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Hello and thanks for having me.

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by ProviderEx, Oct 18, 2014.

  1. ProviderEx

    ProviderEx Out Of The Brooder

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    Good day to all of you chicken lovers.
    My name is Ali and I am from California in the San Fernando Valley.
    I've been observing and sponging information from this site for about 6-8 months now.
    I finally put on my big boy pants and became a member.

    When I was a kid I used to have what I thought were pet chickens. However my father never told me that they aren't pets as much as they are providers of eggs and meat.
    When I got older I always told myself I will own many chickens for the same reasons my father owned them back in Iran.

    Well fast forward 36 year, I have never stopped wanting chickens. Well, my lovely wife decided to surprise me with chickens. She found a farm online and ordered chickens from them. When I got the call from the post office I ran down and Behold 30 chicks are shoved in a 1' x 2' box and now I am the proud owner of 26 chickens. (I'll explain)

    My wife tells me they had a minimum order of 25. The farm, Signature Poultry out of Tehachapi, CA sent out 30 chicks, I assume to cover for any cockerels and any deaths that might occur during shipping.

    I received:
    6 Rhode Island Reds
    6 Auracanas
    6 Barred rocks
    6 Silver Laced Wyandottes
    and 6 Buff Orpingtons

    I kept them in the back room by the garage for the first 3 weeks in their little starter kit cardboard thing that came with the package.

    After about 3 weeks the temp shot up to 110 outside and 115 inside the room with me having no hope of bringing it to mid 90s. The little chickens were hot as they could be, panting and hanging their little wings low.
    I tried freezing water bottles, leaving bowls of ice, gave them cucumber, put extra fans in. Nothing helped and when one chicken died in the room I decided to move them outside and let nature take it's course. Instead of letting them overheat to death.

    I build a 5' x 25' run/coop thing. it's all concrete/wood/chain-link and it's a little over 6 feet in height. I made it so no opossum or racoon can get in it.

    I was down to 29 chicks and I had no idea these guys can easily fit between the holes of the chain-link. Before i could cover the bottom 2 feet with chicken wire. One got out and became a cooper's hawk's meal.

    I was down to 28 and my friend wanted a couple to raise, as she has 5 other chickens. So I came down to the 26 that i mentioned earlier.

    Now they are happy and growing really fast.

    [​IMG]

    I included this picture of this guy. To find out, is it normal for the comb and waddle to be this size in such a short time? the other ones hardly have any, but this guy has a very nice comb and waddle. I got these chickens September 5th 2014

    [​IMG]
    This is their home.

    [​IMG]
    This feeder works great, but I am going to build one tat can hold much more food. They are still on Starter/Grower. I was told to keep them on the starter/grower for 3 months.

    [​IMG]
    My friend who I gave two chickens to, gave me 5 of the 360 nipples and that is what I use to give them clean water

    [​IMG]
    I pour clean sand in there so they can take their dust baths.


    Well, that is how I became a chicken owner and so far I love every minute of it.
    I still have no idea how many cockerels and how many hens. Well with the exception of that one guy with the big red comb.


    Any Thought/Suggestions or even complaints are appreciated.

    Once again, thanks for having me and thank you even more so for sharing this community with me.
    _Ali
     
  2. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    Hello :frow and Welcome To BYC! Sounds like you had quite the adventure, sorry about the chicks you lost. That one chick with the big comb/wattle is just an early maturing cockerel some just mature faster than others, you can post pictures of your chicks on the What Breed/Gender forum for help with figuring out what you have. www.backyardchickens.com/f/15/what-breed-or-gender-is-this
    Usually you want to keep chicks on Starter/Grower until they are around 18 weeks old or start to lay and then put them on Layer food.
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master Premium Member

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    [​IMG] Very glad you joined us. And sorry about the losses. It is quite a learning experience.

    Agree the chicken with the large comb/wattles is likely a rooster.
     
  4. ProviderEx

    ProviderEx Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 27, 2014
    Here is a silly question. This layer food you speak of, does it just promote them laying eggs or does it also put meat on them as well?
     
  5. TwoCrows

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

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    Hello there and welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    So sorry for your losses. But it sounds like the ones you have now are happy and thriving! I would think that this bird with the big comb and wattles is a cockerel. But you should definitely post a pic in our What Breed and Gender section for more input. Kelsie has left you with the link.

    Layer feed contains more calcium that chick starter. Egg layers need more calcium to put on a good shell and muscle contractions to push the egg out. Chicks can't handle the extra calcium. So keep them on starter until they are about ready to lay. Layer feed has less protein as well. Growing chicks need the extra protein for growth. But as the birds go into laying, they don't need as much protein anymore.

    Make yourself at home here and if you have any more questions, feel free to ask. Welcome to our flock!
     
  6. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    Layer food is formulated to meet they nutritional requirements of Laying Hens... it is very high in Calcium for egg shells. Layer is not something you want to use for Meat Birds / Cornish Cross if you are going to raise those (check out the Meat Birds section for ideas on feeding them). Most chicken foods are very similar, the main differences are usually protein percentage and the amount of Calcium. If you are raising duel purpose birds or keeping a lot of roosters to table size etc, a lot of people will feed a Flock Raiser or All-Ages type food (or even Chick Starter/Grower) and have Oyster Shell available on the side for the Laying Hens who need the extra Calcium.
     
  7. ProviderEx

    ProviderEx Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 27, 2014
    Good input. I love new information.
     
  8. Mountain Peeps

    Mountain Peeps Change is inevitable, like the seasons Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC! Please make yourself at home and we are here to help.

    X2 on Two Crow's advice.

    Good luck!
     
  9. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Chicken Obsessed

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    Welcome to BYC, Ali. Glad you decided to join our flock. You have a great introduction. I loved all your pics. I've had all of your breeds at one time or another over the past 50 years, and you have some nice, hardy, dual-purpose breeds. Looking at your pictures, actually your Araucanas are not true Araucanas which are rare, expensive, and have tailless rumps, but rather are Easter Eggers, which are hybrids bred by hatcheries to produce hens that lay eggs in colors other than just blue. Hatcheries often in correctly market their Easter Eggers under the labels, Araucana or Ameraucana (often misspelled by the hatchery as Americana or Americauna). If you're not familiar with the differences between Araucanas, Ameraucanas, and Easter Eggers, there is a good article on the difference at http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2011/09/ameraucana-easter-egger-or-araucana.html. Our Easter Eggers are my granddaughter's (pictured in my avatar) favorite hens. She loves their colored eggs. Please feel free to ask any questions you may have. We are here to help in any way we can. Good luck with your flock.
     
    1 person likes this.
  10. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

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    The best thing for hot areas is SHADE, SHADE and more SHADE even natural from trees or manufactured, tarps over the top of the run or solid covering. Some people use misting hoses. You might want to find others in your area and ask how they cope. Go to " where am I, where are you," in the social forum to locate and post on your state thread. In some hot climates - a wall or two of the coop is made of just strong wire mesh to prevent heat build up inside.

    Welcome to Backyard chickens.
     

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