Minnesota!

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

  1. duluthralphie

    duluthralphie Chicken Wrangler Premium Member

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    Orrock township, Minnesota
    It is an exciting day here today.

    My light was off in the coop this morning. After I replaced the "electronic" timer, I thought my problems were over. But I thought wrong. So I was out there at 5:30 fixing it. Brrrrrrrrrr

    The problem was Bert. Bert being as an attractive hunk as he is, attracts the girls. Last night, when I locked the coop, there was a RSL visiting Bert, She was roosting on the shelf I keep the surge protector and controls for the lights. I never gave it a second thought. Well, the little minx must have decided she wanted to set a more romantic mood. She had shut off the surge protector and changed the programing on the timer by pushing more of the whatchamacallits, technical term in.

    I am not letting the girls out until noon today, I want more of those eggs!....

    I found this under my bird feeders today:

    [​IMG]


    It is exciting, I have not seen a rabbit here in ages!


    I also saw this:
    [​IMG]

    Which is no big deal, I see them all the time. BUT notice I have it trained to stay on the ground finally.


    Tomorrow the girls will not get out of the coop until real late, because I am taking a road trip to get my new chickens, I am so excited about them. I need to arrange housing today for them.
     
  2. Scott16475

    Scott16475 Chillin' With My Peeps

    A couple of times last week after it had gotten dark, I walked out to the run to shut up everything and screamed like a girl when a rabbit jumped out at me from the darkness as it was trying to escape the run. I not only have been feeding the chickens but a rabbit or two. They must wait for the chickens to put themselves in the coop and then they walk in and start eating their food. I mentioned to my wife the other day how I thought the chickens were eating more than normal and now I know why. Rabbits.

    Not sure how to keep the rabbits away because I can't always be there to shut up the run the second the girls go into the coop. I suppose I can only give them food during the morning and then put the feeder away when I get home from work in the mid-afternoon. Any suggestions?
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2015
  3. Minniechickmama

    Minniechickmama Senora Pollo Loco

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    Chicks being shipped through USPS must be shipped out within 24-hours of hatching, however, McMurray also uses SpeeDee sometimes, as do I whenever I can. Either way, to get up to Minnesota, chicks should reach the PO Hub by the next day. Due to an issue with the post office in Webster City, Iowa, they have to hatch them on a specific day and ship out on the next. It is crazy, but I think the hatch on Thursday, which means chicks have a greater risk of sitting overnight in a post office somewhere. They can survive for 3-days, but that 4th is the iffy time. Also, postal workers don't always know how to handle the boxes, some will place them in front of a heater or a/c unit, I have heard, instead of just putting them in a comfortable open place. It is sad to see so many lost, but last year there were quite a few who received boxes of dead chicks when it was still too cold. It is never a pleasant thing. The hatcheries start setting eggs in anticipation for average weather conditions, but when we get this kind of stuff, they aren't able to just sit on orders, so they ship them out and we see this stuff happening.
    Being a breeder who does ship chicks, I am ALWAYS nervous when I send them off.
     
  4. Bogtown Chick

    Bogtown Chick Overrun With Chickens

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    My Coop
    Since we got chickens our Rabbit and Squirrel population boomed.

    And my feed started going down faster and faster...

    Finally I had my son go out and do some thinning. I don't like doing that but it was getting out of control & expensive.

    I need one of those flip-the-lid feeders you can train chickens on. Anybody else have those? Does it work for Bantams too or just regular/standard sized chickens?
     
  5. Bogtown Chick

    Bogtown Chick Overrun With Chickens

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    My Coop
    Those Hatcheries, I'm sure are prepping for Southern folks alot of the time this early. And all too glad to take some Northern state money too. But with Snow in Virginia and alot of the lower 48...it's just bad luck shipping those chicks on a colder than usual winter for much of the nation. I know that for some "those chicks are just chickens-and expendable" -- but I'm just too sensitive to think of those live birds in a box with somebody who could give two "craps" about what they're handling. And even if they do care...Cargo Hulls of Airplanes are NOT heated or Air-conditioned. Strombergs has a hatchery VERY near me...like 25 minutes away and I called them to see if I could just pick up at the hatchery. They said no. They have their process and I suppose nobody to collect the money. Inflexibility though killed their sale to me. So I went to L & M for my first birds.

    Up here...I know I have 2 more months of winter left. Plain and Simple and Guaranteed.

    I can't even think about putting seeds in the dirt until Memorial weekend.
     
  6. Bogtown Chick

    Bogtown Chick Overrun With Chickens

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    My Coop
    I definitely think Bert is a Peanut @duluthralphie .

