anyone raising chickens? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 04-06-2002, 02:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We have four chicks we hope to raise, but it has been years. We are building the coop this weekend. They are so small now I think all they need is a roost, later we will put in nest boxes.
All I know is to feed them starter food and put them in the coop at night. I'm sure there's more to knowing what to feed them, how to treat mites, what they need to be happy, well-adjusted chickens
I couldn't find any info on chickens doing a search, other than a lot of Mothering mamas out there calling themselves or someone else a chicken.
TIA
Steph
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#2 of 9 Old 04-14-2002, 05:50 PM
 
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An easy way would be to check w/your county's cooperative extension office; ie. 4-H. They should have tons of info for you. Just make sure you keep them warm at night and have plenty of water available. They're pretty easy!
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#3 of 9 Old 04-14-2002, 08:14 PM
 
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My daughter has a friend who's had chickens since she was toddler. If you have any specific questions, I could email her & ask her if you like. Hers are organically raised & seem to be pretty resiliant. They lost a few chicks to a hawk & a few cats recently. I think if you feed them good food, the mites & stuff are probably not such a problem.
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#4 of 9 Old 04-15-2002, 03:23 AM
 
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We just gave our chickens to some friends who have an organic farm... but yes we use to have 6 chickens raised form chicks. There is a wonderful discussion board out there but no longer have a link to it. Maybe do a search on google for chicken discussion groups.
I know a little you can pm me if you'd like
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#5 of 9 Old 04-16-2002, 10:45 AM
 
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Hello Sahara,

Have you still got your chickens? I noticed your posting is from last Nov.
I am new on Mothering.com but I love it!

We have a dozen chickens and sell a few eggs to friends and neighbors. From the research I have found if you feed your chickens Flax seed (like in their scratch) it will increase the the good omega 3 fats in the egg.

Here is a link to my article if you are interested:

http://members.tripod.com/homegrownmo/id39.htm

We are getting ready to make a movable pen for our chickens so that we can have the pen on wheels and move it each day to new grass. It is also a great way to fertilize your land.
It is a little bit after the "Salitin Model" accept we will build it taller so we can put our nest and roosts in it and smaller dimentions.

You can see Salitin's pen at:
http://www.sare.org/bulletin/poultry/

Let me know how you do.
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#6 of 9 Old 04-16-2002, 02:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I just posted this about a week ago, the date must be messed up. Ours are just chicks, and there are a few things I don't know. If anyone happens to check back to this thread, here's my questions...

Do you feed them only at certain times of the day, or just whenever they look hungry (which is a LOT!)

Do I need to put them in the coop every night to sleep?

When can I start feeding them something other than the 'baby' food?

How do you tell if they are a boy or a girl when they're little?!?
(What if I end up with all boys!!)

Thanks for the info, and the websites gardenrn.
briar, my husband will never let me live it down if I actually find that chicken discussion group!!!
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#7 of 9 Old 05-30-2002, 05:48 PM
 
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Sahara,

Hello Sahara, We got our new hen pen made, or egg mobile, sounds good. If I get a chance to get a picture of it I'll drop you a link here. We are kind of pround of it and the chickens seem so happy to be eating grass.

What we do is keep feed infront of our chickens 24hrs a day but then in the morning give them a cup or so of "scratch" or "corn chops" and any house garbage. They enjoy scratching around in the dirt and it seems to make the feed go farther. If your chickens are having trouble picking on each other try feeding them some of your meat scraps, cooked or uncooked doesn't matter.

We don't like liver so we give them our beef liver, we get the nutrition second hand in the eggs that way.

If you know what you are doing you can tell boys from girls when they are chicks but I don't think it is something I can explain to you. Probably by now you are begining to be able to tell by the way they look. The roosters will have bigger and brighter red combs on their head than the hens.

When you asked about putting them up in the coop every night, are you letting them run wild in the yard or do you have a fenced in area for them?

We didn't worry about putting our up until we started having varmint trying to get them. We found we had to lock them up almost every night or something would get in and kill some of them.

It is good to train hens to come back to the coop at night rather than roost in the trees that way you can get them to lay in a nest in the coop rather than all over the farm. My MIL has hers laying in the dog house, under the proch and all over. They are never sure how old the eggs are sometimes.

Keep me posted.
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#8 of 9 Old 05-30-2002, 05:53 PM
 
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Oh about feed.
We fed baby food until they were feathering out pretty good then went to grower.

We used grower until we thought they were getting ready to start laying and then went to layer feed.
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#9 of 9 Old 05-31-2002, 03:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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gardenrn, thanks for the info!
They are so BIG! Actually, we only have two chickens now. One was killed by an unknown predator. Now we have them fenced with an electric line running around the outside. The other was born with some kind of digestive problem and died because of it. The last two (one boy, one girl) seem quite healthy. They are close to full grown, I think? The rooster is just starting to crow.
I switched from starter to laying feed, and now they have dirty bottoms, I don't know if you could say their poop is runnier than normal, but somethings up. Maybe I need to get the growing feed instead. It's so hot here, too, we put some shade cloth over the pen and I am hoping that will help them out.
I would love to see pictures of your pen. We aren't ready for anything that advanced yet, but one day....
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