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  1. Mrs. Mucket

    roo and hen left their new home and found their way back to my place

    Yesterday my daughter took a rooster and a hen from my flock to join her chickens about 1/4 mile up the road. They had never been on that road, which winds through forest, and our place isn't visible from there. Today she couldn't find them and they showed up back in our chicken pen. I was...
  2. Mrs. Mucket

    Will broodies reject eggs of a new color?

    One of my best broodies is setting and I'd like to give her some eggs of a different color. She has hatched typical 'barnyard brown' and green eggs before. The new ones would be dark 'chocolate' eggs. Would she be likely to reject such dark eggs? I'm not sure how well chickens see color.
  3. Mrs. Mucket

    6-week-old injured chick: isolate or return to Mama?

    We have a doting mama with three 6-week-old chicks. One of the chicks was injured by a thorough licking from a dog (and possibly something else had picked on it before the dog took it in). The down and feathers on the chick's back are gone and there are some abrasions where the skin was broken...
  4. Mrs. Mucket

    Hardware cloth: will 1/4" keep most predators out?

    Is there any reason to use 1/8" hardware cloth (rather than 1/4") on a chicken tractor? With dogs on duty we haven't had anything get in even through chicken wire, but we want to make sure we could put our next tractor outside the dogs' domain and keep most anything out. I'm wondering about...
  5. Mrs. Mucket

    Introducing hatchery chicks to several broody hens

    I have four broodies, three of which have been on the nest for around four weeks with no hatches. It was kind of iffy all along since they went broody about 10 days after the rooster left so I'm not too surprised. I've ordered 25 chicks from a hatchery and I'd like the girls to brood them if...
  6. Mrs. Mucket

    Do your White Leghorns eat a lot of greens?

    I have several brown-egg layers and four White Leghorn hens. The WLH are always on the go foraging around everywhere, first out in the morning and the last in at night. The others are a little less active but they all seem to like being out and about. This spring as the yolks in the brown eggs...
  7. Mrs. Mucket

    Two hens brooding together--is it common?

    These two banty hens have gone broody independently before...but this time they are sitting on four eggs together. The Dark Brahma was first, and I gave her two marked eggs. The white Silkie joined her a day or two later, and I gave her two marked eggs. I check daily and notice that they mix the...
  8. Mrs. Mucket

    Candler that you hold over tray of eggs?

    I was sure I had seen one, but can't find it by googling. Instead of holding the egg to the candler, you hold the light over the eggs. It was supposed to make quick work of a large tray of eggs. But I was wondering how you could see much without holding the egg up. Anyway, does anyone know what...
  9. Mrs. Mucket

    Freedom Ranger breeding first year results

    In 2010 we saved some pullets and a cockerel out of our FR meaty flock. We hatched several eggs this summer, in incubator and under broodies of other breeds. We seemed to have an average hatch rate, though the FR hens laid quite a few double yolkers and they don't often hatch. Growing out, the...
  10. Mrs. Mucket

    Bumblefoot?

    Does this look like bumblefoot? Something else? What do you recommend? Sorry I couldn't get a better picture of the pad of her foot. There's a spot that looks scabby. You can see in the second pic her foot looks webbed from the extra flesh. She's 6-7 months old, second generation from Freedom...
  11. Mrs. Mucket

    Chickens outside in the dark?

    Is it odd for chickens to be out and about during the night? My free-range chickens all go into the coop at dark and I assumed they stayed there till the sun came up. This morning I was up in the middle of the night and looked out the window. It was pitch black out but two hens were walking...
  12. Mrs. Mucket

    Will chickens walk through hanging vinyl strips?

    We are trying to figure out a gateway that would deter the chickens from leaving their paddock but would allow their guardian dogs to pass through. We're thinking of heavy vinyl strips (like strip doors in barns and commercial buildings). Has anyone here used these with chickens?
  13. Mrs. Mucket

    Supplementing starter feed for chicks

    Do any of you start chicks with anything but commercial starter? I have gotten so much "dust" in starter crumble bags lately (and have limited feed store options) I am wondering what else I can feed baby chicks that will help them get a good start.
  14. Mrs. Mucket

    questions about broodies

    One of my broodies hatched three chicks and then it looks like she pushed the remaining eggs out of the nest. Is that a typical thing to do? It looks like she's being a good mama to her three chicks. Also, how do you manage multiple mamas and chicks? I have three broodies in an 8x20' pen. Each...
  15. Mrs. Mucket

    Early hatches

    What factors affect when eggs hatch? On my first and second hatches of Freedom Ranger offspring, most chicks hatched on Day 20, some on Day 19. This time (third hatch) I went to remove the turner for lockdown on Day 18, and two eggs had already pipped. One hatched and looks fine, the other is...
  16. Mrs. Mucket

    Difficult skinning process

    I have read posts and tutorials and watched videos on skinning chickens. Normally I learn well from them. But yesterday I tried to skin a chicken (we usually pluck) and it was a disaster! The initial slit and separation of breast skin went well but after that it was very hard to pull the skin...
  17. Mrs. Mucket

    Do you age stewing birds?

    I am processing some one-year-old hens and a rooster. Should they be aged before stewing or does the cooking take care of it?
  18. Mrs. Mucket

    Do hawks leave any body parts behind?

    We had our first predator loss yesterday. We found lots of feathers and only a tiny piece of bone less than an inch long, but no sign of any flesh, other bones, head, etc. We think hawk because of telltale whitewash streaks nearby and the fact that a red-tailed hawk who sails around regularly...
  19. Mrs. Mucket

    Hoop houses as year-round coops

    I have seen several pictures online of greenhouse-like hoop houses used for chicken quarters, even in climates with harsh winters. We are looking at options for expanding with some type of structure. We usually use wood, but the hoop house idea is intriguing because of the sunlight. Does anyone...
  20. Mrs. Mucket

    Does a broody need a rest after four weeks with no hatch?

    I'm afraid my banty Silkie broody's eggs are not going to hatch. I can give her some new fertile eggs to replace them, but is it best for her to have a break before starting another round? I'm okay either way, letting her hatch chicks or breaking her broody cycle.
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