The Grove - Small Town Chicken Life.

HargroveOutdoors

Chirping
Apr 22, 2020
165
326
83
I kept chickens for a number of years, mostly Dominick's and White Leghorns. They were great birds, and we had ample room to free range them at the time, but we moved to a small town and I re-homed my birds. It's been a few years since the moved and we and haven't had any chickens. In April we decided to start our flock adventure again with the idea of adding a bit of small scale homesteading into our "urban" lives. We've already have quite a few ups and downs, learning about keeping a flock in an urban setting.

So in the spirit of documenting our adventure
Welcome to The Grove!

We started with a group of 7 chicks. Mostly, Silkie Bantams (Lydia, Darcey, Tinkerbell, and one unnamed), but I got two ISA Browns (Marge and Dolores - Dolores was kind of a jerk, if you are a Harry Potter fan, you'll get it) and a single "Ameraucana". She was a tractor supply chicken so it's more likely she's an Easter Egger, Either way, shes a great little chicken. From the first she loved to be held and to sit in your lap. The husband named her Godfrey - don't ask me why, I don't know but here we are with a plucky little hen named Godfrey.
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I mean, who wouldn't love a chick that sleeps like the dead! lol
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From the start, it went a bit wild. We lost a little silkie in the first 24 hours of bringing the chicks home due to a power outage from a bad storm. We were out of power for nearly a week, in 55-32 degree weather. Every two hours I was filling hot water bottles and putting them in with the chicks. I don't know how new parents do it. I've never been so tired in my life! We pulled through without the loss of another chick though and Tractor Supply replaced the bird we lost. They didn't have any more bantams, so I replaced it with a "straight run pullet". I chose the chick I did, specifically because she had cheek floof like Godfrey and we had already fallen in love. So Henrietta came home and quickly wormed her way in as second favorite little chicken. Here she is Just in front of Godfrey the day we got her. Not exactly sure of what she was - either an Olive Egger or a blue egg layer mix. She had pale legs, should she shouldn't have been an Easter Egger.
b.jpg

Our coop was built in mind to house mainly bantams. We took an old children's playhouse and converted it into a coop with a run attached. I took several pictures during the building process, but missed getting a pic as it was finished. Our lab supervised some of the progress.
b4.jpg

We put our chicks out for a few hours each day to get them used to the coop. Eventually we moved them in permanently when everyone was at least 4 weeks old. These pics are from one of the outings before they had been moved totally in.
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Unfortunately all you savvy chicken people can probably spot our problem right away. We only had chicken wire around the run. Two days after our girls had moved outside permanently a neighbors dog broke in and killed them all. We were devastated. Henrietta, who was growing into a stunning pullet was one of the worst casualties. She had been grabbed and pulled through the chicken wire and died in my husbands hands. My poor son walked around the neighborhood for hours trying to find any lost survivors. He is the one who found our little Godfrey, the sole survivor, waiting on us when we got home from a final search that evening. I've never been so happy to see a chicken in the whole of my life. She suffered the loss of a few feathers, but was surprisingly unharmed. The new problem - a broken coop and a lonely hen.
b7.jpg

Godfrey right after finding her after the dog attack.

A friend was kind enough to send me a pair of her Easter Eggers who were about Godfrey's age and we set them up in an old quail pen until we could repair and reinforce the coop. Godfrey during this time was a house hen.
62FBBB02-0C87-4738-90C5-D8E2C81F40ED.jpeg

She also sent me a couple of really cool chicks that are Sicilian Buttercup x Barred Rock Crosses. I need to get pics of these two, because I think they will be really neat chickens. A little pullet and a cockerel. I also picked up 6 chicks from a hobby farm for a fun array of colors both in eggs and the hens. A pair each of Olive Eggers (marans crosses), Black/Blue Marans, and Sussex. Here's where it goes bad again. I lost a little Sussex chick quickly to suspected coccidosis and one of the Olive Eggers started to look droopy. Treated with Corid, and the chick recovered. Two days later I suddenly lost one of the Marans chicks. It had seemed fine and healthy up until I found it dead. I still don't know what happened to it. That said, I wont be buying from that particular hobby farm again. Lets hope all my littler potential layers make it from here on out. I'll get pics of them to post later. We haven't named any of the new chickens yet, just because with all the troubles we've had I'm leery of getting too attached. When they go out in the coop we will be working on names.

So we have fixed the coop. It is still chicken wire, but it is now fully enclosed by a 6 foot fence. My larger chickens are outside and enjoying it! Assuming all the chicks I currently have survive and make it outside, we will have to upgrade the coop size. It was built with the idea to house mostly bantams. With the second fence we've got plenty of outside space now, but it will eventually get a bit crowded at night.


b6.jpg

My current dilemma is that the Easter Egger cockerel is being rather nasty to Godfrey. He pecks her and chases her off food. So far, he's respectful of me, and I wanted a rooster to help protect my ladies. If he doesn't straighten up, he's looking at being re-homed or heading to the freezer. Godfrey has been through too much to put up with a man being mean to her! I've got the little sicilian buttercup x barred rock cross and I hear barred rocks are supposed to make lovely roosters. Mr. E definitely needs to straighten up and watch his back, or anther man is gonna be sliding in those ladies DMs!





