okay, I'm bummed. Please cheer me up. (PS chickens are fine though)

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by wahmommy, Feb 15, 2011.

  1. wahmommy

    wahmommy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Okay, so I'm a newbie. I like chickens in general, but one of the real attractions for me was to have the different colored eggs. So when my husband said, let's get chickens they'll be fun family pets and we'll get eggs I thought let's do it. The breeds I originally wanted were Ameraucana and Welsummer, primarily for egg color. I couldn't get them locally (I'm in So Cal) so my only option for getting these breeds was to get hatching eggs from a breeder (intimidating and expensive for a newbie never planning to show them) or buy from a hatchery or a feed store (which I knew were different quality birds but I thought were still the same breed). I made a decision to buy from a feed store in my area, one that special ordered the breeds I wanted from Privett. When I came to pick them up, they told me which ones they were and I took them home.

    When I got home after introducing the chicks to my children (3 and 6) about a week into it I found out that the welsummer was not a welsummer and the ameraucana was an EE. Instead both (even though they looked different as chicks) were EEs. So I thought well at least with EEs I have a shot at blue and green eggs, and I would hope they would be different colors. And also if I want more chickens, the coop I got from MyPetChicken is okay for 3-5 chickens, it says it right there in black and white. And my husband just built a run in the only available space we have for a run, so I can get 2 more chickens anyway right?

    Nope. Coop is only really big enough for 2 large fowl, and run is the same. But wait, the hens could lay two different colors right? That would give me my easter basket sort of right?

    Nope, second hen started laying yesterday, they lay exactly the same color, kind of an industrial greyish green/sage green. Ironically the same color as our house, which is okay, but now I don't get an easter basket. I was really holding out for her to lay a different color, even brown would have been okay.

    And also the day before yesterday one of my hens almost pecked my 6 year old in the eye (they got him right under it). So although I have nice healthy friendly birds, I am a little scared of them now, and the thing I was looking forward to - the different colored eggs- is just not going to happen, unless we move (no place to build a bigger coop and run).
     
  2. obaan1

    obaan1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You should sell them as a pair and try again. They won't hold it against you.
     
  3. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    My Coop
    Don't be scared of the chickens. They are inquisitive and like shiny things. An eyeball is shiny. They're just pecking to see what it is, they don't have hands, so they use their beaks.

    If you have a place to build a slightly bigger coop, like 4X6 or something, it would give you a way to have more hens. And if you decide to hatch, I have pure Welsummers and can ship you some eggs.
     
  4. chics in the sun

    chics in the sun Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I know that's a bummer. My first "Ameraucana" from the pet store turned out to be a white-egg laying White Leghorn. Luckily for me I had room to add on to the original coop (which I have now done three times - it's quite ugly, but plenty of room for my nine chickens). The second "Ameraucana" chick was an EE, and now I've got two 18 week old Ameraucana that were hatched from a local breeder's blue eggs, and one has feathered feet and no beard. [​IMG]n
    At least it looks like I have ONE Ameraucana that will lay blue eggs - the other may be an Olive Egger (which I already have, as I had to get a chick to keep the first EE company).
    I would sell the little coop and build a new one from scratch. Since you are in a warm climate like me, the coop can be pretty basic and mostly hardware or chicken wire - check out the coop designs on here for warm climates. The run and coop can pretty much be the same structure, really.
    Chickens like shiny things like eye balls. Keep them away from faces - they mean no harm, they just have a compulsion to peck at shiny objects. Like my painted toe nails.
     
  5. wahmommy

    wahmommy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm scared of the chickens because we already knew to keep the beaks away from eyes, but my son was feeding them mealworms, he got down on his hands and knees for one second to give one a meal worm -and even as I was yelling at him to get up and keep his eyes above the chickens beaks the other hen was 3 feet away and ran over and pecked him in the eye- it was so fast. We knew better, and my son knew better, but still in a matter of a couple of seconds he could have lost his eye. That's why I'm scared of them. Now if any of us (even DH who thinks this is another weird overreacting wife thing) gets our eyes within beak area we are going to wear goggles or sunglasses. I just don't understand - petting zoos have chickens, and there's tons of kids on the ground petting bunnies, and the chickens aren't going for all these cute little kids eyes. I even had a chicken as a kid that used to come over and sit in my lap. I was never scared of that chicken and have no memory of worrying about my eyes being beak level. I know they are just acting on instinct, I like my chickens. It's just one more thing I have to worry about now. [​IMG]
     
  6. SassyKat6181

    SassyKat6181 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This is my first time with chickens too. My girls are extremely friendly, they jump up on my lap and hang out. Even though they are friendly, I still don't let them near my face. My son is 3 and he knows to keep his face up at all times. Chickens are inquistitive and peck at anything.....just as my 9mo old daughter puts everything in her mouth. Don't be afraid, be aware.
     
  7. shanmcd

    shanmcd New Egg

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    Hi,
    I am new to this but certainly have similar goals (colored eggs, of course!).

    Regarding your coop...I bought a prefab coop from ebay (putting it together was like an ikea project but not as well designed). I feel the seller had overstated the number of chickens it could house. But with some modifications that do not change the footprint, I was able to make room for more chickens.

    For example, I removed the nest box dividers to create more square footage (my understanding is that 3 hens can share one box) and moved the roosts higher and staggered them which gave the girls ALOT more room.

    For the run, If I wanted to increase my flock I would consider something like "living roof" on the coop, which could give them more room. In small spaces, I always think upwards instead of outwards. On the other hand, I had a friend who created a chicken run around her veg garden, almost like a chicken racetrack. It didn't take up a big block of space, but the chickens certainly felt like they had more room.

    All in all, don't give up hope and a creative solution may come to you!
     
  8. tinychicky

    tinychicky Chillin' With My Peeps

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    sometimes chickens are just mean [​IMG] if you get more chickens, try some bantam cochins or d'uccles. they both make good pets (although they do lay very small cream colored eggs). mine are all very gentle, especially the hen in my avatar, tiny, who's a d'uccle. she jumps onto my shoulder, or lap or evn just my boot when i come into the coop-whatever she can reach. they should be much nicer for your kids, even though they only lay little off-white eggs. a run that fits two LF hens should fit 3-4 bantams, so you could either add to your existing coop or give away your current hens and get new ones. if you want too keep yours, pick them up every day and cup your hand over thier heads so they have to put thier heads down, thus submitting to you. advise your kids to do the same. it works one roosters, too [​IMG] i hope this helps!
     
  9. cluckin_crazy

    cluckin_crazy Green Bot

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    Quote:This was probably only because of the mealworms. Mealies send my chickens into a possessed frenzy that only an exorcist could explain. They go BONKERS!! I've had them jump up and peck at the bottom of the container, peck at my ring, my watch, a freckle on my arm... ANYTHING they see - But, it is only crazy like that when they know I have mealworms. Maybe mealworms just aren't a good treat for kids to offer. Maybe something bigger like a piece of bread or a leaf of lettuce.

    As for your coop, what are the dimensions? Or can you show a link to where it is on MPC? Adding the run will absolutely give you more space to add more chickens.

    I can totally sympathize with you on egg color... that is what i set out for when I first got chickens as well. I wanted one of everything but found that you don't get many eggs that way. As of today, I have 3 sex link chickens that lay brown, 2 EEs (both green - one was supposedly an Ameraucana and should have laid blue - no dice) and one leghorn (white).
     
  10. wahmommy

    wahmommy Chillin' With My Peeps

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