Four New Twin City Girls For Us

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by franksgreengirl, Jun 14, 2016.

  1. franksgreengirl

    franksgreengirl Out Of The Brooder

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    After our last introduction we decided to put our chicken dreams on hold. (DH) was not onboard in the least and our Guinea pig was still pretty active and needing lots of attention. [​IMG]
    But after a hard winter and 8 years of love and fun, our gp passed away in December. Fast forward to April of this year and after Minneapolis updated their Urban ag laws, we decided to jump right into raising backyard chickens. We placed an order for 4 as this was the size we were most comfortable starting with and began the process of building a coop. The four breeds we have are: Silver Lace wynadotte, Buff Orp, Red Star, and Ameracauna which we picked up from a local EggPlant Farm Supply in St. Paul Minnesota. Each variety is a winter hardy bird that can survive the cold here in Minnesota. I find that now that they are here, I'm on this forum everyday looking for tips. I can't tell you how nervous I was about pasty butt and how to deal with it.... Hence why we have a bird named Diva! She loved a bath and blowout [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    The girls are just big enough to go into their coop and tonight will be their first night out there alone. (nervous chicken mamas and papas in this house). We've all learned so much about coop construction so I look forward to posting pictures of our coop build from start to finish. Not that we are finished.... Animal control says with 1.5 feet more of coop we can get the 6 birds we hoped to have when we put in our application.

    For any Minneapolis folks out there interested in keeping chickens in the city, please note: You do not have to have a ton of signatures anymore. You just have to have a conversation with your most immediate neighbors and sign an affidavit stating you did so. Make sure to call 311 though to get the appropriate documents and additional information that you will need for your coop build. When we had our inspection recently, the officer called our coop a Chicken Palace :)
    We'd previously checked on a pre-made coop for $299 from a local hardware store and it was fit for one tiny tiny bird. Especially if you go by the urban AG requirements. Additionally there were no double walls, nor were there insulation of any type. My advice, build your own or find a good builder. It is not as hard as I thought it would be, especially with some assistance with lifting, and carrying. If you are interested I do know a guy who was a great help to us, so pm me...

    I appreciate all of the kind words and advice I've gotten so far, and look forward to posting pictures of our chicken keeping journey.
     
  2. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    Welcome to BYC [​IMG] Glad you joined us!
     
  3. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    Hello there and welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    Aww... they are adorable! Pasty butt is caused generally from dehydration, getting too hot, getting too cold or being too stressed. You can help to prevent it by adding probiotics to the water. I always raise chicks on probiotics as it helps to build a strong immune system and intestines. Since 70% of the immune system lies in the intestinal tract and this is where most pathogens take hold, probiotics in their water several times a week does them wonders!

    You might enjoy connecting with your chicken neighbors in your state thread here... https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/72771/minnesota

    Enjoy those cutie pies!! And we do welcome you to our flock! :)
     
  4. duluthralphie

    duluthralphie Chicken Wrangler Premium Member

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  5. QueenMisha

    QueenMisha Queen of the Coop

    Welcome to BYC! It's great to have you join us.

    FYI, your "Ameraucana" is really an Easter Egger. Most EEs are missold as pure Ameraucanas, when really they are Ameraucana hybrids. They are similar in that they generally have beards & ear muffs, slate colored legs, pea combs, and lay blue eggs; however, they differ from pure Ameraucanas in that they are multicolored (as opposed to being a specific color variety) and about 20% of them will lack one or more of the traits listed above. They also have the potential to lay either blue OR green eggs, and 20% or so will not lay a colored egg at all but a plain tan, pinkish, or tinted egg.
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. franksgreengirl

    franksgreengirl Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 2, 2013
    Minneapolis, MN
    Wow, is it standard practice for sellers to advertise in such a way you think? I really don't mind at this point as Chip is a very sweet and lovely girl. However, I can see though that chicken keeping is serious business; and quite addicting. Our coop has been finished less than 24 hours and I'm already thinking of upgrades so we can have more birds. [​IMG]
    This may be a silly question, but Are there benefits to purebred over the hybrids? also, is there a way to tell what cross I have by the eggs? and is it difficult to acquire a purebred Ameraucana?
     
  7. QueenMisha

    QueenMisha Queen of the Coop


    It's more than standard, sadly. At this point, unless someone says they have "True Ameraucanas", I assume they have EEs.

    Depends on your goals. With purebreds, you know pretty much exactly what you are getting in terms of color, size, laying ability, etc. Of course, with hatchery stock, this will vary. Many hatcheries have mixed the supposed "purebred" stock they have acquired, to make them better producers or to more quickly produce a rare breed.

    Hybrids are often best for production - for example, White Leghorns*, Red and Black Sex Links, and Cornish Cross are the leading breeds in their respective egg and meat industries, and all are hybrids of some form. However, hybrids will vary more; this is quite noticeable in the RSL, for example, where some specimens will be almost completely red, others largely white, and every so often you get a weird one, like my little girl W.A. for example:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    EEs tend to be multigenerational crosses - most of the ones from the large hatcheries may well have decades of history behind them before you reach purebred ancestors. So what exactly is in their genetics besides Ameraucana is hard to tell. As far as egg color goes - demand for blue and green layers has been high for a long time, so hatcheries have been increasingly breeding for blue and green egg production for a long time. Like I said, at this point about 80% produce blue or green. For example, in my own flock, I have 8 mature EEs from the same hatchery and of the same age. 7 of them produce a colored egg; of those 7, 4 produce blue and 3 give green. The 8th gives a light tan. There isn't really any way to tell what color they will lay until they do. The pea comb gene is linked with the blue egg gene; so it is more likely that birds with a nice pea comb will produce blue eggs than those without. However, there are no guarantees.

    It's not necessarily terribly difficult to get purebred True Ameraucanas, buts more work and more money to be sure. You would have to find a breeder and confirm that they do indeed have Ameraucanas. This can be done by asking about variety. If someone says they are selling simply "Ameraucanas" (or any misspelling of such), they have EEs. A real Ameraucana breeder will state their birds variety - for example Blue Ameraucanas, or Wheaten Ameraucanas, or Black Ameraucanas. Expect to pay 2-4 times as much for an Ameraucana chick or pullet as an Easter Egger chick. For example a EE chick might cost $5, while an Ameraucana chick might be $10-$20. A started EE pullet might run you $15, but an Ameraucana pullet would likely be in the $30-$60 range.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2016
    2 people like this.
  8. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

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    Welcome to Backyard chickens, hope you enjoy it as much as we do.
     
  9. BantamFan4Life

    BantamFan4Life LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO. Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC! I'm glad you joined us! :)
     
  10. franksgreengirl

    franksgreengirl Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 2, 2013
    Minneapolis, MN
    Thank you for the greetings. I think I do love it as much as you all because it is really hard not to visit the forums about daily. [​IMG]
     

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