Hi! Newbie from Tampa with 15 chickens!

LynneR

Chirping
Dec 31, 2015
26
3
64
Tampa
Hi all, I am new to BYC. I am almost 60 yrs old, bought my home a year ago, and just started in with organic gardening and chickens for organic eggs.
I started with 8 chickens (3 barred rock?, 3 buff Orpington, 3 americauna), but lost 4 at about 2 months old to a predator. The coop was coming along slowly, so I hired some help with it. So I got 4 more (2 black and two white sex-link)....one of which I lost when I let them out of the coop too early in the am. This past week my daughter (who loves tiny versions of real life things), bought 3 bantams, and I got 5 more Americsunsd. We just realized that our only remaining americauna from the original flock is a rooster, Argh, not sure what I will do about the crowing. We live in the suburbs where crowing may be a nuisance....though our neighbors dogs do bark and the New Years fire works went on to 2 am. (Payback?). My chickens currently free range in a good sized, shady/filtered sun section of the yard, but I had to put up chicken wire to keep them out of the garden. We also have two new black bunnies living out with the chickens. The coop is definitely my own design, using the structure from a compost bin on the property, adding lattice doors and two interior shelves, along with stepping stones on the bottom, and a cheap sheet of roofing, then lining most of it with hardware cloth. The chickens file in on their own right around sundown, so I just go out and secure the latches. We feed organic starter and kitchen scraps. I mane nor broth using chicken bones, and the bones and cartilage get soft enough for the chickens to eat them. I'm figuring this is safe, since the chicken is cooked.
Any thoughts?
 

Yorkshire Coop

*
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Aug 16, 2014
22,833
25,183
1,247
Hi :welcome

Glad you could join the flock! I'm sorry to hear about your losses to predators :hugs They sure can be troublesome if you don't keep your birds in a secure run.
I dont feed chicken back to my chickens but I do cook them eggs up and feed those to them. They really enjoy them.

Wishing you the very best of luck and enjoy BYC :frow
 

Pork Pie

Flockwit
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Jan 30, 2015
56,899
227,927
1,687
Hi welcome to our community. Personally I limit any additional treats to a handful of millet. If you are feeding scraps as well as regular chicken feed then there may be no reason to add chicken to their diet. As long as treats do not constitute more than 10% of their diet there's no problem.

Other members will undoubtedly have more contributions.


Ct
 

LynneR

Chirping
Dec 31, 2015
26
3
64
Tampa
Thanks for the welcome! It seems like our predators are nocturnal, and I understand that as the flock matures they become better at fighting off predators, so I am hopeful that that will work out. I know feeding pig blood to pigs passed disease to other pigs, and feeding cow parts to cows can pass mad cow disease, but I think those were probably raw parts, whereas mine are very well cooked so I am hoping that makes it safe. I'll look into it further. I am feeding it because I believe it may be quite healthy with lots of calcium and other minerals from the bones, and protein from the skin and cartilage. I want them to eat mostly kitchen scraps, worms, bugs, etc to cut down the feed costs and have a better idea of what they are eating. Their feed is organic as are the kitchen scraps. Thanks
 

drumstick diva

Still crazy after all these years.
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
Aug 26, 2009
138,660
271,181
2,027
Out to pasture
Welcome to the Backyard chickens flock. I think it would be good to join your state thread and ask how others handle the predators in your area. If you would describe your predator attacks, when, what was done (to victims) etc. I'm sure folks on the Predators thread may be able to pinpoint what predator is causing grief, and at least could give you a lot of suggestions and advice.
 

LynneR

Chirping
Dec 31, 2015
26
3
64
Tampa
"I think it would be good to join your state thread and ask how others handle the predators in your area."

Good idea! I didn't know there were state threads, but I'll check it out.
 

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