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Minniechickmama

    Minniechickmama Senora Pollo Loco

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    Rabbits get into my pasture, but I don't notice much of the feed going missing from them. I feed only what the chickens will eat for the day and they clean it up. However, since last fall I have had a rise in wild birds out there. I have to close off all the little spots where they can get into the pens themselves because they roost and poop on everything. but they also help themselves to the feed. It is a couple of different varieties of sparrows and starlings. It is past time for me to make a starling trap and get rid of as many as possible.

    On another critter note though, I have adopted a couple of cats this winter. They are a mother cat and her kitten. I say kitten, but it is about 8 or 9 months old. The rest of the litter is gone, but they showed up one day early last summer in our wood shed. Our 3 dogs started barking at them, so momma kitty moved the litter off into the windbreak to grow up. They were all pretty wild, but I knew the momma wasn't always a wild cat. They kept their distance until early Winter, I walked into the big chicken house/barn/whatever label one would give my breeder building. There sat the younger cat (a tabby) up on the ledge of the wall. I told it, "You can stay as long as you don't eat my chickens or injure them, and you kill mice that are pooping and peeing everywhere and generally p***ing me off". Apparently, we had a bargain. I got a litter box out, started giving it enough food so not to be too well-fed to lose interest in the mice, and there it stayed for about 7-weeks. Then I went out and it was gone. Well, then the momma cat started coming out and meowing at me, and in a couple of days was rubbing on my leg and being my best friend. Hmm, I think someone's hormones may have been a little active. Now, both cats come running from their hiding spots as soon as I go out to do chores each day. The younger one just started letting me touch it this last week, and is still a bit nervous about that. They follow me around the yard and talk to me while I am working. It is fun some days to see the younger one playing like it is still a little kitten. They seem to be doing their job, since I don't see mice around much as I did before they started hanging around the chicken yard. I did accidentally lock the tabby into the brooder house one night. I was afraid to check the brooder tubs for fear it had realized that chicks make tasty treats for cats, but it hadn't touched them, just wanted to be in a warmer place to spend the night. I still don't trust them and won't let them stay in there if I am not in with them.

    There is another part of this though. Last week, as I was doing chores, I saw little prints that were too small to be a cat or rabbit, and too big to be a mouse. A big, fat, brown rat had moved in near my one hutch that I have a trio of Cornish in. There was a family of them out there last fall I trapped and got rid of, but this one decided to come around and leave its trail for me. I set the big trap and caught it, but it only snapped on its leg. So, here is where the cats come in again. They were watching when I found the rat and came running right over. I "took care of" Mr. Rat, and immediately, the tabby snatched it up and ran with it, but I think the momma took it and had her meal, tabby was by me again in less than 5 minutes. So, the trap is set again. Last fall though, I caught more sparrows than rodents with that trap, which in hindsight, is okay with me. I see a job for this Spring to add to my list... rodent proofing my hutch better. The sad truth is, where there is poultry and their feed, there will be rodents. I am glad my two furry friends are out there for company, but I also appreciate they are there to help keep those annoying critters under control.
     
  8. Minniechickmama

    Minniechickmama Senora Pollo Loco

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    Stromberg's does have some of their chicks drop-shipped from breeders, so they might not even have some of them on sight. The other issue though is the biosecurity end of it, and I can't blame them for not allowing pick-ups. I have often thought about not allowing customers on my property for that reason, however, I do like to show people the conditions their birds are coming from. I don't take anyone into the buildings or the pasture, but the flock and coops and pens are visible enough that one can get a good feel for how I run things. It would devastate me to have someone track in a disease from elsewhere, so I can only imagine if that happened to one of the large facilities like McMurray or Strombergs or Welp.
     
  9. Rhetts

    Rhetts Chillin' With My Peeps

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    True about winter lasting 2 more months up here for sure. Was it last year the ice was still on the lakes for fish opener? And planting seeds last year was the end of June for our garden.

    My DH said the same thing about some folks feeling chicks are expendable. He took the loss pretty bad. He was super disappointed. I did call McMurray today and they were very nice and apologized repeatedly. I opted for getting replacements instead of refund/credit. In the future I would like to rely less on having chicks shipped and go more of the broody hen route. But that is years away for us right now. Maybe we could consider trying incubating eggs to eliminate the shipping of chicks too. But again, I know NOTHING of either of those and will look into it down the road.
     
  10. jbenson

    jbenson Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They will do fine from MM to Minnesota that time of year. I got some from them that week a few years ago and did not lose one. The were at my local po before they were 24 hours old. They drive in a heated truck to the twin cities instead of flying which I think is the key. They will toss in an extra chick or two sometimes, but it us not necessary if there are at least 25 chicks in the no. And they put a heatpack under the bedding just in case.
     

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