User avatar
sweetiepie
Green Thumb
Posts: 397
Joined: Wed Mar 11, 2015 4:18 pm
Location: York, ND (Zone 3b)

Chickens on the Farm

I thought I would share the waiting game on these eggs. One thing I tend to do is start small with something and then the next year, go, "that wasn't so bad", lets increase about 200 percent.

Truth is I have a phobia of chickens, not just chickens, all birds. My mom had chickens when I was a kid and we had some bad roosters, the kind who would chase you and fly on your back and knock you down and try and peck out your eyes, kind of bad. Add to that, we didn't have a lot of money so mom's chicken coop was a utility shed for a riding lawnmower, the door was huge and in the winter the chicken always wanted out. So when you were sent to gather eggs and opened this huge door a barrage of chickens would come flying at you. Then you had broody ones who would peck you when you took their eggs. Add to that, the barn swallows would swoop down on you when you were playing with your cat. When I was about 9 I saw the show the Birds by Alfred Hitchcock and that sealed the deal for me.

So when we moved to this farm 4 years ago and it had two chicken coops and of course the husband being a town kid wanted chickens, I had great doubts. Though I agreed, with the part that I would do chores for them but if they need medical attention or need to be moved or touched in anyway, that would be his job. Since he is an animal lover and I am not, he was fine with that. So we started small with 25 laying hens in one coop and 25 meat birds in another. That went fine and soon the next year we were converting over an old wooden grainery into a large chicken coop and were up to 211 chickens, 75 were laying hens that I wintered. This coop has worked well and we don't even use the other two coops at the moment.

So last year and this year, I have down sized the chickens some due to one kid is graduating from college and another will graduate from High School so less mouths to feed.

The laying hens are a bunch of muts right now and I want to get back to pure breeds. So I do have 53 laying hens and 3 pure bred roosters coming in the mail at the same time these will hatch. So all the chicks I hatch this year will be meat birds. My goal is 80 chicks for meat birds.

This is only the third year I have hatched my own eggs, the first year I had one incubator and had a 95 percent fertility rate and a 90 percent hatch. That was beginners luck because afterwards we learned so many things that could of went wrong but didn't. Last year I bought another incubator and then got sick to the point I could hardly move for a month and a slow recovery. So husband and kids were keeping track of the incubators. The new one was having temp issues but they didn't know it, it would swing up and down and we had some bad results. So I replaced that one this year and bought another one of course.

So that is some background on these soon to be chicks, (I hope).

User avatar
sweetiepie
Green Thumb
Posts: 397
Joined: Wed Mar 11, 2015 4:18 pm
Location: York, ND (Zone 3b)

Re: Chickens on the Farm

I did fill two incubators in March and had some issues my old rooster in the one coop died and that coop had a poor fertility rate. So I only had 12 out of 41 eggs hatch from the one and the second incubator I think my thermometer was off to the cool side and I was trying more of a dry incubation approach. From the eggtopsies, I concluded that a few had shrink wrap from poor humidity and some seemed fine but didn't pip. So if my temps were to low, they would of grown but been to weak to pip. I had 15 out of 41 hatch. So I need 53 more chicks.
101_1185.JPG
101_1184.JPG

So I have three incubators this year, each one has 41 eggs in it. I can only use my one coop with the rooster in it so I could only fill an incubator every four days. The first incubator was started on March 30th and will hatch April 19. I have gauged all my thermometers off of one thermometer for a control. The first incubator will keep the same temp it had last month but humidity will be increased from 20 percent to 35 percent for days 1-17. This incubator has an egg turner and a fan.

The second incubator was started on April 3 and will hatch April 23. Temperature will be increased one degree and humidity will be 35 percent for days 1-17. This incubator has an egg turner and a fan.

The third incubator was started on April 7 and will hatch April 27. Temperature will be 101 since it does not have a fan and needs to be higher then the other two. Humidity will be 35 percent for days 1-17. It also has an egg turner.

