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#121 of 250 Old 07-03-2008, 06:16 PM
 
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We use both - straw for nice bedding and pine shavings to absorb moisture and smell. We don't clean our coop often, so the poop and straw stay together pretty well when we do. It's great compost!
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#122 of 250 Old 07-03-2008, 08:51 PM
 
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We rehomed our last three hens today. I am sure they would have been killed tonight if we had kept them.

Three got killed by a weasel/mink/martin/fisher/something last night (something that could get in and out through the holes in a chain link fence.)
Two got killed by either the same animal or a raccoon/fox a few days ago (something that burrowed underneath the dog kennel where we were keeping them, and pulled them out through the holes they dug).
One got taken by a neighbor's dog while free-ranging.
One got snatched by a hawk while free-ranging

And we lost our two guinea hens to unknown predators.

So we're calling it quits for now. Not forever, but until we can build a solidly predator-proof coop and run. Good luck to all of you.

Amanda, mom to Everest (12), Alden (10-1/2), Ellery (7-1/2), & Avery (6)
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#123 of 250 Old 07-04-2008, 12:11 AM
 
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amyamanda, I'm so sorry you guys have lost so many chickens! Its horrible losing animals like that. Our experiences have taught us to always lock up our chickens at night - they roost in the coop at night, so always used to go out and close the door and lock it tight. For years it was the only way to keep our chickens from being eaten. This was when we had your typical chicken fencing (like 5 or 6 feet tall fenceing).

All that said...we got the electric fencing and it seems to keep the chickens in really well these days - it didn't when they were littler, but now it sure does! They haven't even been flying over it, which is just amazing. And wierd. And, it keeps the predators out - the latch on our door needs replacing, so we haven't been bothering, and we haven't lost a single chicken. Which is just fantastic!!

So... if you do decide to try chickens again sometime, I recommend eitehr getting the electric fencing (which is expensive), or else locking them up every single night. Or both!
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#124 of 250 Old 07-04-2008, 02:52 PM
 
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Oh wow I didn't even realize this thead/forum existed must continue snooping around MDC to see what other treasures I can find!

Anyway just a little introduction. I have 49 meat roosters this year (big dumb white ones), 8 pullets (black sex-link), three regular ole brown hens that are destined for the soup pot since they do not lay eggs consistently, two pairs of white call ducks (miniature pekins) and their 5 ducklings that hatched on the 2nd of July.
I am absolutely thrilled that one of the duck hens finally went broody and successfully hatched the eggs, she set on 12 eggs, 7 hatched, one disappeared the first night (I am NOT amused, I put them in a "safe" pen) so they moved into the kitchen for last night. Except something happened to one of the remaining ducklings so we are down to 5.

I've had poultry off and on since I was 8, my parents raised meat roosters and geese when I was a toddler too. But these ducklings are the first ones I've ever hatched Exciting times!

DH and I - totally winging life with our four children, DS1 (6.5yrs), DS2 (5yrs), DD (3yrs) and DS3 (1)!

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#125 of 250 Old 07-07-2008, 12:45 AM
 
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Hello everyone! I have 6 barred rocks, one week old, hoping that they survive my children's intense excitement and love for them. Totally newbies at this, and I am a little nervous. We will probably build a coop and let them range during the day inside our electric fence. Is there any drawback I should think of to letting them range in with our three sheep?
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#126 of 250 Old 07-07-2008, 01:11 AM
 
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Hello everyone! I have 6 barred rocks, one week old, hoping that they survive my children's intense excitement and love for them. Totally newbies at this, and I am a little nervous. We will probably build a coop and let them range during the day inside our electric fence. Is there any drawback I should think of to letting them range in with our three sheep?

