I have a new respect for Farmers!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by NYRIR, May 19, 2011.

  1. NYRIR

    NYRIR Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 13, 2010
    Petersburg,NY
    I'm kinda gonna rant here...but there are a couple questions I have too if you can make it through [​IMG]
    So here's how my Poultry Farmin' Day went...
    First, I had to spring clean my coops.The big coop took about 4 hours.My DS and I took out the plexi-glass windows that we put over the hardware cloth windows for winter, cleaned out the bedding,bleached the walls,nest boxes and roosts and scrubbed them with a brush.I used a shop vac for the cobwebs.I took apart and cleaned the "cage" for newbies in there.( It's a wooden frame with chicken wire for sides and a top.), and hosed that off.I fixed a spot in the roof that was leaking (of course right into the nest boxes [​IMG] ) I put fresh bedding in the nest boxes and coop floor.Added another feeder full of oyster shell ( FINALLY giving free choice) and sprinkled the coop (save the nest boxes) with Permethrin dust.Then I did the dust bathing holes in the yard as well.All five areas [​IMG]
    The meat bird coop and run also got cleaned out and hay put in the coop and run.I was having trouble with mud in there,so I put a layer of sawdust on the ground and covered it with clean hay.The chickens loved it [​IMG] So question 1 is...will this be satisfactory if I keep adding layers of hay? I really don't want them in the mud! It's an open run, so it will see whatever weather we get.

    In my meat bird coop and run I have 2 different flocks...not on purpose,but had a younger set I had no where else to put.I did have the coop "sectioned off" with pieces of plywood,but when cleaning the coop today,I couldn't take it anymore because they were so full of poop,so I decided to integrate the two flocks.They have been in 2 sides of the run separated by wire fencing for 2-3 weeks now, and in the coop separated by the plywood.My only concern was I had 3 Sebright roos in there with the younger flock, so I decided to take them inside and put them in the brooder with my other bantams (all within a week of each other and some the same age as them )It seemed to be going well.Then my little D'uccle roo and one of the Sebrights started "facing off".Ok, no problem...figured as much since the D'uccle is the Top Roo of the brooder.Guess where this is headed? Yeah....they started fighting [​IMG] So....I had to intervene. No major damage inflicted,but enough for me to know I couldn't re-integrate them. So as of right now I have my first official "Bachelor Box"...(a small cage for the 3 Sebrights) which I SWORE I wouldn't do! [​IMG]
    Now comes question 2 if you've made it this far [​IMG]
    How am I going to let them outside? I have a playpen for the banties but they can't be together. I don't want them back in the meat bird pen with the bigger flock because they are so much smaller.My DH thinks I should let them free-range with the big dogs (my laying flock).I do have enough space for them to get away and my laying flock is very accepting of newbies.They have seen these birds for 3 weeks through a fence...so is this a smart thing to do? And then put them back in the cage at night? They are all people friendly and not TOO hard to catch *sigh* [​IMG]

    And,that's not all....I also have 4 Ancona ducklings and 2 F&W Runners that are 3 weeks old.I have been putting them from the brooder (with the banties...the brooder is 8 foot long by 3 foot wide by 2 foot tall) into the playpen during the day.Problem is...they blow through the 2 one gallon waterers so fast...the chicks (15 bantams) don't get enough.Every time I fill them...they use one up and then run to the other.They chase the chicks away from the waterer! [​IMG] So I thought...okay...lets go play in the big duck run today and see how that goes.There's NO WAY they can run through the pool and 2 plastic containers full in there! At least THAT went well! The young Pekins were a little pushy,but not mean,so that's good!So from now on the ducklings will be in the duck run during play time and in the brooder at night.

    I also did some shuffling of birds tonight.I had 6 birds ready for the "newbie cage" in the coop.4 EE's and 2 BB's.I transferred them into the coop.

    So after that drama, I had to get DH and dust the birds in my laying flock tonight for lice and mites. It took about an hour and a half. My DH was getting flustered with those red hens,but he didn't let it show! [​IMG] After we do all that...I go to lock all the birds in and guess what? The @#$ Meat birds coop door had banged shut...and I didn't know it...and it was already dark...and of course...raining [​IMG] The kids and I happily got a flashlight and took all the 41 "roosting everywhere" birds down and put them to bed. [​IMG]
    By this time, I realize I'm supposed to candle my duck eggs tonight in the bator...so I do that and find 6 of 12 mallard eggs had died around day 9-10 [​IMG] so I have 6 left. Only problem there is....two have BLACK SPOTS in them which I know is bacteria!! So now I have yet another post because I can't remember what people do about that [​IMG]
    Not to mention I need to clean the brooders (yes,3 brooders ) inside tonight [​IMG]
    Okay,so by now you're thinking...does she EVER shut up?! I just had to rant and say that I have such a new respect for farmers...THERE IS ALWAYS SOMETHING TO DO! and I only have a hobby farm of 148 birds!

