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  1. J

    Abandoned Chicks at the Post Office

    I know it's illegal for the PO to handover someone else's mail to another person (I've seen Miracle on 34th Street several times!) and that any PO employee who did so would potentially be in a lot of trouble, but I agree that in this particular case it sucks. I don't know how much authority or...
  2. J

    What Breed of Chickens Do You Have?

    Our feed store got fall chicks and I now have 6 blue-laced red Wyandottes and 2 Olive Eggers (going on 3 weeks old). I hadn't originally intended to get more, but I lost almost half of the Sapphire Gems that I ordered this past spring within 24 hours because of the bad treatment they received in...
  3. J

    Our Babies Died a Terrible Death

    I don't blame you one bit. I did the same thing when a neighbor's (not a near one even, lived a mile away) dog killed my quail. And a few years ago when some dogs tore into the wood and turkey wire fence around our pasture and killed a bunch of chickens. Aggressive dogs are varmints just like...
  4. J

    Blue Plymouth Rock

    This past Friday I got 6 blue-laced red Wyandotte pullet chicks from our local feed store to go with my 6 point-of-lay Sapphire Gems. I had ordered 10 Sapphire Gems, but the post office beat them up so bad that only 6 made it. The 6 that made it are beautiful, but all in all it wasn't one of my...
  5. J

    how to build on to this coop?

    I'd go with everyone else's advice and build a completely new one. I've heard more cons than pros about prefab coops. Most of the ones I've seen at places like Tractor Supply look pretty cheesy, probably made in communist China (and I don't want anything from communist China if I can help it...
  6. J

    Official BYC Poll—How Often Do You Clean Your Coop?

    While I don't exactly use a poop hammock, I think any way of collecting nighttime poop under the roosting area so that it can be easily removed is good. I feel that sanitation is the best way to prevent vermin infestations and disease. It's been my experience that very few vets are able to...
  7. J

    Official BYC Poll—How Often Do You Clean Your Coop?

    My coop is 8 x 8 with an attached 320 sq ft run with a top. At the moment I have 14 hens. I built a droppings pit-type roost, which works quite well and is easy to clean out through a trap door on the outside. I rigged a tarp over the nesting boxes that I can simply lower at night to keep hens...
  8. J

    Official BYC Poll—How Often Do You Clean Your Coop?

    My coop is 8 x 8 with an attached 320 sq ft run with a top. At the moment I have 14 hens. I built a droppings pit-type roost, which works quite well and is easy to clean out through a trap door on the outside. I rigged a tarp over the nesting boxes that I can simply lower at night to keep hens...
  9. J

    Comment by 'jspeese' in article 'Top 10 Ways To Save On Feed Costs'

    A lot of good tips. But not all of them are practical for everyone everywhere. I too used to get some feed from a local mill, but where we live now there isn't one. Bulk isn't practical for me either because I don't know any other poultry keepers nearby and I wouldn't be able to use it fast...
  10. J

    Blue Plymouth Rock

    I guess there is some confusion as to which is a Blue Plymouth Rock and which is a Sapphire Gem. I think sometimes the terms are used interchangeably, although not necessarily accurately. It is my understanding that the Sapphire Gem is a sex-link hybrid created by crossing an Andalusian (not...
  11. J

    Comment by 'jspeese' in article 'Factors that Influence & Affect Egg Laying'

    As a rule I prefer breeds to sex-link hybrids for the very same reasons shared by many of you all, namely intense egg production for 2 years followed by burn-out, but this year I broke my own rule and got some Sapphire Gems because I think they are so pretty (and they are!). They are just...
  12. J

    Adding single chick to brooder

    I've done it before too and as long as they are all very close in age, it isn't usually a problem. In fact I debated about doing it this year after only 6 of my 10 Sapphire Gems from Jenk's survived after being manhandled by the post office (one DOA and the rest dying within 24 hrs). Our local...
  13. J

    TSC chicks keep dying despite ideal conditions

    I'm with you on that. I get a lot of supplies from Tractor Supply but have heard too many negative stories about buying anything live from them. Plus as we've discussed already, I've seen too many batches of chicks that just didn't look healthy. And the fact that ducklings have had health issues...
  14. J

    Comment by 'jspeese' in article 'Interesting Facts About Chicken Eggs'

    Good read, thanks. The only thing I'd question is about marking eggs under a broody hen with a pencil to distinguish them from other eggs laid later in the nest. I've heard of doing this before. But in my experience, it has never worked. When other hens use the same nest, eggs often get pushed...
  15. J

    Comment by 'jspeese' in article 'Interesting Facts About Chicken Eggs'

    Good read, thanks. The only thing I'd question is about marking eggs under a broody hen with a pencil to distinguish them from other eggs laid later in the nest. I've heard of doing this before. But in my experience, it has never worked. When other hens use the same nest, eggs often get pushed...
  16. J

    Devastated! Warning Graphical

    A bird dog could very well be the culprit. The biggest loss I ever had was a neighborhood Chesapeake retriever breaking in to the pen and doing exactly what you show pictures of (only in my specific case quail). And it happened in broad daylight. I "camped out" near the pen for 2-3 days and...
  17. J

    TSC chicks keep dying despite ideal conditions

    Next time I go to our local tractor supply, I'll be curious to see what they do. It's about time, I think, for fall chicks to arrive. Intuitively, I would think the new brooders would be more sanitary and therefore better, but evidently that isn't the case. Even when the chicks didn't look bad...
  18. J

    TSC chicks keep dying despite ideal conditions

    Next time I go to our local tractor supply, I'll be curious to see what they do. It's about time, I think, for fall chicks to arrive. Intuitively, I would think the new brooders would be more sanitary and therefore better, but evidently that isn't the case. Even when the chicks didn't look bad...
  19. J

    TSC chicks keep dying despite ideal conditions

    The more of these posts I read, it sounds like the post office is to blame as well. And I'm not sure it's 100% the post office's fault either, as I gather they have not been adequately funded. Just one more example of the overall incompetence of the present administration, in my opinion!
  20. J

    TSC chicks keep dying despite ideal conditions

    I am in North Augusta, South Carolina. The post office is apparently doing a really poor job with handling chicks this year. They beat the daylights out of my 10 Sapphire gems from Jenks. One arrived DOA, the rest were weak. Only 6 survived. The hatchery made good on it, but who wants to go...
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