Hack my chickens! What have I got here?? help please

Discussion in 'What Breed Or Gender is This?' started by vidpro23, Nov 1, 2013.

  1. vidpro23

    vidpro23 Out Of The Brooder

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    Ok,..Im new to chickens and the farm we moved to - shocker :) . Wanted laying hens right away - so answered CL ad that said " Americauna Laying Hens - heritage breed, not hatchery junk. - born may 2013 and about to start laying" - I had to jump in the pool someplace - even after reading books and thinking I knew what I was doing lol

    So long story short, I leave there with what I THINK* are 7 Americauna hens and an Americauna rooster (hatched may 2013), 1 Buff Orpington (2yrs old) and 3 Production Red Hens (1yr) that he threw in. The buff is my favorite - def the most personality. The reds seem friendly. and the other "Americaunas" are skittish and nervous. The rooster is a big sissy and all the girls chase him around from the looks of it. Not crowing either.

    Now I've been told that's not what I have,... so I wanted to see what you guys think. I am only getting 3-5 eggs a day with this motley crew and I dont know whose laying and whose not. I dont know if the "americauna" girls are just not laying at all yet. I'm in north Florida and temps are still nice here. They have been in the coop/run now for going on 3 weeks to train them before I let them free range probably starting this weekend in a fenced in area

    Opinions appreciated on breeds!




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  2. Hillschicks

    Hillschicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Im no breeder so i couldnt tell you if your flock is hatchery or top notch breed stock.. Tho i take exception to the hatchery junk comment.. Hatchery birds may not be show quality, but there is nothing wrong with them.. As for your egg production, its hard to be 100% sure but the bottom picture looks like you may have a bird or 2 molting.. Feathers will fall out and then be replaced with new fresh feathers, but egg production on molting birds stops and sometimes doesnt start up again until spring
     
  3. Hillschicks

    Hillschicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Correction.. Third pictue from the bottom looks like molting
     
  4. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    Looks like you have the start to a pretty flock. I see a bunch of Easter Eggers, the roo and most of the brownish hens and gray/white hens, the mostly white hen looks like a Columbian Rock maybe, then your Buff Orp and the red hens... from the combs no being very big or red yet, some of the EEs and the rock don't look to be laying quite yet, and some of the older girls look to be molting or have rooster damage to their feathers. Have you checked them over for lice/mites and considered worming them?
     
  5. my sunwolf

    my sunwolf Chillin' With My Peeps

    I will say that your "Americaunas" are definitely Easter Eggers, meaning they probably did come from a hatchery as they're pretty common hatchery pattern colors. Easter Egger girls are usually a little skittish compared to Orpingtons and Sex Links, but in my opinion do have big personalities and are a lot of fun! The others are also from hatchery stock, and I do see a Buff Orpington and some Red Sex Links as well as some other mixed bird (the black and white). I've marked next to the photos which is which.

    Thought you should know that from what I can see, most of these birds are molting which is why they are not laying the full number of eggs.

    The Sex Links will often lay almost every day for their first 2 years, and the others should lay an egg every other day for a while depending on personal genetics.

    They could definitely be the ages you were told (1-2 years). I will say that if the EE hens are molting (and don't just have some feather loss), they were probably not born May 2013. They usually have to be at least 7 months to have their first full molt, and more commonly they are over 1 year. The Buff does look like she is at least 2 years.

    The Easter Egger cockerel looks to be fairly young, (spurs are very small, and saddle feathers don't look fully grown in, though that could be molting), maybe 6-8 months old or so, which could be why he's not crowing and the ladies boss him around.

    Make sure to check them for external parasites, that could also be why they are missing some feathers and not laying well.

    Good luck with your chickens, you've got a lovely group!
     
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  6. vidpro23

    vidpro23 Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 15, 2013
    Thanks for all the thoughts and labeling!

    what is the best way to worm for a newbie? I just bought a plastic watering (they have a metal trough) that I was going to give them a little mothers ACV in.

    To check for parasites Id have to catch one and look through feather at skin like I was looking for fleas I'd guess? please correct me if Im wrong.

    I do see some full feathers laying about in the coop - but I don't know whats natural vs molt.

    one of the birds he called a "production red" has a bald patch in middle of her back - had it when we got her and then it looked to me like it was getting better with some fluffy down until yesterday - then looked pinkish down to just skin again. one of the easter eggers has it too but smaller.

    The guy said he'd seen the rooster mating the birds a lot,...but I haven't seen it once,..just them chasing him around.



    For those reading - when you first started out if you could just pick one breed as a dual purpose bird - to buy chicks and then continue to hatch out from there - what breed would you choose?

    thank you!
     
  7. vidpro23

    vidpro23 Out Of The Brooder

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    Caught her and looked at it -is there anything I can do to help it?

    I also have seen the buff girl yank feathers off the others - could she be doing this? I think the buff is my most consistent egg layer of all of them


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  8. vidpro23

    vidpro23 Out Of The Brooder

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    any thoughts?
     
  9. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Overrun With Chickens

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    Your barebacked hen looks either over-mated or picked on. Her feathers are growing back. Your Buff could be a bit overly aggressive. If she continues to be really bossy, you can either live with it (if no blood drawn) or put peepers on her (search for pinless peepers, you can buy them through poultry catalogs or on eBay) or put her by herself in a dog crate or similar for a week and then reintroduce her, to see if that kicks her down a few notches in the pecking order and puts her in her place.

    The easiest way I know to deworm birds is to buy Eprinex at your local feed store. It's a pour-on cattle dewormer. Also buy a luer-tip syringe. You don't need a needle. Put 1.5 cc on each bird, with half the dose on the skin of the neck and half the dose on the skin above the tail. Eprinex will kill the most common internal AND external parasites. It is expensive, but you don't have to discard eggs. If you want to go cheaper, especially since they are moulting and you aren't getting many eggs, you can buy Ivermec by the same company--same dosage, etc--but you do have to throw away the eggs for two weeks.


    I think your flock is pretty and will give you lots of nice eggs once they get their new feathers and a bit more daylight as the days begin to lengthen.
    Too bad the seller misrepresented the birds, though. Those are not high quality, heritage birds.
     
  10. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    With the feather loss you probably have a combination of things going on, molt, rooster damage and/or the buff feather picking is making it worse. http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2013/03/chicken-feather-loss-cannibalism-causes.html It is hard to stop feather pickers, you might want to consider putting pin less peepers on the buff as a quick fix. They usually recommend upping protein (what are you feeding them?), and making sure they are not crowded and not bored, your rooster does look quite young and from what you describe I wonder if the original owner had another older rooster that was doing the mating?
    With worming them, can you take a stool sample to the vet for a reasonable price? Or, are you considering just worming them and treating them for parasites even if you don't see anything since they do have an unknown history?
    I think the most popular breed for duel purpose is the Rhode Island Reds. Are you looking for a meat/egg bird or more an egg bird? You might also consider getting a broody or two like a silkie and getting a non-broody great egg layer like the white leghorn and letting the silkies raise the WL chicks.
     

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