Originally Posted by IcyLady
Oh my goodness, I didn't even notice there was a thread just for Icelandic Chickens until I was googling a minute ago and they had the link on the wiki page for Icelandic Chickens!!
I joined BYC a few days ago because I am a first timer, who happens to live in Iceland.. and owns Icelandic Chicks!
So much info here and so many pages for me to skim over!
Anywho.. I saw someone mentioned on the last page that 13 out of 15 eggs hatched, and the comments about good hatching ratio!
My daughter's 5th grade class had 12 eggs and ended up with 9 chicks... which now I own 4 out of 9 hatched.
She incubated them April 4th and the babies hatched on April 21st and 22nd. Is that about normal incubation time? (Just curious for future reference)
All four of my chicks are about to hit 3 weeks old and seem to be really healthy.
My only issue has been finding grit for them since it seems to be non existent here in Iceland, as everyone usually just lets them free range. Could someone possibly give me advice on what to do for them now, as I want to at least introduce treats? Would plain sand from my own yard be fine for them to peck at for grit? I know what to do for a bit older as my Icelandic farm friends in my area have given me grit that they use for their layers (they call it shell sand here). Is Chick Grit something the USA and UK seem to have but not here? I mean I could import it from the USA but the shipping price is outrageous!
I know I will be free ranging them later, just like all other Icelandicers do, but I have been fairly concerned about now. I know the Icelandic weather currently is too cold for them (it's around 59 degrees F in the sun), so I haven't even brought them out on a "field trip".
For chilly climates like Iceland- when do you think it would be a good time for them to at least have a small few minute trip outdoors?
Also, what age do you think will be a good age to determine their gender? My daughter's class didn't do that when they were hatched so I am not sure what mine are!
I am sorry for a long post and so many questions but I know that some of you in this thread here have Icelandics, and the raising chick section doesn't seem to have many Icelandics being posted about.
Originally Posted by IcyLady
Originally Posted by Icies
Roughly 3 weeks is the normal incubation time. From what I read about hatcing rates, shipped eggs have a much lower hatch rate & a lot of us (myself included) had eggs shipped to us so 13 out of 15 is great.
How awesome that you live in Iceland & have Icelandics. Im sure a lot of people there do so its no big deal to you, but I think that is cool. I have Chesapeake Bay Retrievers & took them to go swimming in the Cheasapeake Bay. Korny... yeah I guess. But I thought it was neat to be a part of their namesake.
I'm still new to all this too, so no idea about the grit. I have read that sand is not enough. I tried to look up shell sand to see if that is different than the sand we have here & am still not sure. Could you buy the shell sand and just break it up a little more w a hammer or something?? I have read it is better to be too big vs too small. Hopefully someone here w more experience will have some actual insught. Regardless, welcome!
Thank you for the welcome!
Not corny whatsoever!
Well there are other types of chickens here in Iceland, but the Icelandic ones are most common and of course most of the population.
To me I love the Icelandic Chickens, out of the variety I could have. They are fun and they are beautiful, and I hear are pretty well behaved!
I have only been living here in Iceland since the end of 2004, didn't move to the country side until 2009 and now have owned my own property since December 2014 (it was my husband's dad's house and we bought out siblings). Our land is big enough to have chickens, or even goats if we wanted!
We weren't even going to bother with the chickens until next year since my husband is just getting back to work after nearly losing his foot on the job last summer, but my daughter fell in love with the hatchlings... So here I am!
I truly hope someone can help me with the grit concern. It's been driving me batty, trying to find something. I can always take a photo of what was given to me, and the person who gave it said that she gave it to her chicks. Maybe I can have my daughter's teacher ask the sewing teacher who owns the other 5 chicks what to do if it comes down to it!
and to the Icelandic thread! Your daughter sounds like she will be a great help! Incubation time for most large fowl chickens is 21 days. I find that my Icelandic tend to hatch closer to 19-20 days under my hens.
What a great opportunity to move to Iceland! It looks like your husband is a native, are you from there originally? Very neat for you to have property that will allow you to have a flock of chickens and maybe goats! We will need to see lots of pictures!!
As for the grit, I use my hens to raise chicks so they teach them to find what they need outside. My soil is loam and clay, no sand. I do have a "gravel" drive that is crushed limestone for the most part. I do raise broilers for my freezer and, as @goslinghunter said, the starter feed usually has grit inside the crumbles. Not much grit is needed when feeding a processed feed. If I want to feed them other things, or when I move them to a grower that is made up of coarsely ground grains, I do give them free choice grit. There are different types of sand, some is very fine and others have larger, coarse grains. If what you have in your own yard has some coarse pieces, I'd try that. A picture of what you got from someone else, who is using with their chicks, would be great.
Telling the difference between your pullets and cockerels will be easier around 6 weeks old. Wattles on the males are larger and combs will get color quicker on them.
I look forward to hearing more about your adventures with your new chicks!