Newly acquired 4 hens on 9/3/12

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by Tomomi M, Sep 25, 2012.

  1. We live in Albuquerque, New Mexico. We have 2 shih-tzu sisters but we've never owned a chicken before. I am finding out fun things and not so pleasant things at the same time. I have lots of questions like:

    - How much food do they eat? Lay pellets in a feeder, scratch on the ground, some veggie scraps, etc. - they seem to eat all day long and I don't know if I am feeding too much. If I see loose droppings, is that an indication of feeding too much?
    - Is one of my chickens moulting or being pecked?
    - Does Blue Kote really work if she is being bullied?
    - How can I clean my chickens? Can I wash (bath) them? Should I dip them in a mild sanitizing liquid?
    - I pained all exposed surfaces inside of the coop to avoid insects dwelling. What else can I do to keep the coop clean other than routine cleanings and through cleanings with sanitizing spray?

    I want to learn about how to raise chickens very sanitizing way. I plan to spend lots of time reading previous threads.
  2. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    1) Loose droppings are not an indication of over feeding. Since you are in NM - loose droppings could be a sign of heat making them drink a lot of water, and therefore diluting their poo. Chickens spend their entire day scratching for food it seems. It's only when we are looking though ;) 2) This time of year, it's likely molting, but it depends on the age of the bird 3) Blue Kote will help heal and prevent picking yes. 4) Yes you can bathe them. I have done it many times and will do quite a few soon in preparation of a show. They love being blow dried. They don't necessarily need a bath though, they have their own way of keeping clean by bathing in the dirt. My silkies taking a dust bath. How I give a bath. 5) Keep coop clean and dry and you shouldn't have any issues. Some people swear by DE (diatom earth) but I don't like it. I find sevin works if you have an infestation.
    1 person likes this.
  3. liz9910

    liz9910 Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 8, 2012
    Northern California
    [​IMG] from California!
    1 person likes this.
  4. Kevin565

    Kevin565 Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Dec 22, 2009
    [​IMG] X2 on Aoxa's advice.
    1 person likes this.
  5. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland
    Hello and welcome to BYC [​IMG] Glad you joined us!
    1 person likes this.
  6. jbirds2012

    jbirds2012 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 14, 2012
    paicines, ca.
    1 person likes this.
  7. 1muttsfan

    1muttsfan Chicken Obsessed

    Mar 26, 2011
    Upper Peninsula Michigan
    Hi and welcome to BYC from northern Michigan [​IMG]

    Feed them mostly layer ration with only small amounts of scratch and other treats each day, and you will provide a good balanced diet. Feeding too much scratch (too high in fat and low in protein) or other junk foods will unbalance their diet and can lead to decreased laying.
  8. aaabirdman

    aaabirdman Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 1, 2012
    Welcome to BYC
    1 person likes this.
  9. Oh my! I didn't know that I was a minuit away to receive valuable and educational information. Thank you very much. I am glad I joined BYC.

    I only know about dogs so raising chickens is a very new thing for me. Any information is helpful. It has been in 50s in the morning but during the day, the temp goes up to 90s, so must be drinking lots of water then. 4 hens were raised since they were day-old chicks by a friend of mine who were living in the mountain, always cool and at 9000" high. It was much cooler, so they must need some adjustment to make.

    I have 2 Longhorn, 1 Barred Rock, and 1 Rhode Island. Longhorns and Barred Rock have some bald patches, but my Rhode Island is the baldest. I heard giving them protein would prevent pecking, so I have been giving them dried mealworms. It looks like my Rhode Island is growing her feathers back, but still less feathers than others. I just got Blue Kote in the mail so I plan to use it on her. She may be just moulting but I also witnessed her being pecked by others, so I'd better use it them.

    Other people suggested to use "pinless peepers", so I got them but I am afraid of putting them onto each. My husband and I look at each other and wonder which one of us holds a chicken and who is going to force putting it on... We got chickened and haven't used them yet at this point.

    The coop is brand new so for now we don't have to worry about much sanitation problems and it is going to be cooler, but I hope to be able to keep the coop clean.

    Thank you so much! Love your Silkies. One day we wish to move to the mountain side where we are allowed to have roosters, so I can purchase day-old chicks like Silkies. Right now, I cannot afford to have chicks only to find out they start crowing a few months later.
  10. My husband and I didn't know anything about how much to feed them (was told to give them scratch and lay pelletts) so we were giving them half/half of scratch and pellettes. I am going to change that to 25%/75% ratio then.

    What are junk food to chickens? I work for a community college culinary arts department, and I have access to scrap veggies. So far, chickens seem to like carrots, apples, celery, bell peppers, and lettuce. I heard potatos and raw spinach are not good for them so I remind students not to put any potato and spinach scrap into my bucket. Would veggies are ok? Perhaps not so much fruit like apples and pineapples? They seem to like lettuce more than strawberries though.

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