corner of the yard so that they can be let out into the garden under our supervision every day. We are all very happy with our decision to go for it.
Words of wisdom from the women of my family:

"I poured my dish water out the pan over my plants and never once in all my 96 years have I wasted money on "BUG SPRAY"!'

"Aww honey all you gotta do is love something to make it grow."

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Ozark Lady
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How does being a week older versus newly hatched affect the sex of the chicks? They don't change! ha ha.

Straight run, you normally should get a 50/50 chance of hens. Which could figure out to 2/4 of your chicks.

I got lucky with the Christmas chicks 4/6 that we raised were hens.

It is awesome to watch a rooster with 3-4 hens, they take care of their family. Daddy will scratch and call the family to come eat.
If you have too many roosters, the bachelors are disruptive. But, if only one rooster with several hens, you will be impressed.
Talk to your plants.... If your plants talk to you... Run!

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mrsgreenthumbs
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That was a compromise we had to come to with the neighbor's. the site we will build the coop on is near not only our bedroom window... but our neighbor's bedroom window as well. Maybe some day we will be capable of having a rooster but for now... nope not at all! lol were crossing our finger's that they are gals. What's the first sign that it's a female rather than a rooster?

Also I wanted to offer them a few worms from the garden. What's the best wat to introduce this tasty treat? (and bread crumbs... are they ready for that?)

oh and one last question... our arucana... not looking so hot. She eat's much less, drinks much less, and moves much less than the other 3 larger chicks. Is this part of the breed? Is she just younger? or is she sick? Her poop is fine, vent is clean, nose is clear, eye's too.
Words of wisdom from the women of my family:

"I poured my dish water out the pan over my plants and never once in all my 96 years have I wasted money on "BUG SPRAY"!'

"Aww honey all you gotta do is love something to make it grow."

dan1003
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Location: Richmond, Va

Way to go with those chickens! If/when I move out of the city I'll have to get some myself, so please do save those videos. What have been your most helpful resources so far? Good luck!

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Ozark Lady
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Be prepared to lose the chick that is moving less.

I often order bantams, along with the larger chicks, they ship in a separate compartment, but the others keep them warm enroute.

But, the smaller chicks are every bit as active as the larger ones, often more so, more hyper.

It does make sense that smaller chicks would eat and drink less.

Are they keeping the small one away from the heat?

Is it hollering alot? Sick chicks holler more than the healthy ones, as if that is possible.

I wouldn't give them anything but chick starter, until you use up what you already have on hand.

Remember, chickens don't have any teeth, they need sand to eat to put in their craw for grinding up foods. I often sprinkle a bit of parakeet grit over their food, like salting your food. To ensure that they have a way to digest their food.

In about 2 weeks, you can offer the gravel separately, but watch them, you don't want to have a craw full of gravel and no food in there.

Once, you know they are eating a bit of gravel, then you can introduce new foods, just keep the bites really small. If bread, make sure it is pretty dry so they don't get choked on it.

I would add a drop or two of apple cider vinegar to their drinking water, to help them get their potassium levels up, which helps with muscles and energy.

And I would first feed them little bits of produce that you are eating. Nothing old, moldy, spoiled etc. They are babies after all.
But, if you eat an apple you can chop a bit up for them, from day one.
They need greens too. Just not all lettuce. Iceberg lettuce has vitamin k and not a whole lot of other vitamins, but other lettuces, and spinach... just stuff you eat.
Talk to your plants.... If your plants talk to you... Run!

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mrsgreenthumbs
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Yah I think I'll try a piece of spinach from the gardn again. First time they just looked at it and walked away lol.

dan1003 - here's the link to the vid's the account is for another topic but I just finished uploading all the vid's about our journy so far with the chick's.

https://www.youtube.com/user/PCOStherealdeal
Words of wisdom from the women of my family:

"I poured my dish water out the pan over my plants and never once in all my 96 years have I wasted money on "BUG SPRAY"!'

"Aww honey all you gotta do is love something to make it grow."

Scott Hightower
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Joined: Mon Apr 05, 2010 10:42 pm
Location: Georgia

Chicken Coop design

When you build your chicken coop be sure to make the nest about 2 inches below the rest of the coop. The chickens will be more productive.

Here are some plans:
[url]https://handymanplanstore.com/chicken-coop-plans/[/url]

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mrsgreenthumbs
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Thanks Scott Hightower! We are actually trying to make the majority at least out of recycled product's so I don't know what kind of coop it will be. The DH is keen on buying a ready made coop on display at our local farm supply store but I doubt he knows what kind of price tag those thing's carry!
Words of wisdom from the women of my family:

"I poured my dish water out the pan over my plants and never once in all my 96 years have I wasted money on "BUG SPRAY"!'

