New To BYC and I'm all in!

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by Jaydawnlove, Aug 17, 2014.

  1. Jaydawnlove

    Jaydawnlove In the Brooder

    I was bored this summer and started reading Bee Tree Farm blog. It inspired me to start raising chickens and just in general wanting a farm. We have tried chickens many times but they die so easily. I’ve been researching a lot so I can keep this issue from continuing. I believe it was the temperature. I had no idea day old chicks needed to stay in 100 degree temps for a week and then 95 degree temps for the following week slowly lowering the temperature. I convinced Balam (My hubby) that chickens would keep me busy and productive during the summer. He agreed to 5.

    On June 30th I went and bought 4 chickens that were about 2 weeks old from Buck Moore. One Black Sex Link, one Wyandotte, one Plymouth Rock, and one Rhode Island White. They were adorable but not the kind of chicken I had been looking for. I wanted some Americanas. Blue or green eggs would be amazing and a colorful egg carton would be fun. Mia ( the middle child 10 years old) picked the Black Sex link and named it Peep. Zoe ( the oldest at 13) picked the Wyandotte and named it Gilbird. I picked the Plymouth Rock and named it Dotty, and Ela (the youungest of my 3 dd at 2 1/2 years old) was given the white Rhode Island and I named it Henrietta.
    I started collecting pallets for a Girl Scout project that Zoe was going to work on during the summer but she never started it really. So the wood became our new chicken coop wood. It took weeks to tear apart the pallets and a stomach bug I had for a week slowed me down as well.

    A friend of mine told me about a nearby breeder that I could get some Bantam Americanas from. So on July 20th we went and drove 1 hour to Dale TX and picked up 3 baby chicks from Sweet Peeps Chicks. They were located in Round Rock TX but had just moved that weekend. They had a very large shed that was full of cages and brooder pens. She said that she had just caught a bunch and put them in the cage for ease of picking them. She went over color with us and we picked 3. An almost fully Buff chicken that was the same size as our 6 week old chickens was claimed by daddy and named Goldie. A mixed buff and grey blue we named Ambrosia. And an almost all grey blue one named Luna by Zoe. Ela started carrying around Ambrosia almost all the time. I moved the chickens outside, because 7 chickens smell much more than 4, on Wed and we had a small rain come through that night. By 4 days I realized Ambrosia started smelling really bad. It was strange. I did a search on backyard chicken website and came to the conclusion she was super sick. I checked all the other birds and Luna had a runny nose. Maybe it was something bad or maybe it was nothing. Maybe they were too young to be outside and the rain hadn’t helped their health. I ended up going to Buck Moores and getting antibiotic powder to add to the water so they could get better and I put them in their own cage alone. The feed store also had Americanas so I ended up getting two more just in case the two who were sick died. SO far they aren’t dead. The light colored chick we named Caramel and the darker chick we named Cocoa. We started the coop that weekend I worked on it all week long. Zoe turned 13 on Tuesday and her friend Ryse brought her an Americana Rooster that was about 6 months old. It took many long days but I got the coop built. Balam brought home sand for the coop floor so we could have ease of cleaning. The chickens moved in Aug 1st. We painted it that Saturday. All done.

    Ambrosia still looks sick and has a bubbly eye but maybe it was the mites I got rid of using Seven5 or the gangly teenage look they have as fathers on their heads are coming in. Luna no longer had a runny nose but Gilbird had a cough for almost two weeks. Are their symptoms related? I don’t know! No one else looks sick and everyone acts like chickens. Gilbird was the last to go in the coop and was the easiest to catch. She didn’t complain about being held. She may have been sicker then I thought but I put medicine in everyone’s water. Cocoa has coughed a few times but since the second day of hearing the cough I haven’t heard It again. Maybe the meds worked or maybe it was just dust… The Rooster we ended up naming Roo Roo because he could only crow roo roo in the morning and nothing more. Now he says roo four times in a row from about 5:30-7:30 every morning. It’s fun to hear. Roo Roo has been losing a lot of feathers. Is he molting? Goldie has started looking like a rooster too so we have renamed him Mr. Gold or Rumplestilskin. I posted pictures of Luna and Ambrosia and everyone thinks they are roosters too. Lucky for me I get to trade them out for girls. Well I'm not technically trading since Luna and Ambrosia are sickish, still I'm going to trade Goldie and get 4 new chicks. Why 4 because Gilbird died after not eating for a day and not moving at all except to drink. She stayed puffed up and took her last breath in my Zoe's arms Friday.

