New Chicken Family in Texas

pitter58

In the Brooder
6 Years
Sep 22, 2013
16
0
24
Hello! -
My wife and I have found ourselves getting into raising chickens this summer. We started preparing in June this year. This website and the forums have been extremely helpful in understanding everything involved with raising chickens. Our primary reasons for getting the chickens was for the eggs and for fun in our backyard with our two little girl have a three year old - Emma and a two year old Abbi. Abbi is now nicknamed the "chicken whisperer." It is amazing how much she loves the chickens and how much a couple of them love her.

We have had some ups and downs this summer unfortunately. We started with a pack of 6 - in which we cared for inside for 3 weeks. We then started bringing them outside during the day to free range. Our grasshopper population vanished in a couple weeks. During this time I was building a chicken coop. After about 7 weeks of having them, the coop was complete and they have been outside the entire time. Of the original six, one died of heat issues (Salmon Favorelle) named Favorella by my girls and one has been carried off by a hawk. This was Annie - a partridge cochin. She was carried off 1.5 ago. So of the original group - we have four and it iz amazing how clickish this group is. I think they will begin laying in October! But i still dont know how to tel this! I this group is a silver laced wyandotte, two balck austerlorps, and an Americauna. (we dont know if the americauna is a rooster or not, we got her from a straight run). This group is the "MOB"


We also got two white silkies, but they both did not last long at all. I dont now what happened to them, but believe it was from the heat. I thought they had to stay warm until they got their feathers. I kept them outside with plenty of water and a Production Red and another Salmon Fav. that i got at the same time. The production red and favorelle did great and formed their own little group. This lasted until last week when she vanished. We believe it was the hawk but have also seen a bobcat! So now the production red (Big Momma Red) is lonely. She goes back and forth between the MOB and the KIDS.

In august we got The kids. Two Buff Orpingtons, One RIR, Two Americauns (named by my 3 year old - ginger snap, snckerdoodle, sleeping beauty, oreo, and tiger lilly.) Tiger Lilly is the one in my profile picture that litterally comes to and jumps up into Abbi's arms. This group is younger and was not allowed in the coop the first time they tried to get in because the MOB would not let them in. Over the last two weeks the Kids have all been able to go in at dusk but they did not get the pick of the roost.

Because of the predator issues we started looking for a Livestock Guardian Dog! We finally found one and bought him yesterday. His name is William and he is great pyrenees at 9 weeks old.

That is kind of it in a nutshell. I have so many questions about the Laying, the bonding of the LGD, sexing roosters, etc etc...

Love this site - glad to finally join...








 

auburn

In the Brooder
7 Years
Jun 19, 2012
85
6
33
West Michigan
Welcome to the site! Sounds like you guys have been quite busy already!

Sorry about your losses, hopefully your pup will help to deter predators. There's also the possibility of getting a rooster, if your Americauna turns out to be a hen, though then again, perhaps not since you have such young children who enjoy being hands-on with the chickens. As for the heat losses, I've never owned silkies but from everything I've heard they're quiet fragile when it comes to the elements! It's a shame because they're such sweet birds and great mothers, but I'm not sure how they'd do with our Michigan winters.

Hope you continue to enjoy your new hobby! Be careful though, it doesn't take long for chicken math to kick in and then suddenly you've got birds everywhere!
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sumi

Rest in Peace 1980-2020
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Jun 28, 2011
39,154
26,299
1,302
Welcome to BYC
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Sorry to hear about your predator issues. A LGD would help for sure!
 

drumstick diva

Still crazy after all these years.
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
Aug 26, 2009
140,575
289,913
2,097
Out to pasture
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a livestock guardian dog should help but, they don't train themselves - they are apt to have some "accidents" with chicks unless they are under strict observation till they get the idea chicks are not squeaky toys but part of your family that must be protected.
 

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