The Awkward Zebra

Discussion in 'Pictures & Stories of My Chickens' started by ygritte, Mar 14, 2015.

  1. ygritte

    ygritte Chillin' With My Peeps

    68
    12
    66
    Feb 25, 2015
    Fort Collins, Colorado
    Weird title right? Well it's my business name- and I thought why not have it be the name of my mini farm as well!
    I sell mostly crocheted items, but will break out to raise alpacas and sell my own fiber/yarn as well in the (hopefully) near future.
    [​IMG]

    Anywho, already off topic, [​IMG]. I wanted to start my own thread to tell my experiment of backyard chickens! This site has been a great resource to not only learn how to raise chickens, but also help shape my philosophy on it.
    So! I'm a first time chicken owner, proud owner of 5 chicks all different breeds. I have no idea what breeds I like, I just knew I wanted decent egg layers or could maybe be dual purpose, were docile and cold hardy. So we'll see who becomes my favorite (FYI so far it's Rue). I know I shouldn't judge a whole breed of chicken by one bird...but life isn't fair.

    Rue a Welsummer- 2 days
    [​IMG]

    1week (on the right)
    [​IMG]

    Banksy- Jersey Black Giant- 2 days
    [​IMG]

    1 week
    [​IMG]

    Fat Amy- Buff Orpington- 2 days
    [​IMG]

    1 week
    [​IMG]

    Nimoy- Silver Laced Wyandotte- 2 days (She's such a cutie, but not very photogenic yet)
    [​IMG]

    1 week
    [​IMG]

    Riker- Ameracauna- 2 days
    [​IMG]

    1 week
    [​IMG]

    Everyone loves to roost (Banksy didn't make it in the shot, but she loves it too... trust me [​IMG] )
    [​IMG]

    3 weeks in and everything has gone smoothly. Had minor cases of pasty butt, but once I double checked my chicken anatomy and realized what I thought was a little leftover umbilical cord was actually dried poo things got muchhhhh easier in that account. No one is striking as a big bully or as the one everyone picks on they just seem like happy chicks who have horrible aim while flying. My new favorite channel is definitely chick TV, I can just watch them for hours and have made a habit of picking them up and checking their vents, wings, feet on semi-daily basis. Yes this socializes them, but it also trains me... I'm adjusting to the squawking and then the instant calm down when I turn them on their backs (so crazy to me still) and I no longer think I'm traumatizing them every time I walk in. I've been taking them outside daily, and have no idea how people leave them in their brooders for 2 months... they are so full of energy and I can see their joy in being outside, and then their content in going back to their nice warm brooder to sleep it off. I've put grass/dirt from my backyard along with some sand (grit) for them and they are really taking on to it. (YAY little foragers). I started giving them greens to pick at at only a few days old. I saw people warning not to, but it didn't make sense, since chicks would do that if they were raised by a mama hen why not in a brooder? Initially it was just to give them something to peck at I didn't cut it up or anything, now they love the wheatgrass I give them on top of the other grass I already put in there. I'm about out of starter and am trying to decide how to proceed, there's part of me that wants to make my own grower mix, but I'm leaning towards saving that for when I switch them to layer feed.


    Where I'm at philosophy wise- I plan to move semi-soon to about 5 acres so I would love to have more chickens at that point and really want low maintenance birds for laying and meat. I thankfully came across Beekissed "The Road Less Traveled"( https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/...-horrors-anyone-want-to-follow-their-progress ) and have learned a lot about the difference between chickens as livestock and chickens as pets. From the get go I've leaned towards them as livestock (very very well taken care of livestock) and even though I know she would frown upon me having this small of a "flock" this is my trial run to see if I want to do this on a larger scale when I do have the space to allow me to. I have my first batch of fermented feed (FF) cooking in a mason jar on my counter top as we speak, and have given my girls Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) in their water since they were 3 days old. Even though we only have a large backyard I'm not confining them to their coop/run. I've constructed a 4 by 10 hoop house that is very moveable so they have a different spot daily to forage, and then they can "free range" (I understand that's not really a thing on less than 1/2 an acre, but it is what it is) under my supervision. I'm working on training my dog, Codee, a 9 year old German Shepherd mix to be more protector, less predator. I'm not sure if I'll ever trust her, I've read horror stories, but I think I must if I want to free range my chickens down the road. That seems to be the only reliable form of protection for the setup I want to have (IE I do not want Fort Knox of Chicken Coops).

    Codee with the babes- Shes been pretty good so far, a couple of "mouthings" but shes becoming less and less intrigued by them, and is very responsive to my commands, so I'm cautiously hopeful.
    [​IMG]

    So there's my experiment thus far. Feel free to comment, I'm mostly treating this as a blog to save my non chicken friends from having to listen to me go on and on and on about these awesome creatures, but I will gladly take any help I can get! Thanks for reading [​IMG]
     
  2. ygritte

    ygritte Chillin' With My Peeps

    68
    12
    66
    Feb 25, 2015
    Fort Collins, Colorado
    Sleeping babes close, sleeping babes far.[​IMG]
     
  3. b.hromada

    b.hromada Flock Mistress

    Lookin' good! Your dog is beautiful! [​IMG] She looks as though she may turn out to be just fine around your chicks. That's the was to train her, it worked well with my dogs too. Enjoy them, and congrats on your 5 acres! [​IMG] Lucky you!
     