My chicks that come in the mail are due to arrive, April 27th and I have heard horror stories of the post office sending chicks the long way to their destinations this year. So I am hoping they too arrive safely.

I am hoping for more beginners luck.

User avatar
sweetiepie
Green Thumb
Posts: 397
Joined: Wed Mar 11, 2015 4:18 pm
Location: York, ND (Zone 3b)

Re: Chickens on the Farm

On Sunday, we candled incubator 1 and had 100 percent fertility rate. :-() On Thursday we candled incubator 2 and had 100 percent fertility rate. :clap:

I have never had that happen. I usually have to cull 3 to 5 eggs because some hen thinks she is tooooo good for the rooster. :wink:

User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 27977
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: Chickens on the Farm

I love it! I live in a residential zone where keeping chickens is not allowed -- I SO wish they would change this ...have occasionally thought about keeping stealth chickens...

Even considered hatching eggs with kids for a science project as an "excuse" ...but haven't had the nerve.

So I'm going to follow your thread with envy and live vicariously. :D
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

User avatar
sweetiepie
Green Thumb
Posts: 397
Joined: Wed Mar 11, 2015 4:18 pm
Location: York, ND (Zone 3b)

Re: Chickens on the Farm

Well, my mutt hens have some Light Brahma, Rhode Island Red, Golden Laced Wyndonette, Black Australorp, Easter Egger, Buff Orphington and Red Ranger mixed in. So chicks are always a surprise.

We candled Incubator 3 today and all of them were fertile too, so more happy :-() dance. We also candled the first incubator and we had four quitters. So that incubator will have 37 eggs going into lockdown. I think that is the highest I have had go into lockdown in one incubator. So yippee!!

But I was gone this afternoon and left the incubators in my husbands hands to watch and he forgot all about them. The incubator with out the fan, number 3 was at 110 for some reason when I got home. Thats 8 degrees over the recommendations. They have been doing so well, no adjusting needed. Not sure if something got bumped when we candled. Not sure how long it was like that and hoping it was just a hot pocket and not all the eggs were at that temp. But chances are that incubator is toast. I probably won't know until next candling. I almost never leave, why does this have to happen. :(

User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 27977
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: Chickens on the Farm

Oh no! Hoping for the best. :bouncey:

...if they are OK, would the temperature affect their development into male/female (I thought I read that somewhere.... :idea: )
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

imafan26
Mod
Posts: 11392
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 1:32 pm
Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: Chickens on the Farm

My uncle used to have Rhode Island Reds and when we would visit we would cut some wide bladed grass and put it in bags to be added to their feed. There was one hen with no tail feathers just a bare bum. She would always go outside the fence and we would chase her and she would hide her head in the grass with the backside sticking out.

Once in a while we would be sent to get the eggs, and they don't give them up easily, my uncle would just push the hens off the nest, but we were afraid of them when they attacked.

Some of the eggs would be empty and there would be a tiny hole in the egg where the mongoose sucked out the insides.

I remember he used to get up at 4 a.m. to feed the hens before work and feed them again after work.

The other thing I remember is that we bought white eggs to eat, all of the brown eggs were sold.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

User avatar
sweetiepie
Green Thumb
Posts: 397
Joined: Wed Mar 11, 2015 4:18 pm
Location: York, ND (Zone 3b)

Re: Chickens on the Farm

applestar wrote:
...if they are OK, would the temperature affect their development into male/female (I thought I read that somewhere.... :idea: )
I believe the temp thing is a myth. Though I have heard that also. I believe sex is determined by the rooster, same as for most other creatures. But a high temp like that probably just cooked them and they died. If they live, they should be ok because it wasn't an extended time of hot. But too hot of temps during a good part of the incubation will give you chicks with foot, leg problems and often times they don't absorb all the yolk and their blood vessel or (umbilical cord) will still be attached to the outside of the shell. So it looks like guts hanging out. It is very gross. :> They also well develop faster and tend to hatch several days early.