"Aww honey all you gotta do is love something to make it grow."

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mrsgreenthumbs
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And... UPDATE! :D :D :D :D The Arucana is doing MUCH better! Still not getting our hopes up too high but she is looking and acting better day by day. My other 3 girls have produced tiny tail feather's over night, and three have names.

bared rock with large white spot on head - violet
Road Island Red - Rose
Arucana - Jasmin
and the other bared rock is yet to be named... any ideas?

Aaaaand... sleeping babies pic!
[img]https://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c388/queenofdabbws/Hens/S5030687.jpg[/img]
Words of wisdom from the women of my family:

"I poured my dish water out the pan over my plants and never once in all my 96 years have I wasted money on "BUG SPRAY"!'

"Aww honey all you gotta do is love something to make it grow."

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mrsgreenthumbs
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Joined: Mon Mar 01, 2010 10:26 pm
Location: Santa Maria, California

oh they also enjoyed munching on some teeny tiny chicky sized carrot's from the garden... that's what's under neath them... I had no idea they would take to fresh greens and worms as intensely as they did!
Words of wisdom from the women of my family:

"I poured my dish water out the pan over my plants and never once in all my 96 years have I wasted money on "BUG SPRAY"!'

"Aww honey all you gotta do is love something to make it grow."

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rootsy
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I added a few more to my aging flock over the weekend... Half of my adult birds are just about over the hill...

Gold Laced Wyandotte pullets... Eight of em.

[img]https://www.jarootfarms.com/photogallery/albums/userpics/23864_414059415559_383188800559_5582870_6410504_n.jpg[/img]

BTW, With regard to no antibiotics... Unless specifically stated at point of purchase I would be willing to bet that the egg was innoculated as well as the chick at time of sorting before shipment. Otherwise the hatchery runs the risk of high mortality.

I like live birds... My chicks get terramyacin in their water and once a year I dose all of the birds via water for good measure. During that time I do not collect and sell their eggs...
Last edited by rootsy on Tue Apr 06, 2010 2:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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mrsgreenthumbs
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Oh just adorable! Do you notice a big difference in personality? Our road island red, Rose is insatiable! She eats and eats and eats some more! She even snatched a worm from my finger's yesterday. She's just feisty! Then the twins (our barred rock's) are VERY inquisitive. Always noticing thing's the others don't, they investigate every thing. And our Arucana, Jasmin... well she's showing some more personality but for the most part she enjoys sleeping, not being run over by the other 3 and is very calm... of course she is getting over something that had her down in the dumps so who knows what she will be like. :wink:
Words of wisdom from the women of my family:

"I poured my dish water out the pan over my plants and never once in all my 96 years have I wasted money on "BUG SPRAY"!'

"Aww honey all you gotta do is love something to make it grow."

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rootsy
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mrsgreenthumbs wrote:Oh just adorable! Do you notice a big difference in personality? Our road island red, Rose is insatiable! She eats and eats and eats some more! She even snatched a worm from my finger's yesterday. She's just feisty! Then the twins (our barred rock's) are VERY inquisitive. Always noticing thing's the others don't, they investigate every thing. And our Arucana, Jasmin... well she's showing some more personality but for the most part she enjoys sleeping, not being run over by the other 3 and is very calm... of course she is getting over something that had her down in the dumps so who knows what she will be like. :wink:
No they pretty much all act alike. My birds have no names and I couldn't tell one for another within breed unless one happens to be molting or has endured stress and been picked at losing feathers, etc...

Have 13 chickens that range from 2 - 3 years old at the moment. One cockeral, an Americana. Rest are a mix of Rhode Island Red, Black Austrolarp, Barred Rock and one Americana pullet.

At one time I had 50 or so birds but with Amish competition for egg sales I can hardly give eggs away roadside... Market and CSA is a different matter entirely. Feeding 50 birds in the winter gets old when they are not generating income and even in a large coupe they'll peck when stressed by weather or competition for feed / water.

One thing to be aware of.... Wherever the chicken coupe is going to be and if you are going to have an outside run with it... There will be NO VEGETATION. If you let them free range be prepared for them to decimate your plants and scratch around everything in search of food...

A chicken will eat continuously if you let it...

Personally I would stick to a straight crumble feed until they get a month or two old...

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mrsgreenthumbs
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I know I won't be feeding them any thing else... :oops: It was just too much temptation to watch them eat something fun. As far as vegetation goes... my garden is over run with weeds rather than grass. I have pulled up half the vegetation many times trying to give the grass more of an upper hand. I am not worried about the grass, just the raised veggie bed's. Plus my girls will be caged in their pen unless we are there to supervise. They will get scraps, and plenty of bug hunting and I don't care if they eat all the grass and the weed's with it. They just need to leave my spinach alone! :wink: I don't plan on eating my girls, they are family now. So I really don't care if they get fat as long as it won't make them miserable.
Words of wisdom from the women of my family:

"I poured my dish water out the pan over my plants and never once in all my 96 years have I wasted money on "BUG SPRAY"!'

