My thoughts on chickens as a new owner...

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by mchandler, Aug 12, 2011.

  1. mchandler

    mchandler New Egg

    Mar 15, 2011
    as a new chicken owner I figured i would share some thoughts and observations that you guys have probably already know.

    I have 4 Red Sex Link (20 weeks), 6 Austrolorpes (18 weeks), and 2 white leghorns (16 weeks) - all hens no roosters...

    The RSLs are bar far the friendliest, the come up to me, squat when i pet them (only since laying) and are overall the most interactive. The Austrolorpes are the most skittish which really surprised me, i thought it would have been the leghorns (based on what I was reading).

    Also, ever since the the RSLs started laying, ALL of the hens became VERY CHATTY...i mean they are talking all the time...before egg laying, you wouldnt even know if they were in the coop. Maybe that settles down - i guess I will find out.

    The leghorns are much skinnier overall compared to the RSLs and Austros, wondering if they will get more round shapes (when they start laying) or all always much more slender than the others.

    I also can't belive based on the size of a chicken that an egg comes out that big, haha.

    My coop is 10 x 6 with 8 foot walls that i built and i have 2 roosting poles going the width of the coop (12 feet total - 1 ft per bird I was told), and they ALL cram on 6 feet of space - its really quite funny..the lower pole (about a foot away and 6 inches lower) is NEVER used, except to hop to the higher one. When they were small they all fit fine and now they are soo tight. Wondering if they'll ever use the lower one.

    I got my chickens when they were all about 6-8-10 weeks old and could not believe how hard it was to find ones where they still had beaks. Especially the RSLs and LHs - i guess since they are commercial egg layers. Took about 2-3 months of searching and several hours of driving (I'm in maryland)

    I thought once they started laying they would lay every day early in the morning - they just started and I'm getting about 2 eggs a day and usually 1 in the morning and one several hours later. One is usually in one of my 3 nest boxes (about a foot off the ground) and the other underneath the nest boxes.

    When walking up to the coop and they are all inside, one will usually poke their head out to look and see what is going on, then some chirping and they all come out when they see me. I don't know if it's the same one honestly because i don't have bands on them and it's hard for me to tell them all apart (some are easy but not others). They hate the lawnmower. When I open the door that I use, they all come running up to me and i can't even walk because they just keep stepping in front of me - they ALL used to run away when I first got them.

    We give our chickens the leftover vegetables that we can't eat from our garden and they love the green squash but will NOT touch the yellow squash? I guess it's just the color, maybe same as grass? Just thought it was funny.

    We ate our first eggs a few days ago (making scrambled eggs with cheese) and our 2 year old daughter LOVED them and asked for more...we only had three medium eggs, but still it was cool. We added some tomatoes and green peppers that we had been growing in the garden - a truly homemade breakfast.

    I really don't know where I would be without this site, library books are great and I had plenty of them but this site is really fantastic.

    Overall, chickens are a lot of fun and have more personality than I ever thought they would. I have been keeping friends and family up to date on facebook and they are loving the backyard poultry's amazing how many people either raise chickens or really like the idea and get excited when talking about it.

    I realize this is a scattered mess of a post but I thought someone might enjoy reading from someone who just started and may remember back when they started...anyway that's my 2 cents.

  2. ailurophile23

    ailurophile23 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 21, 2010
    Great post and thanks for sharing! It is always nice to hear how things are going for other chicken keepers. I love how each bird and each flock has their own quirks - my flock absolutely LOVES yellow squash. As for the egg laying, most of mine lay their eggs by noon (and all in one box though which box changes from day to day) but I have one hen who is laying later and later, often in the evening now. And I have to agree - this site is really fantastic!
  3. umanduhbree

    umanduhbree Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 6, 2011
    Lacona, IA
    Thanks for the post. I am new to chickens, I've only had them since April. I have Australoprs and they follow me around where ever I am. They will follow me even before I enter their pen. The walk along the fence line and gather at the gate making it hard to get in. I love those little gals, they are not chatty yet, but I'm hoping that they start talking once they start laying. My barred rocks are super chatty and escape artists. At least twice a day I have my aussie shepherd herd one back to the chicken area. I agree that this site has made raising chickens so much easier. Good luck with your ladies. I thought about leghorns, but I thought they would be too feisty.
  4. chickenbythesea

    chickenbythesea Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 15, 2011
    Nova Scotia
    i appreciated reading your post... it's nice to see that others feel the same way about their chickens as I do about mine.
  5. featherz

    featherz Veggie Chick

    Mar 22, 2010
    Saratoga County, NY
    Leghorns are very skinny birds even full grown and you'll be amazed at the egg size. My leghorns have laid gargantuan eggs that are almost the size of their torso! [​IMG]
  6. N&MSchroeder

    N&MSchroeder Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 4, 2011
    SE Idaho
    Quote:I agree! I look at my leghorns and can't believe that they have large eggs developing inside of their slender bodies. They are absolutely laying machines as well as great additions to my flock. [​IMG] Mine are friendly and calm, so I guess they aren't always flighty. Great story-thanks for sharing.
  7. tags

    tags Out Of The Brooder

    May 3, 2011
    I'm a newbie to chickens also, (mine are 17 weeks old) and I enjoyed reading about your experiences. This site has been invaluable to me and I appreciate how willing everyone is to share their expertise and opinions. It's nice that all the answers to all my questions are just a few clicks away!
  8. ChicKat

    ChicKat Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Hi Matt,

    Thank you for your post. Your observations are so interesting. I appreciated experiential comparisons of the breeds, and the info that you have about leghorns. Sounds like you are enjoying the flock!
  9. Sonic Pug

    Sonic Pug Chillin' With My Peeps

    I agree with everyone else. It was really nice hearing your observations. Thanks! [​IMG]
  10. Farm_Maven

    Farm_Maven Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 7, 2011
    I just spent close to 45 mins. in the coop with my bunch. Just watching, petting them, hanging out. Loved every minute of it. The best part today? My Golden Comets squatted for me today!! They are 15 weeks old.
    And BTW, loved your post, they are awesome, aren't they?
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2011

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