TeaChick's Chicks

Discussion in 'Pictures & Stories of My Chickens' started by TeaChick, Nov 29, 2013.

  1. TeaChick

    TeaChick Overrun With Chickens

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    May 5, 2013
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    My Coop
    Well, this is the story of my chickens. I haven't been at this long, and I plan to add to it often, so I guess it's more of a journal.
    I'll change the color with each entry (probably something to match the season or what the entry is about).
    Another thing that will change is that I'll keep my siggie as a running account of what chickens I have and what their names are (if they have one).
    I hope people will feel very free to comment, give advice, or just hang out.
    So, OTs are welcome. And here we go!

    Spring 2013:
    I had been talking to my husband for a long time about wanting to keep chickens, about how practical it would be to keep chickens, about how it would be good for the kids to learn about raising animals other than dogs,etc.
    So, in the middle of March 2013, he went to Tractor Supply to get dog food and came out with 11 peeps. He asked for a dozen Rhode Island Red pullets, but they only had five reds and six white pullets. We thought we were getting six white Leghorns and five RIR. Later, we found out that we had five gold Comets (very good layers of brown eggs, so we're happy), five white Leghorns (also good layers, happy), and a Bantam Cochin Frizzle (we had NO idea what that meant). So we went along and the Cochin became my pet and my husband named her "Snoodle" for me and he doesn't expect to get any eggs worth eating out of her, but she's cute and we ended up with her on accident, so I've tried to convince him that it was an act of God. I don't think he's convinced, but he's accepted her as my pet and he will probably not accept her as part of our laying flock. But I'm happy with her and I do thank God for her.
    I built them a coop under an overhang behind the shed. It's not fancy (it's quite ugly), but it kept them safe from predators and weather, and they laid some of their eggs in it.

    [​IMG]

    This is the original coop. ^
    And this is (most of) my original flock. \/
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Summer 2013:
    When they were about six months old (about the beginning of August), I started looking on here for when they should start laying and found out that they should have already started. So, I started keeping them cooped up for three days at a time and letting them out the fourth. I was then under the mistaken illusion that all chicken breeds lay two days and skip the third. I found out that the breeds I have should be laying 8/wk (leghorns) or 6/wk (comets/cochin).
    I learned a lot at the end of the summer, when I met a breeder who has become a good friend of mine. =)
    - my hens weren't getting enough light to lay being cooped up
    - dog food is bad for chickens (Disclaimer: I had never intended it to become their primary source of nutrition; I had just started cooping them when I found out it's actually bad for them.)
    - they need ground access to their sleeping quarters
    - they greatly prefer to sleep off the ground
    - give them about a month to adjust to any major changes

    [​IMG]
    New hen house outside ^ (the pallet there ^ is now the nesting corner in the bottom pic)

    [​IMG]
    This is the inside. ^
    And the nesting corner \/ (that's the bottom level, the top has a piece of board instead of bricks)
    [​IMG]


    Autumn 2013:
    I received from the breeder mentioned in "Summer 2013" two roosters and two hens. I lost one of the hens to some mysterious digestive ailment and almost lost the other, but she helped me nurse the Jersey Giant back to health. I just lost one of the roosters to a snake the Monday before Thanksgiving. She said she has a rooster she is not going to use, so I hope to pick him up from her in the next few days.
    I built them a hen house in a corner of the yard that will be easy enough to fence off and that will be a large enough pen for them to live in; well, at the current flock size, anyway.
    I have come to realize that I need to approximately double my laying flock.
    I have also found some information that leads me to believe that I could actually become a chicken breeder.
    Our original goal in keeping chickens was to provide "organic" eggs for our family. That is still the primary goal, which is why the additions to our flock have been good laying stock. In addition to that, I have future plans for breeding and selling laying pullets, Bantam Cochin chicks (so DH sees that Snoodle can earn her keep), and Jersey Giants (a heritage breed on the "watch" list).
    Additional good news this Autumn:
    My son said that he "really likes chickens". Currently, he helps me out with the evening chores with them, which include collecting eggs, making sure they have food and water for the mornings when it's a little later that I'll be letting them out, and counting to make sure everyone's in there before we lock the hen house for the night.
    Photos of current flock will be posted forthwith. =)
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2013
    3 people like this.
  2. TeaChick

