My name's Marsha but I'll go by Loona here, since Loona, my Austraporp is the reason I joined.
I've been reading this website for quite a while, since we got our flock of chicks in May of 2014.
I love it! Had chickens growing up, and have a 10 year old daughter who loves birds. Was always attracted to all the bird species at petting zoos. One place we'd frequent, I'd have to take a seat on the log because I knew I was it was going to be a while as my little one observed and fed them little pellets. It all started at the age of two. So the day I showed up with 8 chicks in a box was better than any Christmas for her! She loves them like I knew she would and we def love them all. We acquired a rooster early summer.
The intro was quite hairy at first, but it's all good. Can't stand how the girls 'get laid' all the time though!! Not sure if they like it or find it bothersome, but they put up with him!
We did have a loss early on. One peep I bought was a Leghorn X (roaster). We were warned not to buy her, but I asked, does she lay eggs? Yes. Well ok then. So we tried. She outgrew the others by leaps and bounds and couldn't even walk by 8 weeks. Then we learned in order to keep her you must refrain from over-feeding. So we did. We exercised her all over the yard and fed her less and she was fit as a fiddle. Once the coop/pen was ready for them though it was hard to control her consumption. We managed by giving her a small bowl from the others. By the time she was done, the others were done with the bigger bowl, or not enough left to matter much. She was the first to lay an egg, and every other one was a double yolk. She was also the most docile and very sweet.
But after a couple months while fall and winter was passing she got 'poopy butt' quite a few times. Then one day found her under the coop very sick looking. Took her to the vet and they didn't do anything. Just said to give her a warm bath and yogurt/apple cider vinegar - uh ... no.... Daisy was SICK. Well, she died. My little one so distraught all the effort she put into Daisy.
Well, the flock went on. We manage pretty well. But once again, I'm attracted back to your website because our Luna, one of the two Australorp's is sick. We took her to the same vet. I told them I want treatment. Warm baths didn't help my other one. So she was put on Penicilin injections and prednisolone drops. It's not really working so well. She seems to get better, but relapse. I'm on to a new vet now, an avian vet. Needless to say, it's like one extreme to the other as far as these vets go.
I've learned quite a few things here, so I thought I'd join because I do have some questions. Thank you for this site. Look forward to some conversations. Thanks!