Beginner Georgia Chicken Farmer

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by MagicLove, Feb 16, 2015.

  1. MagicLove

    MagicLove In the Brooder

    Feb 16, 2015
    Athens, Georgia
    Hey y'all! I've started raising chickens little less than a year ago in Northeast Georgia. I started with 6 pullet chicks from Tractor Supply last spring in 2014 and have started hatching my eggs in my new incubator I ordered off I've successfully raised some which are now young mixed chicks and lost a few chicks. I've purchased two Rhode island laying hens and a buff Orpington rooster off craigslist for $25. Raising chickens has been full of ups and downs. I recently lost three laying hens in two months to the "down butt and waddle" syndrome. Treated them like a bounded egg hen which I learned from this website but has no success and lost them. I'm still now sure how to prevent this from happening again. Maybe y'all have some advice for me. My current down was last week when I let all 11 of my hens out to free range as I do everyday then found my beautiful buff Orpington rooster dead with feathers scattered in my wood line along with a hen too. We have a couple hawks around that we've been trying to kill and think they are the culprit but who knows. I'm scared to let them free range now due to their safety. Yesterday, I ordered 25 chicks from Hoover's Hatchery online, mostly Rhode island with two roosters and one hen of buff Orpington, barred rock, Americana, and australop. They will ship March 4, 2015. I plan on hatching pure breed RIRs for layers, eaters and to sell off. If I love my other hens, I will get a pure breed rooster and do the same. I will listen to any advice because your experience trumps mine. Hope you have a great day and I'm excited to get my new box of chicks in the mail which of course I'll post a pic of all that cuteness. Please let me know if you are a local chicken farmer too, I'm always looking for friends with common interests. :)
  2. Urban Flock

    Urban Flock Chirping

    Sep 17, 2014
    Southern Oregon
    Welcome to BYC. Sorry for your losses. The hawk was and is only doing what is natural. Kill it and there will be more to follow that's just nature. We know we have hawks so our chickens are not let out to free range unless we can be out there to keep an eye on things. Wishing the best to you and your flock.
  3. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Bird is the Word

    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    Hello there and welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    Sorry for all your losses. As for the egg binding in your hens, make sure to keep oyster shell available to your birds at all times. Keep it right next to the water and feeding areas as they won't go looking for it. Egg binding can also happen with birds becoming dehydrated. So never let your waterer go dry, get dirty or too warm so as the birds can't stay hydrated. Keep them on layer feed at all times. If they are eating too many goodies or free ranging all day long and are not eating their layer feed, they are not getting enough calcium.

    As for the hawks, when you free range you have to understand that predators can take your birds. I keep my birds in a large run much of the time and let them out for an hour or so a day under supervision. I have way too many predators to let them be alone for hours on end. So while I am working in the yard or coop, they have their time outside. After a hour or so they are ready to come back inside for food and water.

    Good luck with your flock and welcome to ours!
  4. MagicLove

    MagicLove In the Brooder

    Feb 16, 2015
    Athens, Georgia
    Thanks! Its been a learning experience to say the least. I'll only let them out now under close supervision. Maybe I'll start today. :goodpost:
  5. familyfarm1

    familyfarm1 Crowing

    Jun 9, 2013
    Northern Virginia
    Hello [​IMG] and Welcome to BYC!

    TwoCrows has given you great advice!!
  6. MagicLove

    MagicLove In the Brooder

    Feb 16, 2015
    Athens, Georgia
    Thanks twocrows!! I have alway given then layer food and unlimited water. I put a heat lamp above the metal waterer to keep it from freezing at night but didn't think that could be an issue, also have been giving them lots of scraps lately which I have stopped since that. Should I provide oyster shells even if I feed them Layer food? My husband and I will build a new coop designed better this spring with a bigger run. Thanks a lot!!! :goodpost:
  7. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 Free Ranging

    Feb 18, 2011
  8. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Crowing

    Jul 24, 2013
    Welcome![​IMG] I'm glad you joined the BYC flock.
  9. BantamFan4Life

    BantamFan4Life LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO.

    Jun 15, 2012
    Welcome to BYC! I'm glad you joined us!
  10. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Crowing

    Jul 24, 2013
    [​IMG] I'm glad you joined our "flock!"

    I'm sorry for your losses. [​IMG]Good luck with your remaining birds and future chicks, though!

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