One little, two little, three little Indians . . .

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Skyrider, Aug 23, 2008.

  1. Skyrider

    Skyrider Out Of The Brooder

    One little, two little, three little Indians, four little, five little, six little Indians. Seven little, eight little, nine little Indians -- ten little Indian chicks! Whoops! Another snuck in there. ELEVEN little Indian chicks!

    I'm a newbie, and do have a question, but I'll start with a bit of an introduction. I'm a social worker in India and wisdom joined with necessity caused us to buy some farm chickens and hope for meat and eggs. I surely wish I had known about this site as it could have saved me from some troubles. Nevertheless, we have three hens and one cock and now eleven of the cutest balls of fur there are.

    We live in the jungles of India. It's also near a river, and right now in the midst of monsoon it is rushing quite near by. In 2005, "a river ran through it!" Fortunately, we weren't here then, but we had the job of cleaning everything up. You can see some of this on http://fiwl.wordpress.com. Check out the videos there.

    For reasons of necessity, when these chicks were hatching we brought the wok with a bit of hay and the sitting hen indoors. A rat had gotten into the hen house we built, so we put her and her chicks in our bathroom. There was simply no other place. We also have snakes and birds of prey all around us, and I didn't want to lose one egg or one chicken dinner. So, necessity was the mother of my invention -- a bathroom all for the chicks and mother, and us!

    Our mother's name is the name of an Indian goddess, Laxmie, pronounced "lux shmee." She's a black headed and gray feathered Indian country chicken -- and really pretty.

    Anyway, now to my first question: We have ground kernel wheat and rice into cracked pieces for the chick food and they are really going after it. Mom too! Normally, she forages for insects. So, my natural question is ... how about their grit!? Where and how do they get that for their gizzards?

    We have two other hens with the cock, all foraging for their food with some wheat hand outs on occasion, and one of them (we don't know which one and possibly a neighbor's who likes our hen house) started laying eggs, one a day. HOW do you get a hen to start laying? Is this automatic? We bought Laxmie from another farmer who said she had an initial brood but all the eggs got wet from the monsoon and they were lost. He said she was already impregnated, which I took as a grain of salt, but she was! Now, I wonder how to get chicks out of the other hens.

    We took each of the eggs indoors and kept them in a normal temperature place under the sink. When Laxmie stopped laying and looked worn out, there were twenty-two eggs. We put them all in a wok with some hay, and twenty-one days later there was peeping and now a real racket is going on in our bathroom! So, how do we make the noise louder? [​IMG]

    Our cock is about four months old, crowing very lustfully, and yet, we've never seen him do his thing. How old before that happens?

    Last question: Since our birds forage, I've wondered if there is anyway to raise certain worms or insects that we could give them during our dry season. Our jungle dries up to hardly a leaf left on a branch during the dry season, just before the relief of monsoon hits again. If anyone knows, I'd love to hear as the eggs these birds produce are the most tasty ever! AND yellow yolks, almost orange.

    Thanks!

    Sky~
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2008
  2. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Forks, Virginia
    Welcome to BYC.

    Perhaps someone with experience with chickens in your region will come along and offer some help.
     
  3. luvmychicknkids

    luvmychicknkids Canning Squirrel

    Mar 6, 2008
    Floresville, Texas
    Hello and [​IMG] Your chickens will get the grit they need naturally from the ground...small rocks, etc. However, the babies will need a supplemental grit until they are outside. A commercial grit for caged birds works well for babies.

    A lot of people raise meal worms, regular worms, even maggots for their chickens. You just need a container you can keep at the proper conditions for the type of "treat" you want to grow.

    Good luck and enjoy your flock. [​IMG]
     
  4. Chicabee19

    Chicabee19 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 8, 2008
    n/a
    skyrider... what is the back-story to you guys being in India?

    Here's what I've learned from the wise:

    [​IMG] Hens will start laying on their own - no need for a rooster just to get eggs for eating. I've heard somewhere like 4-5 months? But maybe your breeds are different. (I'm very new to chickens too).

    You'll know when that rooster is ready to "help" make new babies -- you won't get any babies out of your hens without him!

    Welcome! [​IMG]
     
  5. fowltemptress

    fowltemptress Frugal Fan Club President

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    Quote:What I would do in your case is find some rocks and smash them into VERY tiny pieces, and sprinkle some of the pieces in with the chicks for them to eat if they wish. I sometimes smash rocks for my chickens, just for fun, and I try to get as many different sizes as possible for them to pick and choose from. I would think chicks would naturally need smaller fragments.