Thank you all, I too hope that the eggs are ok. ugh! This should go in the Duh.. moment category because this is the first time I have used this incubator, I should have waited to candle until after I got back. So I could monitor it, this was the first nice weekend we have had and husband was outside trying to do my honey do list, before he gets swamped with spring's work at the elevator.

I use to have hens that had some missing butt feathers and found the other hens pluck them from below while they sit on the roost. Now they only have some missing feathers on their backs from the rooster doing his thing.

The broody hens, I am better but I still use a long stick to lift them up and check for eggs, usually there is nothing. If there is, I wait until my son or husband get home and have them get them. Then the broody hen goes in a separate coop by herself until she decided to be a chicken again and not a mama.

User avatar
sweetiepie
Green Thumb
Posts: 397
Joined: Wed Mar 11, 2015 4:18 pm
Location: York, ND (Zone 3b)

Re: Chickens on the Farm

It is day 18 for Incubator 1. That means lockdown. I took the egg turner out.
Filled water in canals. Put down the paper towels to help with clean up. But not high enough so the chicks can't eat it.
Filled water in canals. Put down the paper towels to help with clean up. But not high enough so the chicks can't eat it.
101_1189.JPG
I put the wire mesh back on. I cut the bottoms out of egg cartons so they can breathe. The egg cartons should be paper so they can breathe through it. You can leave them lay on the mesh but I have found with so many eggs and chicks, that they use the other eggs as soccer balls and the chicks get mixed up in the egg and pip at the wrong end and drown. The egg cartons also help with clean up because most of the egg shell stays in the carton and doesn't get so smashed up from the chicks. I throw the egg carton after one use.
101_1190.JPG
I have one extra egg that won't fit in the cartons, so I propped it up along the side. My goal with this incubator is Temperature 99 and Humidity 75 percent. Some people add wet washcloths but I usually have good luck filling the canals with water and adding water with a dropper through the vent hole if needed. I leave both vent holes open for air flow because they need to breathe. But if you have difficulty getting humidity and temperature up you can close one or both for a short time and then open them again.

Here's the hard part, Lockdown means no opening the incubator up until you are ready to remove chicks, usually after you feel no more are going to hatch. They need the humidity and getting dried out messes with them. I usually have to put up a sign. But family is better at leaving them alone. It's hard to not want to help or take a count of how many are hatched or pipped.

How exciting!! :-()

User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 27977
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: Chickens on the Farm

Ooh! Thanks for posting the pics and details 8)

Good luck! :D
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

User avatar
ElizabethB
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 2109
Joined: Sat Nov 24, 2012 5:53 am
Location: Lafayette, LA

Re: Chickens on the Farm

I am SOOO jealous! :cry:

I want to move to the country. I want some chickens and a cow and a sheep. Maybe even learn how to keep bees.

Chickens are on the top of my list - for both meat and eggs.

You sound like a "reluctant country woman" who has adapted well to your new situation. O:) Congrats.
Elizabeth - or Your Majesty

Living and growing in Lafayette, La.

When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant. ~Author Unknown

User avatar
sweetiepie
Green Thumb
Posts: 397
Joined: Wed Mar 11, 2015 4:18 pm
Location: York, ND (Zone 3b)

Re: Chickens on the Farm

So we are on day 19. Humidity is about 80 percent, which is ok. But I woke up this morning and already have a pip. (a peck through the egg shell made by the chick to breathe.) Usually after this they rest for up to 2 to 24 hours. Then they zip. (Continue to peck all a long the egg shell until the lid of the egg pops off.

I would love to show you a picture but of course it is an egg way back in the corner of the incubator. To have the right amount of humidity in my incubator, I have to have about a third to half the window full with condensation. So it is hard to see through the water.

I really was hoping to not see pips until tomorrow morning or at least tonight. Early pips can mean that the temp was to high pushing along development. This incubator was my control on temperature. At this temp I usually have chicks hatch perfectly on their due date. So not sure why so early but I am very glad I got them locked down when I did.

