MainePoultry's 1st Flock

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by MainePoultry, Feb 24, 2013.

  1. MainePoultry

    MainePoultry Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 2, 2013
    Hey BYC! Ive been lurking the forums for a month or so and decided to join and post. I have learned a ton and think I can do better with my own flock this time around. Technically this is the first flock I will own, I took care of 15 RIR a year or so back. My plan is to order from a hatchery in the next week or two. I think Murray McMurray, Mt Healthy or Meyer may be some of my big hitters from what I have read. My plan was Speckled Sussex, and I haven't ruled them out but I think I'm going to start with Plymouth Barred Rocks. So some knowledge I have about the birds upbringing...
    ACV/molasses in the water for the chicks pasty butt? Warm wet cloth and vaseline to cure it. Hot and cold side of brooder... So they can self regulate.Pine and cedar shavings are poisonous? Also I'm waiting for full feathers to go outside to my coop. The coop is a shed just out back off the grape gondola.(I know they will eat the grapes and they have seeds and I have a trillion of it a poison factor or a choke factor? I can figure something out either way.) It has receptacles and lights already so it's perfect. It's a 10x12, and I planned on 4 nesting boxes for 10-15 girls.

    I live in Maine so winters are a little harsh but nothing the girls can't handle. My ideal situation would be to feed them bugs, seeds, berries and greens all year long. I planned on starting a fodder system with wheat grass. I also considered other greens like alfalfa sprouts, spinach, clovers... Will they eat all this?
    I want to start a three tier mealworm farm as well. Would this varied diet year long help in egg production or anything? I would imagine it couldn't hurt their health.
    Should I keep them out of my garden altogether or are the chickens beneficial more than destructive? I plan on having roughly 300 sq ft of veggies corn etc... If so I can just use fencing, but how high should the fencing be? 4ft?
    Any advice would be great, I know there are some seasoned keepers here. Thanks for taking the time to read my post! Let me know what I should or should not do. Thanks
  2. MainePoultry

    MainePoultry Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 2, 2013
    Do I need pictures of chicks for people to be interested? Ouch
  3. lilliesanchicks

    lilliesanchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 14, 2013
    Chickens will shred a garden.
    Now if you have a orchard they do great in there as long as its allready established.Now you can put them on a spot you want worked or cleaned up.
    The stuff your planning to grow they will love.

  4. nova022

    nova022 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 3, 2012
    Sounds like you did plenty of reading are ready to get started. I grow collards, mustard and a few other greens for mine and they love it. Good luck!
  5. debid

    debid Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 20, 2011
    middle TN
    I let the chickens work the garden over all they like during the off-season. Then, they claim anything sticking out of the fence during the season. My fence is only 3' and they can easily fly over so I have to keep close watch and shoo as needed. 4' would be a minimum IMO if you want them to have unsupervised range time and not destroy the garden. If I let them in at other times, they will eat produce as well as bugs. There is nothing so annoying as two dozen tomatoes with a few bite marks each. So, it's up to you but I'd at least limit access to the garden. They'll help with pest control by working the fence line and will welcome a pile of pulled weeds in their run. They get SO excited over the missed and overgrown zucchini that you'll be tempted to miss one on purpose. Plus,weed seeds that chickens eat don't sprout so they also make top-notch fertilizer for you.

    I haven't needed to grow forage because we have lots of chickweed all fall/winter when nothing else is growing. But yes, they'll eat any of the sprouts you're considering and you'll be rewarded with orange yolks year-round.
  6. humphrey farms

    humphrey farms Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 28, 2012
    Naples Maine
    hello Fellow Mainer! Our flock of 25 wyandottes free range all day spring through late fall until we had the dreaded SNOW!!!!! We shared our veggies from our garden w/our flock. We didnt grow anything intentially for them. We do hay some of our field and put aside bales for winter. However, I found that I need to keep a few extra for next year's snowy months. They also get house scraps and neighbors will give us dry goods that I cook for them. Rice,macaroni, stale breads, and bruised fruit. I find it easier to feed Flock Raiser with added oyster shell as we have a mixed age flock. They get alfalfa cubes a few days a week during the winter months plus a few cups of BOSS every few days. They get daily a ration of corn. I give them 3 cps in the morning scattered around the coop. Because they are spoiled when I clean every other week I push the bedding outside of the coop so to encourage them to go outside. AND it works! Plus with the dirty bedding outside with animals and myself walking on it we help break it down quicker for the compost pile when we can get the small tractor through the snow. WE have had eggs all winter w/no heat or lighting and the yolks are to die for.
  7. MainePoultry

    MainePoultry Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 2, 2013
    Thanks everyone, sounds like I am on the right track. I would like to give and get the most out of my girls. I just wish I had more space! No heat or extra lighting you say? Are they that cold hardy? If so that's crazy! I would love to breed at home but don't want the rooster to be a nuisance to neighbors.
  8. gcbsmommy

    gcbsmommy Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 12, 2013
    I think it is just cedar shavings that are poisonous - pine shavings are ok! I have been using them with my 3+ week olds and all is well. I do put raw ACV in their water. Had a couple with pasting but just wiped them clean and kept an eye on them and haven't lost any (out of 27 chicks). Enjoy your feathered adventure!
  9. tristancolli

    tristancolli Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 25, 2009
    yes pine is ok. it is only cedar that is poison.
  10. MainePoultry

    MainePoultry Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 2, 2013
    Some stuff I picked up, still need ACV and Vaseline. And I plan on a futon box for my brooder... How big should I have for 10-15 chicks? I'm about to go set my order in stone!

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