Where will they live at night?
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#127 of 250 Old 07-07-2008, 02:36 AM
 
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I think we're going in the direction of converting one of our sheds to a coop, but we also have access to a chicken tractor.
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#128 of 250 Old 07-07-2008, 12:31 PM
 
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Hey ya
we have chickens here..
we have 27 laying hens.
we ordered 75 dual purpose black sex linked two weeks ago, which we got, then a rat got into the nursery and wiped out all but 11 of them...we have 11 chicks left from that batch and ordered 60 more which will be arriving in two weeks.
fun fun fun.
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#129 of 250 Old 07-07-2008, 03:02 PM
 
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Hey ya
we have chickens here..
we have 27 laying hens.
we ordered 75 dual purpose black sex linked two weeks ago, which we got, then a rat got into the nursery and wiped out all but 11 of them...we have 11 chicks left from that batch and ordered 60 more which will be arriving in two weeks.
fun fun fun.

Do you sell all of the eggs? I see in your siggy that you're vegan, so that's why I ask. I think it's nice that you sell eggs if so; people know you are treating them well. Do the children eat eggs at all?

Btw, how much do you charge for your eggs. I keep thinking I need to raise my prices. Do you give organic feed?
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#130 of 250 Old 07-09-2008, 10:14 PM
 
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I gave away rooster #2 today and 5 hens to my friend whose husband transported our coop from an hour away to our house and would take nothing in the way of $ for the deed..

Tonight though, I think I may have only 11 chickens instead of 12.. one is missing.. my small black "newcomer" who I got about a month ago along with 3 hatchmates..
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#131 of 250 Old 07-10-2008, 07:31 PM
 
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So our chicks have been here for almost a week-we think they are about two-two and a half weeks old. I am amazed-my kids love them! More than the sheep or the dog, frankly. They sit on the ground and the chicks hop all over, and especially like to sit on their legs. My son, who can be a bit rough, is so gentle with them. The are barred rocks.

So, a few questions. Is it ok for my kids to basically play with them--they don't handle them except to take them in and out of the box, but they definitely love to sit on the floor and stroke them, and cuddle them. Also-I have seen a couple of them sort of fly at each other and then turn their backs on each other and stand very still-what is this behavior? Is there a chicken pecking order?

OK-thanks wise mamas!
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#132 of 250 Old 07-10-2008, 09:42 PM
 
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I let my kids play with mine. They'd carry them all over. I explained the rules and how they had to treat the chicks and they loved to handle them. I see no harm in it.

There is a pecking order and it starts early. They also fly around to get the feel of stretching their wings.. when they move into a larger space, they'll do this and it is so funny to watch!
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#133 of 250 Old 07-10-2008, 11:33 PM
 
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So our chicks have been here for almost a week-we think they are about two-two and a half weeks old. I am amazed-my kids love them! More than the sheep or the dog, frankly. They sit on the ground and the chicks hop all over, and especially like to sit on their legs. My son, who can be a bit rough, is so gentle with them. The are barred rocks.

So, a few questions. Is it ok for my kids to basically play with them--they don't handle them except to take them in and out of the box, but they definitely love to sit on the floor and stroke them, and cuddle them. OK-thanks wise mamas!

My kids love our chickens and play with them lots! I would not worry at all.
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#134 of 250 Old 07-11-2008, 12:11 AM
 
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My kids also love the chickens! They like them more than they like the dog. LOL The first thing my DD does in the morning is go check on "the girls". IMO, the more they're handled the better.

~Danelle~ Mama to four wonderful, intact kiddos ~~ Cami (10), Jimmy (5), Ella & Alex (2/09), and Newbie due 8/11 
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#135 of 250 Old 07-11-2008, 12:16 AM
 
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I feel like I am turning into a little bit of a chicken weirdo here because they're on my mind so much!

It's my impression that exposure to us is good as well since these will hopefully be our laying flock, and they feel like pets-is that strange? Also, I swear they have different personalities and my kids clearly know one from another already. I can't tell, particularly, but one or two will scramble to us when we come into the room where we are, and a few others just calmly kind of watch us, evaluate and then plop down on our legs. Funny.
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#136 of 250 Old 07-11-2008, 03:01 PM
 
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I feel like I am turning into a little bit of a chicken weirdo here because they're on my mind so much!

