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Ohhhh Chicken math...Long and rambly...

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by lswatson111304, Dec 26, 2011.

  1. lswatson111304

    lswatson111304 Songster

    Sep 18, 2009
    Milano, TX
    How I love thee.

    So Here is my chicken history this year. October...Started out with zero. Decided I wanted to get a couple chicks. I search craigslist, and had a local guy with a sign in his yard. Called on 2 silkies off craigslist, and ended up calling the local guy as well. Picked up 4 chicks and 1 baby quail from the local guy, next day picked up the 2 silkie Chicks. About a week later I decided I wanted a little bit older birds as well and went back to the local guy for 2 pullets that were expected to start laying any day now. Then I got the urge to hatch, so I stopped by a guy down the road and asked if he had any fertile eggs. He gave me some. I hatched out 6 chicks. Quail laid an egg, so I decided she needed companion quail and bought 2 more. I decided I wanted buff silkies. I ordered shipped eggs to incubate. Sooo I was like OH NO. what am I going to do with all these chickens? So I asked my BIL if he wanted the 6 chicks I hatched out. He agreed and kept them in with his 3 quail. I prepped for a hatch that was a disaster. Hen goes Broody. Order more eggs and put 8 under her. BIL calls and asks if I want the chicks back as well as his quail because his wife was over her chicken fever. We picked them up today. They are just now feathered out enough to be out in the coop with the chicks I purchased in October.

    Soooo as of right now I have 13 chickens in the coop, 1 in the broody box with 8 eggs under her, and 6 quail..
    I need a bigger coop...but DH says NO!

    Oh, and I put a light in the coop for the babies since they've never been without light and all the older chickens huddled under it and I had to shoo them away to let the babies under it. LOL Crazy Crazy Fun Beautiful Chickens!!!!!!!!!

  2. ScottyHOMEy

    ScottyHOMEy Songster

    Jun 21, 2011
    Waldo County, Maine
    Biting a bullet here.

    I'm going to speak directly, but it's not my intention to rain on your parade. You obviously love your birds and other creatures. And, to be plain, I have no objection whatever to chickens as pets. But, what I'm reading (knowing nothing about your circumstances, let alone the size or configuration of your coop!), I'll just caution/ask you to consider the welfare of your birds ahead of your own satisfaction.

    Chicken math can be fun, as a concept. If you've got the room and the means, you can put the concept into practice. If not, then it's a fun thing to bandy about.

    A friend's daughter lives just up the road. A horse nut. (Trust me, there is horse math, too!) She indulged her fancy for different horses. Gentle gelding. Sturdy brood mare. Adorable weanling, too cute to pass up. And so on . . . She loves horses. Her living room curtains are weighed down with the ribbons she won showing the horse she had through her teens. She (and the economy) got to the point, though, that she couldn't take care of all the horses she had bought on impulse. Hay and grain went up. She bought horses after she was out of room for the ones she had. And the girl who once smiled from the front page of the local weekly standing beside her show horse with yet another ribbon, made the front page again when the state came in and took her horses away. Undernourished and living in a knee-deep mire.

    Horses, dogs, cats, chickens . . . It's all husbandry. I've heard and read the Biblical view that we were given dominion over all other creatures. And while that is not something that I spout about, I suppose my raising is rooted in it. That dominion, if you choose to exercise it, includes seeing to their well-being.

    Fuzzy chicks are fun. Gotta feel for them, too, as they go through that homely stage before they feather out into adolescence. Can't help but be sucked in by some of the personalities that emerge as they mature.

    They have feathers, not hair, but taking on more chickens is just as important a decision as taking on another horse or dog. Cost is dollars and time. They need shelter, space, water, feed and attention. If you can provide those, then carry on, and feel free to blow me off.

    If any of those factors presents a challenge . . . please . . . slow down, think about what you want from a flock, and what you can reasonably do.

    Puppies are fun. Mature dogs can be great companions and workers. And I love the work that goes into training them. But I don't buy an older dog because I can't wait for my puppy to grow up, nor do I buy a puppy to have something fluffy around as soon as I've got the last one trained.

