Newbie from Rosenberg, Texas

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by dfriloux, Jun 5, 2011.

  1. dfriloux

    dfriloux Out Of The Brooder

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    I'm new to chickens (except when I was a young girl--many, many years ago)! I got my 5 girls (Ameraucanas) right before Mother's day (which makes them only 4 weeks old) and am totally smitten with their good looks and winsome ways! I bought Ameraucanas because of their ability to get along well with each other (and people) and because of their colorful eggs! I cannot wait to gather blue (or green or both) eggs out of my very own chicken coop! We have two dogs (a wicked little Yorkie and a very sweet Lab mix--both males) who would like nothing more than to have chicken for dinner. [​IMG] Hopefully, that will change soon with proper training and lots of patience!

    I'm an avid gardener and love to make potpourri from dried flowers out of my garden. MY DH can build and/or fix just about anything, plays the guitar like a Winfield winner and is looking forward to blue eggs from his own back yard! He's the one building the girl's new home!

    Our two grandkids (5 and 7) are simply wild about the girls and are being very responsible with them. The 5-year old (Kitty) has really taken to them and is being a huge help with cleaning their water bottle and helping me put them up when it's time for us to go inside!! She knows not to chase them when they get loose (or to squeeze them when they try to get away--just let go!)

    Although we named them when we first brought them home, they've changed so much, we're kind of having to rename them. Kitty named one "Alice" yesterday. Alice has black freckledy spots on top of her head. Hopefully, they'll stay that way and we'll always be able to tell her apart from the others. The other one that I renamed just recently is Elizabeth ("Betty" for short). She is the only one with dark feathers on her breast. She's the friendliest one so far and lets me hold her any time I want! She doesn't run away or try to fly out of my hands when I hold her. (Thanks to this site, I learned how and taught the kiddos how to hold a chicken properly!) Ender (the 7-year old grandson) was a little sad that we had no roosters for him to name and refused to name any of the girls. We've chosen not to have a rooster because we're not going to raise chicks and would prefer not to have the eggs fertilized.

    So, my first dilemma is whether to have a guinea to help protect the girls. I've read that they are great for protection, killing snakes and warning against danger like hawks and all, but, I've also read they can be mean and have a tendency to "take over" the flock. It would not make me one bit happy if my girls couldn't play with me anytime I wanted them to and I worry a guinea might interfere with that. So, I think I'll just wait and see--if I'm not able to be their guinea, I might just have to get one later on.

    My second dilemma is what to put on the ground of their run. The run is 5'x10' and has netting under it (attached to the coop) about 6" deep. I need to add about 4 inches of some sort of filler and I'm a little confused on exactly what that filler should be. Do I add sand to fill it up? If so, do I need to put gravel under the sand (would it be useful in any way)? If so, what should the ratio be? Also, how much food grade DE should I add and how often? I also read that a nice blend of ashes (like those in the fireplace), sand, and DE would be a good filler. Has anyone tried that? If so, any thoughts as to the ratio on that blend?

    It is a pleasure to be a part of this site. It came highly recommended by friends who raise chickens and I've been pretty much following the advice given here since this little chicken adventure began! Thanks so much to all of you for being so helpful and so knowledgeable and for sharing that knowledge with all of us! I have come to the conclusion that there are some very, very nice people who raise chickens!

    Warmest regards,

    MsDea
     
  2. XxKiki_Bantam_BreederxX

    XxKiki_Bantam_BreederxX Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 4, 2011
    Michigan
    [​IMG] from Michigan!! [​IMG]
    Warning: This site is addictive!
    Learn more, have fun, or just cluck around! [​IMG]
     
  3. CityClucks

    CityClucks The Center of a 50 Mile Radius

    Jan 31, 2009
    Tulsa, OK
    [​IMG] from Oklahoma!
     
  4. mamawolf544

    mamawolf544 Unbreakable Heart

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    Apr 29, 2009
    alvarado, Tx
    [​IMG] from central Texas.
    I am a big believer in DE, I use it for fly and bug control and when it rains, it will dry up a puddle fast. Most of my birds free range so I dont use any type of litter.
    I have about 100 free ranging Guineas. They are great for warning you, eating bugs, but do get atleast 2.
     
  5. mshuey1

    mshuey1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 23, 2011
    San Antonio
    Welcome From Boerne Tx. [​IMG]
     
  6. Barred Babies

    Barred Babies Red Roof Farms

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    Sep 20, 2009
    Pride, La.
    [​IMG] & [​IMG] from Pride, La.
     
  7. weimarmama

    weimarmama Overrun With Chickens

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    Jun 4, 2010
    Alabama
    My Coop
    [​IMG] & [​IMG] from Alabama.
     
  8. Chickencoop1996

    Chickencoop1996 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 28, 2011
    southern nh
    [​IMG]
     
  9. Desert Rooster

    Desert Rooster El Gallo Del Desierto

    Sep 4, 2010
    Hesperia, Ca
    Hello [​IMG] from Hesperia,CA and [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  10. 4-H chicken mom

    4-H chicken mom Overrun With Chickens

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    Aug 3, 2007
    Oberlin, OH
    [​IMG] and [​IMG] from Ohio. So glad you joined. I don't think I would use the fireplace ashes. I have a mix of sand and dirt. [​IMG]
     

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