It's my impression that exposure to us is good as well since these will hopefully be our laying flock, and they feel like pets-is that strange? Also, I swear they have different personalities and my kids clearly know one from another already. I can't tell, particularly, but one or two will scramble to us when we come into the room where we are, and a few others just calmly kind of watch us, evaluate and then plop down on our legs. Funny.
They are funny. A lot of chicken people say chickens are good emotional therapy. I lose time outside watching them. When they get a little older, they will start running to you like a pack of puppies. That still cracks me up.
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#137 of 250 Old 07-11-2008, 06:36 PM
 
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yes, as whatever you do...do NOT get muscovy ducks, then you'll really have issues as they waggle their tails at you.

Ahhh tea the essence of life.
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#138 of 250 Old 07-14-2008, 10:38 AM
 
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I love my pet chickens

6 Auracanas and 6 Rhodies. All lovely girls with great personalities, meant for egg laying only.

My children (14, 12 and 3) have been handling them since birth so the chickens are very tame and friendly. A few of them come trotting over to be held and petted when we come out.

They have a fairly big (10'x6'), handbuilt house with roosting boxes, perches and such. This is fenced in with a "yard" (about 10'x12') for them to wander around in. So far, we have not let them out to free range because we have a LOT of predators in the area and we want to keep them safe. I don't know when I'll feel okay about doing that.

They all have silly names like Poachy, Benedict, Yolkum, Fajita, Caccitore, Nugget, etc. My kids spend a lot of time picking weeds and dandelion greens for them which they looooove. Sometimes the 3 year old will find bugs and very gingerly pick them up and carry them to the chicken pen for the chickens to terrorize

They have been a lot of fun to raise. When i was a kid my parents had chickens, pigs, ducks and geese but I was not really part of the "raising" process so I made sure my kids were this time.
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#139 of 250 Old 07-16-2008, 09:35 AM
 
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reeseccup -
How true!
When I was a kid a friends duck hatched 17 ducklings in the middle of January (that day happened to be -35 C!)
We took two and raised them in the house. They'd watch TV with us and everything! Tried letting them swim in the kitchen sink...learned that Muscoveys aren't such good swimmers...
When spring came we put them outside with the other ducks and chickens in the coop.
They would escape every day and come to the window and peck to be let back in the house. They'd wag their tails, chase us around the yard, so much fun. Two drakes though...best kind to have becuase they didn't reproduce like Muscoveys are so good at doing...


As for our current clock, we're down to two ducklings sad state of affairs, the others died from various different causes.
The last two started looking sickly, I suspected cocci. and started hand feeding them yogurt and diatomaceous earth which *fingers crossed* seems to be doing the trick.

Momma duck is getting a lot tamer too being in the kitchen all the time lol! I love my husband for letting me do crazy things like having ducks in the house.

The meat birds are leaving in hopefully 2 weeks! Now to get people to buy them...

DH and I - totally winging life with our four children, DS1 (6.5yrs), DS2 (5yrs), DD (3yrs) and DS3 (1)!

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#140 of 250 Old 07-16-2008, 11:51 AM
 
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One of my chicks looks like her leg is injured. For the past two days she's been holding it a little off the ground, but still able to get around. She gets to food and water, but I wonder if it is somehow broken? My kids have been so gentle with them, but I guess something could have happened there? Any suggestions or experience?

Also, it looks like there was some loose brown chicken stool on the paper last eve. I don't know which chick. we cleaned out their space, but should I be concerned?
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#141 of 250 Old 07-16-2008, 12:08 PM
 
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Karne, from my experience the chick food gives them yucky runny stools. If weather permits I always take out chicks as young as 1 week old in a makeshift pen to scratch, eat bugs and what not. I found after a day eating real food their poop hardens up again.

You can also add raw organic acv in the water, it'll help with any yuckies in their gut.

As for the potentially injured leg, just keep an eye on it, and don't let the children handle that one until it’s healed.

