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Discussion in 'Where am I? Where are you!' started by peggym, Aug 19, 2009.
I have 2 white leghorn hens for free. They are about 1.5 years old. pm me if interested.
Wow...I go in to work early and you guys blow up the forum on me! Interesting reading!
So it was -12 this morning when I left so I left the silkies in their coop and threw in some water. Of course it was frozen when I got home so I went out with hot water and they were very appreciative of it. I bought a couple of dog bowls that I am going to modify by insulating and boxing. I will put boiling water in them and then place the waterers on top. I am hoping this works. Had to bust out the frozen water in the outdoor waterers for the big coops. Love those black water bowls. Makes it easy. Changed the light bulbs from 40 to 60 watts in the cookie tin heaters as this cold making it difficult to keep the water ice free with a 40 in them. I looked at the two flocks while I was freezing my you know what off and can see the big boys have some frostbite on their combs. Not a lot but definately the tips. Not sure if I should do anything about it. Girls look okay and foot inspection, while difficult to see when they are moving, does not reveal any frostbite. My silkies seem no worse for wear although I did leave them locked up as it was so cold I was afraid they might take it harder. They were mad and demanded out when I got home this afternoon. Everyone got healthy handfulls of scratch and boss. Kale will be offered tomorrow.
I have to say that I, like stony, do not supplement light because I want my cheeps to have a natural cycle that allows them to "power down" during the winter months. I have to say, though, that my rir and sexlinks are very good layers during the winter. This is the first winter of course but at the low end I was getting 8 eggs a day. I am now getting around 14 and this is from 19 hens. My older hens are only giving me an occasional egg or two, here and there. Hence the reason to retire them and hatch out newbies. So far the cheeps are paying for their feed, scratch and boss. I do buy them veges and fruit on clearance every week to supplement that and of course any leftovers that nobody wants to eat.
Rancher--not sure about your barred rocks. Mine also have not been laying, and this includes, I believe, the newbies in the terrorist group. I think the cold afftects them that way. They are better when the temps are in the 30's or higher. We do have the smoke poly roof of the rir coop so maybe thats what makes a difference, along with all the windows.
Okay---off to bake some goodies for my daughter in college in ga. Her dad and uncle are driving down to visit this weekend. Hopefully some of the goodies actually make it to her! Of course, this means that I will be totally alone on chicken duty for the week as well as working. Let the games begin!!!!
They are nice but my incubator is full and Lord have mercy where would I put them? Are the flighty? Do they fly? Leghorns are nice and I do like the browns, but they're not friendly and too hyper.
I am going on 1.5 years with the same 2 florescent light bulbs. Have 5 in my barn and only replaced 1 in 3 years. The newer ones seem ok in the cold.
In answer to your question...cuz they have bird brains and can't tell sunlight from incandescent light. I only use a 90 watt incandescent bulb....can't speak to fluorescent. I just repurposed my brooder lamps for the coop. (added a nail and clamped it so the nail was in the center of the clamp. My birds can knock anything off the wall, it seems)
I don't know why it works, but I am pretty sure that adding light caused my chickens to go from 2 eggs/0 eggs a day to 7 eggs/5 eggs. (two coops) I actually had a new egg yesterday, so someone decided that it was spring and time to start laying. (freakin' Ameuacanas....9+ months old and they are JUST starting to lay)
There WAS such a thing as a wild chicken....In India and China....7000 BC and 3000 BC resepectively they started to domestic the bird for "home use". (gotta love Google) It is this domestication that "ruined" the birds for living in the wild and becoming dependant on humans for their food. I'm pretty sure you won't find any wild Ameruacanas anywhere....that is total human bred breed. But the article I read said that there are still wild chickens in India and China....or at least the birds that human used as the jumping off point for domestication of what we love and know as our back yard flocks.
Been a while since I posted. The flock seems to be doing well in this brisk weather. I dont mind going out there in the cold as long the wind stays away. I've been switching out their water daily rather than bringing waterers in to defrost and refill. I went out to the shed today to check on the three silkie chicks who have been doing quite well out there without a heat lamp and they were still doing ok. Or at least I thought so until I noticed they were walking around funny. Picked one up and it's feet were frozen stiff! Got the heat lamp out there in a jiffy and they all got under it to warm up. Had to run an extension wire from the porch up the drive way to the shed to power the lamp, best I can do to get power up there.
Went to JJ Feed the other day to stock up on chicken and rabbit feed. Bought one of the tin cans to store the rabbit pellets in right next to their cages instead of in the shed. Guess I'm getting lazy with having to walk back and forth to the shed every day for hay and pellets, but really it's the mice I had problems with getting into the feed that made me want to try the can out. I was wondering if i should do the same with the chicken feed?? Does anyone store their chicken feed in these? I think they come in 10 gal, 14 and 16 gal size tin "garbage like"cans? Mice had gotten into my last bag of feed, leaving a big hole in the bottom and all the feed poured out onto the shed floor. I was able to save most if not all of it but I'd like to get something more sturdy to store this stuff in rather than the bags it comes in.
If we are referring to the chickens that most of us keep, Gallus gallus domesticus, then no-- there is no such thing as a wild one. They were bred down from wild Red Junglefowl (Gallus gallus) and other such gallus-genus birds in Asia (depending on the breed-- genetics suggest that Chinese breeds such as the cochin may have had Green Junglefowl and others as their ancestors) approximately 5,000 years ago and therefore are a subspecies of those birds. So yes! There certainally are still wild Red Junglefowl and Grey Junglefowl out there!
The closest analogy I have is the domestic dog-- Canis lupus familiaris, which is a subspecies of wolf, that we humans have created the looks of and have domesticated. Some parts of the world obviously have slight genetic variations as in-breeding has occurred with other species.
We humans are solely responsible for creating 'breeds' of these animals, so no.. you would not find any naturally occurring Barred Rocks just as you would not find any naturally occurring Dalmations.
All that said-- animals are remarkable, and retain a genetic 'memory' of their ancestors, and given the right conditions and environment, they can revert and thrive once again on their own. In areas where chickens have been allowed to go feral for many generations, it is observed that they gradually start displaying more natural patterning and size in consecutive generations. It is gradual but still there. It is why good breeders work hard to keep their birds true to the breed.
This is all splitting hairs, really! I just wanted to let you know in case you were interested. I think we can agree that either way, chickens aren't really ruined at all! There is a breed out there that suits all of us in terms of independence and production. Sometimes it is trial and error finding it!!
I keep reading and hearing about the significant risk of adding new birds to your flock. I understand the quarantine time is recommended at 2 months, but that 3 is even better. The thought of bringing in an illness to my (future) flock has me so scared already that I think this will single-handedly curtail my urges to add more birds.....and I don't even have my hens yet!