We got ten hatchlings on Mothers Day 2010. They were already about 6 weeks old. My sister had hatched a large brood and laboriously performed all of the heating and brooding tasks. We shipped them home from Oregon in our car and they spent the night in their travel cage. Then we introduced them into their coop the next day. We kept them in the chicken house for a week and then we let them start to wander around the larger coop area. We fed them chick crumble and after about two bags they were large enough to eat vegan table scraps and the larger grain chicken feed.
2 Yellow and white
3 Rhode Island Reds
4 Barred Rocks
It turned out four of our flock are roosters. They are fairly docile besides an occasional flying at eachother during feeding time. We clipped their wings and had to repair their coop numerous times because they kept getting out and although this was good for bug abatement, it was not good to have chicken stool all over the porch and yard. Finally they seem contained.
My sisters chicken started laying yesterday, but none of mine have. My idea of having chickens to save money was silly. I think if we ever get any eggs they'd have to be overlaid in gold to recupe the price of chicken feed, fencing etc... But it will be nice to have organic home grown eggs and know exactly what they've eaten. They are happy and roam freely in their coop and sometimes out. My ten year old loves to hold them. She is great with them.
OK, we gotta get rid of our roosters. I don't know which one is crowing, but someone is up early crowing all morning!! We are gonna be busted... our neighbors have a newborn and if they are awaken by the rooster it would be very bad.
Further neighbors across the street said they heard them in th morning.
Originally we had anticipated the hens laying eggs and if there were any roosters we would eat them... Well that's not gonna happen. The very mention of it sends my daughter into sobs...I listed them on craigslist and facebook and OLX
Someone called from Marin and wants to come and get them. ??
I noticed one of our roosters with it's mouth open in a weird way. He was acting weird and he looked terrified or traumatized. I was wondering if a racoon had come and scared him in the night, then I researched online and found he had gapeworm which is caused when they eat a snail or slug or feces with the female redworm or gapeworm or eggs. How horrible!!! He was stretching his neck trying to get air... slowly suffocating. He would not eat or drink. There is some medicine but tomorrow is a holiday so I don't know if we can get it... I will try some other worm medicine at any open drugstore...I hope it isn't highly contagious...
This morning when our daughter went out to hush the roosters she found her little Rhode Island Red Rooster dead. Hope none of the others get this parasite. What an awful way to go. Sad day.
And then there were nine.