    I started Fermenting feed last week for the chickens. I added 6 cups of feed with about 2 gallons of water and 1/4 cup of Apple Cider Vinegar w/ the Mother in it. I’de stirred it a few times and added more water through the day. By Tuesday was able to feed it to the chickens. In Wed I added scratch and some wheat seeds to it.
    I want to get a cleaner called Oxine. I need to order it but I can clean the coop and get rid of any bacteria and mold with it. Hopefully it will help improve the condition of the sickish birds?
    I also started fodder.I wasn't going to but start it until winter but I found one bag left at Buck Moore and bought it for $32 only to find it was infested with weavles. So I started the fodder to test how bad the infestation had been. I'm only on day 3 of that but it looks fine and another BYC person told me to add DE to the seed to kill the bugs! Hopefully that will work.

    I also started Mealworms almost right away but the girls got a little feed happy and my first supply of 50 quickly dwindled down so I ordered 1000 on a website called Falkners Farm. The mealworms are now hitting larva stage and are quickly turning into darkling beetles which means breeding and more mealworms! Yeah!

    Dabai roahes are anther protein source I may try eventually. Maybe.

    So that’s caught up for the past month and a half of these crazy chickens and my bright ideas. I can’t wait for our first eggs!

    I read things on here and I want to try them. I want to do it right away. I don't like waiting.

    I read this here on BYC and found it very fitting in my life so I'm paraphrasing some of it but...
    It’s all about what one chooses as important in their life. The degree of importance changes for people over time. I know for a fact my interests change regularly.
    I will admit that I am strongly enchanted in the concept of local agriculture and the back to the land movement. I am becoming passionate about becoming self-sustaining.
    Growing and preparing your own food requires sacrifice. Sacrifice of time. However the simple daily rhythm of preparing food can be deeply satisfying to the body and soul.

    I like to feel proud of my work. I use to cook dinner for my family pretty much 3-4 times a week until a friend was amazed at how often I cooked a real meal for everyone. The pride I felt caused me to start cooking more like 6-7 meals a week. Now that I’ve undergone health issues I have pawned that job off onto my oldest daughter. I love to be able to tell people my profession. Some people look at me like I’m crazy. I teach 3 and 4 year old children. I actually am an aide but more often than not I end up co-teaching. We have general ed children mixed in with special need kids. Some people are great with younger kids, some with older kids, and some with adults only. I am gifted with the patience to handle small children rather well. Once they hit a certain age my patience runs out.

    So what am I ranting about? Nothing in general. Like all things I’m sure my passion for wanting to be self-sustained will fade. Or it won’t. I loved letterboxing and still enjoy it but not on the same level I use to. I now have a young child again and Girl Scouts is taking over more of my life. I can’t afford to drive around as much as I use to and that puts a halt on many things.

    I want things. I have plans. If they don’t come to pass that is fine. Ela has one more year in daycare and then I will have a little more money to save for future plans. Like moving the house to the back 4 acres we will end up buying from my friend. We will need to add electricity, plumbing (septic) and a base for the house. Then I can start the whole sustainability thing. Add raised gardens for food, gates for livestock, and a bigger coop.? Maybe. Oh and I would like a well for water, and solar panels for electricity. If we could learn to live off the land I would be so happy. A root cellar would be nice to add as well. Fruit trees. This is a very time consuming project that will take a long time to complete. My grandchildren will be able to enjoy the fruits of my labor. Do I want to make money off this farm idea? No. Will it be monetarily possible? Maybe. Time will tell.

    As for money… I hate having to depend on it. Period. It’s hard to learn not to depend on it. Not to want more. More is a hindrance. More money causes more consumption of not needed products. What is needed? Am I over doing things by thinking I need more when really what I have is enough? But is enough, actually enough for what my dreams are? Are my dreams realistic?

    On Bee Tree Farm when they were trying to get a loan the loan appraiser came out and asked them to make three types of plans. One was a bottom line what can you live with bare minimal, the other was a realistic middle and then an amazing wish come true scenario. So my big wish come true scenario… I want to live in a Victorian house that looks authentic, on a few acres and have horses and farm hands to help, with a hedge maze that leads to a small cottage and a basement with a root cellar and an underground tunnel leading under the hedge maze…. Small dream rock bottom. Where I am now. One bathroom 3 bedroom farm house. Nothing changes. Rent and a yard to take care of. A few chickens, daughters soon moving off to college. Everything changes. Children grow up and your life changes accordingly.
    I use to have time to knit and crochet and cross stitch. I still have time for it if I make time for it. But priorities change just like the times. Life situations make things change…

    And that is about me today. I may read this in a month and be astounded I thought that or said that. There are times I hurt peoples feelings and I'm very sorry I do. I'm a people pleaser but I'm learning not to be. ;) Yes, I have to learn not to please everyone. Not everyone can or will like me. As long as my kids and hubby put up with me then I think I'm good.

    lol that was fun...
    1 person likes this.

