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help on several questions

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by Silver Fox, Nov 6, 2007.

  1. Silver Fox

    Silver Fox Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 30, 2007
    Washoe County, NV
    Hi Chicken Crew ! Please visit my homepage and let me know if :

    - I have enough wood shavings on the floor?

    - Will they eventually learn that they can actually fly or jump into the nesting boxes?

    - Is it ok to have feed in the feeder all the time so thay can just eat whenever they want to? I've read on here that some people feed their chicks just twice a day.

    - Is it normal to have a fine layer of wood dust, or feed dust all over the interior of the coop?

    Thanks! [​IMG]

    One more, I'm guessing the girls will start laying in mid-Jan, do I wait until they do to switch feeds from Starter to Layer?
     
  2. NewGuineaChooks

    NewGuineaChooks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 24, 2007
    San Antonio, Texas
    "free choice" food, available all the time, is fine. That's what many of us do. The only ones that have issues with overeating are the cornishX/meatbirds. Layers & dual purpose birds know when to slow down.

    Nesting: What kind of chicks are they? Some breeds are better at flying than others. For example, our barred rocks are much better than the buff orpingtons at flying, and the EEgger is best of all.

    But, the really big issue with height of nest boxes, is if they can get down safely. Our nest box is 3Ft. up. They seem to think it's safest up in the air. But, they land with a 'thump' when leaving, and it would be better for their legs if we gave them a ramp/ladder to go up and down. (we'll do that after we finish 'winterizing')
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2007
  3. Kitsune

    Kitsune Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 2, 2007
    Manchester - England
    Hi there - I'll give you my thoughts

    - I have enough wood shavings on the floor?
    I'd say that's pretty good for now, but as they grow they will start to kick the shavings around and generally make big areas on bare floor anf big areas of piled up shavings. If they're free ranging all day it won't be much of a problem but if they are cooped up inside it can lead to dried poop sticking to the floor which is a real pain to clean up!

    I have experemented with using a layer of hay or straw under the sawdust, they don't kick it around as much (well they do but it keeps its cover better) but it did cause problems with harbouring mites. as with most things there's pros and cons

    - Will they eventually learn that they can actually fly or jump into the nesting boxes?
    Probably, maybe, depends...

    - Is it ok to have feed in the feeder all the time so thay can just eat whenever they want to? I've read on here that some people feed their chicks just twice a day.
    yup, ditto what's said above


    - Is it normal to have a fine layer of wood dust, or feed dust all over the interior of the coop?
    Normal yes, desirable no - if you can get low dust shavings it will help, when you change to pellets rather than crumbs (if thats what they're on at the moment) it will also help and if they are out of the coop most of the day then it's not really a problem, if they're kept indoors then you need to work harder at reducing the dust as it can cause respiratory problems.

    Thanks! [​IMG]

    One more, I'm guessing the girls will start laying in mid-Jan, do I wait until they do to switch feeds from Starter to Layer?
    I would, just leave some oystershell grit around and if they get low on calcium they should supplement themselves - there is a middle ground (over in the UK at least) with growers pellets, they have a slightly different formulation to starter but without the high calcium of layers. if I have roos I tend to keep them on growers pellets and just have oystershell available for the hens if they need it.
     
  4. rooster-red

    rooster-red Here comes the Rooster

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    Jun 10, 2007
    Douglasville GA
    Coop looks good!

    I think you might run into perching problems with the big black hen with the blue collae though. [​IMG]
     
  5. Silver Fox

    Silver Fox Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 30, 2007
    Washoe County, NV
    Thanks for the advice [​IMG]

    I have 5 RIR, and 5 BR and I've seen them all run and fly/jump way higher than the nesting box's floor height. I read somewhere that it should be atleast 22 in high, but I made it 18 in high. I just didn't see the logic for it being so high and I'm still contemplating cutting 6 in off the legs.

    I agree with Free Choice being a good way to feed the girls so I'll continue.

    I wonder what my neighbors would think if they knew I had taken my Shop Vac into the coop and vacuumed up all the wood shaving dust. I hated scaring the chicks but actually they just looked over at me when I first turned the vacuum on, and then they continued to eat and run around crazy like they always do. [​IMG]
     
  6. ole-crone

    ole-crone Chillin' With My Peeps

    Your homepage sure made me homesick. We used to live in eldoco, inlaws still do.

    The girls look content - you must be doing a great job!
     
  7. bantymum

    bantymum Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hey, welcome silverfox.
    I love the foxie loxy in your avatar.
    Is he/she alive or mounted!! They are such amazing creatures. I have the utmost respect for them.
    My chickens graze on scratch mix all day, i have an auto feeder which is full and refills the bottom as it gets eaten.
    I use newspaper under the pineshavings then just wrap it all up and place in recycling bin.
    I sometimes compost it as well.
    The less I handle chicken poop, the better for my health.
    have fun with your girls.
     

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