"Aww honey all you gotta do is love something to make it grow."

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Ozark Lady
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Location: NW Arkansas, USA zone 7A elevation 1561 feet

Some of my chickens were special and got named, some didn't.

I named a turken: Joey, and it ended up being a girl, so she became Joie.. ha ha And then there was Hortense, a Cochin, with so much personality.

Everyone knew these chickens by name.

My husband currently has a white rooster, that he calls Whitey.
We have an overload of roosters and when I talked of getting rid of all roosters, to get rid of fighting chicken genes, he said, Not Whitey! ha ha

His Whitey is pretty mellow, I haven't seen him fight with anyone, so okay, deal!

Chickens won't really get fat on bugs and vegetation, it is the over feeding of grains and bread (grains processed) that leads to them getting too fat. But, they are growing now, so keep plenty of food, water, and veggies in front of them.
Talk to your plants.... If your plants talk to you... Run!

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mrsgreenthumbs
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Ozark Lady - oh yes yes yes, I think they would peck my eye's out if I took their food away. The 3 big girls (2 barred rocks and 1 road island red) eat like they were darn near starved to death! Every 5 minutes they wake up from a nap and eat for 2 minutes, stretch, drink water, maybe peck at something scratch around and settle in for another nap... (oh to be one of my chicks :roll: ) I don't know what will happen if my girls turn out to be boy's.... :cry: I won't be able to eat them.... :shock: and I won't be able to give them to someone that will eat them.... :oops: sooo... lol Houston... we have a problem lol. I read this AM that girls develop feathers faster than boy's and my 3 big girls popped out tail feather's over night! So were hopeful. What is the first sign of a roo rather than a hen?
Words of wisdom from the women of my family:

"I poured my dish water out the pan over my plants and never once in all my 96 years have I wasted money on "BUG SPRAY"!'

"Aww honey all you gotta do is love something to make it grow."

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rootsy
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At this point the only guaranteed way to sex them is to look in the vent. The Americauna / Aruacana pullet will stay a wheat color.. the cockeral will develop into bright shades starting at 2 or so months old. Rhodies and barred rock pullets and cockerals look the same other than size and the comb. The Rhode Island cockeral will develop significant tail plumage though.

Had a Rhode Island cockeral that killed a few hens as he and the Americauna would be in competition in the same coupe for the pullets... I was selling pullets as I was downsizing and no one wanted mr rooster... So I tossed him in a feed sack, tied it shut and he was a freebie to the next person that stopped to buy pullets... Gave them a couple of pullets for free but in return they had to take mr rooster... He was a big boy too... My Americauna is 3 years old now... his spurs are almost 2 inches and he's broken both off at least once... He's developed a mean disposition as of late... You get near him and he flares and tries to spur you... He's no match for my boot though.

Since you are going to keep your chickens penned for the most part you will have to feed a consistent diet of grain as there will literally be no vegetation in or within beak range of the pen... It will be dirt... period... a good layer crumble, pellet or mash... 16% at a 50 / 50 mix with cracked or whole corn is a good feed staple.. Straight 16% and you'll need a ball peen hammer to crack the shells.. I never fill a feeder... Just what I want them to consume a day... Anything they don't eat the barn rats and mice take care of...

Face your coupe and pen South if you can.

Americauna pullet on left Barred Rock on right...

[img]https://www.jarootfarms.com/photogallery/albums/userpics/24587_383410025559_383188800559_5371060_8189291_n.jpg[/img]

Americauna rooster on left... Austrolarp pullet on right

[img]https://www.jarootfarms.com/photogallery/albums/userpics/24587_383410050559_383188800559_5371062_5972906_n.jpg[/img]

tedln
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When I was a kid, my mom kept yard run chickens in the city. She had a small coop for them, but no fencing of any kind. They ate table scraps just like the dog ate. When one or more would start acting a little puny, mom would add a laundry product called "Blueing" to their water. It usually worked. I have no idea if "Blueing" is still available. It made whites whiter when added to the laundry water.

I had a pet rooster that followed me around like a dog. We lived near some busy railroad tracks. If a hobo hopped off a rail car and somehow found himself in our yard at night, he was quickly attacked by a white tornado with feathers. I've actually heard them run from our yard screaming because they had no idea what was after them in the dark.

Ted
I simply enjoy gardening!

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