    Alright,I'm better now...and my birds are clean [​IMG] and I LOVE them so I don't mind really....just had a long,long poultry drama day! Good thing I secretly love it [​IMG] Thanks to those who listened [​IMG]
     
  2. tgperg

    tgperg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 7, 2011
    Oklahoma City
    Oh my goodness. I was exhausted yesterday just from cleaning and sterilizing my coop. Also candled eggs. What *IS* it with duck eggs? I had a ton of bad ones too! Hope you have a calmer day tomorrow.

    Traci
     
  3. NYRIR

    NYRIR Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 13, 2010
    Petersburg,NY
    Quote:THANK YOU! Really...it makes me feel better to know others can understand! [​IMG]
     
  4. Tina D

    Tina D Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 2, 2010
    Dutchess County, NY
    I hear you! My chickens came from a family that runs an 87 acre farm, with cattle, horses, and tons of chickens. I have no idea how they keep everything under control over there! [​IMG]

    I only have 2 hens, they arrived a week ago. I am a complete newbie, and don't really have a "chicken routine" worked out yet. Plus, it's been raining here for the entire week! So, I find myself running around like a maniac, trying to keep the ladies dry and comfy, while trying not to get soaked to the bone myself. Whenever there is a small window of time without rain, I am running out to see if the girls want to free range a bit. Now that I've had a week's worth of experience, I see that my coop and run are not ideal. But, they are OK, just need some tweaking. As time passes, I'm sure I'll be able to do things faster and more efficiently. But, it's so true that you can always, always find something to do/change/clean/fix in the coop/run! It will be so nice when the weather clears up, and we can enjoy the ladies more in the yard!

    Anyway, my hat is off to all the farmers out there, too! [​IMG]
     
  5. flowergirl60

    flowergirl60 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 13, 2011
    Austin Tx
    Whew!! I am exausted just reading your post. But you know what? It's b/c we love our chickens so much. [​IMG] I hope you have a great day today.
     
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    The meat bird coop and run also got cleaned out and hay put in the coop and run.I was having trouble with mud in there,so I put a layer of sawdust on the ground and covered it with clean hay.The chickens loved it [​IMG] So question 1 is...will this be satisfactory if I keep adding layers of hay? I really don't want them in the mud! It's an open run, so it will see whatever weather we get.

    I suggest you read Pat's Muddy Run article. It might help. She is good!!!

    Pat’s Big Ol' Mud Page (fixing muddy runs):
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=1642-fix-a-muddy-run

    For
    a run your size, my main thoughts are to try to keep water out, mainly from running off roofs and running along the ground. If you can raise it so it drains better, so much the better.

    Several people use hay in the coop, but my concern is that it tends to mat together. That makes it harder to get out when it is time to clean the coop. Instead of a shovel to clean it out, you need a pitchfork.

    I have a couple of other concerns in the run. Hay is organic. In a muddy run it will break down and make great compost. However, compost can be pretty good at retaining moisture instead of drying out. A bigger concern is that wet hay can get moldy. Mold can get chickens very sick or kill them. If it gets wet in the coop, it can get moldy too, but this is a bigger concern to me in the run.


    How am I going to let them outside? I have a playpen for the banties but they can't be together. I don't want them back in the meat bird pen with the bigger flock because they are so much smaller.My DH thinks I should let them free-range with the big dogs (my laying flock).I do have enough space for them to get away and my laying flock is very accepting of newbies.They have seen these birds for 3 weeks through a fence...so is this a smart thing to do? And then put them back in the cage at night? They are all people friendly and not TOO hard to catch

    When you put roosters together that are at puberty or above, they are going to fight. Sometimes this is a fight to the death and sometimes this fighting soon becomes running away and chasing. Sometimes they seriously injure or kill each other. Sometimes they reach an accommodation where they work together pretty well to defend the flock. Often, each will sort of have their own harem, although there is a lot of fertilizing of eggs in the other harm going on. The rooster that is not dominant will do his share of fertilizing. It is surprising how sneaky they can be.

    I think them free ranging when you do this makes it much more likely they will reach an accommodation, but I cannot give you any guarantees on how it will work out. I'd do it like your husband suggests, but bear in mind it might work and it might not.

    If they are used to sleeping in a separate place at night and can get back to that place, they will probably go to where they are used to at night, at least for a while. Once they are fully integrated with the other flock, they may start sleeping with them, especially if the main coop is nicer with higher roosts than your juvenile detention center.

    You will notice that I am using a lot of weasel words like may, might, or more likely. You are dealing with living animals. I cannot tell you how they will react of what they will actually do. I can tell you what I would expect to happen, but I don't know what will happen.

    I grew up on a small farm where we had chickens, cows, and draft horses. On a farm, you are never done. There is always something to do and you have a responsibility to take care of the animals twice a day. It ties you down and limits your options. We never took a vacation. I had some great times, but I knew I did not want to spend my adult life doing that for a living. I have a great deal of respect for people who farm for a living.
     

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