new to raising chickens and have some questions!

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by rhondatalk, Apr 4, 2016.

  1. rhondatalk

    rhondatalk Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 4, 2016
    Cleveland, TX
    Hello everyone,
    My family (which includes myself, my husband and my 15 yr old son) decided that we wanted to raise chickens for fresh eggs. We went out and bought a coop at TSC and then went and bought 2 adult hens from a local flea market. Silly as we were, we did not think to look up the types of chickens, and I believe we bought a meat chicken and then a Rhode Island Red. The white meat chicken is really plump (we could never eat her) but anyway, that's part 1.

    Part 2 - we decided we really were enjoying the hens (although no eggs a week later after bringing them home) and thought we would like to raise some babies as well, so we looked up a local place and went and picked out 10 babies. We got some 1 week olds and some 2 week olds. The one week olds are: Bufff Brahma, Exchequer Leghorn, Buff Leghorn, and the two week olds we got are 4 Ameraucanas (probably EE's though), 2 Silver Laced Wyandottes and 1 Black Australorp.

    We brought them home, and bought one of those big tin bins that they have the chicks in at TSC and got a brooder lamp and the feeder/waterer and kept them inside for 2 weeks. During this time we are building a massive chicken coop that is 16x32 and will have multiple 8x8 rooms that we can connect or leave closed off to separate the different aged chicks as we go along and get more. We will have a nesting room and a supply room as well. It is a work in progress.

    Well, after week 2, the Ameraucanas were getting really big, so we built a 4x4 brooder that we put outside on the back porch, and protected it with the hardware cloth and put peel and stick tile on the bottom to help make it easier to clean. We put a fold down door on the front so we could sweep out the pine shavings and put new in.

    All this has been going well. It has been 3 weeks exactly when we lost our 1st chick (one of my favorites of the Ameraucana's). I noticed that she had been sitting by herself a lot and kind of puffed out with her head pulled in for a few days, but didn't think anything of it. Friday night my son found her dead (very recently as she was still very warm) and he was very upset. We immediately cleaned out the coop and changed out the bedding, washed the feeder/waterer and replaced it as to not have something spread.

    From what I'm reading, it looks like it could have been Coccidiosis. Are my other babies at risk? I have been watching them closely, but so far nobody else is exhibiting any symptoms.

    We are feeding then the Chick Starter-Medicated, but that is all. Should I be doing anything else? I sure don't want to lose any more? Now that we have the nice 4x4 brooder, we want to incubate/hatch some eggs too since we have all the separate areas to keep them until they get full grown.

    We are sure loving the chicks and our big birds, though after a month we still don't have any eggs! That's another question...when should I expect them to start laying?
  2. rhondatalk

    rhondatalk Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 4, 2016
    Cleveland, TX
    ok, so I see I was too long winded...let me sum up my questions since they seemed to get lost in the post..

    1. Lost a baby chick (3 weeks old) from what looks like Coccidiosis...are my other 9 babies at risk as well? We cleaned out the coop as soon as she passed and have been consistently feeding Chick Starter Medicated and have been putting Chick Grit in as well. Do I need to do anything else for them? Any other types of additives or foods I should be supplementing with?

    2. My adult hens have been with us a month now, but no eggs yet. My big white meat chicken has watery diarrhea but not bloody and has lost a lot of her feathers on her behind and belly (she has no fluffy feathers on her backside...always looks wet, nothing like my Rhode Island Red who is very clean looking and gorgeous. Is it a possible problem or is it maybe somewhat just a difference in the breeds? (we didn't know the one was a meat chicken, though she has a ton a personality and talks to us when we refill food and it!)

    I would appreciate some feedback, thanks so much! :)
  3. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    please post in full detail at "emergencies, diseases, injuries, cures, thread." I'm wondering if your meat bird has vent gleet.
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2016
  4. MaranMarze

    MaranMarze New Egg

    Apr 4, 2016
    Pineville Louisiana
    You could try feeding the older hens 22% protein laying pellets.instead of 16 or 18%. Also chickens are very finicky. If you can you can give them a cup of meal worms for extra protein.
  5. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Flockless Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    Hi and welcome to BYC - as DD says, the emergencies forum is the best place to get advice with health related issues.

    In the meantime, the Learning Centre is a great resource, even for experienced chicken keepers - loads of info on anything chicken.

    Joining your state thread may be useful as it will put you in touch with other BYC members in your area - just type the name of your state in the search box.

    All the best
  6. N F C

    N F C home again! Premium Member Project Manager

    Dec 12, 2013

    You've already received some good information so I'll just say hello and thanks for joining us!
  7. rhondatalk

    rhondatalk Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 4, 2016
    Cleveland, TX
    Thanks, I did that today, hoping to make some new friends in my area. I appreciate the advice! My girls seem to be doing well...WHEW!
  8. mamatink7

    mamatink7 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 6, 2016
    I don't think you're supposed to put the grit in with the feed, as not every chick needs it all the time (chick grit starts at 2wk+ & IF they are getting extra treats too). Each age group gets a new feed (up to 16-18wk gets the medicated, 18+layer feed). Once layers they need oyster shell offered but separate to feed.
    I'd get THE JOY OF OF CHICKENS to go thru and help. I love the sound of your huge setup, it just seems as though you were rushing instead of researching first. I'd see how things go before starting to hatch your own eggs. Are the hens laying yet? Check into herbs for chicken s and lay throughout nesting boxes, I heard it relaxes them and it helps w mites and other health benefits too:) sorry if I sounded rough. I hope you enjoy this new endeavor.

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