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Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by TexasChickenLady, Jul 24, 2008.

  1. TexasChickenLady

    TexasChickenLady Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 24, 2008
    Pampa, Texas
    Hello, Ive got some questions; actually alot! Ok so this past March I got 20 baby chicks, 12 buff orp(g). and 1 rir (b). and 7 barred rock (b) that were free due to needed warmth in the box. OH Boy!:eek: So here I am with 12 teenage chicks and way to many boys. Im really wanting to get rid of the barred rock boys. But no one wants a free rooster.[​IMG] My chickens are so big and healthy and so stingy. I feed mine 2x a day plus they always get healthy goodies. They are not free range so I try to treat them with bugs I find and stuff from the kitchen. Ok anyway, I just recently saved 4 bantam hens ready to lay, from this man who was selling them. I wanted to cry when I saw where they were living; an absolute shame. So i get them home and Im not sure if they are totaly healthy so they have thier own little house on the other side of the yard and we have 20 acres. I know they are scared and this is a new place and all, Im trying to make them as comfortable as I know how, I was told they are ready to lay and yes yesterday we hade a little grape size soft eggy thing and this morning we had a little but normal egg. I don't know which of the 4 laid it but both eggs were on the floor and not in the nests I maid for them. These chickens are so tiny(especially compaired to my buff orps) and very poor looking like one has a bare neck and I know that could be due to laying and all and I had to clip thier nails because they were starting to twist thats how long they were!:mad: I also covered thier legs with p.jelly becuase of the condition they were in. Today they seem to be a little more relaxed and thier going into they little run that they have. They are eating and drinking fine. I guess what Im needing help with is 1. What should I do with my barred rock boys because I know soon my buffs will start to lay.
    2. what can I do about the flies in the coop there is plenty of air flow and I clean it 2x a week.
    3. Do I need to quit spying on the 4 hens to see if I see an egg?
    4. I thought if a hen was ready to lay she sat a lot?
    5. once i find a home for the barred rock boys should i try to move the hens to the big coop?
    6. Is it normal for roosters to have 3-4 extremely tiny black specks on thier comb?
    7. what else besides layers crumble and goodies should I be feeding my hens?
    8. where can i find mealwoorms?
    9. what does broody mean? what are the signs? Is it a bad thing?
    I'LL APPRECIATE AND RELPY!
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2008
  2. TexasChickenLady

    TexasChickenLady Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 24, 2008
    Pampa, Texas
    maybe i posted this in the wrong place! I was for sure someone would have answered already. Im so sorry if I posted it wrong. [​IMG]
     
  3. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Hello, Ive got some questions; actually alot! Ok so this past March I got 20 baby chicks, 12 buff orp(g). and 1 rir (b). and 7 barred rock (b) that were free due to needed warmth in the box. OH Boy!:eek: So here I am with 12 teenage chicks and way to many boys. Im really wanting to get rid of the barred rock boys. But no one wants a free rooster.[​IMG] My chickens are so big and healthy and so stingy.

    You could always eat the boys at about 16 weeks old. They make good fryers

    I feed mine 2x a day plus they always get healthy goodies.

    Do what works for you. Many leave food out 24/7. They won't overeat since they are not cornish x meat birds.


    They are not free range so I try to treat them with bugs I find and stuff from the kitchen.

    Ok anyway, I just recently saved 4 bantam hens ready to lay, from this man who was selling them. I wanted to cry when I saw where they were living; an absolute shame. So i get them home and Im not sure if they are totaly healthy so they have thier own little house on the other side of the yard and we have 20 acres. I know they are scared and this is a new place and all, Im trying to make them as comfortable as I know how, I was told they are ready to lay and yes yesterday we hade a little grape size soft eggy thing and this morning we had a little but normal egg. I don't know which of the 4 laid it but both eggs were on the floor and not in the nests I maid for them. These chickens are so tiny(especially compaired to my buff orps) and very poor looking like one has a bare neck and I know that could be due to laying and all and I had to clip thier nails because they were starting to twist thats how long they were!:mad: I also covered thier legs with p.jelly becuase of the condition they were in. Today they seem to be a little more relaxed and thier going into they little run that they have. They are eating and drinking fine. I guess what Im needing help with is 1. What should I do with my barred rock boys because I know soon my buffs will start to lay.

