Discussion in 'Where am I? Where are you!' started by foxhollow, Jul 17, 2008.

  1. lalaland

    lalaland Overrun With Chickens

    Sep 26, 2008
    Pine County MN
    Ralphie, I can hardly believe you are contemplating life without Bert! And I don't know what we would all do without the latest gossip about him......

    I think housecats let outside do a heck of a lot of damage with wild birds. Feral cats undoubtedly do get some birds, but more rats and mice .....My housecats are housecats and not allowed out except under supervision, because of the cost to birds.

    This morning around 5 when I went into the coop, the hens did their little morning clucks and purrs....so I knew it was warmer! When it is frightfully cold, they don't budge in the dark, just keep hunkered down. Love this warm day. and sun!!!!
  2. Minniechickmama

    Minniechickmama Senora Pollo Loco

    Sep 4, 2009
    The classes that you saw listed were probably something aside from the one I attended. It may be that the "industry people" up in your neck of the woods offer something other than the one I attended.
    If you decide you want to get certified to be a tester, it is a class held by the Minnesota Animal Health Dept. They usually have just one class a year open on a first come, first serve basis. The Poultry Testing Labs are in Willmar, and the class was held in Alexandria when I went. What you can get certified through it is being a Rapid Whole Blood Tester, basically. This test is done by drawing a blood sample from a vein in the birds wing. It is just a drop that is needed from the bird. Does it hurt them? About as much as getting a shot, since a medium gauge needle is used to poke them for the sample. There is a charge for the class of like $35, but you would have to check that amount, I haven't had to go for 4 years.
    You do not have to be a tester to get your flock tested though. If what you want is to just have your flock tested to become NPIP certified, then you could have someone who is already tested come out and do your flock. YES, the initial testing must be done on the entire flock. You have turkeys, so that adds something to the equation. You can get certified for testing turkeys also, but that is an additional test, and that is a vial of blood that is drawn and must be sent to the labs for testing.
    Testing for chickens is for Pollorum and Typhoid strains of Salmonella. The turkey testing is done for Mycolplasm Galliseptum and Mycolplasm Sinovae (MG and MS for short). In Minnesota, the only required testing is these tests, however, some other states, just 2 that I know of, also require Avian Influenza testing as well. Here is the tricky part with getting AI done, if you have wild birds around your place, you may test positive for it even if you don't have birds showing symptoms. I have inquired about having it done with my flock and it is not a test that is being encouraged here at this time. There have been outbreaks of AI on the West Coast in recent months, but unless people are transporting birds from the West Coast over the Rockies, it should stay out of our region, at least for now. If you test for it and test positive, you may end up with your entire flock being destroyed.
    If you want to be able to sell birds in Minnesota legally, you would be wise to be certified. It beats testing individual birds every time you want to sell. If you want to sell at any swaps, you must have testing done anyway.
    Once you have had the initial testing of your flock, then you can do just a sampling of your flock for testing each year, depending on the number of birds you have. Or, if you plan to do hatchings, you can send in debris samples from hatching for the subsequent years. If you attend the class to be a certified tester, then they will explain all of this.
    Testing is not required for waterfowl.
    Once you are certified as a tester, the forms, the antigen, all the paperwork is provided by the state poultry testing office. Lucky for us it is this way in Minnesota, in other states flock owners have to paid a hefty sum to get their birds tested.
    I test for 4-Hers each summer, and I don't charge if they bring their birds to me, but if I travel to someone's home to test, I charge time and gas. I have done a flock that was moving out of state before and had to test all birds they were taking with them.
    It is rare to have a bird test positive for P-T. If it test positive, then the state vet in your area would be notified and that bird quarantined until they can come out, and they would test with their antigen to make sure it wasn't just a fluke or that there isn't something wrong with the antigen used in the first test. If one were to in fact be positive, it would have to be destroyed. I believe they would do the same if a turkey tested positive for MS or MG, but you would have to ask. I haven't grown out any turkey's since I got certified other than the BBWs I get for the freezer.

    It would be commendable, I think, if you were to undertake raising a heritage breed, (Buckeyes are great! ;) ). If you do though, please find a breeder who has them on the right path. Large hatcheries that have lots of 'rare and heritage breeds', are not the best source for starting a breeding flock from if you want to maintain the integrity of the breed based on the Standard for that breed, if there is one. I say that because the large facilities generally work toward providing fowl that resemble the breed, but are selected for laying ability more than breed traits. Hatchery stock almost never meets the size/weight standard, they generally do not have the correct coloring and may even come with incorrect combs. It does cost more to get started from breeder's stock, but it is worth it because the quality is there. However, buyer beware, there are peddlers who claim they have 'show quality' stock, and you need to investigate.
    1 person likes this.
  3. Cyrus83

    Cyrus83 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 8, 2013
    Chisago/Forest Lake
    I am moving into Chisago Lakes township, and having a hard time finding any chicken ordinance about birds per acre and if roosters are allowed, my new house is on two acres and its fairly rural. If anyone is familiar with that areas chicken rules, Id much appreciate being filled in.
  4. Dandelioness

    Dandelioness Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 27, 2014
    East Central MN
    Hello -
    I'm in the North Branch/Harris area. I am zoned ag, rather than rural residential (which is what I think you would be), so it's apples and oranges. I just wanted to say "Hi" and welcome to the MN thread, and the local chicken keeping population.