  4. ygritte

    ygritte Chillin' With My Peeps

    68
    12
    66
    Feb 25, 2015
    Fort Collins, Colorado
    Thank you! I love her to death she a great dog, but she's iffy. She seems to ignore them when I'm far away from them, but then wants to be right next to me if they are around, and tenses up if they come near (and they do.... constantly) maybe she's reading my own anxiety? So maybe she'll do great when I'm not around, but I'm still worried about it...
     
  5. ygritte

    ygritte Chillin' With My Peeps

    68
    12
    66
    Feb 25, 2015
    Fort Collins, Colorado
    [​IMG]

    Expanded brooder setup, about three times more space for the chicks, which I'm thankful for since the weather has been crap and they haven't been out much.

    [​IMG]

    Mmmm, wheatgrass is the best! Plus the Tupperware dish becomes Rikers favorite nap spot.

    Codee is doing great with the babes, I've become more and more positive and reassuring so she seems much more relaxed and is really only concerned about trying to eat all their poop.
    Funny story... They were all out in the yard and all five run at and around her and end up congregating right around her tail. Now I'm just bowled over that Codee ignores them other than a bored ear perk. But once I bring out food her tail starts wagging... And let me tell you, my dog has a tail... It's longer than her body and goes in any direction it wants. Anyway the chicks just stand there getting knocked all around and just start cheeping out of their little bird brains instead of just moving out of the way. They are cute, but they are still chickens... Haha!
     
  6. ygritte

    ygritte Chillin' With My Peeps

    68
    12
    66
    Feb 25, 2015
    Fort Collins, Colorado
    I've been working on my PVC portable run that will be the girls area while I'm not there during the day. It's about 4'X 10' and 4.5'at it's highest point.
    It's not pretty, but I made it myself out of a wide variety of materials, and that's a great feat in itself. Haha!
    It's made out of 1/2" PVC, about 50ft-3ft chicken wire, scrap 2X4s, scrap fabric, and so many zip ties.
    [​IMG]

    I still need to: permanently attach the tarp, add bottle cages (that go on bikes) for water holders, attach their dust bath area, pretty it up (trim seams, and zip tie ends), and most importantly add the ability to stake it down securely.
    I've been brainstorming the last one for a while trying to decide the easiest/most secure way to do this.
    [​IMG]
    Chicks with their new roosts!

    [​IMG]
    Codee becoming a bit of a LGD. haha.
     
  7. ygritte

    ygritte Chillin' With My Peeps

    68
    12
    66
    Feb 25, 2015
    Fort Collins, Colorado
    The chicks aren't quite a month old, but it was so nice out I decided to try to get some pics of them.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  8. ygritte

    ygritte Chillin' With My Peeps

    68
    12
    66
    Feb 25, 2015
    Fort Collins, Colorado
    Having a beer with my "cheeps" Hehe
    [​IMG]
    Happy Friday y'all!!!
     
  9. ygritte

    ygritte Chillin' With My Peeps

    68
    12
    66
    Feb 25, 2015
    Fort Collins, Colorado
    Excited for tomorrow, we're going to overhaul the coop. I love the design, but I am opting for a open air coop and trying to reconstruct it the best I can with what I've got. Pics to come.
    The babe's are 6 weeks old and they are starting to come out of their "I'm related to a dino and trying to look like one" phase and back into cute chicken phase so had to take some pics
    [​IMG]
    Chicken heaven... Leaves, roots, greens galore
    [​IMG]
    Banksy. On high alert!
    [​IMG]
    Nimoy, so cute, so dumb.
    [​IMG]
    Rue, still my favorite.
    [​IMG]
    Riker, absolutely hates having her pic taken...
    [​IMG]
    Fat Amy... Lives up to her name like a champ. Very much a BO, but adorable nonetheless. Time will tell if she's worth it or not.
    [​IMG]
    Whoo! I can fly! Kind of!
     
  10. ygritte

    ygritte Chillin' With My Peeps

    68
    12
    66
    Feb 25, 2015
    Fort Collins, Colorado
    Okay. So got about 2/3 through my coop overhaul[​IMG]
    Here it is all closed up. We reinforced just about everything with 2x4s... It was originally built with 2x1s (not me, I was just the idiot who bought it cheap) and literally falling apart.
    [​IMG]
    Here's the inside, we took the whole floor out and one joist. Then I switched out the two existing joists from 2x1s to 2x4s and they are now my new roosts.
    [​IMG]
    And lastly the other side. Reinforced the door, and you can see what it looks like with that window open.

    Need to add a skirt around the whole perimeter, get the weather proof roofing on,a couple more lower roosts, nest box and pop door for when I set up my winter run, and add another layer of welded wire I have leftover. Also paint... No idea what color I want.

    A little annoyed that I bought this without realizing how much work it needed, but thankfully it's just work and not money, plus I'm needing pretty good with a circular saw and impact drill!... I'm happy with how it's turning out.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by