New to backyard chickens

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by schellie69, Oct 14, 2009.

  1. schellie69

    schellie69 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 8, 2009
    Kansas
    I am new to chickens, and have some questions first I have 10 chickens I got my first 5 pullets in July 1 Americans bantam, 2 buff ophingtons, 2 New Hampshire reds, then a couple of weeks ago I got 5 more from the same guy, this time I got 3 Americans bantams, and 2 Plymouth Barred rock pullets the last 5 were laying when I got them my 1st bantam has been laying for about 3 weeks and one of my buffs had just started so for the 1st week I was getting 5 eggs a day then went to 3 now down to 2 a day, the weather has been cool and wet this month and I think 2 of them are molting but not 100 percent sure but I do have some strange behaviors and I am not sure what they mean

    1. One Barred rock is picking the feathers from the other birds,

    2. The egg laying dropping off

    3, I put a red heat lamp in their coop and they were still out at 10pm when they were cooping at 7:30 would the red light make them think it was daytime. (I turned the light off) I am not sure if I should use it or not

    4. They didn't use the coop when it rained, the last few days and i worry about them should i coop them and lock them in until it stops raining or not

    5. At what temperature do we need to put heat in the coop and with what is the best to use for heating the coop since the red light seems to confuse them.

    I feed them the layers mash and some scratch grain I also give them bread veggies, fruit and some cooked beans just once in a while as a treat they are also allowed out in our back yard a couple times a day with supervision I don't feel safe letting them out by them selves we have Ferrell cats in the area.
    Any help would be greatly appreciate s:/ince this is all new to me. thank you for your help in this matters.
     
  2. fasbendera

    fasbendera Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 30, 2009
    Midwest
    The Barred Rock could just asserting herself they have only been integrated for two weeks.

    Daylight does play into egg laying unless you have the good winter layers. Many people here put supplemental light in the coop. Diet too.

    My chickens go inside with or without the light.

    I start to heat when it gets into the low 40's & high 30's inside the coop. I am in a cold climate, Minnesota.

    Finally rain does not bother my birds and they stay out in it especially if it is an all day rain. A shower burst they head for cover but all day they don't stay in unless it is literally pouring.

    They aren't in order but just my thoughts. Good luck.

    Oh I almost forgot.
    [​IMG]

    Add the word Questions to your subject line so people don't think it is just a hello I'm new posting.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2009
  3. Olive Hill

    Olive Hill Overrun With Chickens

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    Apr 19, 2009
    1. One Barred rock is picking the feathers from the other birds,

    What kind of feed are you using? What protein content does it have?

    2. The egg laying dropping off

    It will as the daylight wanes. You can supplement with artificial light in the coop to make 14 hours per day total if you want.

    They could also be molting which would cause production to wane and ultimately cease.

    3, I put a red heat lamp in their coop and they were still out at 10pm when they were cooping at 7:30 would the red light make them think it was daytime. (I turned the light off) I am not sure if I should use it or not

    It could be as a result of the light, but it can also have to do with the heat it emits. Where are you? How cold is it there right now? Can they get into the coop and still stay away from the light to keep cool if they want?

    4. They didn't use the coop when it rained, the last few days and i worry about them should i coop them and lock them in until it stops raining or not

    Some people do. I take a hands off approach and have never had issues. They'll go in if they want. Mine stay out in the rain and only seek cover in bushes if it's very hard rain and or very strong wind.

    5. At what temperature do we need to put heat in the coop and with what is the best to use for heating the coop since the red light seems to confuse them.

    This will be dependent on the type of bird as well, but many people even in very cold climates do not supplement heat at all. A ventilated but well insulated coop where they can seek shelter from the elements is enough in most climates.​
     
  4. cybercat

    cybercat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Greeneville, Tn
    [​IMG] where are you located?

    Most lily everyone is getting sorted in a new hiarchy. You might have some hiding eggs on you too so check everywhere. This weather is playing havoc with many and chickens are feeling the effects also. It is normal at this time to slow down but I agree you could be feeding a low protien diet as most layer is 16% which is way to low for the bigger breeds to lay threw on. Uping protien to 18% of higher is nessasry for the bigger breeds.
     
  5. Tonopah Pati

    Tonopah Pati Rest in Peace 1938-2011

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    Tonopah, Arizona
    Jst wanted to say howdy from Arizona [​IMG]
     
  6. schellie69

    schellie69 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 8, 2009
    Kansas
    thanks for all the help, I do use the 16% layer feed but that is the highest I can find around here I do mix scratch grains with it which I read that adding 1 part scratch to 2 part layer feed brings the protein up to over 18% is this wrong I hope not I don't know how to get higher protein unless I went to a chick feed that has over 20% protein would this be better. I do look ever where for the eggs they also seem to like to lay in one nest a red one, so not sure what to do with that. thinking about turning red light on for 2 hours every night and see how they do. with laying and cooping and the light take the edge off it is warmer but not hot in the coop I got in and felt how warm it was thinking it was to hot but I don't think that is the problem I think it was the light we shall wait and see what happens any thoughts on changing the feed.
     
  7. cybercat

    cybercat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Greeneville, Tn
    Scratch lowers layer feed protien so cut it out. See if you can find flock raiser that is 20% then just buy oyster shell to add the extra calcium. You will need grit too to help break down the shell. Flock Raiser is a Purnina label and most places carry it even Tractor Supply is carrying it now. To up protien with what you have buy some cheap dry cat food. It will work like a charm and will not harm your chickens at all.
     
  8. al6517

    al6517 Real Men can Cook

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    [​IMG]
     
  9. schellie69

    schellie69 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 8, 2009
    Kansas
    I am in kansas, I looked and our feed store does not carry the purine label I do use grit now so that is not a problem. I just get so confused because you read one thing in one book and then another book says not to do that such as cat food, I read that it is not good for chickens so I just get more confused. I will look for the flock feed and mix it with my layer feed, I also will keep giving them scratch feed just because they like it and it is a nice treat for them I think the one barred rock is pecking to show that she is above them because no one else is pecking feathers so I don't think it is a protein problem just working out the pecking order after reading the post and talking to DH we have decided that we will turn the red heat lamp on at 6:30 or so and leave it on until around 9pm then shut it off this should give it time to heat the coop somewhat and also stretch the daylight then we will see how they do for a week if it is not working then we will re-do something or change the lighting again. How cold does it need to be before I have to really worry about heating right now are coop is an old dog house that we put roost in and 2 laying boxes going to add another box and another roost this weekend I am begining to think that there are really no hard rules for chickens just what works for your chickens since we do live in town and they are only out in the back yard, it is harder for them to hide their eggs since they are only out of pen when someone is back there, to afraid of cats and such they are locked in their enclosed pen at night DH built that one really secure so no worries about predators getting in at night, so I will just keep reading and figuring things out one thing at a time. thanks for all the help.
     

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