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Chicken Questions
March 23, 2010
6:55 pm
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Grandmatotwochicks
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Hi, Buckeye Girl,

Thank you!  for your advice, I keep them in the wood box until they are fully feathered, them I will divide up the hen house and pen, so they can get used to each other.  I only have hens, NO ROOSTERS, I am afraid of them!  sort of, well I just don’t want our neighbors complaining, we have almost two acres, and the neighbors don’t like the dogs barking, had to get a bark collar for one, SAD!  anyway, I would love for my hens to hatch their own, but need Mr. Rooster for that, a friend offered to give me some fertilized eggs, but I am not sure the hens would sit on them, I am just a year into the world of chickens, so just learning.  Thanks for your reply, I will be very CAREFULL, I don’t want any casulaties, they are so cute, I would just cry.

GrandmatotwoButterfly

 

 

March 23, 2010
9:56 pm
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BuckeyeGirl
N.E. Ohio
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That’s true about your hens possibly not setting Elizabeth!  No use getting fertile eggs untill you have a hen that is already broody and willing to set, and some breeds just don’t get broody anymore thanks to modern breeding.  They don’t need to have a rooster around to want to get broody if they’re going to though!  If your friend is nearby, and you have a hen that refuses to leave a nest day or night, you can get some eggs and mark them with the date you place them, then slip them under a broody at night, (slipping OUT any eggs that are under her) and then let her set on them.  Doing it at night with a low light source such as covering a flashlight with a bandanna or such means she will only be partially aware of anything happening, come morning, she’ll just rearrange things and be happy.  You can then remove any UNMARKED eggs that get layed afterwards so she won’t be keeping any unfertile ones under there.  With a little luck, 21 days later… PEEPS!

Located in N.E. Ohio

March 24, 2010
8:29 am
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Suzanne McMinn
Sassafras Farm in Roane County, WV
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I tried this last year with our little banty hen who wanted to sit so badly.  She sat and sat on a few little eggs that never hatched and she wouldn’t stop sitting.  I felt so sorry for her!  I waited one day till she got up to eat then gave her some eggs from some other chickens that I suspected might be fertile.  She accepted them just fine.  (Unfortunately, she was killed by a raccoon, sob.)

Clover made me do it.

March 24, 2010
6:18 pm
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Grandmatotwochicks
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Thank you for the great advice, it will be taken!!!  I will have to spend more time out in the chicken house to see if they are sitting.  I do know that Lucy, our Red headed Hen, does not like it when you take the eggs from her in the morning, she is quite fiesty.  Thanks Chicken Again!!!!!!!!!

March 25, 2010
9:35 am
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Suzanne McMinn
Sassafras Farm in Roane County, WV
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Let us know how it goes!

Clover made me do it.

March 30, 2010
7:41 pm
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Grandmatotwochicks
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Hi All !!!

I have a question, not a reply, I hope this is ok?  It may snow here tonight, and my two eight week old girls are in the wood box on the front porch, it is completely covered, with lots of pine shavings, but it is COLD! will they be alright, or should I bring them in the house?  last night I even put a baby blanket on them, I think they thought I was crazy!  Thank You!

GrandmatotwoHelp

March 30, 2010
8:06 pm
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CindyP
Hart, MI
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This is the perfect spot for a question!  Though I don’t have an answer for you…………………sorry!

If you’re worried, and I would be, too, I’d just haul the box in just inside the door.  I’m sure it depends on what type of chicken they are and if they can withstand some cold.

“Learn all you can from the mistakes of others. You won’t have time to make them all yourself.”  ― Alfred Sheinwold

March 30, 2010
8:17 pm
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CATRAY44
By a lake in S. Michigan
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If they are fully feathered, they will be ok.  If you have any doubt, I would bring them inside.

March 30, 2010
8:59 pm
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BuckeyeGirl
N.E. Ohio
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8 weeks is rather young… I doubt that they are feathered enough for really cold weather.  I’d bring them in myself…  12 weeks is possibly old enough especially if there were more, but 2 is probably not enough to provide enough body heat and 8 weeks is probably not old enough.

I’d bring em in too, or at least make sure there is some kind of heat source…  make sure there is enough ventilation!  covering the box too tightly could smother them too. Pictures!!!  We love fuzzy butt pictures!!!

Located in N.E. Ohio

March 30, 2010
11:33 pm
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BuckeyeGirl
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To clarify, most sources recommend an available section of the brooder which is at a temperature is kept to between 90 to 100 deg. for the first week, decrease 5 deg. per week.  A 100 watt bulb pointing in one corner (not the whole brooder) works well.   This allows them to self regulate where they want to be.  If they’re cold, they get directly under the heat, if they’re too warm enough, they get to the edges where it’s cooler, if they’re comfortable, they move freely around the brooder. 

You put a thermometer directly under the light about where the chicks would be and it should read around 90 there… a week later you raise the light so it reads 85, then raise it more the next week, it should read about 80… etc etc etc.  This lets the chicks gradually get used to cooler and cooler temps till they barely need the light at all…  (whatever temp you start out with, decrease it by 5 deg each week)

If they’re piling up on top of each other for warmth, they can smother the ones underneath.  If they’re staying as far as possible from the heat, they are too warm. 

Let the chicks guide you, especially past the first couple weeks which are the most risky for them. 