Chickens are so addicting, indeed, enjoy them and enjoy their individual personalities. I say this as I'm getting more tomorrow

LGM, my experience with Muscovy's allows the impression they are actually very good swimmers, and love the water. Mine spend 1/3 of their time in the water, if not just in rest mode, playing, splashing, diving and even swimming. I know under a certain age ducklings need momma to oil them before swimming. Even our momma duck took out her 2 day old hatchlings out to swim, and fun they did have. I also love how well they reproduce; we have the parent stock as our "pets" and the offspring to fill the freezer. I'm glad your dh is indulgent, and I hope your others feel better soon.

Ahhh tea the essence of life.
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#142 of 250 Old 07-16-2008, 03:43 PM
 
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reeseccup, what is organic acv? I'll add it if I know what it is!

We had the chicks out last night in a little pen, circular, made of chiken wire. It looked so sweet, and we, of course gave no thought to the fact that chicken wire doesn't contain tiny chicks! One by one they lined up and squeezed through a hole, and then had a great time pecking around. They were tempted back in by the kids holding feed--very cute.
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#143 of 250 Old 07-16-2008, 03:45 PM
 
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organic raw (with the mother in it) apple cider vinegar...found in heatlh food stores or grocery stores with a quality health food secton.

Ahhh tea the essence of life.
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#144 of 250 Old 07-16-2008, 07:03 PM
 
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Ack! A few days ago one o9f my roosterlings flew into the dogpen and was eaten. And now my little hens are flying into the garden and eating my so close to ripe strawberries. What's a free range farmer to do?!

chicken3.gif   We're remote ECing, unschooling, free ranging goat dairy farmers.  

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#145 of 250 Old 07-17-2008, 06:28 PM
 
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What's a free range farmer to do?!
Build a fence
Or clip their wings so they can't fly over fences. Just trim the ends of the end feathers off of one wing on each bird (if you do both, they are still balanced ).

That has worked for all of my chickens over the years except the Barred Rocks. Somehow they would actually climb the fence using their feet and wings.
In that case, I made sure their only source of water was back at the coop so they wouldn't stray too far from the coop but could still enjoy freedom. Good luck!
My new pullets are just starting to fly.

Update on the ducklings - the diatomaceous earth and probiotic infused yogurt is working! I wish I had known about this years ago when Amprol didn't work for a goat kid. Plus they don't seem to be minding the treatment, momma duck still bites my arms whenever I grab a duckling though lol! I'm glad ducks don't have teeth...

DH and I - totally winging life with our four children, DS1 (6.5yrs), DS2 (5yrs), DD (3yrs) and DS3 (1)!

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#146 of 250 Old 07-18-2008, 12:01 AM
 
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I am about to reveal my real fear about raising chickens, which has nothing to do with chikens, and everything to do with rats. My family keeps telling me that we are going to have rats with the chickens. I have to admit, this freaks me out. Can anyone help here?

Also, I am becoming addicted to this thread.
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#147 of 250 Old 07-18-2008, 11:09 AM
 
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The two do NOT go hand in hand, necessarily. We never had rats growing up and we've had our chickens as adults for what, 5 years now and narry a rat...and this is in NC and VA.

Ahhh tea the essence of life.
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#148 of 250 Old 07-19-2008, 04:29 PM
 
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Rats/mice/rodents only show up if you leave the stored feed accessible and don't keep your chicken pen clean. If you take good care of your poultry and keep the feed locked up you'll be fine. It's a myth, really it is.

DH and I - totally winging life with our four children, DS1 (6.5yrs), DS2 (5yrs), DD (3yrs) and DS3 (1)!

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#149 of 250 Old 07-20-2008, 03:09 PM
 
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I my chickens.
I have six old Danish country breed. I don't know if this breed even have an English name. I have five pullets and one cockerel. They are almost seven weeks old now and growing fast! I was told that this breed grows very fast but are slow to start laying. So we won't be seeing any eggs 'till spring. That's okay. In the mean time I'll just enjoy watching them.
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#150 of 250 Old 07-20-2008, 10:42 PM
 
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Any ideas on what these two are??

Mystery Chicks
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