    Quarentine birds at least a month before introducing if they are adults. Pest and diseases can travel and destroy. Take care of your birds first. Provide oyster shell and layer, laying problems sh ould fix up. Golf balls in nest can encourage laying there. Pick one BR boy you want, or just give the rest away/stew/dinner. One boy per 12 or so girls, give or take a few. Don't need rooster to lay eggs, egg quality is no different in presence of rooster.


    2. what can I do about the flies in the coop there is plenty of air flow and I clean it 2x a week.

    Fly traps

    3. Do I need to quit spying on the 4 hens to see if I see an egg?
    Just check once a day. If they are nervious, may stress them and they may reduce production.

    4. I thought if a hen was ready to lay she sat a lot?

    May go in and out of nest, may squak... every bird is different. If you are talking about broody birds, some will sit on eggs, some never will, no way of forcing it.

    5. once i find a home for the barred rock boys should i try to move the hens to the big coop?


    Once health is granted to all birds, go ahead and introduce. Will be squabbles but it will work out.

    6. Is it normal for roosters to have 3-4 extremely tiny black specks on thier comb?


    Sure. Probably small bug bits or injuries, especially in presence of other birds/roos.

    7. what else besides layers crumble and goodies should I be feeding my hens?


    That's it becides oyster shell if they are getting a good amount of goodies to ensure enough calcium. Grit if they do not have access to soil

    8. where can i find mealwoorms?


    Pet store, online


    9. what does broody mean? what are the signs? Is it a bad thing?


    Hen sits on nest, does not get off to roost, grows or puffs up when you approach, wants to hatch eggs. Not bad but can be detremental to her health if they sit too long. Break them unless you have fertile eggs for them to hatch.


    It can easily take 24 or more hours for a reply. This is a message board. Longer posts often take longer to get replies too.



    [​IMG]
     
  4. bills

    bills Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 4, 2008
    vancouver island
    No, this is probably a good a place as any to post those questions. Maybe a lot of people out enjoying the weather, rather than sitting in front of the computer?

    Wow, while I was preparing to answer some of your questions, I see that silkiechicken has beat me to it. All good answers![​IMG]
     
  5. LoneCowboy

    LoneCowboy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 26, 2007
    Longmont, CO
    1. put your boys on Craigslist and see if you can get rid of them there. I've had good luck

    2. Try putting some PDZ in the coop if there is a smell. It's supposed to help keep flies away, or you can get those fly trap things. I only clean my coop 2x a year (deep litter method) and have very few flies.

    3. hunting for eggs never gets old. I'm always spying on my girls and they don't seem to mind. But if you have Buff Orps, they probably won't lay until they are about 20 weeks old. Are they squatting for you yet? They should lay about 2 weeks after they start squatting.

    4. Not necessarily. Their combs get really red and they squat.

    5. I don't know. I don't think it's a problem though.

    6. What do you have in the big coop?

    7. You say you feed your chickens 2x a day. I'd consider just letting them each free choice. I just fill it up when it's empty. You need to be giving your girls oyster shells for calcium. Give it to them free choice and they will eat it if they need it. It will help with shell strength.

    8. There is a nation wide shortage of Mealworms right now. But you can usually get them at pet stores since that's what they feed lizards. You can also raise your own, there are instructions on this forum. Somebody said you can get time off Ebay too.

    9. Broody is when a chicken starts to sit on a clutch of eggs. Usually she will lay about 12 eggs and then just sit on them trying to hatch them. It's only a bad thing if you want eggs and not chicks. A broody hen will not lay eggs while she sits and she is usually grumpy and won't get off the eggs except for about 15 mins a day for a little water and food. You can tell if a hen is broody if you put an egg in front of them and they snatch it and scoot it up under them.

    Hope this helps a little
     
  6. Heather J

    Heather J Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 29, 2008
    I'm not a complete expert, but I have a few suggestions:
    1: when your new hens are settled a bit and looking healthy, move them into the coop with the other hens, and move the boys out to where your new girls are now. Try to separate your existing flock and your new girls with wire or something for a few days so they can see each other, but aren't in each other's way. When they are more comfortable together, you can let them run together. There will be a little pecking between the two groups for a bit while they establish who's the boss, but unless they cause actual damage, you shouldn't worry about it. Do keep a close eye at first and see how they act together.

    2: I don't really have this problem, so I've never dealt with it, but I did see a thread with a similar question...it might have been in the chicken coop forum. There were good suggestions there.

