Monterey, Ca Loving My Gals

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by ChickwChicks, Jan 4, 2015.

  1. ChickwChicks

    ChickwChicks Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 31, 2014
    Pacific Grove, Ca
    Hi All!

    So thankful for this forum, have found so much excellent advice! Must admit borderline obssessed with my gals, they are spoiled and it appears many of you enjoy the experience of keeping chickens as fulfilling as I :)

    I am new to urban chicken farming and was the lucky recipient of a free coop, 2 RIR hens (supposedly 18mo), just starting a molt in October. The previous owner was 8mo pregnant with 2 yr old and new puppy and simply said the chickens were too much to keep up with. She stated they were excellent layers. So assuming chickens lay for at least five years or so, I figured why not, at very minimum saves me the building of a coop!

    I have come to love these gals. They have great personalities and seem to be almost done with molt. No eggs as yet, but hopeful! 1 Hen does squat when I pet her, maybe a sign??? I have put a solar light at bottom of coop for added light and read in one thread to put red pepper in diet, also added golf balls :). The gals roam in a 15x6 side yard and put themselves up at night so pretty low maintenance. Just two hens in total.

    I do wonder if I have been duped and these gals are past laying???? Have read a few threads on aging chickens. Maybe you all can tell me with added pictures below?

    I am treating one for possible vent gleet which just seems to have come on (and they have to have the cleanest coop ever- so rather surprised) but it seems mild (not at all as bad as images I see online of this - so just to be proactive at least, I have offered them molasses in apple sauce, probiotic yogurt, and added vinegar to their drinking water. I did not soak the rump though, seemed too involved at the moment, have not yet mastered how to pick them up or handle them per se. They are friendly, but a bit skittish when I try and pick them up. I know I should try at dusk.

    Anyways I am very glad to join the community and if there are any proud chicken folks around me please reach out would love to meet you! I can always talk about my chickens over coffee or wine :)

    ChickwChicks!
    Here are some shots of my gals and their coop.

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  2. cavemanrich

    cavemanrich Overrun With Chickens

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    Well Im only 2500 miles away, lol, Don t worry that you got duped into getting some lame hens. When the molt, they stop laying, Reason is all nutrition is needed for rebuilding . After the molting, there may be a delay, but I think egg production will resume. Another factor brought to my attention is the chicks diet. If you feed them bird seed or scratch, they love it. Will grow fat and lazy and such. If you want eggs, then give them layer feed. About 18% protein and higher calcium % than starter or meat production feed. Calcium is for the shells. Also recycle your shells and give them back to your girls as crumbled pieces. Avoid giving half shells as they might turn into cannibalizing their own whole eggs.
     
  3. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Overrun With Chickens

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    [​IMG] Glad you joined us!
     
  4. PirocaKeeper

    PirocaKeeper Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, I have to say you have 2 incredibly beautiful hens. I look very healthy to me. My experience with the molting is that they could stop laying for as short as a month or as long as 3-4 months. It all depends on when the molting started. Also what is the age of the chickens. This fall I had about 10 18 months hens, some of them had a very drastic molt and they started the molt like end of August and they are just starting to lay now again. Of course some molted faster and started within 1.5 month. The way I look at it, is they truly need all they have to grow their new feathers, so it is ok if they don't lay an egg. But then I love mine as my pets even if they never laid an egg. I would say be patient. If you just got them, chickens can stop their laying when drastic changes happen around them. Moving being one of them. From the pictures they look very relaxed and healthy, so I shouldn't be long before they start again.
     
  5. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Overrun With Chickens

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    Welcome to BYC! [​IMG]We're glad to have you.
     
  6. ChickwChicks

    ChickwChicks Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 31, 2014
    Pacific Grove, Ca
    Nice to Meet You!

    Yes I am feeding them layer feed and also have both oyster shell and grit. We bake the egg shells as well and crumble them up in their food too :). Hahaha trying to hurry it along, but I know nature requires they get a break and rebuild their bodies :). Poor gals. We do pick fresh lettuce for a hydroponic garden we have and offer fresh greens from cuttings left over from meals. Not really feeding them any kind of scratch per se, we do offer waxworks or mealworms thought thst might help for molting and depleted proteins? They love them! Hahaha. Added a few more close up shots to my album - their eyes/beak are clear and dry - thanks for the advice!!!
     
  7. ChickwChicks

    ChickwChicks Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 31, 2014
    Pacific Grove, Ca
    Thanks so much! I think they are pretty gals - hahahah! Their molt was not too drastic- we got them in the first week of October and so have not laid I am assuming since September or so. I know this time of year is also culprit, I still see some down on their rumps - but neck, breast and wing feathers are all in I think. We are supplementing meal worms as added support for extra protein. I added some close up photos of their heads and body in a an album called Rhode Island reds. Happy New Year!
     
  8. GuineaFowling

    GuineaFowling Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Beautiful girls. I visited monterey a while back and its a beautiful city. Anything oceanside is beautiful to me. Your girls should lay soon after their molt. I found the best way to quicken the molt is to provide them with nutrena feather fixer, if its available to you you should really invest in it if your hens are still molting. I know someone who feeds it to their show birds because it gives them such beautiful plumage. One of your girls doesnt look like a RIR. She has really pretty patterned feathers. I have never seen an RIR with those patterns. Good Luck with your girls.

    As for the vent gleet. When my hens had it I only washed their butts if they got really dirty. Then I would rub some organic coconut oil on and around their vent because it got a bit raw. They recovered really quickly. The yogurt, vinegar, and molasses should help her tremendously. I also put garlic cloves in their water, it helps with the immune system and I hear it also gives the eggs a nice flavor.
     
  9. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    Hello there and welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    Beautiful hens! Molting, the short days of winter, cold and stress can all clamp off the eggs for a while. I sure hope they get back to laying soon.

    Enjoy your lovely flock and welcome to ours!
     
    1 person likes this.
  10. ChickwChicks

    ChickwChicks Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 31, 2014
    Pacific Grove, Ca
    Thanks for the advice! I will look for it! We are three blocks from the ocean and watching whales as write to you :) I have the tiniest most productive yard on the block- chickens ( well will be productive hopefull :) and a hydroponic garden (vertical garden) that I grow about 30 different plants on. Right now just lettuce. Amazingly the girls don't seem to jump up on it - rather amazed really. We did have tomatoes and they would get so excited seeing me pick them and feed them to them - but did not seem to go after them themselves. They are so wide legged maybe jumping up is too much. Lucky for me.

    The second hen - yes she has a different comb and so maybe she is not a red?? Hmmmm what would she be? I just assumed both were reds??? Thanks
     

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