Beaks and feed, random inquiries...

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by dlynne1123, Jun 20, 2011.

  1. dlynne1123

    dlynne1123 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 6, 2011
    Ok, I've got a wide range of ages, 22 weeks, 8 weeks and 4 week sex linked hybrids and barred rocks. My older hen came with her beak dremmeled down. As my 8 weekers are getting bigger and I'm getting ready to start introducing the 4 weekers, should I consider doing this for all my birds? They have plenty of space but not free range. For now hte 4 weekers are in a pen, inside the big pen to get them acclimated. We will do the final intros at night of course when everyone is sleepy. If I do dremmel whats the easiest and safest way to do so?

    Another random question coming from a vet tech, do they need rabies??? Or any vaccines? We've had some troubles with a possible rabid skunk so just to be safe I wanted to ask.

    Also I have egg layer feed for the oldest, and baby chick feed but isn't there a finisher feed that I should be looking into for the 8 weekers?

    And clipping wings doesn't seem to keep them in, if they want they fly out every once in a while but thank goodness they dont go anywhere. Its a 6 foot fence.

    So other than getting electricity for lost birds and wild animals, and netting the entire top of the run, anything I"m missing? We've gotten a set up to insulate the coop in the winter. Do they still come out when its cold? We may need an addition for the colder months.

    And now that I'm into this, I'm getting more curious about other breeds and looking them up. We live in cold climates in winter, pretty hot summers, and have a very large fenced run area.
    We have barred rocks, comets and stars....what other birds can be good layers, meat birds if necessary but friendly? Our Red Stars are under feet all the time and very sweet. Our Barred Rocks are kind of aloof and the newest comets are trouble! I think its b/c we got them older with less handling. Not mean, just skittish.

    What do you other Mainers/New Englanders like having as back yard girls? No roosters please, we can't have noisy birds where we are zoned.
     
  2. triplepurpose

    triplepurpose Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 13, 2008
    If I might suggest a possible alternative to covering your entire run...

    I have a large split pasture/run with a 4 foot outside fence. Most of the chickens (these are all heavy breeds) won't even try to fly over, but recently I had a group of several young ones who would get over every afternoon. Their wings were clipped, so they weren't able to do it easily, but they managed to flap and jump and then kind of claw their way over in a very undignified fashion.

    They only tried to get over in one particular spot along the fence, so my solution was to put a strip of chicken wire along the top of that section, but bent over toward the inside, so that they couldn't scrabble their way over it (kind of like the way high-security fences have an overhang to make them harder to climb over). I haven't had a single escapee since. It's very likely they are only getting out at one spot along the fence, bu even if you have to do this kind of treatment all the way around your fence, it might be an easier option that stretching netting over the whole run.

    And BTW about the dremmeling, I wouldn't mess with the rest of your chickens beaks at all. It isn't necessary, and only makes it harder for them to eat and behave naturally...
     
  3. dlynne1123

    dlynne1123 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 6, 2011
    Okay thanks! I would feel awful if they couldn't hunt for worms! What's your suggestion for feeds with all three age groups?
     
  4. dianaross77

    dianaross77 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 10, 2010
    Grand Blanc, MI
    I have all my girls of different ages eating starter/grower. The older girls have started laying so they get crushed egg shell sprinkled in their run when everyone gets scratch. They gobble it right up but the younger girls act like it's not even there. You could use oyster shell from the feed store too kept in a separate feeder.
     
  5. dlynne1123

    dlynne1123 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 6, 2011
    Thanks! They seem to like the crumbles better than pellets too so the starter we will keep in supply!
     
  6. dlynne1123

    dlynne1123 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 6, 2011
    Planning to go to the Sanford Swap this weekend at the TSC. Can you get adult birds at things like this? Vs. chicks? I can always ask more questions there...
     

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