    Bless you, enjoy your chickens. You said DH set a limit on the coop. Get a plan together. Let the birds you have mature. Learn to enjoy them and their antics.

    I enjoy the work of brooding a new bunch of chicks. And I move on to the satisfaction of watching them thrive and grow. I enjoy tending them, and will occasionally drag out the lawn chairs for an afternnon or evening of ChickenTV. Not many folks who don't do it for a living can keep all of that going on at the same time.

    My apologies if this seems like a lecture. In the end it may be that's just what it is, but that's not the tone I'm aiming for. Your enthusiasm is uplifting, but I have to wonder if it's realistic/sustainable.
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2011
  3. whitejerabias

    whitejerabias In the Brooder

    Dec 6, 2011
    ScottyHOMEy that was a GREAT post. [​IMG] Whether or not it applies to the OP it is something we must all remember to consider when adding to our collections be they chickens, horses or children (ahem, Angelina, ahem). Your post was thorough, well explained AND non-aggressive. There are far too many times when an excited newbie gets flamed simply for over exuberance (and I'm talking about all my forum-ing, not this one in specific).

    Anyway, thank you for your post.
  4. Harli50

    Harli50 Songster

    Jul 22, 2011

    2 chicken
    + 2 chicken
    10 chicken.....

    maybe i need a little more practice [​IMG]
  5. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Crowing

    Apr 14, 2011
    Central Oregon
    Doing lots of hatching is fine if you plan to eat a lot of chickens.

    If you aren't eating them, then the rooster population builds up fast and they are difficult to keep in large numbers and difficult to find homes for if you don't want to keep them.

    But I agree completely. They are beautiful and they are fun.
  6. ontimeborzoi

    ontimeborzoi Songster

    Nov 13, 2008
    Northern Neck of Va
    Great post for me too, ScottyHOMEy....a dear friend of mine is terribly ill, and I find myself wanting chicks. Or eggs. Or a trio of something! And *I* can build coops for them. I can afford to do that, and am able, physically. I have lots of land, enjoy the husbandry and the challenges. I love it that I can go i so many directions with chickens, or none at all. But buying chicks as stress relief....maybe thats not so smart. That thought had crossed my mind, that little frisson of discomfort one gets. But this post hits home.
    Thank you for writing it.
  7. lswatson111304

    lswatson111304 Songster

    Sep 18, 2009
    Milano, TX
    Ahh yes, I appreciate your post. I get what you are saying. I guess I should say I live on 25 acres, I have the room for the chickens. I am a SAHM with 1 child at home, and 1 in school. I have time for the chickens. I enjoy them, they are a bit like stress relief. As for jumping from chicks to older because I didn't want to wait for them to grow up, no, I wanted some closer to laying because I did want to start getting fresh non store bought eggs sooner than later, but I have still raised the chicks. They are larger than the older birds. They are very much companions, as well as will provide eggs for my family, and compost for my garden come the spring. As for living space I have another coop from a few years back when we had a flock of chickens, it is further behind the house and not in the back yard where my birds currently reside. The chickens we had back there at the time were given to us and they were from a big chicken farm, leftovers of the ones they took to slaughter. They weren't healthy and didn't last long so the coop has been empty for a few years. All I would need to do to expand their living quarters is put a door back up on the coop and run out back. As for feed, we have the means to provide that, as well of a lot of land to let them free range once I feel comfortable enough letting them loose with the dogs.
    The reason I gave the 6 that I hatched away is because I didn't want more than I can handle, but my SIL gave them back to me. I figured it was better to take them back in. I do not ever plan to have hundreds of birds, and honestly, when I see people ordering chicks in larger quantities than I have right now, and not getting reminded of the responsibilities, I get a tad bit offended. I spent nearly all day yesterday outside with my children, and my chickens, I was in a bit of "chicken head" when I posted, so I'm sorry if I came off as flaky, or "a crazy newbie" or whatever I may seem like, but i can assure you that my intentions are pure, I want a few birds for my liking, such as my silkies, and I want a few for production. I by no means feel like I'm in over my head, even if I'm saying "Oh no what am I going to do with all these chickens", and my husband and I had already decided that this is my last hatch if it even works out.

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