New chicken keeper from New Hampshire

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by Tolumnia, Feb 6, 2013.

  1. Tolumnia

    Tolumnia Hatching

    Feb 6, 2013
    Stratham, NH
    Hello Peeps,

    My girlfriend and I ordered and received 12 hen chicks in mid-July 2012 from My Pet Chicken. Her dad built a raised, 6' x 8' coop with an (approx.) 8' x 12' run. We were thinking of a bigger run but we went with what he made. We'll be moving soon and will incorporate a run twice as big at the new place.

    About the first of the new year we started getting eggs and at the same time realized we have a rooster and 11 hens. Rooster and one hen are Easter Eggers, 2 White Cochins, 2 Buff Orpingtons, one Red Star, one Barred Plymouth Rock, one Partridge Plymouth Rock, one Silver Laced Wyandotte, one Columbian Wyandotte, and one Rhode Island Red. They all have names. At this point we are getting consistently seven eggs a day although yesterday they made nine. So far we have had no double yokes and the eggs to this point are medium to large in size but one hen is laying something on the order of jumbo consistently.

    In the coop we have a thick plywood floor and use the deep litter method with pine shavings and hay, occasionally scooping out large clumps. We have three crudely built nest boxes and 95% of the time they lay their eggs in the same box. We have a 2 gallon metal waterer with a warmer underneath and a hanging 2 gallon feeder.

    The run area was weeds, quickly became dirt, and is now frozen dirt so we have added hay as something to scratch around and absorb some of the coop. We throw in pine boughs once in a while, kitchen scraps, and we were giving them too much scratch but now just a handful a day. I've started giving them mealworms and just discovered dried red shrimp at the pet store which they LOVE. The run is poultry wire on the sides about 6'+ high and bird netting on the top. We have had no problems with predators to this point and the property borders a wooded conservation area.

    We have used the brooder light on the coldest nights (15F or colder). As winter set in some of the hens seemed to have become bored and started picking out feathers in the rooster and two of the hens. We recently put beak/nose rings in two hens that we singled out as having been the problem girls and the birds are beginning to feather out again.

    We love having chickens and would love to create a way to have them free range but have two dogs so we will see what we can do at the new house. My girlfriends' kids (9 and 11 years old) love the fact that we have chickens but don't really care to spend much time with them unless we ask them if they'd like to gather the eggs, then they show some enthusiasm.

    I look forward to exchanging ideas with all of you,

  2. Going Bhonkers

    Going Bhonkers Songster

    Apr 12, 2012
    SW Florida
    [​IMG] Good luck on your chicken adventure!!!!

    Mr MKK FARMS Crowing Premium Member

    Sep 27, 2012
    Welcome to BYC!!!
    Glad you joined us!!
  4. redsoxs

    redsoxs Crowing

    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
    Greetings from Kansas, Matt, and [​IMG]! Great to have you with us! Sounds like you have done a fair amount of research and have good thing going. Hope you can give them the opportunity to free range - they are great bug catchers and your egg yolks will start to orange up when they start munching the fresh green sprouts of spring. Good luck and have fun with your flock!
  5. weimarmama

    weimarmama Crowing

    Jun 4, 2010
    My Coop
    [​IMG] & [​IMG] from Alabama. Glad you joined us.
  6. Carcajou

    Carcajou Songster

    Jul 3, 2012
    Delhi, New York
  7. The Howards

    The Howards Songster

    Hello and welcome from NC

  8. Kevin565

    Kevin565 Crowing Premium Member

    Dec 22, 2009
  9. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland
    Hello and welcome to BYC [​IMG] Glad you joined us!
  10. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Welcome to BYC - sounds as if you have things under control. Good luck with your pending move.

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