Hello everyone

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by julnjake, Aug 20, 2011.

  1. julnjake

    julnjake Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 20, 2011
    SW PA
    Hi everybody! I'm a newbie from SW PA. I live on 14 acres with my DH, 3 kids, 2 dogs, 1 cat, 1 horse, and just newly added 19 chickens! My BIL (weenie) moved from his house beside my MIL and abandoned 20 chickens, 2 cats, and a dog! I've been wanting chickens but didn't want to spend the money on the chicks and the coop (we're in the process of rebuilding our barn and rennovating our basement right now!) So when hubby heard mom was having trouble feeding all the abandoned critters he said "Juli wants chickens!" and I said "Yes I do!" So we spent the evening rounding up 20 chickens and loading their "coop" in the bed of our pick up! Little did we know about chickens one week ago and we took the dog crates up to load them in, we put food in them and got 3 or 4 chickens but it certainly wasn't working to load the whole lot into! I asked DH if we could just pick them up and put them in but he said he didn't think so. After an hour or so I went to feed the poor kitties and suddenly I had 20 chickens at my feet! So I just bent down, picked one up and put it in the dog crates! We got most of them loaded fairly easily! There was a bit of chase and corner with the few remaining buggers but they're all safely here in their new home now!

    I have a couple of questions, not sure if I can post them here with my intro or if they need to be posted elsewhere? I'll start here and move them if need be.

    1. Can you tell if this DE food grade? https://www.azurestandard.com/shop/product/7317/

    . When should I expect the girls to really start laying? They were laying at their former home although I'm not certain how many were laying.... there was probably a dozen or more eggs in the coop when we got it but I have no idea when the last time someone had removed eggs from the coop. To my understanding about 12-15 of these girls were bought last year so that would make them 1-2 yrs old and their are about 5 or so that were bought this year. About 12 are either Rhode Island Reds or mixed breeds and their eggs are brown, the newer girls are leghorns I assume and their eggs are white and TINY! Oh and there are 3 that are grayish, black & white speckled, I don't have a clue what they are. I am getting about 3 eggs a day, one in the morning and two in the afternoon.

    3. Someone told me that a hen who is actively laying has a bright red comb not a dull one..... well some of my chickens dont have a comb at all, is that normal? I believe I have all hens as I have no crowers, however I do have one that mounts one of my girls and he/she is taller than the rest, but its always the same girl I catch him/her on top of, so unsure if its gay chicken, femine boy, or a dominance thing???? The he/she is one of the grays that I'm unsure of the breed.

    4. Our "coop" is not a coop I'm learning, it's a raised bunch of nesting boxes! It's on 4 legs, about 6' long and 2 1/2' deep, with two rows of nesting boxes. We are trying to free range the chickens during the day which so far is working pretty well as long as I keep them fed enough with layer mash (when I wasn't they were heading off to the neighbors). My dogs are loose (and very well chicken behaved) so it seems there's at present no threat of predators during the day.
    Questions about the "coop":
    It's pretty stinky & dirty, it has straw in it now..... would that affect their laying?
    And tomorrow I plan to clean it, from what I've read I think I'll use vinegar & water 50/50, any opinions? It's all wooden.
    Monday we're going to add on to it so it's more of a true coop instead of just nesting boxes. I've been looking at all the pictures of coops here. I'm not seeing anything incredibly important that I should know before we starting building on. We plan to put the boards (we are using the same rough cut lumber that is going on the barn) 12" deep into the ground. Right now you just walk up to this long box sitting in the air with a chicken door on the back with a ramp and drop down doors on the front for egg retreival. I plan to extend and enclose the front about 4' wide from the existing front with a man door on the side so that when you walk in to your left will be perches and to the right will be the existing nesting boxes with room to move between the perch area and nesting boxes. Thoughts?

    Thanks so much for this wonderful forum. Sorry if my very first post was overwhelming or not in the right place........
  2. MED747

    MED747 Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 13, 2011
    [​IMG] from SW michigan

    Enjoy the forum
  3. Heiko27

    Heiko27 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 16, 2011
    Welcome! Sorry don't know the answer to your questions:)
  4. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle



    I'll take a stab at some of the questions. If you don't get answers post them in the appropriate forum. Not everyone reads the new member intros. You will almost certainly get more answers.

  5. kidcody

    kidcody Overrun With Chickens

    [​IMG] [​IMG] from WA. glad you joined us, congrats on your new chickens [​IMG] [​IMG]
  6. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2008
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Welcome to BYC.
  7. annie3001

    annie3001 My Girls

    Jun 11, 2009
    welcome from ct. [​IMG]
  8. greymane

    greymane Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 2, 2011
    Snyder County, PA
    [​IMG] from the Finger Lakes of New York! Sounds like you got a good start on your questions. Remember, when it comes to smell in the coop (and around), moisture is your enemy. The dryer you can keep it, the better off your will be. Also, ventilation is key. Welcome to the fun!!
  9. NonnasBabies

    NonnasBabies Muddy Acre Farms Premium Member

    Sep 20, 2009
    On the Farm!
    [​IMG] & [​IMG] from Louisiana!!
  10. weimarmama

    weimarmama Overrun With Chickens

    Jun 4, 2010
    My Coop
    [​IMG] & [​IMG] from Alabama. Glad you joined us.

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