South Dakota

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by Wile E., Dec 6, 2011.

  1. Wile E.

    Wile E. Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 6, 2011
    South Cryogenica
    New member from SD.

    I have had chickens since June.

    I started with 15 meat birds, and 5 layers, and one rooster. Something was getting my meat birds. Never figured out what it was. It stole all but three, and got one of my layers. I finally got rid of whatever it was with a special concoction.

    So now I have just the layers, 4 buff orpingtons and one americana rooster.

    I got my first eggs last week. I am not sure why it took so long but I think it is because the hens matured after the days were already getting shorter. So I have 6 eggs so far. Pretty sure it is just one hen laying so far. The cold weather doesn't help, it got down to zero last night so no eggs yesterday and there were none this morning. I have to check in the evening because they don't lay until after I go to work. 6 more eggs and I'll have some scrambled eggs and bacon for the family.

    I feed layer pellets and mostly corn. I had a feeder that I put the layer feed in and then shelled a few ears of corn for them every day. Then when I was going to be gone I just filled the feeder up with corn so my wife would only have to deal with water. It occurs to me that they need the layer feed again.

    I picked up two 55 gallon drums full of ear corn off the ground, so I think I have plenty of that to get through the winter. I think I need to get them something with more protein. My dad said when they were kids they used to shoot rabbits and hang them up for their chickens to pick on, and they laid like crazy.

    I built a wire pen in my old granary for my chickens. There were some old metal laying boxes left in my old barn that I put up in there. I can pickeggs without entering the pen. I think my biggest projects that I need to do is, get some lights out to the chicken coop, hook up an electric water dish, and cover up the pen with something to retain some heat and prevent drafts.

    I never really thought that this would turn into a big hobby or anything, I just thought chickens would be cheap insurance so that I would always have something to eat in today's economy. I also wanted some chores to teach the kids responsibility when they get a little older, as well as teach them that disney movies are not realistic portrayals of animals. I need to get more, an old friend has some bantams that he wanted to get rid of. My dad is going to find out if he still has them. I only worry that they tend to fly more.
  2. Kevin565

    Kevin565 Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Dec 22, 2009
  3. Cookiejen

    Cookiejen Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 6, 2011
    Moorpark, CA
    Welcome aboard! Im right there with you- got my ckicks at the begining of july and mine started laying last week! I just joined BYC today too [​IMG] My chicks are in the mountains of So Cal and while SD is considerably colder, it does get into the 20's and below regulary. I highly suggest adding a heat lamp in the coop, preferably RED. i had a heat lamp in my coop the entire time my kids were out there but it was a regular heat bulb. when i swapped it out for the red one- i got eggs a few days later and my girls havent stopped!
  4. Wile E.

    Wile E. Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 6, 2011
    South Cryogenica
    Quote:I am a little afraid of the heat lamp. I know it can be done, but I'll have to think it out. I am afraid of a fire and I am trying to keep expenses down. I've got too much money into these birds as it is. Also, the only source of electricity for now is 150+ feet of extension cords, so I have to keep the wattage low.

    Doing the math, a 250 watt bulb would cost $.60 per day. That is too much. I guess I need more birds to generate heat. I know I'm cheap, but the chickens will survive fine without heat. I don't want my home grown eggs to be so eggspensive.
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2011
  5. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle


  6. CheerioLounge

    CheerioLounge Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 10, 2011
    California High Desert
  7. hcppam

    hcppam Chillin' With My Peeps

    [​IMG] Hello, from the Big Bear mountains of Ca. Glad you found us. [​IMG] [​IMG]
  8. S&N Livestock

    S&N Livestock Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 17, 2009
    southern ohio
    [​IMG] from Ohio
  9. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2008
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Welcome to BYC.
  10. FlyRobinFly

    FlyRobinFly Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 31, 2011
    [​IMG] from Washington State
    I hope whatever it was that got your meat birds will not bother you any more!

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