Originally Posted by karenerwin
Originally Posted by gander007
@karenerwin you are keeping up a really nice egg count all winter what are you doing to your girls to keep them so happy are they caged or free ranged and are you giving them calcium on the side or is it just what you are feeding them ????????
2 of the coops have small enclosed runs that allows the chickens to get some fresh air & sunlight even when it's nasty outside. Most days they all get let out into the "open yards". The yards aren't really open, they have fences around them but the fences enclose really big yards. 2 of the coops have these really big yards, 1 of the coops is the one without an enclosed run. The 3rd coop (which is the newest) doesn't have a large fenced yard yet. We will probably fence it this spring, but they do have the largest enclosed run. Currently they are giving me the least eggs! I goofed when we made the coop, so it is facing the wrong way ( for best light), so this spring we will be adding a large window to let in more light.
Oh, and the coop with no enclosed run (it's a 10 X 10 shed with 2 small windows) is lighted. I turn the light on before work around 6:15 AM and turn it off around 9 PM. I have been getting 3 eggs from 11 girls (3 of which I don't think have started laying yet).
The EE's were giving 1, 2, or 0 eggs over the shorter days, but the last few days I have been getting 3 from them as well ( there are 8 of them all layers). The newest coop has 4 young hens and I have just started getting 1 egg a day form them.
As far as food goes, I feed them 16% layer feed from my local farm store ( their brand) with occasional table scraps ( including meat) and a small handful of corn on the coldest of nights. They haven't gotten any corn this week.
Wow karenerwin that is quit the setup you have sounds very safe for your chickens I bet you have very few losses from the wild life . I have one big fence that goes around my yard that is 180' X 300' with two fences that cut the yards into three yards 180' X 50' and the forth yard is 180' X 150' and the biggest yard is for the geese but they like to crawl under the fence and get to yard one and eat all the chicken feed and yes they make their rounds for food basically the geese are the bullies of the property but the guinea are the protectors and they pay with their lives so every year I have to replenish them as they may scare off or keep the bobcats, fox & domestic pets at bay but with out my help the guinea loose their feathers. But I also have some sheds I use for the girls to live in but the chickens choose to roost on the old unused swamp coolers instead of going inside and I loose way to many eggs from then making a nest under the sheds and since I have no overhead cover on the coops the crows tend to get a good deal of the eggs but the crows do keep the red tailed hawks at bay so there is a trade off I guess. My Spangled Russian Orloff hens started laying today and I got two eggs but one was cracked so the other egg went into the incubator and my BCM hens have been laying regularly for the last two weeks so I think I am taking them out of the control group peen soon and going them their own room in the shed for some fertile eggs and Tex will be taken out of the free range and cooped up with the girls he should like that ..
This is Buddy my Russian Orloff roo ...
This is one of my Spangled Russian Orloff girls .. Side View ..
She has such a pretty face I think ..
My birds get a verity of feed from dry to cooked but first the dry feed thy get 16% also laying pellets some corn mostly for the geese and ducks and something called three way with barley rolled corn and oats but for the cooked feed they get beans and rice which all of the birds seem to love oh only the free range birds get the cooked feed and the control group chickens get a mix of the dry feed .... The chicks get chick starter with 24% protein and several times a week when I have to many eggs the chicks get ether boiled or scrambled and I do believe it really helps them grow stronger and much better feather growth ....
I will post photos of a pair of my BCM's later
This is Tex my BCM roo at 6 months of age he is a year now and getting his cockle feather color now ...
My guinea out for a walk ..
Yep the goslings are having eggs for breakfast .....
The free range is a gathering of different sizes and species ...
Sometimes ya just have to line everyone up in the brooder for inspection
Feeding time at the zoo
Yes this is a live Bob Cat and he or she is the main predator now I had to talk to a top trapper in the King Dom of California so I could shoot these or live trap them and it is easer to blast them then it is to get them into a cage and if trapped the animal control only takes them ten miles and lets the go free .
I hope I explained how my operation works for all to understand