My first chickens. Help please!

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by we3chickens, Nov 4, 2012.

  1. we3chickens

    we3chickens Out Of The Brooder

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    We decided that we wanted back yard chickens.[​IMG] We live in the country but yet still have a kind of close neighbor and she said she doesn't mind chickens. We have a good spot being that we have a good size yard on 3 sides and woods on the 4th side. We decided to build our coop on the wood side. Its a 8x8 coop with a 8x8 runner. For now we have 3 nesting boxes with room to grow. As a newby to all this we put pine straw down on the ground. It was nothing but the frame and chicken wire but we decided to put walls up on the coop part. So now the coop is enclosed with a hole so the chickens can walk through to the runner. We are planning on using the poultry nipples later down the road but we have feeders and waterers so that's not a problem right now. Once the chickens get use to being here then we want to be able to let them out during the day.

    Now to what happened. We got 6 hens and 1 rooster. Go figure that our first chickens we end up with 3 really sick hens and the rest sneezing and seemed to be getting sick. The guy that sold them to us acted like it wasn't a big deal but everyone I talked to told me something different.[​IMG] We done everything that he told us to do, for 2 weeks, from the very beginning! It was awful trying to even get a hold of the guy. We had 2 weeks of pure h e double hockey sticks! Finally I was able to get a hold of the guy. Now keep in mind he did offer to give us our money back but we were so excited to have chickens we wanted to get them healthy and go on. Well after telling him that, boy, he pretty much acted like I was a freak. So finally he told me he was coming to get the chickens. After the 3rd time of him saying he was coming and didn't, I was ******. [​IMG]I told him for sure how I felt. He finally showed up and took the chickens and gave us our money back.[​IMG] All the money we had to spend on medicine and crap for those chickens, I just don't want to go through that again.

    We have now cleaned out the coop and runner and have sprayed it to death to make sure nothing is left to spread to new chickens. As I was cleaning it, it was just so dusty. I did notice this before but didn't think it was so bad. I don't know if I need to put something down to calm the dust, which is from the dirt not the chickens! We have good dirt on one side of our yard and more like a sandy, dusty dirt on the other and unfortunately where the chicken coop is at is where the dusty dirt is. I need help.[​IMG]

    Also, what do I need to look for when buying more chickens, since we have to start over? I do now know of the sneezing and coughing and droopy eyes and not eating or drinking and the laziness! Other than that I'm now at a loss. We want eggs and we want to raise our own chickens. My bf is making me an incubator also then a brooder. I'm so excited but I don't want to get beat down again. Next time we may not get our money back.

    Pretty much, I need help from the start. Do I really need to do the "deep litter"(I don't know if I can)? How do I keep the dirty dust down? How do I find good, healthy chickens? And eggs, Oh boy, that may need to be on another thread..haha[​IMG]

    Thanks in advance for any help! We are about to go crazy! I do miss my chickens[​IMG], even though they were sick and useless to me!
    Thanks[​IMG]
     
  2. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    I would bleach out your coop carefully (don't inhale the fumes).

    Get some chicks or hatching eggs from a hatchery, feed store, or reputable breeder to have the best chances of no respiratory disease.

    Some respiratory diseases can render a chicken an asymptomatic carrier, and some can also be passed through the egg to the chick (which is why you want a reputable breeder for chicks and hatching eggs).

    If you want to raise chicks over the winter - I have done it- be prepared for them to basically be staying in your brooder for a long time and don't crowd them. So you might enjoy the hatching process and buy some hatching eggs.

    If you want to wait - I have bought chicks at the end of January but you still need enough brooder space for all of them. They grow so fast...just make sure you have enough room to keep them longer in the brooder, in other words.

    I don't worry about dirt dust, myself.

    Check out the poop board convert thread for poop board ideas...makes deep litter much nicer!
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2012
  3. we3chickens

    we3chickens Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks. The guy that sold us the chickens came and got them and refunded us our money. We have bleached the coop and it has been weeks. Now we are ready for new chickens. I have been looking about a poop board. I dont know if that will work where we have our perches. But it does sound like an awesome idea!
     
  4. we3chickens

    we3chickens Out Of The Brooder

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    Oh now is the problem of finding chickens. We have started an incubator. Need to finish it so we can try to do our own eggs! Any ideas?
     
  5. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2012
  6. we3chickens

    we3chickens Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for advice. We are making our own incubator from what we found online and on here. Crazy I know but with little money, its the best we can do right now. We just cant seem to find any chickens around our area and when we see some on craigslist or local swap shops, they are gone before we can get in contact with them. Its been that way for a long time. Its getting frustrating for us with a coop and no chickens![​IMG]
     
  7. Melabella

    Melabella Overrun With Chickens

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    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/...ne-want-to-follow-their-progress#post_9666800


    Hello we3chickens!

    [​IMG]To the wonderful world of BYC, and being a chicken owner! I am so sorry you had a rocky start, 2nd time will be a charm!

    I know that the link above might seem daunting, and it is a TON of information, but while you wait, I highly recommend this read. You will learn so much about practical natural chicken keeping, and there are a lot of answers to the questions you mentioned in your first post.. If you can knock off 20 pages at a time, before you know it, heck perhaps by the time you have got chickens or chicks to take care of you will be so much more knowledgeable and have a great leg up on a ton of information presented by a wonderful, no nonsense, natural chicken keeping homesteader known as Bee. You can ask her any question, and she will be there for you to answer. Take a gander at the thread, don't feel overwhelmed, and read away. I love to chip away at it with a cup of coffee every time I can.

    Good Luck!

    MB
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2012
  8. nothingbutbirds

    nothingbutbirds Chillin' With My Peeps

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    i would start out with chicks and eggs also but degfenitly make sure you find someone who gets testing and such done so you can get the healthiest birds
    as for the dust make sure there is enough ventilation so it dosent get stuffy in their coop when you get new ones. when purchasing started birds look for bright eyed, shiny feathers, smells alright, check around the vent for mites or lice, bright red comb and wattles(if they have any), avoid depressed looking chickens any slugishness, sneezing, coughing, runny nose eyes,odd smells, slowness, odd sleeping habits. avoid buying from anyone who overcrowds has dirty pens, dead chickens in the pens ect.hope that helped a little
     
  9. we3chickens

    we3chickens Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you! I sure will check it out!
     
  10. we3chickens

    we3chickens Out Of The Brooder

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    I sure will look for all of these things and more! Thank you so much!
     

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