HELP FOR THE NEWBIES

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Aussie Lady, Jan 12, 2012.

  1. Aussie Lady

    Aussie Lady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    A big HELLO & Thanks from the Aussie Lady to all of you who have wonderfully assisted me with information about the breeds.

    As a newbie, I thought I would start this thread to throw out some questions and to obtain some expert advice from all of you who have had more and extensive experience in breeding and looking after chickens especially the ins and outs. I thought this would also be good for other newbies who would like to start their own chicken enterprise. Any advise on anything relating to chickens, coops, breeds would be extremely helpful.

    Some of the acronyms & terminology e.g. Candling an egg, pips is foreign to me, I feel quite silly as I have no idea what you are all talking about however I will look into these things.


    I was blessed to obtain a small galvanised steel shed from my neighbour who will be moving up north for a few years. I have decided to make this into a chicken coup. It has a door and the top part is open with wire across it. It has a ledge however it seems too high up.

    I would like to ask anyone who would like to answer the following:

    I have placed this shed on a concrete slab and I wanted to ask if you can use sugar cane mulch on the floor (plenty of this around here in Queensland) or even shredded paper. Is shredded paper OK in the breeding box? (Paper is an insulator). How far off the floor does the breeding box need to be and how high up should I place a perch.

    I have read that some chickens when you buy them have been vaccinated. Is this necessary? What type of vaccine would this be?

    Thank you again and I really look forward to reading your replies.

    Cheers
    Chrissy
     
  2. Aussie Lady

    Aussie Lady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 8, 2012
    Hello Everyone

    Since writing the above comment, I have learnt soooo much more and have answers to most of my questions except for the "paper as insulator and if it would be ideal in a chicken coop". I suppose on thinking on it - paper could cause cuts (like a paper cut when you deal with copy paper). However if anyone has any suggestions, I am open to your comments.

    Since the above entry I am now a proud owner of my first ever chicken which I picked up today - It is a Silkie which I named Shatzy. This is the German word "Schatz" which means darling and that she is - a lovely pure white, 4 1/2 month Silkie. She is all cosy now in a new chicken coop lying on a bed of fresh cane sugar mulch which actually smells quite sweet. It's an interesting smell but not off putting.

    I will post pictures of her and my newly acquired green cheeked Conure parrot soon.

    I have now learnt about the "bloom" around an egg, the mealworm that chickens love to eat and something I would like to start. In a week I will acquire 4 Austalorps at "point of lay", this will be interesting especially as a newbie. I am soooo looking forward to seeing my first egg that has been laid by my chickens. No more scraps going to waste anymore.

    I am still hoping some of you may be interested in this thread, mainly for newbies like me who can learn from each other and share the funny experiences we are most likely to have as being a "Newbie". It's good to laugh [​IMG]

    I have commented on a few other threads, met new "chicken" friends and it's fun and extremely knowledgeable and acquiring valuable information that you don't always get in books. I love the personal experiences and the openness that allows a newbie not to make the same mistakes - we will probably just come up with new ones!!! [​IMG]

    So hopefully there is someone out there who would like to join me for a yarn (chat in Aussie terms) and a good sense of humour.

    It's Australia Day tomorrow - we normally have a barbie on this day however where I live there has been soooo much rain that this will be impossible and out of the question. So happy Australia Day to all the Aussies out there.

    Bye for now

    Chrissy [​IMG]
     
  3. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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  4. Frithest

    Frithest Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Welcome, from one Aussie lady to another (I am from Mackay, with plennnnnty of sugar cane in my back ground). I live in Seattle now, so conditions are very different here, but I'm a newbie too (just got chicks in August). Just last week we started to get our first eggs. Not sure about the paper as bedding - I think many people compost their bedding when they're done, and the paper isn't very good for that. I can imagine it would mat down and get slimy pretty quickly. We're using the deep bedding method, and love it. All the leaves and carbon-rich stuff of various sizes I can find go into the bottom of the coop, which has a dirt floor, and get mixed in with the chook poo and stirred around occasionally, dug through by the girls, emptied out onto the garden a couple of times a year. VERY low maintenance, which is what I'm all about. Anyhow, welcome to the forum. You'll get tonnes of advice here. And good luck with your flock!
     
