Minnesota!

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

  1. nordicacres

    nordicacres Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Haha, that is cute what your DD named her chickens! My Australorps are very sweet. They always come right on over to me and are very calm. So far my least favorite breeds are the Gold/Silver Wyandottes and the Dark Brahmas (they also seek out the chance to bully the smaller chicks). Our Barred Rocks/Cuckoo Marans are just there in the background. It's a learning experience, that's for certain. Eventually we will pare down and stick to the breeds that are best for us. None of our chickens have names. I did name one Henrietta as a young chick, but now she blends into the flock and I can't tell who she is any longer. Oops! My youngest son loves the Cochins and calls them both "favorite chicken".
     
  2. Minniechickmama

    Minniechickmama Senora Pollo Loco

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    That is a very good question. Hatcheries like MM and Cackle and so forth are breeding more for higher egg production. In that, they do lose some of the characteristics of what a breed should be. Most times you will see they are smaller than their breeder type fowl, but they also seem to disregard temperament. Many breeders like myself won't put up with a mean rooster and they go and find they lose their head for it. For whatever reason though, I do hear more stories about mean SLW hatchery hens. Nasty roosters are found in all breeds. I sold a MM Buff Cochin to a fella nearby when we first started because we had too many. He told me later that it was the meanest rooster he ever saw. That was a COCHIN!!! The most laid back breed I can think of! Also, breeding a mean rooster, you can just get more of the same, just like an ill-tempered dog will produce more of the same. If you want a nice rooster, come see me later in the Summer and I will get you a nice Buckeye or Welsummer or Cochin. My New Hampshires sometimes forget their place when I go to pick up hens in the breeding pen, but never had them come at me, just charge over as if they would if I did kick their butts first for even thinking about it.
    Even if you just want a backyard flock, if temperament is a concern, the you should look to a breeder who takes that into consideration.
     
  3. FoxyChicken

    FoxyChicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This discussion is EXACTLY why I turned to Minnie for my new chicks. I am also just a backyard hobbyist with only a handful of birds that I consider pets. I don't show or breed and I'm not really in it for egg production, though I do sell off my extras. My original chicks were from a feed store, i.e. hatchery chicks, and I had some serious behavior issues my first year. My SLW and RSLs were feather pickers and and even started reverting to cannibalism. I eventually had to separate the worst victim and sadly had to cull her, but it was because of a prolapse, not from the picking. Things have settled down now, I think the milder winter helped and I reconfigured my coop to give them more room. But anyway, I just want friendly, happy, healthy birds. Having issues like that takes all the fun out of having chickens!
    I have to say my Australorps have been great, super sweet and Meredith has been a perfect broody and mother. And of course they were the worst off in the whole feather picking fiasco, the one I had to separate was a 'lorp.
     
  4. duluthralphie

    duluthralphie Chicken Wrangler extrodinaire Premium Member

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    I find the chicken personality conversation interesting, but wonder if it is not as much the person as the chicken.

    I find the chickens I have the least of are the most interesting personalities. It makes me think maybe we just notice those that stand out more.

    I have 3, I think Black Australorps. They are mellow semi-friendly birds that seem to bother no one, except for my BA rooster Ernie who runs JJ the wrong way.

    I have one white EE and she is one of my sweethearts, the rest of the EE are BLAH! They are there but really go unnoticed, if I lost a few I might not notice for a month.

    I have a Delaware and two barred rocks they are special to me, they make up the trio I call the "turkens" they were raised by Ethel and hang with Ethel as much or than with the chickens.

    I have one white rock, yes the one with loose morals and questionable tastes, I love her, When I come out the door she runs to me, she follows me and talks to me. Sure there are some EE around but heck, I never really notice them.

    Then I have Ole, he comes from a questionable prior owner, he chases "women" all day, has lost almost all his tail feathers, Deservingly so, he will come to me for food, but I think he is looking more for an unsuspecting hen than the food, I am sure he will die of starvation from forgetting to eat while chasing hens. BUT I think he has the blue egg gene. He has expressed an interest in moving back to Proctor. He is just too cool to eat.