As soon as I have pictures, I will post them.

User avatar
sweetiepie
Green Thumb
Posts: 397
Joined: Wed Mar 11, 2015 4:18 pm
Location: York, ND (Zone 3b)

Re: Chickens on the Farm

Here is a picture of the first pipped egg.
Here is a picture of the first pipped egg.
This was the chicken coop we were using before.
This was the chicken coop we were using before.
This is what we used the first winter, along with another white chicken coop. All work perfectly well but it is nice to have the grain and chickens all in the same coop for winter chores.
101_1197.JPG
101_1196.JPG
This is what we made into our present chicken coop.

The wooden grainery was built some where around the early 1900's. On each wall next to the room, they kept the grain, neighbors would rent a room and the wrote on the walls how many bushels and who was renting the storage space, the earliest record was 1914 and is recorded into the 60's. It has three rooms on the east side, one is the brooder, one is full of grain, one is where I keep supplies and we put in a walk through door. There is a large hallway and then on the west side, there are three more rooms. One room is where I put the chicks once they are a month old, another room holds barrels of different grains and I walk through there to get to the chickens. The other room is empty right now and needs some work. In the lean too, I have three chicken coops. Each coop has it's own run, except the middle run didn't get finished because husband changed his mind on what kind of door he wanted in it. So it has been on hold for a while now.

We now have two pips on egg 12 and 14. :-()

User avatar
sweetiepie
Green Thumb
Posts: 397
Joined: Wed Mar 11, 2015 4:18 pm
Location: York, ND (Zone 3b)

Re: Chickens on the Farm

We have 5 pips, still no zips. So I am a little happier, they should do fine.

User avatar
sweetiepie
Green Thumb
Posts: 397
Joined: Wed Mar 11, 2015 4:18 pm
Location: York, ND (Zone 3b)

Re: Chickens on the Farm

So far this morning, we have 12 pips and 3 hatched. The one that pipped early did not zip and I believe is dead. No beak movement, there was last night. So maybe he developed to quickly or not right.
First chick that hatched.
First chick that hatched.
We candled incubator 2 today and only two were quitters. I had an egg earlier this week that was leaking and I took that out. So that incubator will go into lock down with 38 eggs out of 41. That's pretty good.

We candled incubator 3 today also, and this the incubator that got way hot last weekend. So I was expecting a lot of losses. We lost 12 eggs but the other 29 seem to be doing ok. Very surprised.

Tomorrow I will try and post pictures of the brooder. Thanks for enjoying the chicks.

imafan26
Mod
Posts: 11392
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 1:32 pm
Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: Chickens on the Farm

This is great! I am learning a lot about chickens and a few terms I never heard before. My uncle always bought chicks from the hatchery and they were supposed to be sexed and all female. But sometimes there would be a rooster in the bunch.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

User avatar
sweetiepie
Green Thumb
Posts: 397
Joined: Wed Mar 11, 2015 4:18 pm
Location: York, ND (Zone 3b)

Re: Chickens on the Farm

imafan26 wrote:This is great! I am learning a lot about chickens and a few terms I never heard before. My uncle always bought chicks from the hatchery and they were supposed to be sexed and all female. But sometimes there would be a rooster in the bunch.
You can sex chicks by looking at their wings right when they are born. If you wait to long, it becomes hard to tell as the feathers grow in. Girls have longer feathers on their wings and develop quicker feathers there and boys have short or no feathers yet, usually.

So far we have 10 chicks and 10 pips, also I believe two didn't make it for some reason, one pipped and quit and one zipped but didn't finish coming out, and no movement for hours. That is always sad, I will have to see after hatching what maybe happened to them. I usually wait 24 hours after the first one hatched to take out any chicks. Most have usually hatched that are going to hatch by then. I wait so I don't interrupt the humidity to much.

Chicks can go 3 days with out eating and drinking after they are born. They continue to live off the egg yolk, that's how they can ship them by the post office with no worries.