  2. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Crowing

    May 14, 2014
    Welcome to BYC! Glad you decided to join our flock. Thanks for the very thorough introduction. You have some good laying breeds. Black Sex Links (technically not a breed but a hybrid) are egg laying machines. If you want different colored eggs (like green), you need Easter Eggers, not true Ameraucanas as true Ameraucanas lay only blue eggs. Easter Eggers are produced by crossing true Ameraucanas with other breeds to produce hens that lay eggs in colors other than just blue. The confusion is caused because hatcheries frequently breed Easter Eggers and then market them incorrectly under the labels, Araucana or Ameraucana (often misspelled as Americana or Americauna). There is a good article explaining the difference at Easter Eggers are my granddaughter's favorite chickens. She loves their different colored eggs. Sounds like you have your priorities straight in wanting to make your husband and children happy. Please feel free to ask any questions you may have. We are here to help in any way we can. Good luck in achieving your dreams.
  3. texaspolloloco

    texaspolloloco In the Brooder

    Jun 25, 2014
    Georgetown TX
    Welcome to BYC. I am also from Central Texas and I just wanted to give you some advice.
    There are some really shady chicken sellers in our area (some good ones also). I would not be running around getting chickens from a bunch of different places. This is an easy was to spred sickness to your flock. You may have brought home some sick birds that infected you other birds. It would be wise to figure out the sickness going around your flock before bringing new birds home.

    Im only telling you this because it happened to me. I had to cull (destroy) many of my birds because I brought home some sick ones that spred sickness to my flock. Birds need to be quarantined for a minim of 2 .weeks before adding them to your healthy flock.
    Also your current sickness may be carried by your treated birds and passed on to any new ones.

    Good luck.
    1 person likes this.
  4. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 Free Ranging Premium Member

    Feb 18, 2011
  5. Mountain Peeps

    Mountain Peeps Change is inevitable, like the seasons Premium Member

    Apr 23, 2014
    My Coop
    Welcome to BYC! Please make yourself at home and we are here to help.

    Great and informative intro!! Sorry for your troubles

  6. Jaydawnlove

    Jaydawnlove In the Brooder

    I'm pretty sure that I bought the chicks already sick. I noticed the bad smell right away when we brought the 3 new ones home from the breeder. I just thought it was their diet and almost doubling my flock. After reading up on different bird diseases I'm leaning tword bronchitis. It carries the smell and cough/ sneeze and runny nose. The sick ones have been quarinteened from the 5th day I got the new 3. I didn't realize how things spread at the time. My 2 baby chicks have been in my living/brooder room since they came home with me 3 weeks ago. I'm keeping everyone very separated so far. I'm really scared to be trading out the roosters at the same breeder but since I now know what to look for and watch out for I think I'm going to go in better prepared. We'll keep the new girls separated for at least a month. Our property is doted in cages. Hopefully everyone else will get a clean bill of health and be combined by October. If I have to kill off sick chicks, I hope I can. But I can always start over next year. You live and you learn and if your smart you listen to advice and you take chances or you don't live.
    I thank you.
  7. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    TexasPolloLoco gave you very good advice.

    It's discouraging and downright sad that there are so many unscrupulous people out there ( entire country) so eager to cheat their customers. Puts me in mind of puppy mills etc.
  8. Jaydawnlove

    Jaydawnlove In the Brooder

    I know. The chickens I received for the swap out of my roosters were just as sick. She actually wanted the sick roosters back even after I told her their simptoms. I got a better view of her set up and I'm not sure if it's where her real problem lays. She had so many birds crunched into small areas with a large mix of other breeds like turkeys, and a peacock. I know people keep multiple birds but do they mix and keep them pined together in a 8x8 run? Don't turkeys need more room? I wanted to rescue her whole flock. If I could afford to get blood work done on these chicks to find out what they have I would. No one should be buying from her flock. 2 of her other breed chickens she gave me look very healthy but have very stinky runny poo. The two EE (pined in with the mixed over crowded group) have bubbly eyes and smell like death. Since I already had a dedicated sick area, and my flock has been around this before I saw and realized the dangers the first time I took them. They will be getting a stronger dose of meds.
  9. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Crowing

    Jul 24, 2013
    [​IMG] Glad you joined us! [​IMG]

  10. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Crowing

    Jul 24, 2013
    Welcome to BYC! [​IMG]We're glad to have you. Good luck with your birds!

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