    3: Spying never hurt anyone. lol I actually only check a couple of times a day for eggs. My girls almost never lay before noon, and are generally done by 3 (though on the fourth of July there hadn't laid anything by three, and I found several eggs when I returned around 6--so this isn't set in stone). I would check mid afternoon, and again around dinner time--though, as I said, more isn't bad for the hens, it's mostly just frustrating for you!

    4: Sometimes my girls will sit in the nest for a long time and never lay anything, other times they are in and out in fifteen minutes or less. With the heat (in my area, anyway) my chickens are really lazy until late afternoon most days, so sitting might be their way of coping with the heat. Make sure they have plenty of water.

    5: answered in question 1

    6: I've seen lots of roosters with black specks. Someone else may have better information than me. I don't know what causes them, but I don't think it is an indication of bad health.

    7 & 8 ask at the 'feeding time' forum. I've actually never given my birds meal worms before, but I'm planning on getting some. You can order them online from some places, and many pet stores carry them. I guess there's a big national shortage right now. there's a thread there titled 'meal worms' that had lots of great information.

    9: Broody means your hen wants to sit on a nest of eggs. I've never had one of mine go broody yet, but when they go broody they stop laying eggs, so if you don't want them sitting on a nest, or you don't have fertile eggs, you probably don't want them to be broody. [​IMG] I'm sure there's tons of great information in this forum, look around and see what else you can find.

    Good luck!
     
  7. TexasChickenLady

    TexasChickenLady Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 24, 2008
    Pampa, Texas
    Wow! thanks ya'll. Yes I have been giving oyster shell along with plain yogurt. Yummy! Ok so I'll keep my new ugly hens seperate for a few weeks and maybe by that time my buffs will start to lay. And I'll introduce them at that time. So in the meantime I'll work harder at finding a home for my barred rocks. I'm not against putting them in the freezer but I thought it was best to do "the culling" when it was chilly out side, it's very hot here. Am I wrong? Because if so i don't have plans this evening;) So about filling the feeder up and letting them have at it all day.....I didn't think of that. Maybe thats why they always seem starving. I swear I feed alot. I love feeding them! But I thought that maybe since there is so many boys in there they were keeping the girls from having more. i don't know. I work it out. Thanks a bunch!
     
  8. shaylee

    shaylee Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 4, 2008
    Hamilton, Il
    Wal Mart has mealworms in their bait/sporting dept. Keep them in the fridge until you are ready to serve. They will be very stiff and still until you get them room temp. Try to get enough to breed out your own. Just search engine 'breeding mealworms' it is easy, takes little space, and will give you a supply over winter.

    Petstores are overpriced on theirs. Some mail order places are much cheaper for many more m.w. Waxworms are also gobbled up, as are crickets (which are found outside right now, I toss mine grasshoppers)

    CAUTION on the flystrips...if your chickens get disturbed and do some mad flapping and faux flying, they can get tangled in the danged thing and die or have to suffer the pain of having the thing taken off them. I have seen mine chase what few flies go into my building, and it is a sight, their necks all stretched out and mouths open. Makes me chuckle every time. You will have a few flies, it is outdoor accessible after all. As long as everything is kept clean, a few flies isnt a big deal. They are only a real worry if their is a massive amount, your house is dirty and they can lay their eggs on something you left rotting in there, etc. You keep it clean, use the fly strips if you must, but beware the flying/flapping chicken. Mine roost on beams over 7 feet high.
     
  9. blue90292

    blue90292 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 30, 2007
    Rosharon, TX
    6. black spots on their comb.

    since you're in texas, i'm going to assume its the pox. and if it's on their combs and black, it's the dry pox. give it three weeks and it'll be gone. dabbing iodine on it will help it dry faster and not spread on the bird.

    use the search button and put in pox and you should get great information about dry and wet pox.
     
  10. AshleyM.Eggs

    AshleyM.Eggs New Egg

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    Jan 25, 2010
    If you have 20 acres let the boys run around in a big HEAVILY ENCLOSED area. To be honest I am not even a teen yet so what i did is i killed flies and fed it to my chickens. Once they figure out flies are great, well no more flies. I only go out to check for eggs 3 times a day. No not really mine do sit on eggs they lay on but not for long. If you have alot of room don't move them , it causes stress. My rooster has a lot of black but he is fine. Give them a choice. Maybe they don't like it alot. also try some marrow but only from pork or fish. Not meal worms ,GRUBS. make a pen for them and buy the coop throw chicken feed and water on dirt for a long time and homemade grubs. Broody means they will care for eggs and raise chicks, not bad. the signs- no idea.[​IMG]
    Quote:
     

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