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bought a house that came with 7 chickens and no prior experience

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by karajo, Jun 5, 2011.

  1. karajo

    karajo Chirping

    Jun 5, 2011
    hi all - we just bought a house in San Rafael, CA that came with 7 chickens. the previous owner didn't leave us any information on the chickens but did leave us some food. but i've never had chickens before so i didn't even know the difference between the scratch and the crumble. i don't know the breed or age of any of these chickens. we've been here about a month and at most we'll get 4 eggs a day. i've deduced that two are young; 1 just started laying a small egg ever other day, the other i'm beginning to think is a rooster but not sure, will need your input. i think the white one is old and i've caught her eating the eggs in the hen house. GRRR. the others seem to be about the same age just based on the size of there bodies and thickness of legs/feet. all are friendly even let my two boys, ages 5 and 3, handle them.
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    a few of questions to start:
    1. any help in identifying the breeds and or age would be appreciated.
    2. the white one, i think is chronically egg bound or sick? she's got poop stuck to her rear and is swollen. i've given her a warm bath once already and bravely inspected her vent. i could feel her egg. after an hour or so after her bath she did lay a narrow shaped egg, but a few days later she's got poop on her rear again and i'm thinking she's egg bound again. given the shape of her egg, i'm think she may just be a bad layer with narrow egg canal(?) still learning about chicken anatomy. she seems like an old girl to me so not really sure what do with her.
    3. some one is laying paper thin eggs but i'm not sure who. i've switched from hatch to crumble that has oyster shell mixed in already, so hoping that improves her situation.
    4. and this little one (see below), we named grace because i thought she was pretty, but i'm beginning to think that she's a he and may need to start referring to it as "your grace". if it is a rooster, aside from the crowing what will the impact be? is it possible to have a rooster and hens without making baby chicks? i would feel bad if i had to get rid of grace/your grace but don't want to end up with a bunch of baby chicks. am i totally off base thinking she's a he?

    thank you,
    kara jo

  2. lucyboo

    lucyboo Songster

    May 30, 2011
    North Carolina
    [​IMG] from nc
  3. SallyF

    SallyF Songster

    Jul 5, 2009
    Middle Tennessee
    If you end up with one rooster, that's not a bad thing. (And I love your planned name change from Grace to Your Grace). You'll only get chicks if you've got a rooster who's doing his roosterly duties and then one of your hens goes broody. The eggs can be fertilized, but will not develop embryos unless they are kept at a certain (fairly high) temperature, either by a broody hen or a mechanical incubator. Hopefully someone who knows more than me will chime in with breed identification for you. And welcome to BYC!!
  4. scratch'n'peck

    scratch'n'peck Crowing

    Oct 31, 2008
    West Michigan
    My Coop
    Welcome to the forum. As if you don't have enough going on with moving, now you have to educate yourself on chickens from scratch. I'll try to answer some of your questions:

    1. The ones with the little combs are silver laced and golden laced Wyandotte, the one pictured on the bottom looks like a Old English Game hen I think (Is she bossy, is that why you though she might be a rooster?) I'm still only good at identifying the breeds that I actually have myself.

    2.It sounds like you are doing what you can for the egg bound hen. I am impressed that you as a chicken novice examined her vent.

    3. Adding calcium is the right place to start with the thin egg shell problem

    4. I think Grace is a hen. As long as you keep collecting eggs, even if you had a rooster around, you won't get chicks unless the hen lays outside of the coop in a secret place where she can sit on them for 21 days.

    I'm glad to hear they are nice chickens. I Got a bunch of free ranging Old English Game Chickens (as well as some swans) when I moved to a new property and that started me on my poultry adventure.
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2011
  5. scratch'n'peck

    scratch'n'peck Crowing

    Oct 31, 2008
    West Michigan
    My Coop
  6. NonnasBabies

    NonnasBabies Muddy Acre Farms Premium Member

    Sep 20, 2009
    On the Farm!
    [​IMG] & [​IMG] from Pride, La.
  7. weimarmama

    weimarmama Crowing

    Jun 4, 2010
    My Coop
    [​IMG] & [​IMG] from Alabama.

  8. Chickencoop1996

    Chickencoop1996 Songster

    Apr 28, 2011
    southern nh
  9. Desert Rooster

    Desert Rooster El Gallo Del Desierto

    Sep 4, 2010
    Hesperia, Ca
    Hello [​IMG] from Hesperia,CA and [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
  10. bufforp89

    bufforp89 Songster

    Jul 26, 2009
    Chenango Forks NY
    I dont really have experience with your breeds so I cant ID them but you deff dont have a rooster...As for the egg bound hen if she layed eggs she is not egg bound. She is prolly just an older messy hen, I have a few myself.

    For the thin egg issue I would offer oyster shell free choice, they know when they have had enough and will only eat as much as they need. It may also help the older hen especially if they are contained and were eating chick food previously.

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