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Good morning

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by Hopperkiller, Dec 9, 2013.

  1. Hopperkiller

    Hopperkiller Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 8, 2013
    slidell, tx
    Just joined and not very good with computer.


    I obtained a dozen pullets last spring for the specific purpose of attacking the grasshoppers that have been plaguing my hose for years. Pesticide killed things I didn't need to get rid of such as toads and garden spiders and even snakes. Sorry I like snakes!

    I bought a used 5x8x7 shipping crates and began the process of building a coyote and snake proof home for chicken. Started in January and finished in march. When I was building I had the picture in my mind without any projection of cost. When my wife total led my spending when complete I nearly had a heart attack. Almost was required to turn in my cheapskate card. However it was good and sturdy. Found this site afterwards. Used YouTube for some ideas. This site showed me some mistakes but working on correcting those.


    I bought 3 RIR, 3 red sex link, 2 americuna pullets. A few days later I bought 3
    BCM and 1 BCM x Brahma cross. Critter got 1 RIR a few weeks later. Things haven't been the same since. However they did make a serious dent in my grasshopper problem. I got covered up in eggs but the kids and grand kids and a few friends help me with this.

    My next problem is I have 10 acres of pasture, numerous predators including stray dogs and cats and not enough chickens to eat all grasshoppers on the place. Chickens have just begun to venture into pasture following cows to their hay. Winter foraging caused them to leave safety of house and outbuildings. Since I'm slightly over a year from retirement I will have to wait to expand. I am considering a coop built on a trailer. I think I can round up parts and begin building this more cheaply than the first coop. We will see.

    Right now I'm trying to balance cattle, 5 dogs, and 11 chickens and determine the best way to do this. I'm also busy laughing at these birds. I did not know how hilarious they are. They trying to sneak into the house behind our little dog. They mob my wife and generally get underfoot. Right now they are sliding on the ice covering the yard. They are frustrated roto tillers right now.
     
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC, and glad to see that you are enjoying your poultry experience.
     
  3. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    Hello and :frow Welcome To BYC!
     
  4. liz9910

    liz9910 Overrun With Chickens

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    Welcome to BYC!
     
  5. petrel

    petrel Chats with Chickens

    Hello and Welcome. Sounds like a great setup .
     
  6. Hopperkiller

    Hopperkiller Out Of The Brooder

    8
    1
    37
    Dec 8, 2013
    slidell, tx
    Thank each of you.

    Looking at the different ideas and goofy things people do with their birds is very entertaining. These dang birds get as spoiled as any dog. They get a mite bossy too. The varieties of breeds is amazing. I remember my grandmothers leghorn flock and her egg money and how 50 chickens followed her everywhere is a good memory. But researching the foraging aspects I was surprised by the breeds. My interest have always been with beef not poultry. I got these birds in may at three months old.

    Started hand feeding so I could get them to come when called. Used experience of cube training cows. I live near Slidell tx right on the broad winged hawk migration route. Coyotes are frequently seen so I need them to be able to be corralled. Paid off when over 100 hawks spent three days hanging around this September. Had to call them into the run and lock em down. By doing so I also created some demanding females. Add this to my family of females, cows, and dogs and I am kept busy.

    Found mealworms cheapest at lowes so I keep plenty on hand. Only two snakes seen but they were moved down the road to one of the many grain fields around me. Coons, possums, and skunks haven't been a problem yet. Shotgun a back door just in case. Periodic warning shots when coyotes howl or a Tom cat is seen lurking seems to help.

    My city raised wife has claimed the girls as hers. She heard a commotion and called me at work when she jumped a hawk under a large bush trying to get a hen. Locked the girls up for three days and hawk moved on. Wife has gotten real good at caring for HER birds.

    She's learning about yard nests causing egg production to appear to slide. She' s not crazy about searching my lean to for hidden nests or snakes but does suspect a hidden nest is somewhere.

    When I learn how to get pictures from this iPad to this site I will do so. My wife was surprised how a red river redneck can build something she approved of. She came out and helped with the construction. She painted ( I hate painting) and made a sign. She even commented that we should build a chicken village! That shocked me but my mind went on overdrive. That's when I discovered this site. Scrolling through coops has given me some starting place. I even have my eye on a cotton trailer frame nearby. When I get through this winter and see how these girls do I will see. Deer and hog hunting season takes priority. Getting through this ice storm is priority right now. The lightbulb under waterer didn't do well at 15 degrees. May need bigger bulb.

    Thanks again for the welcome.
     
  7. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    Ohio
    Not sure if you have seen Feathersite http://feathersite.com/Poultry/BRKPoultryPage.html#Chickens (look under "Chickens" in the Table Of Contents)... hundreds of chicken breeds with thousands of pictures ... have all winter to decide on new breeds for the spring....
    Sounds like you are on a major hawk migration route, hate to think of dealing with that number, the few we have hanging around are enough.
    You know, raising mealworms is pretty popular (long threads on BYC about it) my favorite site ... http://www.sialis.org/raisingmealworms.htm the chickens really appreciate it ...
    Yard nests sooner or latter seem to be a problem with free range birds. One thing I do is put out "hidden" nests in spots in the yard they like, or I figure they sooner or later will, it does seem to keep the ones that like to hide eggs happy if they think they are fooling me , figure if you can't beat them, join them.
    Chickens are addictive, in case you haven't noticed, also called "Chicken Math", where five become ten become fifty, become ....
    Good BYC thread on winterizing tips with a lot of water suggestions. https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/822765/winter-is-coming-checklists-tips-advice-for-a-newbie We don't get below 0 much, but I have pretty much gone to using dog water bowls for the chickens in the winter.
     
  8. Hopperkiller

    Hopperkiller Out Of The Brooder

    8
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    Dec 8, 2013
    slidell, tx
    Thanks for the tips. I will check out your suggestions.

    I left this yard nest intact because its better than under the shrubs and accessible to me.

    Again, thanks for the info

    The hawk migration is about a week in sept and in march. I watch them every year so i was expecting them. My run is enclosed on top for that reason.
     
  9. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

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    Out to pasture
    [​IMG]
     

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