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Old 05-05-2011, 03:01 PM   #1
JessicaR
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chickens???

If my memory is correct their are some people here that have chickens? I am going to be getting some hens next year for eggs. I would like any tips or advise from other chicken owners. Such as how did you introduce your chicks to your dogs and how do you deal with predators? What breeds do you reccomend, Stuff like that.
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Old 05-05-2011, 03:56 PM   #2
Shara
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I got 6 wyandotte chicks atm that are about 4-5 weeks old. They are bantams so they are smaller. If you want egg production wyandottes/red island reds/australorp/red or black stars (hybrids)

www.mypetchicken.com has a breed selection tool at the bottom, if you need a bird that is cold or heat hardy this tool will help you decide on breeds. It has a selection for importance of egg laying ect.

I have introduced my dogs to my birds but they still would attack and eat right now. Shara got a baby chick when they were in my brooder in my bros room, she didnt mean to kill it I think she was trying to bring it to me and crushed it as she had the opportunity to death shake and maul but she didnt.
My BC wants to herd them in circles when I put them in my pen in the backyard...

So far my chicks have not "pecked" eachother like everyone said tehy would have a pecking order and they are extreamly flocky, when people said they would scatter they freak out if seperated from eachother...so I think it depends on the breed and how they were raised.

You can spend so much money on brood boxes and such but I got 1 plastic dog crate, took it apart and put the two sides together, making a big open box and put my heat lamp on a tripod i already had and that was their brood box.

I live in the town so preditors would be my dogs. I have them in a metal building I built from scratch with a slopped roof. It is off the ground 1 foot and has a sold wood floor.

If out in the country and want birds in a pen they suggest you dig down and "plant" your fence materal so critters like skunks/badgers/fox when they dig they hit the fence. Hawks too can be a preditor. If there are hawks in your area always have a covered run.

Snakes can also be a problem, you just have to have proper fencing and a very hole-less coop where they cant squeese in anywhere.

www.backyardchickens.com has a forum filled with thousands of members and you can find anything talked there. or ask questions and you will get responces. =)
~Meredith
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"He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion."
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Old 05-05-2011, 04:07 PM   #3
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I do wish I had room for the standard wyandottes but they get to 6-8 pounds each, so I opted for the bantams.

Wyandottes are great egg layers, are cold harty, extreamly doctile and become pets and will sit in your lap n such.

They are also very pretty and come in a variety of colors. Right now I have 1 blue laced red (kinda rare/unusual/pretty and cant belive I got one!) 2 gold laced and 3 white that I think are going to be silver laced...

So those are my pros for picking bantam wyndottes. The only Con to them is going to be egg size and I do not know how many they will lay per week. But its less than a standard.

Another pro for bantam breeds in general is less space needed per bird and less feed.

Some breeds are good for raising chicks...and some go extreamly broody a lot. If for some reason you get a non-broody-non-chick raising hen and need to raise chicks they say silkies will raise any chick any egg...=)

Lots of info on those websites...I could blaber on all day from what I have learned LOL...
~Meredith
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"He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion."
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Old 05-05-2011, 04:55 PM   #4
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thanks! I just joined the byc forum

I think my dogs would do ok with them, I can let the bunnies hop around and they dont try a kill them, but I could see one of them, especially the puppy accidently squishing a baby.

I dont live in the country, but I also dont live in the city. I have a neighbor beside me and behind me. So roosters are a big no for me I only want 4-6 hens so I can have fresh eggs. I found a hatchery through byc that is only an hour away from me so I will get to go pick up my chickies instead of having them shipped!

As for predators unfortunatly I have smelled skunks before I have seen coons and the stupid neighbors down the road wont fix their cats so we have lots of semi feral cats running around Matter of fact their daughter came over with a 3 week old kitten and said they are keeping all four kittens I have heard squirrels will get into the eggs, and I have seen garter snakes in the yard. Oh and I forgot about the hawks and the pair of bald eagles!! So many predators!!! Which is why I am waiting until next year that way I can spend time designing a safe coop for them.

I like the wyandottes, they are pretty, I also like the ameracaunas, and the australorps, and the silver spangled hamburgs. I was told buff operingtons are good too but the can be a bit broody. So many choices, maybe I will get a couple of each. They all look to be cold hardy which I need here in NW Ohio

I wonder if it would be ok to keep the chicks in an aquarium while they are young? I have a 50 gallon tank, its 4 foot long plus i can put a screen over it to keep the cat out while they are young and cant go outside.
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Old 05-05-2011, 05:06 PM   #5
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Those breeds you listed Americaunas-Orphingtons are great choices too

Yes it does sound like you will need a lot of preditor proofing!!! Holy cow!

