I'm new and without a clue. Help!

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by Othercat, Jun 18, 2011.

  1. Othercat

    Othercat Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 18, 2011
    Ashe County, NC
    Hi all! I'm Cat. [​IMG]

    I recently became a chick mommy and I really have no clue what I'm doing. I'm from a biggish city and just recently moved to rural North Carolina. Until recently, the closest I'd ever been to a chick was when I watched those cute Easter commercials on tv.

    On May 30, we bought 10 chicks. Because I didn't know any better, I neglected to ask their breed, their age and even their sexes. Because of our inexperience, we lost 3 chicks in the first 3 days. One was smothered because my husband used a fluorescent bulb in their lamp and they couldn't get warm. Another drowned because I didn't know they needed a smaller water dish. And poor little Dottie passed on the third day, but we don't know why.

    Because I couldn't stand to lose another one (by this point they all had names), I spent an entire day researching every article I could find online (which is how I found this website). I learned an amazing amount of information and I think the other 7 chicks survived because of it. Because we don't know their age or sex, we've had a hard time figuring out temperatures and stuff like that, but apparently we're doing okay because no more have passed. Right now they sleep in the house at night and during the day they stay in a larger pen outside. We have a coop ready for them, or at least we did until my sis-in-law surprised (more like shocked) us with a full grown rooster yesterday morning. At first I didn't want him, but then I realized he's so nice and tame. Unlike my chicks, he didn't run whenever I came near. He even let me pet him [​IMG]

    So now Henry is in the coop. I'm a little worried because he's all by himself. My husband says we need to leave him in there a couple days before we can let him roam free. It's so sad because he just paces by the door wanting to get out. I let Earbud (our biggest chick and the self appointed leader of the chicks) in the coop with Henry but we had to take him out because Henry pecked him a couple times.

    On to me and my family. There's 5 of us here. Me, my husband John, his Mom and Dad, and his 22 year old sister. We live in a big house on a almost-but-not-really-a-farm. I work from home as a writer and John works in utilities. Along with the chicks, we also have Lexie (Chihuahua), Tucker (Jack Russell), Rebel (Mutt Extraordinaire) and Cinnamon (Top Cat in the neighborhood). In the three years we've been here, I've embraced our country life and tried my best to learn new experiences with it.

    Because I know ya'll are probably wondering why I would get chicks when I have no clue what I'm doing, it's because of the whole "new experiences" thing (and because I'm a true animal lover). Plus my Father-in-Law used to raise chickens so I figured I could rely on him for help (but unfortunately his memories are a little faded). And that's why I'm here. Because in all the research I did, I kept landing back on this site to find the answers. And, believe me, I need many answers (as if you couldn't tell)!

    Thank you Nifty-Chicken for providing an introduction template. Without it ya'll could have been done reading this 5 minutes ago! [​IMG]

    Ooh! I can't forget a picture!
    [​IMG]
     
  2. MandyH

    MandyH You'll shoot your eye out!

    [​IMG]
    You will have to let everybody wake up lol! This site gets busy by mid morning so there will be people to help with the breeds. I just didn't want you to think you were being ignored, just not a lot of activity right now. Once again welcome. You will learn anything and everything you need to know here.
     
  3. Othercat

    Othercat Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 18, 2011
    Ashe County, NC
    Thanks Mandy. I didn't realize it was so early! lol
     
  4. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    Jacksonville, Florida
    Welcome to BYC. I'm no good at identifying chick breeds. Ensure you your chicken house and pen are constructed like Ft Knox. Every predator around will eventually be paying you a visit from now on. If you let them free range, make sure someone supervises them...including your rooster. Good luck!
     
  5. BrattishTaz

    BrattishTaz Roo Magnet

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    [​IMG] and [​IMG] from FL

    I started my chicken adventure much like you have. You are going to have to learn a lot, thankfully you have this site. [​IMG] It will be quite a while before you can put the babies in with the rooster so you are probably going to need to have somewhere to house them once they go outside.
     
  6. Othercat

    Othercat Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 18, 2011
    Ashe County, NC
    @dawg53, I think we built it right. We put the side walls 6 inches into the ground. We doubled up the chicken wire so the holes weren't so big. We dug up the floor and put down chicken wire and mesh before filling it back in. We put a tin roof on and made sure there were no open spots anywhere in the construction. Is there anything else I need to do? We can't let them free range because they'll get into the crops. Also we don't know how the dogs will react to them. But later today we're going to build them a run.

    @BrattishTaz, Since they were growing so fast, we built them a big pen to use until they're old enough for the coop. Of course, they're quickly outgrowing that too...
     
  7. Elphaba2140

    Elphaba2140 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Northern Illinois
    Hello from Illinois! [​IMG] [​IMG] You have come to the right place. A year and a half ago I too bought some chicks without much chicken knowledge. I had read and read here and got lots of books so I felt pretty confident. One thing I have learned is to be observant. Just watch your chickens daily for more than a few minutes. You will learn much from just observation. As far as integrating your chicks to the rooster, that will now have to wait until they are almost his size or he will peck and possibly injure them. Search integrating flocks here and you will find volumes of info. Have fun with your new babies and enjoy them.
     
  8. MandyH

    MandyH You'll shoot your eye out!

    You can also use the search tool in the upper left hand and find an answer to almost anything you can think of.
     
  9. Othercat

    Othercat Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 18, 2011
    Ashe County, NC
    @Elphaba2140, I did a little research before we got them but all that knowledge must have seeped out somehow. Along with boning up on my research, I've learned that they'll tell me if I'm doing something wrong. Mira will chirp if they run out of food or water. Earbud will stretch out her wings and cover as many of the others as she can if they get cold. And Thumper lets me know when they wake up in the morning. I actually spend 3 - 4 hours a day with them. I just like to watch. I'm so amazed that each one has their own personality, their own quirks, their own way of doing things. I never thought it would be like this.
     
  10. renart

    renart Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 16, 2009
    Kingston, WA
    [​IMG] from NW Washington State! [​IMG] So many helpful people here, all so knowledgeable and willing to help! Glad to see you.
     

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