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How we got started & hooked on Chickens

Discussion in 'Pictures & Stories of My Chickens' started by Flamineagle, Sep 27, 2010.

  1. Flamineagle

    Flamineagle Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 25, 2010
    My twelve year old son and I got our first set of chickens this April, from a woman in Bellingham. She gave them all to me for free! She lives in the city limits, and gets people dropping off chickens frequently. She gave us for free, 3 sebrights, 3 rosecombs, a polish crested ( we named Einstein), and a rhode island red bantam named Weasel! All the chickens were about 4 months old. She has been a blessing to us, and very helpful with information about raising chickens.

    About a month later she had 6 rhode island red chicks about 3 weeks old. She asked us if we wanted to raise these, and if we had a brooder light. I was a bit afraid to take them, since they were so young, and knew nothing about their care. But she explained to me it was easy, and I made the trip into bellingham to pick them up. She even gave us the booder light for the 6 small chicks! We kept them inside, and my boy volunteered to keep them in his room. We quickly learned how to care for chicks, and became hooked. Now I wanted eggs, so I poured over craigslist, and found a silkie bantam rooster for free!

    So after another trip into town, ( we live an hour away) we got our free silkie roo. She asked me if I wanted 2 roos, but I said I really wanted a hen for eggs while waiting for my rhode island red chicks to lay. She needed up giving us 2 of her roos for free, and I bought the silkie hen for 20.00.

    The hen laid an egg the very next day, and I had to call the woman back to ask her what do I do! lol She told me to eat it of course, hehehe! Now we have seventeen chickens, and started to expand the coop. We made nesting boxes, and the little silkie hen laid a egg every other day! That went on for a few weeks, as the rhode island red grew up and left the indoor container, and out into the coop to slowly meet the rest of the gang. We decided instead of eating the silkie's eggs, lets try our hand at getting her to go broody and hatch out a few of our own chicks! We both had really enjoyed raising the 6 rhode island red chicks, and wanted to try our luck at having the silkie hen do it all.

    We learned this was easier said than done, as I read this site for tips, and scoured over the web about how to get a hen to go broody!
    I even asked my Ukrainian friends about this, and even though they all knew about raising chickens, they said you just have to wait for the hen to want to sit! We decided to experiment, and stopped collecting her eggs.

    After she laid about 10 eggs, she finally started sitting on the clutch. But she didn't sit long, because after a few days, she wouldn't get back on her eggs. She started laying eggs again, and soon she had about 15 eggs! I was worried about the viability of these eggs, but in May the weather was cool enough still to keep them okay, I hoped. I again read this site, and asked my Ukrainian friends. They told me the eggs aren't any good now, because the hen sat on them for a few days, then abandoned the next, and to through them all away!
    I didn't have an incubator to try to save the eggs, and didn't know how to candle the eggs yet. I didn't want to just throw them away either, so I waited to see what the hen would do. After another week, she started sitting on her nest again, and stayed there until they hatched on June 30th! So now we have purebred silkie bantams chicks in our small flock of 27! 10 out of 15 eggs all hatched, we were thrilled at our beginners luck, and my friends out here in the country said, "you must be Russian, you farmer now" lol
    [​IMG]

    Here is one of her chicks at almost 3 months
    [​IMG]


    you can see all our the rest of our chickens, sheep and other pets here
    http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=553&id=100000161408590&l=f98ce0a5dc

    Last month the 3 rosecombs, 2 sebrights went broody. So far they hatched out 17 chicks! Now we have a nice flock! I will keep some, and sell the rest. Still waiting for the rhode island reds to hatch some eggs. They are laying nice big brown eggs, but not going broody yet. We tried to put several rhode island red eggs under the rosecombs and sebrights, but turned out not to be fertilized after candling them. I like to keep all the first set of chickens we got for free, and the silkie roosters, and hen with a few of her pullets. After I sell or give away the new chicks, I will concentrate on the rhode island reds, because I like the size of the eggs, and then start with a few good meat chickens. Our goal is to have eggs, and meat, but keep a few of the show chickens because we really love them!