Chicken are diffrent from rabbits, chickens will flutter crazy and freak out when a dog approaches, unlike rabbits that kinda hop n chill out. It makes for too much excitment that might trigger herding or chasing.

That is TOO cool to find someone local to go to, so much better than shipping (I had shipping nightmares...my first 2 orders were dead on arrival...3rd one 2 were dead)

The aquarium might work for the first few weeks, but if you get standards theyneed a lot more room faster, they grow sooooooo fast!!! I had my chicks in a similar set up the first 2 weeks but was a milky white plastic tub. I would be conserned with them smacking into the glass not seeing the glass, maybe you can wrap a blanket around it so they see it as a wall?

Rooster are a big no no to me too, I would go with sexed chicken breeds, all standards are sexable and there are color linked sexed chicken breeds so you know for sure...I am waiting for my bantams to be older to be able to tell...it stinks!

I am glad you are putting in time on researching this stuff, it took me quite a while to actually make up my mind. I changed my mind 100 times I think on what breed to get. I ordered a run of assortment bantam wyandottes, so I got a varriety of colors. Bantams are never sexable
~Meredith
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"He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion."
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Old 05-05-2011, 06:10 PM   #6
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I was checking out other peoples brooders and someone used a wire dog crate wrapped in hardware cloth. I have a xtra large crate my mom gave me , she used it for her great danes. I think I will use that after they run out of room in the tank. Or i could use a swimming pool with my x penm around it. Got plenty of time to figure it out.

I will order hens from the company they quaruntee 90% accuracy so if I do get a rooster should be rare, I would have to give him away, I just couldnt bring myself to kill it Of course my sons friend would be more than happy to do it, but then I would have to clean it... I am not a blood and guts type of person!

I think I will get amaricuanas and wyandottes, maybe 3 of each. I really like the blue eggs and silver laced wyandottes are so pretty!

6 sounds like a fairly good number to have right? I dont want too many but I need enough that they can help keep each other warm in the winter.
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Old 05-05-2011, 06:56 PM   #7
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Yea sounds like you have lots of brooder options!

The Americauna are super cute! I will get some too once these guys are grown. They have bantam Americauna (you need to have similar sized birds or chickens will pick on smaller ones)

LOL sounds like we are gonna have simular flocks. I am aiming for 6 hens myself. 6 regular sized hens will provide you tons of eggs...you wont know what to do with them all! =)

6 is plenty for warmth, wyandottes are fluffy butts, and have lots of down and are large round butterballs. Americauna are coldharty too.

The most important thing about coops is VENTALATION and NO DAMPNESS. Most people build their coops with the top of the sides cut out, there are tons of pics on the website. That and windows are important.

Chickens produce a lot of humidity through breathing and poop, if you have a damp/humid coop with little ventilation they will freeze to death because the water vapor will freeze on the birds...Crazy stuff...

Lots of interesting stuff to learn, I had fun reading up on it...who knew so much to know about chickens haha
~Meredith
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"He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion."
♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ ♥
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Old 05-06-2011, 10:53 AM   #8
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That is why i am going to have my husband build the coop! He is pretty good at designing things.

I wonder what people do with their chickens in the winter. I know some people harvest their birds in the winter but I plan on letting mine live. Do they let them out in the snow, or do they stay penned up? Seems like they would go nuts if they were penned all winter! Guess I will be shoveling a poop area for the dogs and a walking area for the chickens in the winter Why not everyone already think I am nuts!
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Old 05-06-2011, 02:16 PM   #9
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That's so exciting! I wish I lived somewhere I could have chickens. Fresh eggs would be fantastic. I want to see pics of the chickens, guys.
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Old 05-07-2011, 07:37 AM   #10
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Lots of good information there! I've just had to have one of my old chickens put to sleep - she was about 8 years old, and had worked hard all her life, the dear old thing. I got 2 new ones, another wyandotte and a baby light sussex which I've called Marie Hentoinette and Chook Berry. I have 5 now, and just love them - not to mention all those yummy eggs and all the manure for the compost. Good luck with your new additions (when they arrive) I'm sure you'll enjoy them.
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