User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 27977
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: Chickens on the Farm

I'm really enjoying watching the eggs develop -- (we need more cute chick pictures! :wink:)

Thanks so much for taking pictures and sharing all this. :-()
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

User avatar
sweetiepie
Green Thumb
Posts: 397
Joined: Wed Mar 11, 2015 4:18 pm
Location: York, ND (Zone 3b)

Re: Chickens on the Farm

This is what I woke up to this morning.
This is what I woke up to this morning.
We had 21 chicks that hatched and two that were pipped. I removed 20 of the chicks, (left one that had just hatched so he could dry more and get fluffy.) I removed the old egg shells also and the two eggs that didn't hatch and had died. Hurried and closed it back up.
To the brooder, we go.
To the brooder, we go.
So I am hesitant to show pictures of inside my chicken coop, because I don't dust, I don't like to dust in the house but I do. But I draw the line at dusting barns, etc. So my pictures are not going to be of beautiful areas because this grainery is about 100 years old and animals are dirty. I am not sure how people can show these perfect places because I have more to do and I am not one to worry about what the Jone's have or are doing. I believe in if it works, that's good enough.

So on with the show. This is the room in the grainery where the chicks go. Now I have two area's set up, one for the chicks I am hatching and one for the ones I expect to get in the mail next Monday. I don't want to mix them up because the ones in the mail are prue breeds and are going to be my laying hens, next year.
Here they are in there new area.
Here they are in there new area.
This is how I set up there brooder area. I use cardboard to keep any draft from affecting them and also keep them from wandering away from the light. As you can see my cardboard is a little used. I flipped it over when we had a waterer keep over flowing a couple years ago and messed up the bottom. See I am frugal to the very end.

I then put hay down on the floor, some people use wood shaving but the chicks can eat that. Hay, if they eat it, won't hurt them. I then put newspaper down on top of the hay, only for the first few days of life. This helps keep them from filling up on the hay and I also sprinkle food on the paper because they will peck at the ground at this stage but might not find the food dish, right away because they are sleepy after being born.

I use chick starter (food) for the first two weeks of life. I use an egg carton for there feeder, usually one that is wrecked to use for storing eggs. I sprinkle baby chick grit on top of the food. Usually the grit is made of fine granite, or rock.

As I have mentioned before, in the past I have tried small waterers meant for chicks and have had nothing but problems. So I use a large waterer that you fill from the top and has a float. I like the fill from the top because I don't have to take it out, and I can just add more as needed but don't have to fill it full, encase it should leak. Many other waterers you have to tip upside down and unscrew the base to fill. This is a pain when you have the lip filled with rocks. I use rocks along the lip of the waterer to keep them from drowning. I put electrolyte, and probiotics in their water, along with a dash of sugar for pep. I only do this when they are first hatched.
Some close ups.
Some close ups.
101E1210.JPG

User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 27977
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: Chickens on the Farm

Soooo cute! I showed the photos to my kids :D

It seems like they are progressing as you expected? It must be pretty noisy in the granary now. :lol:

I applaud your thriftiness. I think people throw things out way too casually.
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

User avatar
sweetiepie
Green Thumb
Posts: 397
Joined: Wed Mar 11, 2015 4:18 pm
Location: York, ND (Zone 3b)

Re: Chickens on the Farm

applestar wrote: It seems like they are progressing as you expected? .
Yes, I am happy with this hatch. Another 6 hatched so that is a total of 27 that hatched out of 37 that went into Lockdown. I did have one yesterday in the brooder die. That happens occasionally, not often, sometimes things don't develop right.

I locked incubator 2 down today. They are due to hatch on Thursday.

Incubator 3 is having temperature fluctuations, I do not like that incubator. A fan makes a huge difference. So I won't be using that incubator again. So anything that hatches from that will be a surprise.

So I think I will be short of my 80, so I am collecting eggs for the next go around.

They are very cute at this stage, I will keep posting pictures as they grow. They start to get ugly as their feathers come in.

