New from Parma, ID couple noob questions...

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by Acie, Mar 15, 2015.

  1. Acie

    Acie Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 15, 2015
    Parma, Idaho
    Hey there!

    My name is Acie, and my 3 yr old son Liam is in the pic holding one of our new 5 month old barred rocks. I recently moved back to my fathers farm, as he is never home and needs help keeping things running smooth out here. Anyhow, he as 5 older hens that i just introduced my 4 barred rocks to. the introductions went way better than i expected! act like they have been living together for years and i havent seen any bullying! Pretty incredible. I have a few questions tho, if anyone cares to answer...

    1) What do i do to make all the hens, old and new, trust us so i can move them daily from the yard to the chicken tractor out in the yard? I dont want to stress them obviously, so how do i get them to trust us to where they will just come right up and let us pick them up... i think eventually they will understand the routine and get excited to see us cause they know they will be going out to scratch thru the grass and bugs..

    2) i plan to have them out in the tractor for the majority of the day, do i need to put some feed out there for them or will they be ok with the salad bar and bugs all day? i would rather not feed them while they are in the tractor so they will concentrate more on grooming and fertilizing my yard... but is that wrong?

    3) i have an incubator, i am wanting to hatch some eggs so my son can learn all about it and enjoy hatching and raising chicks BUT i dont want to have to feed them all thru the winter, as they wouldnt start laying till around september. my plan was to hatch and brood them to let my son experience the whole thing but then sell them as i already have 9 hens and i think thats enough for us right now.. are ppl even interested in buying fresh hens that late in the year? or is it better to wait to hatch in august or september so the by next feb and march they will be ready to go... and ppl are usually looking for fresh hens in the spring time right?
     
  2. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    Hello :frow and Welcome To BYC!

    Chickens in general do not like to be picked up, it is going to be hard to get them all to the point where you can just walk up to them and pick them up during the day. Depending on how tame they are already... First get them used to you, spend time with them and feed them treats making them get closer to you each time, sitting in a chair or on the ground so you are more at their level... then hand feeding treats, catch them, give them a treat, put them down, and repeat often is ime the fastest way to go about it...to catch them don't chase them but have them in a confined area, you can walk/block them into a corner then give them a treat to start with, then see if you can touch them or actually catch them, or have them in a crate to to handle them, taking them off the roost in early evening is another good way to practice.

    If your yard is fenced and the birds would be contained if some decided not to cooperate, you might also consider just training them to go to the tractor/ coop, you may be able to drive/herd them where you want them (at least back to the coop that should work) or train them (via treats) once they learn to come to your call for treats, you should be able to get them to follow you and go into the tractor/ coop by throwing a handful of treats in there. You could also train them to go into a crate to carry them... put some treats in the crate, leave door open, birds will go in there to get treats eventually, just continue that until you toss treats in there and they go right in, (that is actually how I prefer to move broodys and their chicks, the hens are trained to go in the open crate, and their chicks just follow them in.)

    How big is your tractor? You are going to need a pretty good size one to keep 9 hens in there... don't forget nesting boxes if they are laying also... how much area they have to go over and what there is to eat will help you decide if you need to feed them... most chickens will much prefer to scratch and dig through grass etc than eat the boring Layer pellets but laying hens should really have food available all the time...

    The big majority of people are looking to get more birds in the spring both chicks and pullets...if you are planning on selling in the fall, hens or pol pullets will sell better than chicks in the fall.
     
    3 people like this.
  3. N F C

    N F C just blowing in the wind Premium Member Project Manager

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    Hi Acie, welcome to BYC!

    Cute avatar you have there. @Kelsie2290 has given you some great advice. Hope you & your son enjoy the chickens.

    Nice to have you join us!
     
  4. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

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    Glad you joined the BYC flock.
     
  5. BantamFan4Life

    BantamFan4Life LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO. Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC! I'm glad you joined us!
     
  6. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Overrun With Chickens

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    Welcome to BYC! [​IMG]I'm glad you joined our community.

    Kelsie2290's given you some excellent advice already![​IMG]
     
  7. Acie

    Acie Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 15, 2015
    Parma, Idaho
    BTW i changed the avatar pic after i posted about him holding a barred rock.. haha just realized that prolly makes me look like an idiot. hehe, ANYHOW!!! TODAY WAS A GREAT SUCCESS WITH OUR GIRLS!!! Liam was able to catch 5 of the 7 hens we put in the tractor today! He is only 3 and the hens didnt put up too big of a fight. He was scoopin em up left and right. So that seems like some progress to me already! i Jimmy Rigged a "lid" i guess for the wagon, out of some recycled chicken wire and sticks i found around the yard, in hopes that i could put the hens in the wagon and take them all over the the tractor at the same time. the girls did great, liam would scoop em up and bring em to me and i would put em in the wagon. they surprised me with how calm and collected they were thru the whole process. once we got to the tractor and i put the first one in, i slid the lid back a little so about half the wagon was open, and the girls literally took turns walking to the open part for me to pick em up and put em in! i was shocked!! i put one in and turn around and the next one would walk out and let me lift her out and put her in the tractor. what a trip! totally calm, no drama. WOW! Liam had just experienced his first peck, caught his expression just in time! too cute! [​IMG]
     
    2 people like this.
  8. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member

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    Hello there and welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    Adorable!!

    Kelsie has given you some great advice. Good luck on this new journey and welcome to our flock!
     
  9. Mountain Peeps

    Mountain Peeps Change is inevitable, like the seasons Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC! Please make yourself at home and we are here to help.

    Nice picture! Love the avatar too!
     

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