    Then I have ED a partridge Chanticer rooster. He is a good rooster, he protects the birds, even though him and Ole come from the same source they are not friends. Ed has removed haf the feathers from Ole, the other half Ernie took. They both try to keep him from breeding, it is a hopeless task, like the boy with the finger in the dike. Ed does not like to be picked up or monkeyed with, he is not friendly or standoffish, I would miss Ed also right away. He is a beautiful rooster, and has huge thighs I want him to pass on to his baby boys.

    I have the Creamettes that I really do not know, they are flighty for me but more accepting of my DW.

    I have the Cochins I just got I really do not know them but again they are new and seem to like my DW better than me, so obviously they have poor taste. These and creamettes are special to me, maybe because of their "exoticness". I may end up someday with just a bunch of special breeds and no mutts, who knows.

    I have BSL and RSL they have varied personalities, but like the EE I have enough and cannot tell them apart from each other.

    I would think as with humans genetics plays a role in personalities, but environment plays a bigger role, in my case the chickens I have less of I think I spend more time handling and talking to when they were chicks..


    my 2 cents....
     
  5. Cluckies

    Cluckies Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    My Coop
    Interesting. I only have 6 chooks, 2 SLW (Mother and Morticia), 2 EE (Silly Goose and Baby), 1 BO Cluck-Cluck, and 1 Golden Comet Fi. I love them all. I've had to nurse 3 back from the brink of death, I think when you nurse a sick chicken you become closer with it, and they you. Mother had a sour crop last fall, Baby had an impacted crop last winter, and Goose just got over Cocci. They all have different personalities, maybe I'm able to notice them more cause all of my birds look different, so there is no way to not tell them apart. My husband who spends about 2 milliseconds with the birds said the other day "how do I know their names and who is who?" I have no idea, maybe cause i'm constantly talking about them? ;)
    Cluck-Cluck (BO) is the friendliest towards me, But she is my feather picker and wears pinless peepers to keep it to a minimum. All the girls have stood up and put cluck-cluck in her place except for Goose. Most of the girls just try to keep cluck-cluck in their forward view.
    I was never so happy as the day baby (lowest on the pecking order) took on Cluck-cluck. Baby grabbed cluck-cluck by the comb and dragged her around. There was alot of squaking and kicking between the two. They would stand off, raise up and run at each other with feet kicking forward. during one of the stand offs right before they ran towards each other Fi stepped in and broke it up, who knew chickens had referee's? Fi is second in the pecking order, after Morticia took first place from her.

    I always thought the pecking order would be straight down a line. it is not. Morticia(SLW) is 1 and rules the run with a iron fist, she is strict, but not mean (but cluck-cluck is over morticia), Fi is 2 (but she does not bother cluck-cluck), cluck-cluck is 3 (but baby is over cluck-cluck), Goose is 4, Mother is 5, and baby is 6. Baby backs away from everyone else, but she is above cluck-cluck. it is so interesting out there. Both times when there was a change in order. When I went in the run I could sense it in the air. I didn't have to wait long to find out who was fighting who [​IMG]

    Fi is my most food motivated and will follow me about anywhere if she thinks there is food. her crop is softball size every night. she is a champion layer, 6 out of 7 days most weeks. She is also the most curious and first to go look at something. She hollers at me from the run when I step outside [​IMG] The other day I was mowing and Fi, then the rest of the girls followed me way out to the back. I looked up and saw them and laughed, hahaha

    Goose is my most timid. She'll always wait and see what the others are going to do before she commits to anything. Goose hasn't laid an egg since November.

    Baby is pretty curious as well, and since she was sick has become more friendly with me. Baby continues to lay soft shelled eggs [​IMG] I've tried everything, worming, changed from gamebird feed to layer feed, have oyster shell in there, liquid calcim mixed in yogurt or feed, even tried the citrical tablets, 1/4 of one a night for a few nights, nothing changed.