    Quote:To get chicks, a rooster needs to mate with them. A hen can hold sperm from a rooster for up to 30 days, so that would explain Laxmie having fertile eggs. Once you've seen the rooster mating, a hen will have to go broody and want to sit on the eggs. I assume you know how to tell a broody hen, since Laxmie was obviously one. When a hen goes broody, you can place eggs from other hens under the broody hen to hatch, if you want. Just make sure you don't give her more eggs than she can cover comfortably when she sits on them.

    Quote:It depends on the rooster. I've had roosters that started attempting it around four months, and my current one took until 6 months to start mating. When they first start mating, they aren't always experienced enough to get it right every time, so it may take a while longer after you first notice your rooster mating before your hens are successfully fertilized.

    Quote:I'm not sure what kinds of worms or insects you have around there, so it's hard to answer that question. Roaches are usually prolific, and it takes very little to keep a colony of roaches alive. I've known people to attract flies using rotten food and collecting them, with the food, in jars to produce maggots. I'm assuming every place has some nasty type of fly that loves to lay eggs in rotting gunk.

    You're questions are difficult, since you are in a different situation from most people on this forum. I hope you find the help you need!
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2008
  6. Skyrider

    Skyrider Out Of The Brooder

    Quote:Hi Chicabee!

    That story is on my "website." http://fiwl.wordpress.com. I'm slowly getting the whole story together. That's a beginning.

    Thanks!

    Sky~
     
  7. Skyrider

    Skyrider Out Of The Brooder

    Quote:What I would do in your case is find some rocks and smash them into VERY tiny pieces, and sprinkle some of the pieces in with the chicks for them to eat if they wish. I sometimes smash rocks for my chickens, just for fun, and I try to get as many different sizes as possible for them to pick and choose from. I would think chicks would naturally need smaller fragments.

    Thanks, Fowltemptress!

    I'll go out and do that now.

    Sky~

    Quote:Quote:Actually, even though I'm half way around the world from you, things are not that different here. I appreciate the information very much. Our chickens might be a little more sturdy against disease, but that remains to be seen. I have these eleven chicks and hope we get every egg and chicken dinner out of them we can.

    So, please just give me the normal advice, except as to 'going to the store for this or that.' [​IMG]

    Best!

    Sky~
     
  8. Skyrider

    Skyrider Out Of The Brooder

    Quote:Maybe, but you guys are already helping LOTS!

    Thanks!!!

    Sky~
     
  9. fowltemptress

    fowltemptress Frugal Fan Club President

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    Quote:I suppose the main difference would be the inability to purchase what you need at any given time. Most of us have feed or pet stores to run off to for chicken items and treats, so it presents a challenge.

    I'd like to know . . . what kinds of containers would you have available for raising chicken treats? I keep roaches in glass aquariums with an inch of vaseline around the rim to keep them from crawling out, but containers other than glass or plastic would be useless keeping roaches in. If you do have glass or plastic, vaseline may not be available to you . . . perhaps a substitute? For that matter, I don't even know if there are roaches where you are, or how easy they would be to gather, or how they would differ in care from other types of roaches. Your question about raising bugs was the one I was thinking of in particular when I thought of the different situation you're in, because I would have a ready answer to that question if someone here had asked it. I think I can say this with some amount of confidence, though . . . most insects kept as feeder insects can die quickly from lack of ventilation or excessive moisture. This is the most common cause of premature death in insects that I've found in people who purchase them from me. I quit keeping crickets because their life spans are too short, and they required tons more food than my roaches. What kind of worms would you think of keeping, if you kept worms? Are you referring specifically to worms, or were you thinking more of a type of larvae?

    I'll need to remind myself to check your website tomorrow, I'd love to read your story [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2008
  10. fowltemptress

    fowltemptress Frugal Fan Club President

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    I've been looking up raising insects for food, and while there are several sites explaining why it's a good idea, I can't find one that actually explains how to do it, or which species are the best to catch and raise. Many of them talk about just the catching of the bugs, but the chickens can obviously do that part for themselves. I'll keep looking, though. I think if I were you I'd watch whatever grain supplies I had and gather up any of the good sized pests that appear in them and try to contain them and build up a colony. I'm not sure how practical that would turn out, but it's a thought.
     

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