Originally Posted by StephiJo
Hi there. I've read through quite a few of these posts, but not all 513 pages!
Wow! I just tried the MHP method for the first time. I really like it but did have one chick death and I want to mention it so others don't have this same problem. I had the heating pad on top of the frame. Then I had 2 towels wrapped in press n seal cause 1 wasn't big enough to cover it all up. The 2 towels overlapped by about 4". This morning I went out to check on the chicks and one had crawled in between the 2 towels and suffocated. I feel awful cause I could have avoided it. I've now taken away all towels and don't care if the heating pad itself gets pooped on. At least they can't get trapped between anything. I'm wondering if this has happened to anyone else. Other than this sad event, I still think the method is a good one and better than a heat lamp.
WIMP! *I* read all 525 pages. Of course I started reading March last year when my friend Blooie put up the first post
Really sorry you lost one As others have said, it seems chicks spend too much time trying to figure out how to commit suicide. I think that is why it is important to not have any openings they can get into whether it is a gap between towels or a gap between the pad and the frame or whatever.
Originally Posted by aart
Gathered up for inspection and count...Bucket 'O Chicks!
Prepackaging for the Colonel???
Originally Posted by Blooie
@ShanandGem They are beautiful!! We're so glad you were able to join the Broody Brigade!
@FlyWheel Cut up some apples. They'll be your new best friends!~
Try lots of things, you never know what chickens will like. I have some that would kill for earwigs, @sylvester has chickens that won't touch them.
The things my birds go nuts for:
- BOSS (black oil sunflower seed - hulls on)
- meat of any sort! I cut up gristle from dinner meat to about 1/4", also any uneaten fat.
- Made bacon or sausage for breakfast and don't know what to do with it? Let it set up, scrape it into a plastic bowl and watch the chickens fight over it.
What mine don't care about - meh
- cucumber peels
- carrot peels
I just throw anything that would go in the compost pile (other than clearly moldy stuff) into a plastic bowl every day and toss it outside the barn door (or in cold/snow times, just inside the barn door ... that is their indoor run). They eat what they want, wild critters (a resident rabbit, birds, etc) eat what they want, the rest slowly disappears naturally.
Originally Posted by MesMama
Also I added more bedding-pine shavings and straw, the floor is concrete so I just want to make sure there's enough bedding. Under the MHP I have a big towel folded three times with a layer of pine shavings under that, then more shavings on top of the towel and some straw as well.
I always watching them for a bit when I'm down there and they aren't usually under MHP, maybe a couple of them are. Most of them are busy doing chick stuff.
They don't seem cold? Ugh. Praying my chicks are okay
Then they ARE fine. Chicks NOT doing chicky stuff might not be OK.
Originally Posted by GranolaGirl72
I added pine shavings from my daughter's gerbil stash and the chicks love scratching around in it. They are about 5 or 6 days now and I am pretty sure one of by buff chicks is trying to dust bathe. I would like to make a little bath for her, but not really sure what is safe for them to use right now?
I made a dust bath for my chickens. They pretty much ignored it and made their own in various places. I guess they know how to do it better than I do
Originally Posted by katbriar
@Beekissed, I can't find a post my sometimes faulty brain attributes to you. I thought you decided which birds to cull in the fall either by how late in the prior spring they started to lay, or maybe when they stopped laying in the previous fall. It was some way you anticipated the length of their next laying season.
Bruce's post several pages back reminded me that I have an aging flock- 6 of my 8 birds are three years old. I did get two birds last spring, and I plan on bringing in 3 or 4 more in a couple weeks.
Just trying to figure out how to judge when they may start eating more than laying. Any advice?
I don't think there is any way to know how long or well a specific bird will lay. My older girls will be 4 in June. The Cubalayas are yard art birds and only laid well their first year. But since
- We aren't knocking off any birds here that aren't in ill health
- My daughter has specified that we will always have some Cubalayas because they are cuuuuuuuute!
I might as well feed the older ones They haven't started laying yet this year and one goes broody frequently. On any normally managed flock, she would have been gone 2 years ago.
Last winter the better layers started back up in February (and last winter was brutal compared to average). This year they started back up a month later (and it was a MILD winter compared to average). So I would guess they are slowing down.
The Faverolles go broody several times a year and wouldn't be keepers either, though they are both laying at the moment.
The Anconas are meh layers. They have good streaks and are both laying now, 1 or 2 days in a row then a day off. Not bad for older birds. They don't go broody but they are the b1tches of the flock. In fact one just spent 2 days in solitary for jumping one of the pullets. I won't be surprised if she and her pal don't end up there again.
BTW, "solitary" isn't as bad as it sounds. I made a temporary "integration" coop in the stall next to the real coop last summer expecting to get 4 White Chantecler pullets from a guy in the state. That didn't work out so "solitary" is a private 10x12 coop with 1 roost at 4', the broody buster cage "stored" on the floor, food and non freeze proof water. Also a nest box. It has 2x4 wire on the openings but isn't weasel proof. One of the EE pullets has been sometimes using it at night, I presume to avoid being messed with on the roosts in the coop.
I notice the girl I put in solitary didn't make use of the nest box.
I have had some eggs with no shells this spring, only one was intact. At first I thought it was Zorra, the BA that brooded the 2015 chicks. But now I think it is Echo, the other BA and historically my best layer. I have to watch her to make sure she isn't suffering from something bad. I her reproductive system has decided to go haywire, I hope she just stops laying. So far she is acting as she always has, out foraging and looking fine.
Originally Posted by eagrbeavr
And instead of focusing on what can go wrong, picture it going right. ;)
Or as my wife will tell you if you choose to ski in the woods:
Do not look at the trees, look at the spaces between the trees. Look at what you want to hit