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For newbies considering chickens or have baby chicks and have neighbors...

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 

I want to add a few things I never came across during a year long research on raising chickens that could be helpful to all newbies out there.  Now, I've only had my guys for 3 1/2 months but so far I've learned:

Poop smell--not as horrible as I've read if you keep things clean (but not spring flower smell either). Also, they poop a lot, especially as babies. I think mine intentionally waited to poop until after I would hold them. :sick

Feathers--those cute fluffy little things start shedding/molting (for how long I don't know) when their big feathers come in.  It gives a whole new meaning to tar and feather if your neighbor is out suntanning with lots of oil and the wind blows your chick/chicken feathers out of your yard and into theirs!!!!

Peeps- those cute little peeps turn into some weird bawking noises that are so funny it will make you cry sometimes.  I have two loud talkers that sound like two people complaining under their breath about everything. 

Egg Song- I'm not their yet but apparently, no matter how quiet of a breed you get, they sing lovely, or horrible depending on how you look at it, egg songs when they lay.  Some people say their chickens are quiet when they lay (I envy you) but looking at videos of egg songs is funny :lau- unless your neighbors like quiet.  I'm afraid my girls will want the whole neighborhood to know they laid an egg but we shall see.

Crowing - females do it too -sometimes.  I started reading about older hens who will crow under certain conditions but I have two girls that like to make a "crowing" noise and they started at 11 weeks.  It's not actually a crow but it is close and comes about 3 minutes after I let them out in the morning.  I read several blogs about pullets doing this and apparently no one knows why for sure but mine only do it if I have the roost set up outside ( I guess letting the other girls know they have the best spot).  I have since convinced my neighbor they are girls and it too shall pass but I also don't set up the roost until late morning now and it helps alot!!

Litter - I used sand and sometimes I put pine shavings on top to control some of the dust.  Everyone has a different method but this works best for me since I like a clean coop and it takes about 2 minutes to scoop out.  I also use Sweet PDZ but I haven't really seen any difference in what it does but some people swear by it so I bought it. 

Apple Cider Vinegar -  I use it in the water but only every other changing.  My girls have never been on medicated food or any type of antibiotics (although I bought some just in case) and have never been sick (except respiratory issue from using sand too early)

Stress - For newbies, it will happen.  I was a hover mother over my chicks like I was with my first born child but I have quickly learned chicks and chickens are pretty tough as long as you follow a pretty basic guideline.  Now that mine are older, I am stressing less and enjoying them more everyday--until the egg song day when I will both be excited to see the egg and freaked out that my other neighbors know I have chickens!! :ya:barnie

 

Please don't let this post scare anyone into not buying chickens.  They are part of our family now and I love them but some things would have made things easier when considering buying them and preparing for them. 

 

 

post #2 of 2
Quote:
Originally Posted by poppycock1974 View Post
 

I want to add a few things I never came across during a year long research on raising chickens that could be helpful to all newbies out there.  Now, I've only had my guys for 3 1/2 months but so far I've learned:

Poop smell--not as horrible as I've read if you keep things clean (but not spring flower smell either). Also, they poop a lot, especially as babies. I think mine intentionally waited to poop until after I would hold them. :sick

 

A lot of people use sand with success.  I DLM in the coop and compost with a wood chip base in the run, often adding the spent litter from my coop into the run (along with grass clippings, garden waste, food scraps, leaves, pine needles, etc.  Zero manure/waste smell with this method and the only time I notice a smell at all is when I check the compost and that's earthy/soil scent.

 

Feathers--those cute fluffy little things start shedding/molting (for how long I don't know) when their big feathers come in.  It gives a whole new meaning to tar and feather if your neighbor is out suntanning with lots of oil and the wind blows your chick/chicken feathers out of your yard and into theirs!!!!

 

I've never noticed an abundance of feathers but that's probably a mix between them becoming part of the DLM and occasionally one of the kids picking out some of the best feather specimens for one use or another..

 

Peeps- those cute little peeps turn into some weird bawking noises that are so funny it will make you cry sometimes.  I have two loud talkers that sound like two people complaining under their breath about everything. 

Egg Song- I'm not their yet but apparently, no matter how quiet of a breed you get, they sing lovely, or horrible depending on how you look at it, egg songs when they lay.  Some people say their chickens are quiet when they lay (I envy you) but looking at videos of egg songs is funny :lau- unless your neighbors like quiet.  I'm afraid my girls will want the whole neighborhood to know they laid an egg but we shall see.

Crowing - females do it too -sometimes.  I started reading about older hens who will crow under certain conditions but I have two girls that like to make a "crowing" noise and they started at 11 weeks.  It's not actually a crow but it is close and comes about 3 minutes after I let them out in the morning.  I read several blogs about pullets doing this and apparently no one knows why for sure but mine only do it if I have the roost set up outside ( I guess letting the other girls know they have the best spot).  I have since convinced my neighbor they are girls and it too shall pass but I also don't set up the roost until late morning now and it helps alot!!

 

Those 3 go together for me.  I like the chicken noises and find it relaxing at all levels from baby peeps to egg songs to rooster crows.  I live rural and have some distance between myself and my neighbors (but the closest one is within 1000').  I keep my chickens on my own land so they can't become an actual nuisance, but as far as chicken noises bothering my neighbors - they're out of luck if that becomes an issue.  If they didn't want to hear chickens, they shouldn't have moved beside of me...

 

Litter - I used sand and sometimes I put pine shavings on top to control some of the dust.  Everyone has a different method but this works best for me since I like a clean coop and it takes about 2 minutes to scoop out.  I also use Sweet PDZ but I haven't really seen any difference in what it does but some people swear by it so I bought it. 

 

See 'poop smell'

 

Apple Cider Vinegar -  I use it in the water but only every other changing.  My girls have never been on medicated food or any type of antibiotics (although I bought some just in case) and have never been sick (except respiratory issue from using sand too early)

 

1 tbsp per gallon in their drink and I use it to help with the fermenting process in their food.  I'm not religious about adding ACV to their drink every time, but it gets put in often enough.  I always add it to the fermentation process.

 

Stress - For newbies, it will happen.  I was a hover mother over my chicks like I was with my first born child but I have quickly learned chicks and chickens are pretty tough as long as you follow a pretty basic guideline.  Now that mine are older, I am stressing less and enjoying them more everyday--until the egg song day when I will both be excited to see the egg and freaked out that my other neighbors know I have chickens!! :ya:barnie

 

Please don't let this post scare anyone into not buying chickens.  They are part of our family now and I love them but some things would have made things easier when considering buying them and preparing for them.

 

Agreed on stress.  Some of it at virtually every aspect of the chicken business.  Hatching, chicks, illness, predators, nutrition, neighbors, etc.  A lot of it can be controlled by you - but just as much can't.  Shipped eggs will be abused by the USPS, illnesses will find their way into your flock eventually, and so forth.  Predation can be controlled via a secure coop, supervised ranging, and a lethal remedy for interloping critters such as possum, coons, etc.  Neighbors will have dogs that may need to be addressed via a talk with the neighbor or dispatching the problem.  Neighbors can be a problem, but if you're legal in keeping your animals - they'll have to work it out on their own if it's a simple complaint about a cock crowing or some such nonsense.  Chickens should be a hobby, not a chore - enjoy them...

 

 

 

 

On vaccinating v/s Marek's Disease - ( here & here )
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On vaccinating v/s Marek's Disease - ( here & here )
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