New to raising chickens

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by minifarming, Sep 13, 2016.

  1. minifarming

    minifarming Just Hatched

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    Sep 13, 2016
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    I am loving raising chickens but think I worry about their health as much as I worry about my children's. To control worms I see that you should "limit their time on natural soil", does that mean I should layer the dirt throughout the coop with pine wood chips? And also does any one have advice on bully hens. I have 11 Ameraucanas and 4 other hens (breed I have forgotten) and the 4 will not allow the 11 on the roosting poles. So they roost on the nesting boxes and it is making a horrible mess. The one day I put wire on top of the nesting boxes, there was chaos! And the 4 hens pecked any that tried to get on the roosting poles. My only thought is to add another pole on the opposite side??? Thanks for any advice.
     
  2. minifarming

    minifarming Just Hatched

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    Sep 13, 2016
    Texas
    [​IMG]

    This is my coop when it was almost finished and pre-chickens
     
  3. SueT

    SueT Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Welcome to BYC! Nice coop! If you can add a roost, it will help. I put in another roost, and everyone is now happy.
    Be sure to check out the Learning Center, and there are forums on so many subjects you may want to research. Chickens love being on natural soil....I've never worried about worms.
     
  4. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

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    Great Coop!!! [​IMG]
     
  5. minifarming

    minifarming Just Hatched

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    Sep 13, 2016
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    Thanks for the advice. I will have to check out the Learning Center! To me the dirt floor seemed best and they could use it for dust baths to help control And so many chickens are free-ranging so it can't be too bad?!?
     
  6. minifarming

    minifarming Just Hatched

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    Sep 13, 2016
    Texas
    Thank you!
     
  7. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

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    Greetings from Kansas and [​IMG]! Pleased you joined us! Here is a link from the Learning Center regarding worms
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/internal-parasites-parasitic-worms-in-chickens I never worry about worms but there are treatments if your chickens ever have them.
    And here is a link that talks about bullying behavior https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/bullying-behavior-in-chickens
    I agree on adding a pole. Pecking order dictates the dominant birds occupy the highest and "best" roosts. Adding another roost many alleviate the problem. Best wishes and enjoy your flock!!!
     
    1 person likes this.
  8. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

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    My Coop
    Welcome! I think your coop looks great, but it looks awfully small for 15 chickens. Can you give us the dimensions? That kind of pecking and forcing other birds off the roost is most generally because the head chickens are protecting what little space they think they have, and overcrowding is really an invitation to the kind of problems you are experiencing. Come the long nights and short days of winter they'll probably get even worse, with the added problem of providing adequate ventilation.

    As far as free ranging, the benefits far outnumber the drawbacks! Mine are on a dirt floor in both the coop and the run, using the deep litter method. For my deep litter I use as many dried leaves as I get ahold of, grass clippings, a little straw (not much because it doesn't always break down as well as I'd like) garden refuse - just about anything I can get in there! And mine are outside all four seasons of the year. Folks with more experience than I have swear by giving them some garlic, but since I don't do that I'd hesitate to give you the method and amounts. I hope someone who does use it will chime in.

    I have a theory - if chickens are going to pick up any kind of parasite they'll do it, no matter what you try to do. Providing them a clean, safe environment, clean fresh water and a healthy diet usually makes them strong enough to withstand a small parasite load anyway. Now, some may not agree with that and that's okay - it's just what works for me.

    I'm so glad you joined us here and I hope you grow to enjoy this place as much as we do!
     
    1 person likes this.
  9. minifarming

    minifarming Just Hatched

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    Sep 13, 2016
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    Not sure on the square footage but I know that we had researched that before building. I think the picture makes it look smaller. Waiting on my husband to respond with the dimensions. We have 3 roosting poles but I think I am going to have to figure out a way to put one on the opposite side for the Ameraucanas. I have put grass clippings in there to give them something to scratch in but not nearly enough to cover the yard. But I didn't think about leaves and those I have plenty of. My fear is snakes. I know that the time will come where I will find one in the coop but I am trying VERY hard not to encourage them.

    Thanks for all your help!
     
  10. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

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