User avatar
sweetiepie
Green Thumb
Posts: 397
Joined: Wed Mar 11, 2015 4:18 pm
Location: York, ND (Zone 3b)

Re: Chickens on the Farm

Incubator 1 is done, no more pips or hatches. I cleaned that out today. I have about half the eggs I need to fill it again.

Incubator 2 has four pips this morning. Again I this is a little early. Though Incubator 1 mostly hatched on the right day. A couple early and a few late. So I think I will stick with that temp.

I had another chick pass away yesterday, cause unknown, though I had noticed him being more sleepy than the rest of the chicks. For me it is uncommon to lose chicks but I hear it is pretty common for others. The only time I lost a few chicks was when I tried a strictly meat bird like the Red Ranger or Cornish Rocks. I don't get those anymore because I didn't like the loss or leg issues they have. I like to see things alive and healthy. :)

User avatar
sweetiepie
Green Thumb
Posts: 397
Joined: Wed Mar 11, 2015 4:18 pm
Location: York, ND (Zone 3b)

Re: Chickens on the Farm

Incubator 2 has seven hatched chicks and 17 pips. So they are looking good.

User avatar
sweetiepie
Green Thumb
Posts: 397
Joined: Wed Mar 11, 2015 4:18 pm
Location: York, ND (Zone 3b)

Re: Chickens on the Farm

So I haven't posted on here for a while because incubator 2 has made me sick to my stomach. But this is a learning curve.
So far only 10 are still alive, 20 hatched. Most of the chicks hatched with their yolk not absorbed. It is gross, you can google if you want but I was not up to taking photos.

Moving on. I learned one degree to 100 per my thermometer is too hot and it pushed them to hatch to early before they were ready. Though I did more research and most sites claim it is to high of humidity but the humidity was the same as incubator 1 so I am not buying it.

Incubator 3 is in lockdown and tomorrow is day 21 but no pips. Without a fan, and having temperature issues with this incubator, I will be surprised if any hatch. But fingers crossed.

Tomorrow morning, I am hoping that all the chicks I ordered are at the post office, the last I looked the order got split up and the chicks were in two different towns.

I have started another incubator because I am about 18 short of my goal. Collecting eggs for the other incubator and I am not loading the one with no fan again. If I wasn't such a hoarder I would throw it away.

So I liked the hatch from incubator 1, temp at 99 but after the research I did about the yolk not absorbing I might try lock down humidity at 60 to 70 percent instead of 75.

User avatar
sweetiepie
Green Thumb
Posts: 397
Joined: Wed Mar 11, 2015 4:18 pm
Location: York, ND (Zone 3b)

Re: Chickens on the Farm

The chicks that came in the mail, look good. Two of the leghorns look a little sluggish but no deaths on their trip. That is always great to see.
White leghorns
White leghorns
Here is the free Exotic.  My quess is he is a Golden Lace Wyndonette but I could be wrong.
Here is the free Exotic. My quess is he is a Golden Lace Wyndonette but I could be wrong.
Rhode Island Reds, 3 Easter Eggers, 1 white Wyndonette, 1 silver laced wyndonette and another free exotic chick.
Rhode Island Reds, 3 Easter Eggers, 1 white Wyndonette, 1 silver laced wyndonette and another free exotic chick.
:-()

User avatar
sweetiepie
Green Thumb
Posts: 397
Joined: Wed Mar 11, 2015 4:18 pm
Location: York, ND (Zone 3b)

Re: Chickens on the Farm

These are the chicks I got in the mail.
These are the chicks I got in the mail.
Farm 2015 015.JPG
These are the ones that hatched.
These are the ones that hatched.


Sorry I have not kept up with the pictures. They have really grown and moved last week into a coop because I had more chicks hatch and needed to make room in the brooder. I ended up with 98 chicks total from the 3 hatchings.

User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 27977
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: Chickens on the Farm

Wow I missed the mailed chick pictures too!? I guess I've been overwhelmed with planting and garden prep. Amazing how quickly they grow. I don't blame you that it's hard to keep taking pictures.

