WallyBirdie

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If asked how many chickens, I say "Over a dozen," and that seems sufficient. It's certainly accurate.

After adding a few and hatching a few, my new answer became "Oh, around 30, I think," which didn't seem too bad since I have the space and resources.

Today, I realized that I've been going through a fair amount of feed and still need to pick up another bag by the end of the week.

For fun, I made a list of my breeds and the number of each that I have.
Then I counted.
Double checked my math.
Counted again.
Grabbed a calculator to see if the almighty machine would correct me.

All the numbers matched.

49 birds, if you include my guineas.

When did this happen?!
 

WallyBirdie

Crowing
Aug 2, 2019
854
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I have way more than you. :lol:. The problem is a hundred chickens never look like a hundred chickens. They call it chicken math. I just call it denial. :)
I know others have a lot more chickens, but this was a shock to me! I still plan to stick with my '30+ chickens' answer, but wow. I do love my birds. ALL of them, haha!

How do you manage so many? Free range? And for feed- you must be constantly stocking. I've never asked but I've always been curious how it all works when managing larger flocks.

As for chicken math, color me a fan! It's clever and accurate. And it's a lot more fun than other types of math!
 

oldhenlikesdogs

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My large breed flock is free range with a large shed they share with goats, geese, donkeys, and muscovy ducks. There's rabbits in there too in their own area.

My bantam flock is kept separately, and so is my turkey flock. They both have runs but can be released to range when I want.

Feed usage doubles in winter. In the warmer months they don't eat a lot. I keep a running tab on feed costs and usage. It ranges from 100-300 a month depending on season. My husband picks up feed as needed, usually every week or two. I live frugally so I can afford my chickens. They make me happy.

I plan to stick to 50-60 chickens, but I never seem to get there. Poultry is a fun hobby. :)
 

WallyBirdie

Crowing
Aug 2, 2019
854
1,862
266
My large breed flock is free range with a large shed they share with goats, geese, donkeys, and muscovy ducks. There's rabbits in there too in their own area.

My bantam flock is kept separately, and so is my turkey flock. They both have runs but can be released to range when I want.

Feed usage doubles in winter. In the warmer months they don't eat a lot. I keep a running tab on feed costs and usage. It ranges from 100-300 a month depending on season. My husband picks up feed as needed, usually every week or two. I live frugally so I can afford my chickens. They make me happy.

I plan to stick to 50-60 chickens, but I never seem to get there. Poultry is a fun hobby. :)
Thank you for sharing! It's always interesting to know new things, especially with flock management. You're so passionate about your birds, it's a pleasure to read and appreciate the enthusiasm.

This year is my first with bantams. I've kept them in a run so far because they're so small and I'm worried about predators. Will they be safe to free range when they get full size?
My small ones are the black-tail Japanese, a sebright, and a cochin (not sure if she's a bantam but she's so small). I lost a young chicken once to a cat. Coyotes are out nightly. I'm nervous about the small ones.
 

oldhenlikesdogs

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Thank you. :)

I've unfortunately have been dealing with predators this year. I lost 3 of my bantams, so they have been locked up unless I can supervise them. It's harder to lose the little ones. I keep mostly bantam cochins. They are so adorable, but not good at running. My bantams don't mind staying in their run anyways. I would recommend not letting yours out unless you are willing to risk losing them.
 

WallyBirdie

Crowing
Aug 2, 2019
854
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Thank you. :)

I've unfortunately have been dealing with predators this year. I lost 3 of my bantams, so they have been locked up unless I can supervise them. It's harder to lose the little ones. I keep mostly bantam cochins. They are so adorable, but not good at running. My bantams don't mind staying in their run anyways. I would recommend not letting yours out unless you are willing to risk losing them.
I am sorry for your loss. But I appreciate the wisdom you've passed on. I'll keep mine in the run, and next spring/summer, I'll expand it.

You are right about cochins though. I have my first via a happy accident where she got mixed in with my order. How do I know if she's a bantam? she is definitely small with a lot of fluff, but maybe she's slow-growing?
And do any of your cochins have extra toes?
 

oldhenlikesdogs

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I am sorry for your loss. But I appreciate the wisdom you've passed on. I'll keep mine in the run, and next spring/summer, I'll expand it.

You are right about cochins though. I have my first via a happy accident where she got mixed in with my order. How do I know if she's a bantam? she is definitely small with a lot of fluff, but maybe she's slow-growing?
And do any of your cochins have extra toes?
Cochins do not have extra toes, perhaps yours is mixed with silkies or other breeds with extra toes. What color are the legs? They should be yellow in cochins.

Standard cochins generally hatch big and are bigger than other chicks. Bantams are tiny and grow slower. I keep some standard cochins too. I like big, or little fluffy birds.

Loses are a part of chicken keeping. I know the risks to free ranging and accept them in exchange for my birds having freedom. I do get upset when I lose one, and we do what we can to minimize problems. Most years I have no problems.

Where we live we have had a lot of deer ticks, and lymes disease in my dogs. The chickens have lowered the tick population here immensely. They also control other pests like Japanese beetles. They cannot do that job locked up either, so we choose to free range them.

We do deep litter in my bantam run. It gives them something to do and keeps the run fresh. So something to consider for yours if you go that route.
 

WallyBirdie

Crowing
Aug 2, 2019
854
1,862
266
Cochins do not have extra toes, perhaps yours is mixed with silkies or other breeds with extra toes. What color are the legs? They should be yellow in cochins.

Standard cochins generally hatch big and are bigger than other chicks. Bantams are tiny and grow slower. I keep some standard cochins too. I like big, or little fluffy birds.

Loses are a part of chicken keeping. I know the risks to free ranging and accept them in exchange for my birds having freedom. I do get upset when I lose one, and we do what we can to minimize problems. Most years I have no problems.

Where we live we have had a lot of deer ticks, and lymes disease in my dogs. The chickens have lowered the tick population here immensely. They also control other pests like Japanese beetles. They cannot do that job locked up either, so we choose to free range them.

We do deep litter in my bantam run. It gives them something to do and keeps the run fresh. So something to consider for yours if you go that route.
Thanks again for all your information and the deep litter suggestion. How does that work as far as cleaning?
As for cochins- mine is likely mixed. She has yellow legs/feet. I didn't even know what she was when I first got her. I just knew she had extra toes and wasn't a silkie. As she got a little older and her feathering came in, I was told she was a cochin. Likely a bantam since she's a little ball of fluff.
I understand about tick population. I free range all my older and larger birds. I'll have something worked out soon.

You're very kind and helpful. And it's fun to read what you write/type because your enthusiasm is obvious in your wording.
 

oldhenlikesdogs

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I don't clean my run. We throw grass clippings, pulled weeds, some used shavings, and hay into it throughout the year.

The best addition is in the fall when we add a deep layer of fallen leaves chopped up with some grass. It all decomposes as the chickens work it. It drains well and droppings disappear. It could be cleaned out and added to the garden in the fall if you wanted to before adding the leaves. I use other manure than we compost for my garden boxes.

I like bantams. They are adorable and are easier keepers. I have a few mixed with d'uccle. I like them too, they add variety.

I do enjoy chickens, as well as talking about them. Most people don't want to hear it all. I also enjoy watching animals doing what they do, and I enjoy going out every day to take care of them. It keeps me going.

Chickens do everything with enthusiasm, and to them it's like every day is the best day. It brightens my days to keep them. :)

You too are kind. :)
 

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