Just thought I would introduce myself. My name is Brad and live in southern Huntington County (about 30 mins SW of Fort Wayne). I have a wide variety of animals including 3 dogs (Bouvier des Flanders, Miniature Pinscher, and French Bulldog), a cat, an African Grey Parrot, around 20 reptiles, and just started to dabble into chickens and ducks. I have had my chickens and ducks for a month now and am absolutely enjoying them. I wanted to just get a few layers, but found a deal and ended up getting 8 bantams (still trying to figure out breeds) and 2 Black Stars. After thinking about it, I didnt think the 2 layers would be able to provide enough eggs, I ended up getting 6 more layers (3 Red stars and 3 more blacks). To that mix, I added two ducks, which where sold as an assortment. I believe I have campbells, but not 100% sure. After stopping at a local feed store about a week later to get more supplies, I noticed they had Turkens and Polish. I have always been interested in the more "rare" or unusual species of animals and couldnt pass them up. I added 6 more turkens and 4 polish (one of which died that night I brought them home).
So my "couple of chickens" quickly grew to 25! I am enjoying every minute of it. I recently transformed my shed into a coop where I sectioned off a 10x10 section and attached a 12x24ft run. Eventually these guys will be "free ranged" on my 2 acres. Tonight will be the 3rd night the older chicks and ducks have been out int he coop. The Turkens and Polish are still in the garage and will probably be moved out in a week or so. I have run into an issue where one Black star had her tail completely pecked off as well as her pelvic girdle being exposed. I was completely surprised since there was no signs of aggression when kept in a 3x5 pen but when moved to a 10x10, it starts the first night.
The pecked girl was put into her own pen with electrolytes, feed, and heat. She was still eating and drinking, but with that much damage, I would have thought she would have died. Woke up the next morning and she was up with more than expected energy. I got some Blukote and sprayed her rear. It scabbed up nicely. Today I put her back in with the group (supervised of course) for about 20 mins. I only saw one little bantam cockerel peck at her, which I pulled her out and put her back in her own pen again. This cockerel has always had a "cocky" attitude so he may become dinner if he keeps it up! I have added some "flock blocks" for chicks in the coop to keep them busy until it warms up enough for them to go out in the pen.
Other than that one issue, everything has been going great and cant wait until they start producing. This site has been a great help (especially with the pecking issue). I dont want to push my luck right now, but eventually I would love to add a couple Guineas to the mix. Would love to have a natural defense against those nasty ticks in the yard!
Sorry for the book lol! I look forward to this forum and learning as much as possible about raising chickens.