The Chickens of Farm Up North

Farm Up North

Chirping
Apr 19, 2021
44
70
91
Farm Up North Intro!
Hello there, everyone! Here’s the quick intro to my chickens, to be followed by a more in-depth of all of the chickens, what I have learned, etc.


(1) Are you new to chickens / when did you first get chickens?
I got my first chickens 5 years ago. I have always wanted them, and finally had a change to build a coop for them at our new house.

(2) How many chickens do you have right now?
I have 7 ladies left from my original flock, and 15 newbies who are 6 weeks old.

(3) What breeds do you have?
I have Golden Laced Cochins, Barred Plymouth Rocks, one Rhode Island Red, one Salmon Faverolles, Black Sex Links, Welsummers, Olive Eggers, Barnevelders, one Buckeye, one Buff Brahma, Speckled Sussexes, one Golden Comet, and Easter Eggers.

(4) What are your favorite aspects of raising backyard chickens?
I love the chicken noises.

(5) What are some of your other hobbies?
Gardening, Sculpting, Video Gaming.

(6) Tell us about your family, your other pets, your occupation, or anything else you'd like to share.
I live in upstate NY. Other pets include two spoiled cats. One day I will add ducks, goats, and donkeys to my menagerie.

(7) Bonus: How did you find BYC, how long have you known about BYC, and what made you finally join our awesome community?
I found BYC after googling chicken questions and realizing that almost every time, I was directed to the site. I have learned so much already!


Farm Up North – The Beginning

The year: 2016

I have always wanted chickens, and as soon as I had my own house with 1.6 acres, I started my 10-year plan for my garden. I bought a relatively cheap shed and converted half of it into a coop with a capacity for about 19 full-sized chickens, then ordered 15 pullets from Chickens for Backyards. I selected breeds that seemed good-natured and/or pretty (not necessarily super egg-producing), and busied myself getting everything ready for my new chicks. I had all kinds of plans to spend a lot of time with my chicks, taming them and teaching them chicken tricks and then…

My husband started having eye issues. He had a retinal detachment as a teenager in one of his eyes, and we discovered that he suddenly had a tiny tear in the other one. The day that he had his urgent surgery to fix it was the day that I got the notification that my chicks had shipped. Two days later, I had a husband recovering from surgery in a chair in a dark room, a full-time job, and 15 new baby chicks plus two cats to take care of. Needless to say, they did not get the socializing that I had wanted them to have! I still managed to keep everyone alive, and still have 7 of my original ladies.



Things I learned in the first year:

  • Get a brooder larger than you think you need, and make sure you can cover the top!
  • The smell of baby chicks is not the bad part; it’s the DUST!
  • Do not cheap out on bird netting. Get the bigger nylon squares, so that snow will not cave in your run “roof”. (Bird-X is junk.)
  • I was correct in expecting one or two chickens would not make it after the first year, but was incorrect as to why. Turns out, reproductive failures were the issue in both of my first-year deaths.
  • Chickens are hardier than I made them out to be in my head, and I am now much more relaxed if I see minor issues.
 

Farm Up North

Chirping
Apr 19, 2021
44
70
91
In Memoriam of Chickens Lost

Wrecking Ball – Salmon Faverolles
Wrecking Ball was named by my husband. On the rare occasion that he could come out of his cave to see the chicks with his one good eye, he noticed a little ball of yellow fluff running around the brooder, crashing into everyone. To this date, my favorite name. She was such a goofy chicken. I will never forget her running around to avoid our rooster in a sort of Benny Hill-esque way, and I was so sad when she fell ill and passed away. I am not sure what ended up taking her down, but was probably something reproductive. She always laid a pretty small egg, and very sporadically.

Roberta – Barred Rock
Roberta, also named by my husband (we had just finished watching Galavant not that long ago), was a very robust chicken. She had spurs, and always laid a pullet-sized egg in the middle of the chicken feeder. I always suspected she had some sort of reproductive issue due to that, and it was confirmed when I came home one day and opened the coop door to find her dead on the floor. Since she was so suddenly deceased, I did a necropsy to check that she hadn’t died from some sort of disease, and found just a ton of ovarian cancer.

Daria – Buckeye
Daria did not live past one year old. Also named by my husband because she had diarrhea all the time (one time she pooped on him when he was closing the girls up for the night for me while I was pregnant). Daria never laid an egg, and developed Ascites. We kept her comfortable until I felt that her quality of life was compromised, and then we ended her suffering. Her necropsy showed a belly full of what looked like condensed scrambled eggs, so we wouldn’t have been able to drain any fluid even had we tried.