...that's a LOT of little cheepers! There is a song sparrow's nest on my neighbors side of the fence in a shrubbery and the babies in the nest make so much noise all day long, but I doubt there are more than a handful in there.... :bouncey: ...pretty soon the eggs in the robin's nest in the gate arbor right outside my bedroom window will hatch -- THEN I will be hearing THEM all day, too.... :roll:
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

User avatar
sweetiepie
Green Thumb
Posts: 397
Joined: Wed Mar 11, 2015 4:18 pm
Location: York, ND (Zone 3b)

Re: Chickens on the Farm

Oh, they are at that curious, what treat do you have for me stage. All awkward teenager with there feathers coming in like pimples. I needed some new layers too, and some new roosters to mix in.

User avatar
sweetiepie
Green Thumb
Posts: 397
Joined: Wed Mar 11, 2015 4:18 pm
Location: York, ND (Zone 3b)

Re: Chickens on the Farm

Here is the update on the chicks. They have all their feathers in and go outside without being a big chicken about it. Switched food to half chick starter and half cracked wheat.
Image

User avatar
sweetiepie
Green Thumb
Posts: 397
Joined: Wed Mar 11, 2015 4:18 pm
Location: York, ND (Zone 3b)

Re: Chickens on the Farm

Marlingardener, Yes those are Rhode Island Reds and Leghorns, and three Easter Eggers in the last picture. My cows like to lay by the runs and watch the chickens go by. :() I have about 200 chickens now. Are yours Australorps? Do you lock them up at night? Probably from the inside. I had thought about putting a top on the runs but am not sure how that would work when snow built up on it, so we leave it open and lock them up each night.

Getting excited to have them start laying. Right now I have year old hens that are only laying a dozen a day out of 40. It is my fault, I incubated eggs last year, crossing more for heavier chickens for butchering and then kept whatever hens were left over and they are the broodiest things. Plug up the nesting boxes and they end up in solitary confinement until they come out of it. Plus they go through more food to keep up there sexy figures. :roll:

User avatar
sweetiepie
Green Thumb
Posts: 397
Joined: Wed Mar 11, 2015 4:18 pm
Location: York, ND (Zone 3b)

Re: Chickens on the Farm

Some of my mut's are Australorp crosses and they are the loudest and most offended when they can't be broody. :> I thought it would be cute to have mama's and chicks but other chickens tend to be mean to them and they happen at different stages, so the chicks are different ages and I found I had chickens in almost every building to keep them separate and it was ridiculous. So back to the Rhode Islands and thought I would try the leghorns but like you I am not sure how the Leghorns are going to do this winter. Smaller and big combs, might lead to frozen dinners. :hehe:

Do you have a rooster? I am keeping a Rhode Island and a White Wyndonette for chick incubating next year.

User avatar
sweetiepie
Green Thumb
Posts: 397
Joined: Wed Mar 11, 2015 4:18 pm
Location: York, ND (Zone 3b)

Re: Chickens on the Farm

Farm 2015 037.JPG
Here is the free exotic chick. He is still trying to get in his real feathers. He has no tail feathers yet. He is starting to look sinister and his name is Abominable after the snow monster on Rudolph.
Farm 2015 038.JPG
A leghorn, they are very flighty and aggressive to the other chickens. The were picking on a Easter Egger and I had to remove her. So I am trying to decide if I want to keep them over winter. I like my chickens to be more docile but not broody either.

