Hi Everyone!

Chook Kingdom

May 21, 2015
Northern Canada

Diamond and Crow

During the 3 years I've been keeping mix-bred chickens I had ran into tons of mismanagement problems, like ammonia messes, damp bedding, bumble foot, cannibal brooding hens (hens eating their chicks), and stray chicks before I ever though of fixing it! The first year I had chickens I was so obsessed with keeping them warm (being in Northern Alberta) that I crammed 30 hens and 14 cocks into a fully insulated 9 ft by 9 ft by 5 ft coop (an inner coop added into a 12 ft by 12 ft by 12 ft coop) with a heat lamp in it! We lost 25 chickens that year to the results of no ventilation! Most of the survivors were cocks which we were too scared to eat so we killed them and fed them to the coyotes! That's not the end of it. Later the the second year a broody Austrolorp Mixed bred hen, Crow, kept trying to sit on eggs, but no I just didn't want that to happen. I kept taking the eggs away until an old friend of mine (An exotic poultry and cow farmer) advised it. Being left with 15 hens and one cock at the time I finally realized the use of the hen. So three weeks later she was brooding chicks! During that time an Americana\Plymouth cross hen, Smilos, also went broody, and boy did I wish she didn't! At day 18, even though she was well fed, she popped five chicks out and had a feast! It was very shocking when I came to check on her and found blood everywhere! She ended up only hatching five out of twelve. But that wasn't all the damage she caused, let's just say those chicks were fed, along with herself, by her own self to the wild dogs! It served old Smilos right! Crow's chicks all ran away, so, as you can see, I wasn't having good experience with my chickens. About that time was when I found Backyard Chickens and tried some ideas to make things better for the chickens. I tried last winter to open the coop and only lost a Buff Orpington and some other chicks, thanks to the site. So all's going well now. I just hatched 20 more mix-bred ones and got some Barred Plymouth Rocks and Rhode Island Reds (Not sure how the RIR's are going to turn out!). I have about 50 to 60 totally mixed (Austrolrops, Flarrey-eyed Greys, Orpingtons, Sex Links, Plymouth Rocks, Light Brown Leghorns, and Americanas to name a few) and some

full bred chickens right now. I am now reading a book written by Harvey Ussery on controlling a Small-Scale Poultry Flock and would really advise it! Management is getting better thanks to you all! I hope I can do something, after all the trouble I went through, to help others starting like me to avoid the mess!

Chook Kingdom
Hello there and welcome to BYC!

Aww....your picture here is adorable! You sure have been through a lot in these last 3 years! Yes, sometimes we learn by trial and lots of error. But eventually we get it right. But I am glad you found BYC! We are just bursting with knowledge. So many members here to help out with all your questions and issues. Then in turn you can help others through the same problems you once had.

Make yourself at home here and if you DO have any questions right now, feel free to post around the forums.

Welcome to our flock!
Thanks for the encouragement TwoCrows! I'm glad you love the photo! I would like to see more I've already opened an album in the gallery of Mix-bred chickens, most of them are of my favorite hatchling, Chelsea (the orange chook)! It was no problem for me to bond the hens with the unfamiliar chooks! Very rare for my hens! Well got to get familiar with the site!

Chook Kingdom

P.S. Just one more thing, what type of chicken is your photo of? I am seeming to get a lot of those type of chicks...
What a trial by fire !! Gruesome. I hope things go much better now. You may want to post on the Canadian thread "Canadians check-in-here." They could advise you best on coops to withstand the climate, and the importance of ventilation even in very good weather .Hopefully, you will meet other chicken folks in your area and they could show you the ropes, so to speak.
I know! It was horrible to be dragging dead chickens out of the coop 2 times a day! Well, last year I set up a wind block and let them free range in -56.8 degrees Fahrenheit and only lost 6! My flock is made up of mixes of some cold hardy breeds though. I know what you mean on getting Canadian coop designs, the climates aren't quite the same, right?

Thank you very much for greeting me, Drumstick Diva!

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