  5. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    Hi there I'm near Seattle too. Sounds like you are doing fine finding answers.
    I'll just mention using paper in the coop. I agree with Frithest that it can be problematic in some instances, but I find using shredded newspaper great. I only have usually 3-5 chickens, and my coop is a shed so it is spotlessly dry inside. (Seattle is a very rainy climate) I put the newsprint in about 4-6 inches thick, and just fluff it up occasionally. It seems to wick the moisture away from the poop, and keep the coop dry and smell free. I could see trouble big time if it were prone to getting wet or you had enough chickens to overwhelm the paper. I also free range mostly so the chickens are not in the coop except at night. I do not compost, so the clean paper goes to recycle, dirty goes to garbage. I shred the newspaper about 1 inch wide by hand. I think that's about 2.5cm.

    Congrats on getting a silkie and a conure.

    Hope your Australia Day was great,

    Imp
     
  6. tweetysvoice

    tweetysvoice Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My Coop
    [​IMG] from another Chrissy! I've learned so much just by reading everyone's posts in all of the forums. Sometimes I have not one clue what people are asking until I read the responses. There are so many smart people on here that I can't get enough!! I read about things that I don't even think I want to know (like how to kill a baby chick) cuz I feel if I know more about what I'm doing I'm going to be the best chicken mom yet! Congrats on your new baby!!
     
  7. Aussie Lady

    Aussie Lady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Firstly thank you Flockwatcher, Frithest, Imp and Tweetysvoice (Chrissy) for joining me in this thread. I really appreciate your welcome and chats. Frithest what are you doing over in Seatle? I have heard it rains most of the year there. My father-in-law lives in Mackay (Beaconsfield) - what a small world and we were there just before Christmas. One day I would love to go and visit the States.

    Soon I will also start a Mealworm farm - I've been reading up on it and it is really good for the chickens and they apparently love it.


    So now here are the photos of Fredo and Shatzy as promised. I don't think they need any explanation except for Shatzy. When I got her home, I let her settle in first and because she had been with other chickens I decided to give her a good wash - with wool wash (at least I thought she won't shrink that way [​IMG])..... So she looked like a drenched rat to begin with but fluffed up quite nicely. I was praying that she wouldn't go outside in the garden and have a dust bath straight away. She absolutely loved the dryer and just took it in her stride - she almost fell asleep on me - what a gal.


    [​IMG]



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    Isn't she gorgeous????


    Here's a close up


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    This is Shatzy settling into her coop


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    ALL FLUFFED UP

    And of course we can't forget Fredo!!!!

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    He absolutely loves it on my head - one weird bird.....


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    He's cute too!!

    He starts his climb up via thong........

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    Hope you like the pictures, will chat with you all soon again.

    Chrissy [​IMG]

     
  8. jherrin

    jherrin New Egg

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    can any please tell me what kind of rooster this is he has feathers on hes legs, ive been told 2 kind so i want to get some hens like him




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  9. galanie

    galanie Treat Dispenser No More

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    Honestly, he looks an awful lot like the ones they breed specifically for the feathers used in tying flys. His foot feathering isn't up to par to the pure breeds with feathers on the legs so I'm thinking it's a mix of some sort.
     
  10. Aussie Lady

    Aussie Lady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 8, 2012
    Welcome Jherrin to this thread. I'm sorry but I cannot help you, I'm still adjusting to this chicken business. As per pictures above, I just started with my first ever hen and will be getting 4 more Australorps shortly. I'm sure there will be someone who can help you out. You can post a message to the Moderator if you wish, they can put you on the right track. [​IMG]

    G'day to Galanie, welcome to you as well. Thank you for joining this thread.

    Galanie, one question, have you had any experience with Mealworms?

    Cheers
    Chrissy
     

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