Located in N.E. Ohio

March 31, 2010
12:28 am
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Grandmatotwochicks
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Hi, Thank you for all of the great information, as you can see, I am new at this Chicken business, they are so cute, and the older hens are so much fun to watch, when the hens were little I would sit out in the pen with them, and let them climb all over me, until the day I got pooped on, I figured this was just not fun.  Now I am their Mamma, that brings food and treats.  I will bring the two pullets in the house, this should be a challenge, I know the cats would love to play with them.  My son named the pullets,  Phyllis and Yolanda, he has quite an imagination.  I am just loving this place, it feels like home.

GrandmatotwoHappy Feet

April 6, 2010
1:28 pm
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Grandmatotwochicks
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Hi,

Another pullet ? I have found a few feathers in the wood box, the girls seem to be losing them, is this normal?

Thanks for any advice you might have!Chicken

April 6, 2010
1:32 pm
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BuckeyeGirl
N.E. Ohio
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Yes, they’ll lose a few, they’re growing and they are probably losing mostly the fluff but they’ll lose regular feathers too, mostly because when they’re young they play rough.

Located in N.E. Ohio

April 7, 2010
1:57 am
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Grandmatotwochicks
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Thanks Buckeye Girl!  I love watching them, they are very timid, I gave them some raw spinich last night  and they were afraid of it, it was quite funny, so I closed the lid, and this morning the spinich was gone, so I guess they decided it’s not so bad after all.  The Americauna’s are so pretty, they really don’t look like a chicken to me, at least at this age, and they are not as friendly as my other hens at this age.  I wish I knew how to take a picture of them and post it, maybe my son Sam will teach me!Ladybug

April 20, 2010
6:42 pm
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threadartist
Oregon
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My girls are getting big.  Poor things look a little tattered because of the way the feathers are coming in.  Not a baby anymore and not an adult – – just stuck in the middle.  LOL

 

I’m curious what creative ways you give water to your chickens.  I know for sure I will not use anything like what I got at the farm store because it’s too hard to keep clean.  I was thinking of getting something that they could peck at (kind of like a rabbit bottle).  Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

 

JoJo

April 20, 2010
7:16 pm
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Pete
WV
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My grown rooster drinks from a large dog water bowl.  The guineas keets are drinking from one of those water dishes you screw to a mason jar filled with water.  They add quite a bit of feed during the day, but I just rinse it out and refill the jar.  With just the two, a pint jar is more than sufficient.

Anulos qui animum ostendunt omnes gestemus!

April 20, 2010
8:09 pm
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CindyP
Hart, MI
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JoJo, mine are very rough looking, too!  Their heads still have the fuzziness, but the rest looks like they’ve been in a war! Laugh

 

Do you have the waterer up off the ground?  I put mine up on a block of wood so they can still reach it with their beeks, but it’s high enough up so all the other junk isn’t getting into it.  Before the wood, it wouldn’t last 2 hours before it was full of everything else and I’m sure they couldn’t get any water out of it!  When they go to the coop, I’m going to somehow fashion that waterer to hang also.  Mine is plastic, so I will be able to put a wire through it and hang it on a hook.

I also hung the feeder up, too, so they don’t roost on it and make it all messy.  That is working great, too!  I like clean chickies!  Laugh

“Learn all you can from the mistakes of others. You won’t have time to make them all yourself.”  ― Alfred Sheinwold

April 20, 2010
9:16 pm
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BuckeyeGirl
N.E. Ohio
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Haha, those gangly half feathered weeks are horrible aren’t they?

I agree also that keeping the water clean is a challenge, but the waterers from the feed mill are easier to keep clean than anything open.  There is one kind of waterer that will hang fairly well and that’s what I use also.  they still bump it around and spill it but at least it’s not full of poo and shavings in 5 minutes.  I put a chunk of wood across the top of the brooder and hang it from a chain.

I’ll try to get a picture of it tomorrow. 

Before I got that one I had a plastic one that didn’t have a handle to hang it by and that one I put up on a couple of bricks as Cindy said she did with some wood.  Even the water font in the main coop is raised up on a cement block.  It’s much easier to keep clean and for the big girls to drink when it’s up about crop high.

They do make auto waterers that have a tube and a ‘nipple’ (their word, not mine!) that chickens learn to drink from with no problem, but since that wouldn’t work for me in the winter, I don’t mess with it in the summer either.

Located in N.E. Ohio

April 21, 2010
2:59 pm
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Grandmatotwochicks
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I have my water on a cement block, I add one tsp of Apple Cider Vinegar ( raw and unfiltered Organic ) to a gallon of water, shake it up then pour it into their plastic waterer, I change the water once a day and clean it once a day, I think the apple cider vinegar helps with algae and egg production, plus I have read that its very good for the girls.  They don’t seem to mind, one tsp is so little anyway.  Keepiing the waterer up off the ground is the key, they are very messy creatures.Chicken

April 22, 2010
1:52 pm
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threadartist
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Thanks for all the information.  I had the waterer up on a piece of wood but it wasn’t nearly high enough. 

 

After reading your suggestions, I put it up on a box now and it stayed clean the entire day!!! Whew….thank goodness.  I was refilling and cleaning their water about 20 times a day before.  I should have thought to move it up higher but was afraid they wouldn’t figure out that they needed to jump up on the box to get a drink.  Boy, that was silly because now they fight over who gets to be up on the box with the waterer.  They are too FUNNY.

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