    AmericanKraut is pretty close to you, I think. For the most part, the local law enforcement or zoning guys will only come out of there's a complaint. So if your neighbors don't mind, they don't mind.
  5. Dandelioness

    Dandelioness Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 27, 2014
    East Central MN
    Ralphie - I'm with Lalaland - life without Bert?!? [​IMG]

    Would it be possible for you to take 2-3 of your larger hens and house them with Bert in his old quarters?? Maybe that vixen of a white rock could be a candidate? Unless she's not the marrying kind... [​IMG]

    My new rooster is having problems integrating as well. I think I introduced him too soon. I had put three girls in with him in a quarantine run with a night box for about a week. Everyone looked good, and then we started looking at those really cold snaps. He and the other roos have been checking each other out through the chicken wire of the run, with no apparent fighting through the wire, so I thought it would be okay to put them all in the main coop where it would be warmer. The first couple nights, he roosted on a haystack next to my two silkies. He's thrice their size, so it was comical and sweet.

    But three days ago, I found him huddled behind the haystack with an eye swollen shut. I felt so bad. So I put five hens with him back in the run, because we had another super cold night (just in case anyone missed it). No one froze to death, and his eye is looking much, much better. I think I'm going to give it another 2 weeks before I try integrating them again.
    The pecking order thing... [​IMG] Can't they wait until the weather is nicer?!?? I have so many outdoor pens for warmer months, but it's this winter quarantine thing that's getting me. I think that's going to have to change. Even without trying to introduce new stock in the winter, there can be cases where you'd need to separate individuals or small groups during the cold season.

    What to you folks do for winter separation or quarantine quarters??
  6. nj2wv

    nj2wv Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 14, 2015
    Lost Creek ,WV
    I have a small wood and wire cage I built in the coop. I use it to coop train newbies and also for any that need to be separated. It is not the best looking but it works. it's not too bad for a middle aged woman who doesn't know a thing about carpentry lol [​IMG]
  7. Cyrus83

    Cyrus83 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 8, 2013
    Chisago/Forest Lake
    Thanks for the reply, I think I will just have to get to know the neighbors a bit and make sure their ok with a crowing rooster. Or as soon as I hear a dog barking early in the morning, that will justify having a rooster. :)
  8. duluthralphie

    duluthralphie Chicken Wrangler extrodinaire Premium Member

    Jul 11, 2014
    Orrock township, Minnesota
    I have a couple of dog kennels 4x3 ft wire jobbies. I put a 2x4 through the slots in the wire and make a roost and put new birds in them, that is where ED and Ole spend a week. Then they went into an area in front of the Guineas cage/pen, for week two, until Ole ruined that by escaping the pen to visit the guineas.

    The dog cages make a great area to separate the birds, I keep them in a machine shed when I want them all alone and can bring them outside when I want to introduce birds to the flock to get use to each other.

    Now about Bert, I do not want to get rid of Bert. I was just frustrated and trying to think of what is best for him.

    I have decided to built him a 4x6 fence within the guineas coop. Keeping the gangsters from him. I am going to cut a hole in the wall of the coop and let Bert have the dog outdoor dog kennel. We seldom put the dogs in it anyways. It is a large enough area 8- 10 ft panels and 16 foot wood wall of the coop, so it has a circumference of 96 ft and the wall are between 7-8 ft tall. I know Bert cannot fly that high. I went to Menards in Elk River and bought the lumber I needed for the cage.

    I went to TSC and got more wood chips and heated waters. At TSC the cashier asked me if I was getting chicks, yes they have chicks there now, I said no I was separating some of mine, so we talked chickens. She was surprised to learn I had a mature CX rooster, she said she heard they all died before reaching 5 months...... She looked at me funny when I told her how cool he is. I then explained how I raised them feeding 16% protein and limiting quantities etc. Anyways back to Bert. I am moving the vixen white rock in with Bert and hoping she does not fly over the fence, I am going to pick out about 3 rainbow hens to put in with him too. It will be a few days before I get this all done, because of other commitments, but I think it should work. The Rainbows are so large I doubt they could fly out, and if I needed to I have bird netting I could put over the top.

    My main concern is all the little EE'ers that can fly becoming obsessed with Bert, because he is such a stud, and flying into the kennel for a little Whoopee.
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2015
  9. Triplell

    Triplell Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 29, 2011
    Brainerd, MN
    I am NPIP certified and a tester. The classes this year are in Mankato and Sauk Rapids by St. Cloud. It is just a day class then when its time for you to get tested they come to your place to see how you do. That is what they did with me. I test for many 4-H and FFA kids for the fairs and other show's. It gets eaiser with time and practice on your own birds. Next year I have to do a refresher course to get recertified as a tester.
  10. Cluckies

    Cluckies Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    Jul 3, 2014
    My Coop
    My silly girls, so every once in a while, I'll throw a handful of crumbles onto an ice cream pail cover or 2, (edges up to keep the crumbles on it) and the girls love pecking the crumbles, when they peck, the crumbles jump around, I think they think it is fun. Do any of your enjoy this?

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