Cathy – Buff Brahma
Named by my husband because she was very chatty (see a pattern here? Mr. “doesn’t care about the chickens” sure seemed to like to care about the chickens). Cathy lived up until she was 3 ½, and then developed some sort of mystery issue. I did not do a necropsy.

Wynona – Golden Laced Wyandotte
Wynona was very pretty and surprisingly tough, but had zero personality. She laid a so-so egg, and I honestly don’t remember what I speculated she died from.

Nameless – Easter Egger
Nameless was named so because I literally never had a name pop into my head for her. She was very flighty and the smallest of my chickens, but laid the biggest egg. Go figure. She died this past fall due to complications from an impacted crop. I should have done a necropsy to see what it was she had eaten, but it was too cold and snowy at the time.

Pretty Tail – Easter Egger
As her name would suggest, the prettiest chicken. She was slate grey and brown and relatively flighty. Her egg was a shade of blue that was almost green. She is the only chicken that I have lost to a predator. I left their door open all the time in the summer so that they could go out as soon as they wanted, and either a hawk or a raccoon took advantage of my false sense of security. I close the door every night now. My remaining hens were clearly traumatized for about two weeks after the attack.

Monster – Easter Egger
Monster was SUPPOSED to be a Light Brahma pullet, but when my chick box got packed they forgot the Brahma and sent me an extra Easter Egger. He was always bigger than the other chicks, so I always said “that chick is a Monster!” Contrary to his name, he was very sweet to humans, never so much as lifting a hackle at me no matter what I did in the run with him or the ladies. I suspect that he would have been horrible at guarding the hens, lol. He died around Christmas of his third year to some internal issue that made him go blind in one eye. I suspect a tumor. The hens were pretty happy not to be harassed after he was gone.
 

Farm Up North

Chirping
Apr 19, 2021
44
70
91
The Old Ladies – My Remaining Five –Year-olds

27460565214777.jpeg

Some of the OG group. Left to right: Monster, Sentinel, Nameless, Pretty Tail, Regina, Wrecking Ball, Nora, Cathy, Daria, Wynona, Dizzy.

Nora – Barred Plymouth Rock
20210423_130916.jpg

I had treats on the ground and she was not about getting her photo taken when there were wormies to be had.


Nora is my favorite. She was always the smartest chick, and let me pick her up and carry her around until she got older and then decided she didn’t want to hang with Mom anymore. She still lays eggs every two or three days, but lately they have been kind of bizarre. I feel like she will probably stop completely this year.

Dizzy – Buckeye
Dizzy.jpg

Dizzy was named so by my husband because she could never seem to figure out how to fly up onto the roost. She has since figured it out, but the name stays. I THINK she still lays?

Jane – Buff Brahma
Jane.jpg

Nothing much to say about Jane. She’s fluffy, she’s pretty, she exists. I don’t think she lays any eggs, and may never have done so. I’m pretty sure her head is filled with elevator music.

Sentry – Golden Laced Cochin
20210423_130332.jpg

Sentry is the softest chicken. She also talks nonstop. Her favorite phrase is Buuuuuuur Burk Burk Burk. She lays a medium-sized egg every other day or so, but refuses to lay in a nesting box and instead just lets ‘em drop from her spot on the roost.

Sentinel – Golden Laced Cochin
Sentinel (2).jpg

Sentinel and Sentry were named because they used to be the last into the coop at night, preferring to stand on either side of the ramp like little guards until everyone else was in. Sentinel lays a medium-sized egg still with a shell that is so thick it hurts my fingers to peel. She goes broody just about as soon as she can, and usually stays so all darn summer. I try to break her of it, but she is insistent. She looks like a basketball with feathers.

Regina George – Easter Egger
Regina2.jpg

Regina is secretly one of my favorites because she is just ridiculous. When the chicks were two weeks old, I moved them out to the garage and I swear she has never forgiven me. Shortly after the move, she would peck at my hands every time I went into the brooder to clean, and so earned her name for being a “mean girl”. I have seen her fight sticks. She used to growl at me every time I went into the coop. As of December-ish of last year (2020), though, she is suddenly mild-mannered. I don’t know what brought about the change, but I am not above suspecting it’s all a ruse to get me complacent and then she will peck my face when I get close enough to her while cleaning the coop or something.
 

