New Member Here.

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by mamajo, Mar 28, 2012.

  1. mamajo

    mamajo Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 28, 2012
    Hi everyone, I'll spill the ugly truth right off. This is the first time I've ever had chickens. My husband had some major medical problems a few years back and is now unable to work. He commented a few times that he really wanted something to do with his time. I was at the local TSC and saw the cutest little things. I came up with an idea of something that he could do. He built the chicken castle, and thier courtyard. We started out with 6, then he sent me for supplies and I came home with 6 more. (we lost 2 though.) Now we have ten. I have no idea what kind of chickens they are, (brown) and (kinda yellow).

    I'm trying to learn as much as I can. I have a feeling one of the girls is actually a boy. But not 100% sure. I guess we will wait and see if he starts crowing or laying eggs. Any information is greatly welcomed. I've been reading some of the other posts and have a few questions. 1.) Do I really have to let them free range? We are in an area of wild cats, dogs, and Coyottes, I don't want them killed. 2.)Why would one of them have the red comb and neck thing so much earlier than any of the others? (Does this mean it's a rooster, or just an early bloomer?) 3.) Should there always be feed available or should i taper them off to feeding in the mornings and evenings?

    I'm sure more questions will come along as I grow into a chicken mamajo. I'll try to find answers before i burdon anyone else.
  2. scratch'n'peck

    scratch'n'peck Overrun With Chickens

    Oct 31, 2008
    West Michigan
    My Coop
    Welcome to the BYC forum! Keeping chickens is a great hobby for the whole family and I am glad that your husband feels well enough to build a castle coop with a court yard.
    1. A lot of folks don't let their chickens free range without supervision due to predators in their area. Mine have a good sized run that they stay in most of the day and then they come out when I can be in the yard with them. They are trained to come back to the run for treats. I make sure that I give them greens for treats to make up for their limited free range time.

    2. Could be a rooster - time will tell.

    3. Mine have access to feed all the time.
  3. DDNONIN2016

    DDNONIN2016 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 27, 2012
    SW Ohio
    Hello and welcome from Ohio....glad you joined us
  4. SethsArk

    SethsArk Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 10, 2012
    El Dorado County
    Hello and Welcome from California!
    We did the same thing when we first started raising chickens. Our feed store had a sale that you get 12 free chicks with a bag of chick starter, so we bought 3 bags. WELL... they were so little so it didn't seem like that big of a deal, I could hold like 6 in one hand. Then the weeks started passing and reality set in! And like you i described them by color, having no idea if they would even lay eggs. It was a fun learning experience.

    For your questions - these are my opinions:
    1) Free range makes everything taste better, if you have the space maybe you could consider a chicken tractor? In our area we've noticed if we dont let them out on overcast days or before 10 am we dont get any losses. The local bobcats hunt at night as do the owls, the local coyotes hunt when its not sunny (hence the 10 am / overcast rule), and our hawks arent very big. The dogs would be an issue though. I had a dachsund bite its way out of a dog kennel. Domesticated dogs are very resourceful. And if they aren't out to kill, some of them just want to torture by chasing. I've seen both a great dane and a beagle grab birds just to carry them around. Both birds survived but were in shock for a while.

    3) Unless they are meat birds, food all the time is the rule here. We actually fill up for a few days worth at a time.
  5. mamajo

    mamajo Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 28, 2012
    Thank you all for responding. Our chicken castle does have about a 10 foot by 10 foot court yard that is contained. Would that be the same as a run? It's the area outside of the castle, (by the way I am an avid history lover and have gone to England on castle hunts. Next trip is probably Germany to see their castles.) They scratch the ground, eat bugs, and seem like the are digging ruts to lay down in. Inside the castle they have six feet long by four feet wide area with a long troth full of straw for them to sleep on. they also have a wide board across the center of the castle that they love to set on. There are two long boarts that they jump up on and set. I call those the towers. In the picture below you can see the High Tower at the top with one setting on it and the Poo Tower with three on it. That one got it's name because the Poo lands on it all the time. They currently have a walk in door but my husband is considering cutting a smaller door in the front so they can come and go without the door being open, however we will not do that until it's much warmer outside. I still turn on the heat lamp at night for them.
    I would like to make thier courtyard a bit bigger, but my husband said that I would just bring more home so he is thinking about it, yet.

  6. the1much

    the1much Currently Birdless Hippy


    we have a addict support group every thursday,, we WILL be seeing you there i bet lol

  7. 3LilBirds

    3LilBirds Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hi and Welcome! [​IMG]
  8. Kevin565

    Kevin565 Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Dec 22, 2009
  9. weimarmama

    weimarmama Overrun With Chickens

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

    trooper Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 26, 2010
    [​IMG][​IMG] Welcome to BYC.This an is awesome site. There are plenty of people on here that have good knowledge.A few things to help you along.I wouldn't let them sleep in the straw boxes.Reason is that once you build their nest boxes they may want to sleep in them,and that's not good.Put their roosts higher than the nest boxes put my boxes up about 12" or so up off the floor.You need a fairley decent run so that they have room to move around.If they are cramped in the coop and in the run this may cause them to peck each other.As young chicks they will peck each other to establish their position in the flock.This is normal.I feed mine scraps off of the table.They are really little pigs with feathers.I find mine enjoyable to watch.They have their own personality and are alot of fun.Mine have feed 24/7.It will be a little while before they lay eggs.You will more and likely have to wait til they get bigger to tell what breed and what sex.[​IMG]When I got mine It was the first for me 2 yrs ago.BYC has been a blessing.

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