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Hello from "Surprising Suffolk", Virginia!

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

I've been flittering around BackYardChickens and reading various topics since late March 2010.  We had a Red Sex Link hen that was listless and not eating.  My brother in South Carolina reads BYC a lot!  Josh looked up the thread about problems with crops after we talked. 

Long story (not so) short, I may not have been 100% correct on my diagnosis (long grass and corn filling Artemis' crop) but the treatment we gave her helped.  My "Middlest Child" (daughter, then 11) spent a few minutes after school each day holding Artemis and massaging her crop.  The first two days we gave Artemis olive oil in a medicine dropper prior to the massages.  We switched her to chick starter food (which I had on hand for the brood about to hatch on April 1).  My son (aka "The Boy Child", age 7) shared his yogurt with Artemis.  We dipped out a couple of spoons of yogurt into the chick starter and TBC finished the container of yogurt so there was no waste.  Artemis loved the apple cider vinegar mixed with her water or the chick starter.  Artemis went back to laying when we returneded her to the flock after a week of this care.  This week she has been broody, so we've been patiently removing her from the nest anytime we are outside.

A little bit about my chicken background:

My parents moved into their current home in 1973.  Behind their yard was a junk yard.  The elderly lady next door loved sitting on her back porch and watching our chickens, so we had zero complaints from neighbors.  The first clutch of eggs incubated were a failure, then Mom caught me (age about 6 or so) yelling at our Golden Comet rooster "Quit being mean to her!"  Mom explained that roosters were supposded to get on the hens back.  That was probably my first Birds and the Bees talk!  (And, yes, Mom did eventually explain everything, but she was very good about answering questions as they came up and using those as points to get into more scientific answers.)

When I moved to Virginia, we lived in a subdivision that had been a group of family farms.  We were allowed to have a number of animals based upon our property size.  My magic number was 11!  I could have 11 chickens and even if someone complained to the city, we were fine!  My children were excited when we moved to the country and we could have LOTS of chickens.  "Eldest Child" (daughter, age 14) even decided "Chickens are kinda neat once you get to know them."

In the last two years I've used my Hovabator incubator to hatch three broods (sorry if that's not the proper word).  All these hatching eggs came from my brother's flock.  The parents of my birds are two roosters:  Dominique or Red Star; group of over a dozen hens:  Red Star, White Rock, or Americauna.  The last two hatchings we concentrated on the Americauna eggs.

My husband had been telling me to improve the chicken yards prior to this years' chicks getting outside full time.  My procrastination cost me big time!  The 11 April Brood (10 weeks old) had been staying outside for a few weeks, so I added the 13 May Brood (6 weeks old).  Each night we shut them up in the old Biddy Box.  The Biddy Box was securely made, but the run was not.  A fox or foxes got into the run and managed to get the Biddy Box door latch open.  We had only two survivors, both from the April Brood.  I walked out last Tuesday morning to discover ten bodies and the two survivors up high.  Twelve are missing in action and presumed dead.  Both my girls stood at the bus stop and called baby birds, then came home from school and walked the property lines and called.  After two days of calling, they gave up.

I was too distraught to even cry, but the horrible dreams seem to be at an end.  At least my adults (the 2009 Original Brood from brother's flock's eggs and 4 Red Star hens) were safe.  My husband shot the fox the next night while it was pacing the fence trying to get to my two roosters.  We've been shutting up the survivor girls, the hens, and the roosters in the hen house each dusk.  I go out shortly after dawn to let them back out.  The roosters get hustled to their Swinging Bachelor Pad and the girls stay in their yard.  The 6 hens gave us an average of 5 eggs per day in the month of May.

I have to go referee the water fight my three children are having in the back yard now.  I look forward to reading more helpful advice and stories on BYC!

Born in SC, living in VA near NC. Mother of 3 human children and lots of Feathered Babies! Wife to a fantastic, patient Husband (who finally admits some of these birds have personality)!  There is no such thing as coincidence.  God has a sense of humor.  You have been warned!
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Born in SC, living in VA near NC. Mother of 3 human children and lots of Feathered Babies! Wife to a fantastic, patient Husband (who finally admits some of these birds have personality)!  There is no such thing as coincidence.  God has a sense of humor.  You have been warned!
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post #2 of 6

So sorry about your losses hugs  but glad to have you here! welcome-byc

I was only going to get five chickens originally. In adult hens I currently have 1 BO, 1 NHR, 1 RO, 4 EE's and 1 BR. In baby chicks I have 4 BLRW's, 2 FCM's, 1 Delaware, 1 SLW, 1 BJG, 2 SS's, 1 BO, 1 WCP, 1 GSL and 2 BA's. That only adds up to five, right?
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I was only going to get five chickens originally. In adult hens I currently have 1 BO, 1 NHR, 1 RO, 4 EE's and 1 BR. In baby chicks I have 4 BLRW's, 2 FCM's, 1 Delaware, 1 SLW, 1 BJG, 2 SS's, 1 BO, 1 WCP, 1 GSL and 2 BA's. That only adds up to five, right?
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post #3 of 6

I trapped and dispatched 3 coyotes in bowers hill last trapping season they seem to be coming to us in chesapeake from the west right down rt 58  and from  the south up rt 17 be careful there are a good number of bobcat and grey fox in chesapeake/suffolk I really knocked the fox down hard last season I caught 35+ between indian river and and bowers hill that and between deep creek and the navy yard. I trapped several other places then just this.

http://www.scnaonline.org  Serama Council Of North America

You might as well expect rivers to run backwards as any man born free to be contented penned up.
Chief Joseph
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http://www.scnaonline.org  Serama Council Of North America

You might as well expect rivers to run backwards as any man born free to be contented penned up.
Chief Joseph
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post #4 of 6

Sorry to hear of your loss... welcome-byc from East Tennessee...

5 Welsummers, 5 EEs, 3 Silver-laced Wyandottes
2  Rosecomb, 3 OEGBs
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5 Welsummers, 5 EEs, 3 Silver-laced Wyandottes
2  Rosecomb, 3 OEGBs
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post #5 of 6

Welcome from Northern Virginia!  We have an abundance of coyotes and foxes here too.   I'm sorry for your loss.

I agree with your daughter's assessment wholeheartedly -- chickens are definitely kinda neat!

post #6 of 6

We will be moving to Suffolk in June, and was wondering about the in town ordinance situation for raising chickens.

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