Finally living the dream!

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by CheekinCheekin, Nov 3, 2013.

  1. CheekinCheekin

    CheekinCheekin In the Brooder

    Nov 3, 2013
    After loving chickens my whole life, I FINALLY got a small flock. I'd gotten too busy with owning a home and working to really think about them. Then my friend invited me to go along with her and her kids to the state fair. When we all went to the barn to see the bunnies, there were the chickens right next to them. So much for bunnies! I couldn't tear myself away and I had a big, stupid grin on my face. That was it. I asked myself, "Why are you 46 years old and STILL don't have chickens?"

    So I ordered some within the next few days. I have five pullets: Camille the Barred Plymouth Rock, Sarah and Loretta the Red Stars, Bennie the Buff Brahma, and Henrietta the Light Brahma (who is definitely the runt, just starting to get her feathers).

    My friend and I are finishing up the coop and run today. I plan on putting them out there either tonight or tomorrow night; I want to put them in the run and let them explore a bit before cutting them loose. I did a lot of research on safety from predators and so forth, so I'm not too worried about that, but they are kind of attached to me so I know they might freak out the first night or two.

    I also worry about Henrietta. If she snuggles between her sisters on the roost, she'll be okay I think, but she might not think to do that. I don't want to keep her in here for a couple more weeks because she cries incessantly if she is more than five feet away from the flock. She's about the size of an apple, with sparse feathers, while everyone else is the size of a cantaloupe and fully feathered. She gets around great, and keeps up, but I'm worried about her getting too cold. Any advice on that would be appreciated.

    I also have some questions on the Deep Litter Method. Their coop floor is wood; the run floor is earth. I can clean out the coop floor as needed, but it would be nice to have less work to do on the floor of the run. I have a ton of leaves to use, and I have about 3/4 of a big bag of wood chips. I also have a ton of fresh hay. Can I combine all the stuff? Also, just how deep should it be? I have heard to start with 2 inches of stuff and keep adding as it breaks down.

    Thanks to everyone for any advice. I love my girls and I wake up and smile every day to the cheeping. :)

  2. BantamFan4Life

    BantamFan4Life LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO. Premium Member

    Jun 15, 2012
  3. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    [​IMG]chicks really shouldn't go outside till they are fully feathered out. It sounds like Henrietta has a long way to go. If you live in a warm climate I imagine you could get away with it. But for a lot of us, freezing night temps are already here and some areas have snow. For outdoor runs, most people like to use a lot of sand.
  4. chickenboy190

    chickenboy190 Crowing

    May 31, 2013
    Welcome! Glad you joined BYC! :~D

  5. CheekinCheekin

    CheekinCheekin In the Brooder

    Nov 3, 2013
    I guess I could keep her inside for another week or two, but it will be tricky. If I keep another with her to keep her company, there will only be three in the coop, which might not be enough to keep them really warm. If I keep just her, she will cry cry cry. However, I guess she'd be okay if she got to go out there with them in the daytime. Dang slow-growers anyway. Looking at her, it's hard to believe she hatched on the same day.
  6. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 Free Ranging Premium Member

    Feb 18, 2011
    Hello :frow and Welcome to BYC! What drumstick diva said. If Henrietta is that small and has that few feathers she really does need to stay in for awhile longer. Is she a bantam perhaps? Does she seem fine otherwise? Sand is great for runs. Long Thread about it. I also tend to toss in fallen leaves or whatever in the fall also, usually save the hay for during the winter and toss it in every now and then to give them something to do.
  7. All Henned Up

    All Henned Up Muffs or Tufts

    I don't know about deep liter, I use the sand method
    Welcome and enjoy!
    Steve. :frow

  8. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland
  9. liz9910

    liz9910 Crowing

    Apr 8, 2012
    Northern California
    Welcome to BYC!

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