User avatar
sweetiepie
Green Thumb
Posts: 397
Joined: Wed Mar 11, 2015 4:18 pm
Location: York, ND (Zone 3b)

Re: Chickens on the Farm

Also new to the chicken coop grainery is some new rodent killers.
Farm 2015 043.JPG
This is Pumpkin, she came from Minnesota. She is worried about the dog.
Farm 2015 039.JPG
This is Honey, I couldn't get a very good picture of her, she likes my lap. She is also from Minnesota. She is not worried about the dog.
Farm 2015 040.JPG
This is Cee Cee and she thinks she is Queen. She too is keeping an eye on the dog.
Farm 2015 044.JPG
This is the vicious dog peaking through the cat door. He doesn't bark, just whines, he is sure the kittens needed to be licked and drooled on.
Farm 2015 045.JPG
Farm 2015 001.JPG
This my mama cat's kittens she had in May. The kitten is in the barn and she too is worried about the dog, licking her. She has two brothers that are both grey and look the same. They are called Pete and Repete. :hehe:

User avatar
GardeningCook
Greener Thumb
Posts: 787
Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2015 12:35 am
Location: Upper Piedmont area of Virginia, Zone 7a

Re: Chickens on the Farm

How old do you let your kitties get before they go in for shots & spay/neuters?
My body is a temple. Unfortunately, it's a fixer-upper.

User avatar
sweetiepie
Green Thumb
Posts: 397
Joined: Wed Mar 11, 2015 4:18 pm
Location: York, ND (Zone 3b)

Re: Chickens on the Farm

Some people will spay or neuter at about 8 weeks.

User avatar
ElizabethB
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 2109
Joined: Sat Nov 24, 2012 5:53 am
Location: Lafayette, LA

Re: Chickens on the Farm

I am jealous. I would love to raise my own chickens.

We have a friend who gives use eggs from his free range chickens. The BEST eggs ever!

I love the Kitties. :-() They are soooo cute!

8 weeks is too early to spay/neuter. Cats are best spayed or neutered at 4 months.

Shop around. Spaying or neutering can be very expensive. In Lafayette there is a non-profit organization called Spay Nation. The cost is less than half what you would pay at a Vet's office.

BTW - I am a life time humble servant to cats. I am currently owned by 2 lovely girls. Sallie Sue is 4 and Daisy Faye is 3. Love my Girls.
Elizabeth - or Your Majesty

Living and growing in Lafayette, La.

When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant. ~Author Unknown

User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 27977
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: Chickens on the Farm

Soooo cuuute! :D
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

User avatar
sweetiepie
Green Thumb
Posts: 397
Joined: Wed Mar 11, 2015 4:18 pm
Location: York, ND (Zone 3b)

Re: Chickens on the Farm

I have no real idea about spay/neutering. We tend to have hawks, bald eagles, coyotes, foxes, raccoons etc. that keep our cat population down unfortunately.

User avatar
GardeningCook
Greener Thumb
Posts: 787
Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2015 12:35 am
Location: Upper Piedmont area of Virginia, Zone 7a

Re: Chickens on the Farm

Wow. That's sort of sad for the cats. We also have a lot of cat predators around here - fox, hawks, owls, & coyotes mostly. But my current three (down from ten a number of years ago) are an indoor-only gang, so no worries here. It is an unfortunate fact that outdoor/barn cats tend to have short lives. In fact, according to all of my veterinarians over the years, living an outdoor (or indoor/outdoor) life is the #1 reason for feline deaths.
My body is a temple. Unfortunately, it's a fixer-upper.

User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 27977
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: Chickens on the Farm

@sweetiepie I hope you won't mind me continuing on a bit about barn cats because I wanted to tell this story before and refrained as OT but conversation is hovering on what I was going to share.... 8)

Our current kitties are originally barn kittens from a horse stable where we used to lease a horse. The owner told us about the kittens being born and how she's restricting access to a stall until kittens are ready to socialize, and when she did. All these kittens tumbled out of the barn! :D

They had obviously been trained by their moms (there were two mama cats) to hide when warned/shadows glided overhead. Turkey vultures, Eagles, Hawks, airplanes, a stray cloud covering the sun -- The little fur balls all dove under the tack shed, horse trailer, into the barn.

When we brought our adopted two home at 8-10 weeks, they freaked out in the bedroom when the ceiling fan was turned on, and dove into their crates and would NOT come out. :lol:
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

Return to “Chickens/Ducks, Goats, and other Livestock”