    They are so pretty, and fun to watch, but eggs are to small, and to small to eat. If your reading this, can you suggest a few good meat and egg chicken, that won't be aggressive towards my rosecombs, sebrights, silkies, Einstein and Weasel?

    Thanks for reading our story about How we got started & hooked on Chickens [​IMG]
     
  2. Davlyn

    Davlyn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 6, 2010
    Pike , NH
    Thanx 4 sharing UR story. UR Roo looks my Zeus.

    My friend ordered chicks back last may 2009. She picked them up @ the PO B4 work and we had chicks in the salon all day. so so so cute. A client that had wanted 5 as a gift, said the lady said NO MORE chicks. She was still going 2 take them & find homes 4 them. Now, even tho DH always said " NO chickens here ! " How could I let those 5 babies go 2 a stranger. so I said I'd take 'em. 3 partridge silkies & 2 cochin s. I panic'd , no light, no food, no water, no box.. Erline ran out & got the supplies I needed & would not let me pay for the stuff , nor the chicks.

    In Aug of 2009 I placed an order with my pet chicken and got 3 frizzles, 2 EE & 1 seabright & a partridge silkie was sent in place of one they ran out of. My sea bright turned into a roo. By the time he started to crow, my friend gave me her silkie roo. Then I had 2. I lost one early this yr , unknown why. Then I let a few eggs hatch. only want 2 , but they sat on 8. so I marked them. 4 hatched 2 were duds & 2 chicks died in the egg. of course the silkie is a Roo, now I have 3 roo's . I never wanted a Rooster as I had been hearing horror stories about roosters. I have 2 say all my 3 boys R wonderful. I just had my Easter egger hatch out 2 of her eggs. they R a silkie cross, can't wait to C how they look. they R 4 / 5 wks old now.I did loose 1 of the chicks from April. I had saved him once he lived 4 2 wks, then died. I was so excited I had saved a chick. I am soooo hooked. I love my chicks. I sit for hrs in the chicken yard have 19, now.. I want more... Oh back in April my Cochin hen Sadie was so upset she was not sitting on the eggs. when 1 hatche I raced to Agway to get chick starter & guess what came in ~~~ yup! their chicks. I bought 3 RIR ans tucked them under sadie. You should have seen her face. No kidding, she was so thrilled , she clucked so loud, she soon stole the other 3 chicks. And would not let any other in the coop. I had to put up some screening so she had her own space. Sadie stoll bambies chicks this time as well. lol
     
  3. Flamineagle

    Flamineagle Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 25, 2010
    Quote:Oh how cool you took all 5 chicks! Post pics of Zeus and your others if you can, or a link to them. I would love to see your Easter egger silkie cross! I may have found a Black copper Marans rooster! They live about 3 hrs from me, but I said I could drive 2 hrs to meet them since I can't be gone long from home. I have to much work I am trying to do, expand the barn, coop, install a window yesterday. Today I have an electrician due here in about an hour to replace my circuit panel that was going bad. I will be without power for 4-5 hours, and need to plug into my neighbors house to run my homemade incubator, and the brooder lights where I have 17 week old silkie/sebright, polish crested, rosecomb mixes. I have 2 rhode island red egg, and 4 silkie mix eggs in the homemade incubator and the RIR is hatching today! Not a good time to loose power, so my dear neighbor will let me run a cord to her house, to my my eggs and chicks warm!

    Anyway I hope to get the Black copper Marans rooster, then all I will need is a few Black copper Marans hens, or pullets, and some EEs and I will have my olive and chocolate brown eggs too!