    TeaChick Overrun With Chickens

    5,742
    172
    288
    May 5, 2013
    Deep South
    My Coop
    General Information About My "Farm"
    - I free range; I almost had to pen them in b/c they were sleeping on the old coop instead of in the new hen house, but now Black Beauty is the only one who sleeps elsewhere than the hen house and she sleeps on the back porch. Go figure; she's safe, so we don't make a big thing about it.


    - Currently, their foraging is being supplemented with fermented deer corn (yes, I know, not great nutrition for chickens, but it's only for first thing in the mornings; the vast majority of their nutrition comes from foraging in my large yard. In the future, I plan to ferment layer pellets, that way I can feed them dry when I need to.

    - They lay in the bi-level nesting corner of the hen house or on a pile of old blankets in a corner of my back porch.

    General Information About Me:
    - I don't judge others; I give the benefit of the doubt that each person is doing what they believe is best for themselves, their families, their "farm", and their animals.


    - I like to talk and don't mind being told when to stop (b/c sometimes I miss those cues, sorry in advance).

    - My chickens aren't my only babies; I have dogs, children, and a husband (he's not a baby, but we take care of each other).
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2013
  3. theoldchick

    theoldchick The Chicken Whisperer

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    May 11, 2010
    Don't forget to add pictures!
     
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  4. chickenboy190

    chickenboy190 Overrun With Chickens

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    May 31, 2013
    Ohio
    x2 :)
     
  5. TeaChick

    TeaChick Overrun With Chickens

    5,742
    172
    288
    May 5, 2013
    Deep South
    My Coop
    Will edit them into my original post when I can get decent WiFi.
    ;-)
     
  6. TeaChick

    TeaChick Overrun With Chickens

    5,742
    172
    288
    May 5, 2013
    Deep South
    My Coop
    I added pics of my coop, original flock, and hen house.

    I will add pics of my current flock as I am able. =)

    I'm gonna run right out there now and take pics; the lighting is perfect, not too bright, not too overcast, just right. ;-)
     
  7. TeaChick

    TeaChick Overrun With Chickens

    5,742
    172
    288
    May 5, 2013
    Deep South
    My Coop
    As promised:
    One of my Leghorns (they all look the same anyway):
    [​IMG]

    This is Sandy, my lightest gold Comet:
    [​IMG]

    This is Snoodle (Bantam Cochin Frizzle):
    [​IMG]

    This is the man of the flock, Eddie Lacy (yes, named after the NFL player):
    [​IMG]

    These are the rest of my Comets:
    [​IMG]

    This is my brood hen, Black Beauty:
    (She's the one who was sick and I, with help from a friend, nursed her back to health).
    [​IMG]

    So, that's my flock.
    What do you think?
     
    1 person likes this.
  8. theoldchick

    theoldchick The Chicken Whisperer

    29,031
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    May 11, 2010
    Stunning! They seem very active and happy. How's the rooster's temperament?
     
  9. TeaChick

    TeaChick Overrun With Chickens

    5,742
    172
    288
    May 5, 2013
    Deep South
    My Coop
    Thank you! =) *blushing a little* lol
    They are; they're all over my yard. I enjoy watching them. When I've had to coop them, I miss seeing them around. It seems a little odd, but I do enjoy it, so... I'm glad we can free range. =)
    He acts like he's going to protect the hens, but when it comes down to it, he's what my kids call a fraidy rooster. lol But he's young (hatched in April).
    He's easy enough to catch and take care of; he would eat out of our hands, except that he gives the hens preference, so he never ends up getting to it. KWIM
     
  10. chickenboy190

    chickenboy190 Overrun With Chickens

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    Ohio
    Wow! Nice flock :D
     
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