    Mother is the most alert for danger, she is also very sweet and lovely to look at, she doesn't care to be handled much. She bows to everyone but poor baby, because baby is the only one below her, she goes after her quite a bit.

    I never knew chickens all sounded different vocally. I can tell who is talking just by the sounds they are making.

    Now, Yesterday Morticia tried to go broody. She sat in the box all day, when I let them out to free range last evening she didn't come out, so I grabbed her out and put her with the free rangers. then I closed off the "favorite" nesting box. Then when they went to bed she became very upset she could not get in that box, she finally settled in another box, so I closed off the other two boxes so she had nowhere to go but the roost. She went to the roost and slept. This morning when I let them out I uncovered the 2 less desirable boxes, left the favorite covered. she went right into the run for a dust bath. Do you think she may be over being broody already? or when she goes to lay her egg today will it start again? I guess time will tell. I'm leaving the favorite box covered for a few days anyways. Only problem is, it is every ones favorite. I do not have a rooster and no room for any more chickens at the moment so I hope her broodiness is broken.

    Well that is it from As the Chicken Turns. It sure is a chicken soap opera around here!
     
  6. nordicacres

    nordicacres Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Minnie, I would like to get a few chicks from you at some point! Probably next Spring as you said you are done hatching and we've got a busy summer ahead.

    I love my Cochins! They are very gentle and allow the kids to handle them. Ralphie, I think you will really like them and hopefully they will serve a purpose for you brooding chicks.

    I have a trio of cockerels right now that I really like. Two Buff Orps and a Barred Rock. They are very outgoing and will come running when they see me! I also have two very nice Welsummers roosters. Too bad we don't need so many roosters. Butchering the meat birds was not an issue for me, but the others will be hard!
     
  7. FoxyChicken

    FoxyChicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Cluckies, it sounds like you and I have very similar situations. I started out with 6, was down to 5 after I had to cull the one, but now I'm up to 9 with the new chicks. Anyway, they're all very friendly towards me, it's just that some of them bully the other hens more than others. I have a special bond with each one of them for different reasons, either because I've nursed them back to health or they imprinted on me as a chick or they're just very gregarious and entertaining. I've also noticed that the pecking order is not linear. All of my hens have somebody below them, so nobody is actually at the very bottom. It's more circular I guess.
    So I was glad to read your stories about each of you chickens, because I feel like I could write a book about each one of mine! Glad to know I'm not the only one that has what some people might think is an unhealthy attachment to their chickens [​IMG]
    Whenever I tell my husband about the goings-on in the coop, he just shakes his head and says "you and your chicken soap opera." The funny thing is that he gets into too when he spends any time watching them! Now whose soap opera is it?!

    ETA- I can also tell who is talking just by their voice!
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2015
  8. scandiafowl

    scandiafowl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    When building a coop, or renovating a an old shed, how many square feet per chicken?
     
  9. nordicacres

    nordicacres Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I was told 4 sq ft per chicken, but the more you have the better off you are. We hope to end up around 50 chickens. We have 100 sq feet in the coop, 200+ sq feet in the run which will always be open and available to them, and they are allowed to free range every day pretty much all day long. DH doesn't know this yet, but I have plans to build a smaller grow out/broody coop, too [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Have fun with your renovation. That coop is so cute!
     
  10. Cluckies

    Cluckies Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    My Coop
    Yes, they say 4 sq. feet in the henhouse and 10 sq feet per bird in the run for standard chickens. From experience, this is not enough space in the run... I'm probably going to double mine this summer. If they are free ranging all day it is enough. mine are locked in the run all day during the week, except in the evening when I can be out there with them to free range.

    If it is poor winter weather and they have to spend much time in the henhouse, then 4 sq feet is not enough either. You start getting issues from over crowding. best to have more room than not enough.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2015

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