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Farm Up North

Chirping
Apr 19, 2021
44
70
91
Rhoda - Rhode Island Red
Rhoda.jpg


Rhoda still occasionally lays an odd-shaped egg. She talks a lot, and is pretty flighty. My husband spent at least 10 minutes trying to catch her for a photo, but she was too wily.
 

TheDuckGuy

Songster
Nov 29, 2020
467
757
181
In Memoriam of Chickens Lost

Wrecking Ball – Salmon Faverolles
Wrecking Ball was named by my husband. On the rare occasion that he could come out of his cave to see the chicks with his one good eye, he noticed a little ball of yellow fluff running around the brooder, crashing into everyone. To this date, my favorite name. She was such a goofy chicken. I will never forget her running around to avoid our rooster in a sort of Benny Hill-esque way, and I was so sad when she fell ill and passed away. I am not sure what ended up taking her down, but was probably something reproductive. She always laid a pretty small egg, and very sporadically.

Roberta – Barred Rock
Roberta, also named by my husband (we had just finished watching Galavant not that long ago), was a very robust chicken. She had spurs, and always laid a pullet-sized egg in the middle of the chicken feeder. I always suspected she had some sort of reproductive issue due to that, and it was confirmed when I came home one day and opened the coop door to find her dead on the floor. Since she was so suddenly deceased, I did a necropsy to check that she hadn’t died from some sort of disease, and found just a ton of ovarian cancer.

Daria – Buckeye
Daria did not live past one year old. Also named by my husband because she had diarrhea all the time (one time she pooped on him when he was closing the girls up for the night for me while I was pregnant). Daria never laid an egg, and developed Ascites. We kept her comfortable until I felt that her quality of life was compromised, and then we ended her suffering. Her necropsy showed a belly full of what looked like condensed scrambled eggs, so we wouldn’t have been able to drain any fluid even had we tried.

Cathy – Buff Brahma
Named by my husband because she was very chatty (see a pattern here? Mr. “doesn’t care about the chickens” sure seemed to like to care about the chickens). Cathy lived up until she was 3 ½, and then developed some sort of mystery issue. I did not do a necropsy.

Wynona – Golden Laced Wyandotte
Wynona was very pretty and surprisingly tough, but had zero personality. She laid a so-so egg, and I honestly don’t remember what I speculated she died from.

Nameless – Easter Egger
Nameless was named so because I literally never had a name pop into my head for her. She was very flighty and the smallest of my chickens, but laid the biggest egg. Go figure. She died this past fall due to complications from an impacted crop. I should have done a necropsy to see what it was she had eaten, but it was too cold and snowy at the time.

Pretty Tail – Easter Egger
As her name would suggest, the prettiest chicken. She was slate grey and brown and relatively flighty. Her egg was a shade of blue that was almost green. She is the only chicken that I have lost to a predator. I left their door open all the time in the summer so that they could go out as soon as they wanted, and either a hawk or a raccoon took advantage of my false sense of security. I close the door every night now. My remaining hens were clearly traumatized for about two weeks after the attack.

Monster – Easter Egger
Monster was SUPPOSED to be a Light Brahma pullet, but when my chick box got packed they forgot the Brahma and sent me an extra Easter Egger. He was always bigger than the other chicks, so I always said “that chick is a Monster!” Contrary to his name, he was very sweet to humans, never so much as lifting a hackle at me no matter what I did in the run with him or the ladies. I suspect that he would have been horrible at guarding the hens, lol. He died around Christmas of his third year to some internal issue that made him go blind in one eye. I suspect a tumor. The hens were pretty happy not to be harassed after he was gone.
This was the sweetest most saddest thing I've ever read
 

Farm Up North

Chirping
Apr 19, 2021
44
70
91
The Newbies!

As of this Spring, I have 14 new chickies. I only ordered 10, but I guess the hatchery thought they’d do chicken math for me and sent me a few doubles of ones I only ordered one of. They had sent me 16, but one was DOA and one I had to euthanize at 3 months due to a leg issue that was just not fixable. I now have 14+7=21 chickens which is just a couple more than my 19-chicken coop has space for. I am not sure what I am going to do about this conundrum, but I will figure it out when the time comes. I am thinking if I add another roost somewhere and put straw down in their run in the winter that it won’t be a big deal. I have been able to spend more time with this group so I have quite a few friendly chicks, two of which used to fall asleep when we held them which was just super cute. They are 13 weeks now.

