Greetings from the middle of nowhere Kansas.

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by tlzimmerman, Jan 28, 2017.

  1. tlzimmerman

    tlzimmerman Out Of The Brooder

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    Hi everyone, just introducing myself. I am Thomas from Western Kansas. We tried keeping chickens last year and well, we have a serious raccoon problem. All we have left from our first season is one barred rock hen, who is doing great still and has given us 5 or 6 eggs a week all through winter. While I am well versed in cattle and their husbandry practices this was my first go at chickens.

    I have been working on the coons all winter with much success, I'll spare you the gory details, but its about spring time and we are trying again. We are going a little bigger this year, plans and lumber are gathered and we will be building a new coon proof coop. 25 Chicks will be here the first week of February, and we are going to be keeping a couple roosters and starting to hopefully hatch our own flock as well. My oldest daughter (6) got an ebay incubator for Christmas and my oldest 3 are really looking forward to hatching some chicks. Probably try to keep our own flock between 30 and 40 in the end and sell the rest, and also do 2 batches of 50 meaties for eating.

    The plan is for the chickens to be primarily free range if I can deal with the hawks, and coop them at night. I have a large wooden crate for a brooder, and it is set back up and ready to go.

    Just a little background on me, 31 and married for 9 years, have a drop dead gorgeous wife and 4 kids ages 6, 4, 3, and 6 months. Work as part of the family farm operation farming about 8000 acres, family used to run small feed lots for cattle, but no longer do that. We do still have a good sized working cow/calf operation, as well as the farming.

    I am lucky enough as a farmer to have access to a bunch of whole grains, and I am versed in calculating rations for our cattle, so I am hoping to do the same thing for our chickens. Last year we used commercial feed, this year I have brought in a couple ingredients to the feed store (barley and Soybean meal), will be working up a ration to put them on once I get them out of the brooder. I've done some quick first calculations and I think I am going to be around 7 cents a pound for good 20% protein feed blend, and a little less for 17-18%. Ration will contain distillers grains, cracked corn, wheat, barley, milo, and silage, along with plenty of animal protein scraps throughout the year. Planning on supplementing with oyster shell or whatever other calcium source I can find.

    So thats me, looking forward to being part of the community. I am sure I will come up with questions for ya'll as we get going again. OH....I am also a professional landscape photographer who specializes in agriculture, so I take a lot of art photographs and sell them. Here is one of my Cornish X last year. I actually got to eat him before the coons got him!

    http://fineartamerica.com/featured/spring-cornish-cross-thomas-zimmerman.html
     
  2. N F C

    N F C just blowing in the wind Premium Member Project Manager

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    Hi Thomas, it's nice to have you here! I looked at your photographs, beautiful! Keep your eyes open for the many photo contests that run here on BYC, you have some awesome entries already.

    Sorry to hear about your raccoon problems, hope a stronger, more predator proof coop will help with that this year.

    If you haven't already checked out the Learning Center, take some time to look through the helpful articles there. They cover a wide range of topics and will help you off to a good start.

    There's a state thread for KS too you might enjoy: post #1

    Best of luck to you with your upcoming chicks!
     
  3. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

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    Hello Thomas and welcome to our community. I wish you the best of luck with your new build.

    Best wishes
    CT
     
  4. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

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    [​IMG] You may want to post a photo of your set up on the predator threads and ask how best to raccoon proof it. They are horrible predators.
     
  5. tlzimmerman

    tlzimmerman Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 28, 2017
    Gove, Kansas
    Not a bad idea....I've gotten 14 of them so far this winter.....so at least there are a few fewer around. Thanks for the suggestion....I'm sure I I will be taking lots of pictures as I build.
     
  6. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

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    Greetings from a fellow Kansan, Thomas, and [​IMG]! Great to have you aboard! I think the western part of the state has a beauty all its own! Glad you got that raccoon problem under control - they can be an absolute menace. Best of luck to you and your spring chickens!!
     
  7. Teila

    Teila Bambrook Bantams Premium Member

    G’Day from down under tizimmerman [​IMG] Welcome!

    Sorry to hear about your initial losses [​IMG]

    Wow! Those are some awesome images! From someone who likes to enter some of the BYC photo competitions, please stay away! LOL [​IMG] [Kidding]

    Good luck with the build!

    I hope you enjoy being a BYC member. There are lots of friendly and very helpful folks here so not only is it overflowing with useful information it is also a great place to make friends and have some fun. Unlike non chicken loving friends, family and colleagues, BYC’ers never tire of stories or pictures that feature our feathered and non feathered friends [​IMG]
     
  8. tlzimmerman

    tlzimmerman Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 28, 2017
    Gove, Kansas
    Thanks everyone for the warm welcome.
     

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