    I know what you mean, I love my silkies, they are great mothers, and will adopt others chicks, and sit on any egg I want to hatch. None of my silkies are broody right now, so I have these eggs in the homemade incubator.

    ttyl, after my power gets turned back on, and I will post pics of my homemade incubator. With any luck, another newly hatched chick![​IMG]
     
  4. Davlyn

    Davlyn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 6, 2010
    Pike , NH
    My Avatar is Zeus son. he looks like one of UR chicks U posted. on this group , I have a few pic's up of Zeus, Wyett, Biscuit , Poppy aka spike & selma the EE x silkies & the 2 babies.

    I loved 2 C what U made. I want a few more chicks. but better wait till spring now. I may have to get another coop. both barns have horses & storage, so can't move them there.
     
  5. Shady

    Shady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    One day last winter I was jut like, I'm going to get chickens! So I talked to me mom about it and she said that she didn't care so long as I took care of them and got my dad to build a coop. So over the winter I started reading about them, and was pretty surprised to find out how cool some of them looked (silkies, polish, naked necks, etc) I'd always loved things that are strange, so this seemed like it'd be fun. We waited until march to get the babies, when Tractor Supply got the chicks in. She only wanted a few but the TSC has that 6 + chicks rule... and there were only 7 chicks left when we went there and we couldn't just leave one.
    Then a few months later (may?) we decided to get something fancier than comets, and got 10 chicks from mypetchicken.com and... we couldn't get them until August.
    blahblahblah skip to August and then there were 17, lol. At this point my mother was obsessed, she loves her chickens xD.
    And a few days ago we got a rooster and some turkey poults.
     
  6. farmgirl1995

    farmgirl1995 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Georgia:)
    Quote:That is such a sweet story!![​IMG]
     
  7. Flamineagle

    Flamineagle Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 25, 2010
    Quote:Yes Zeus sure does look like my chicks! I finally got a minute to sit down at the comp! We finished installing lights inside the coop, and a new electric circuit panel too! Our power was off for about 4 hours, and we had to run the generator to keep the brooder light on the week old chicks, and the incubator warm!

    Our homemade plywood incubator my son and I made, from recycled plywood.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I didn't expect these eggs to ever hatch. The date on this egg was 8/21 WOW!
    [​IMG]

    After a few hours of drying, nice and fluffy. The chick looks grey to me, with grey feet and beak! The egg was laid by my RIR, so the rooster must be either the silkie, or Einstein our polish crested!
    [​IMG]

    This is the first RIR egg that hatched out of all 17 chicks. The 17 chicks were from the rosecomb, seabright, and silkie hens. I will keep a few, and sell or give away the rest. But I'm keeping all the purebred 3 month old silkie pullets.

    I did not expect all these eggs to hatch! So far we have 17 week old chicks, plus this one! I guess our homemade incubator works pretty good, and the temperature stays between 99.5-100 degrees! Maybe I don't need to buy a new fancy incubator after all!

    Good news, I'm picking up a Black Copper Marans rooster this Friday! Then I go pick up 5 ameraucanas pullets. I'm still looking for 5 Black Marans Hens/pullets. I hope soon to have chocolate, and olive green eggs! I will stop hatching out the bantams, and concentrate on hatching a few eggs from the Black copper Marans, & Ameraucanas for the olive eggers.
     
  8. Flamineagle

    Flamineagle Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 25, 2010
    Quote:That is so cool! You got your mom hooked on chickens too, lol
    Who knew chickens would be so much fun!
     
  9. Flamineagle

    Flamineagle Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 25, 2010
    Quote:Thank you:D

    I love our chickens:hugs
     
  10. columbiacritter

    columbiacritter Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Scappoose Oregon
    Siiggghhh...... I just wanted 3 laying hens, just three, in a little coop. I didn't even ask husband to help build since he was so against getting them. [​IMG]

    That was 4 years ago. The hubby is flying back East to visit family next month and bringing back two new roosters to improve the bloodlines in two of HIS flocks. We have 5 coops, a large tractor and a quarantine yard. Our next vacation is the the poultry show in Stockton California in January. [​IMG]
     

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