When they were 6 weeks old, I got them out of my house brooder and into an adjacent run to my old girls. They lived next door to them for way more weeks than I had initially wanted them to, but weather and other issues kept delaying me. When I did finally start letting them out into the run with the big girls, they were close to 12 weeks old.

Prior to letting them out, Regina (of course), would pace the fence line in the hopes that someone would get close enough for her to peck their heads. I was really worried that she would be a terrible bully, but she settled down after chasing everyone around for a couple of days, and I have not seen any blood or injuries from anyone and they all roost together in the big coop now.

Newbie pics to follow!
 

TheDuckGuy

Songster
Nov 29, 2020
467
757
181
The Old Ladies – My Remaining Five –Year-olds

View attachment 2753235
Some of the OG group. Left to right: Monster, Sentinel, Nameless, Pretty Tail, Regina, Wrecking Ball, Nora, Cathy, Daria, Wynona, Dizzy.

Nora – Barred Plymouth Rock
View attachment 2753241
I had treats on the ground and she was not about getting her photo taken when there were wormies to be had.


Nora is my favorite. She was always the smartest chick, and let me pick her up and carry her around until she got older and then decided she didn’t want to hang with Mom anymore. She still lays eggs every two or three days, but lately they have been kind of bizarre. I feel like she will probably stop completely this year.

Dizzy – Buckeye
View attachment 2753242
Dizzy was named so by my husband because she could never seem to figure out how to fly up onto the roost. She has since figured it out, but the name stays. I THINK she still lays?

Jane – Buff Brahma
View attachment 2753243
Nothing much to say about Jane. She’s fluffy, she’s pretty, she exists. I don’t think she lays any eggs, and may never have done so. I’m pretty sure her head is filled with elevator music.

Sentry – Golden Laced Cochin
View attachment 2753256
Sentry is the softest chicken. She also talks nonstop. Her favorite phrase is Buuuuuuur Burk Burk Burk. She lays a medium-sized egg every other day or so, but refuses to lay in a nesting box and instead just lets ‘em drop from her spot on the roost.

Sentinel – Golden Laced Cochin
View attachment 2753257
Sentinel and Sentry were named because they used to be the last into the coop at night, preferring to stand on either side of the ramp like little guards until everyone else was in. Sentinel lays a medium-sized egg still with a shell that is so thick it hurts my fingers to peel. She goes broody just about as soon as she can, and usually stays so all darn summer. I try to break her of it, but she is insistent. She looks like a basketball with feathers.

Regina George – Easter Egger
View attachment 2753260
Regina is secretly one of my favorites because she is just ridiculous. When the chicks were two weeks old, I moved them out to the garage and I swear she has never forgiven me. Shortly after the move, she would peck at my hands every time I went into the brooder to clean, and so earned her name for being a “mean girl”. I have seen her fight sticks. She used to growl at me every time I went into the coop. As of December-ish of last year (2020), though, she is suddenly mild-mannered. I don’t know what brought about the change, but I am not above suspecting it’s all a ruse to get me complacent and then she will peck my face when I get close enough to her while cleaning the coop or something.
How do you tell Sentry and Sentinel apart?
 

TheDuckGuy

Songster
Nov 29, 2020
467
757
181
The Newbies!

As of this Spring, I have 14 new chickies. I only ordered 10, but I guess the hatchery thought they’d do chicken math for me and sent me a few doubles of ones I only ordered one of. They had sent me 16, but one was DOA and one I had to euthanize at 3 months due to a leg issue that was just not fixable. I now have 14+7=21 chickens which is just a couple more than my 19-chicken coop has space for. I am not sure what I am going to do about this conundrum, but I will figure it out when the time comes. I am thinking if I add another roost somewhere and put straw down in their run in the winter that it won’t be a big deal. I have been able to spend more time with this group so I have quite a few friendly chicks, two of which used to fall asleep when we held them which was just super cute. They are 13 weeks now.

When they were 6 weeks old, I got them out of my house brooder and into an adjacent run to my old girls. They lived next door to them for way more weeks than I had initially wanted them to, but weather and other issues kept delaying me. When I did finally start letting them out into the run with the big girls, they were close to 12 weeks old.

Prior to letting them out, Regina (of course), would pace the fence line in the hopes that someone would get close enough for her to peck their heads. I was really worried that she would be a terrible bully, but she settled down after chasing everyone around for a couple of days, and I have not seen any blood or injuries from anyone and they all roost together in the big coop now.

Newbie pics to follow!
Oh yeah :welcome
 

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