 

Juju2773

Songster
Apr 10, 2020
126
118
103
I kept chickens for a number of years, mostly Dominick's and White Leghorns. They were great birds, and we had ample room to free range them at the time, but we moved to a small town and I re-homed my birds. It's been a few years since the moved and we and haven't had any chickens. In April we decided to start our flock adventure again with the idea of adding a bit of small scale homesteading into our "urban" lives. We've already have quite a few ups and downs, learning about keeping a flock in an urban setting.

So in the spirit of documenting our adventure
Welcome to The Grove!

We started with a group of 7 chicks. Mostly, Silkie Bantams (Lydia, Darcey, Tinkerbell, and one unnamed), but I got two ISA Browns (Marge and Dolores - Dolores was kind of a jerk, if you are a Harry Potter fan, you'll get it) and a single "Ameraucana". She was a tractor supply chicken so it's more likely she's an Easter Egger, Either way, shes a great little chicken. From the first she loved to be held and to sit in your lap. The husband named her Godfrey - don't ask me why, I don't know but here we are with a plucky little hen named Godfrey.
View attachment 2178311
I mean, who wouldn't love a chick that sleeps like the dead! lol
View attachment 2178314
View attachment 2178329


From the start, it went a bit wild. We lost a little silkie in the first 24 hours of bringing the chicks home due to a power outage from a bad storm. We were out of power for nearly a week, in 55-32 degree weather. Every two hours I was filling hot water bottles and putting them in with the chicks. I don't know how new parents do it. I've never been so tired in my life! We pulled through without the loss of another chick though and Tractor Supply replaced the bird we lost. They didn't have any more bantams, so I replaced it with a "straight run pullet". I chose the chick I did, specifically because she had cheek floof like Godfrey and we had already fallen in love. So Henrietta came home and quickly wormed her way in as second favorite little chicken. Here she is Just in front of Godfrey the day we got her. Not exactly sure of what she was - either an Olive Egger or a blue egg layer mix. She had pale legs, should she shouldn't have been an Easter Egger.

Our coop was built in mind to house mainly bantams. We took an old children's playhouse and converted it into a coop with a run attached. I took several pictures during the building process, but missed getting a pic as it was finished. Our lab supervised some of the progress.
We put our chicks out for a few hours each day to get them used to the coop. Eventually we moved them in permanently when everyone was at least 4 weeks old. These pics are from one of the outings before they had been moved totally in.
Unfortunately all you savvy chicken people can probably spot our problem right away. We only had chicken wire around the run. Two days after our girls had moved outside permanently a neighbors dog broke in and killed them all. We were devastated. Henrietta, who was growing into a stunning pullet was one of the worst casualties. She had been grabbed and pulled through the chicken wire and died in my husbands hands. My poor son walked around the neighborhood for hours trying to find any lost survivors. He is the one who found our little Godfrey, the sole survivor, waiting on us when we got home from a final search that evening. I've never been so happy to see a chicken in the whole of my life. She suffered the loss of a few feathers, but was surprisingly unharmed. The new problem - a broken coop and a lonely hen.
View attachment 2178328
Godfrey right after finding her after the dog attack.

A friend was kind enough to send me a pair of her Easter Eggers who were about Godfrey's age and we set them up in an old quail pen until we could repair and reinforce the coop. Godfrey during this time was a house hen.
She also sent me a couple of really cool chicks that are Sicilian Buttercup x Barred Rock Crosses. I need to get pics of these two, because I think they will be really neat chickens. A little pullet and a cockerel. I also picked up 6 chicks from a hobby farm for a fun array of colors both in eggs and the hens. A pair each of Olive Eggers (marans crosses), Black/Blue Marans, and Sussex. Here's where it goes bad again. I lost a little Sussex chick quickly to suspected coccidosis and one of the Olive Eggers started to look droopy. Treated with Corid, and the chick recovered. Two days later I suddenly lost one of the Marans chicks. It had seemed fine and healthy up until I found it dead. I still don't know what happened to it. That said, I wont be buying from that particular hobby farm again. Lets hope all my littler potential layers make it from here on out. I'll get pics of them to post later. We haven't named any of the new chickens yet, just because with all the troubles we've had I'm leery of getting too attached. When they go out in the coop we will be working on names.

So we have fixed the coop. It is still chicken wire, but it is now fully enclosed by a 6 foot fence. My larger chickens are outside and enjoying it! Assuming all the chicks I currently have survive and make it outside, we will have to upgrade the coop size. It was built with the idea to house mostly bantams. With the second fence we've got plenty of outside space now, but it will eventually get a bit crowded at night.


My current dilemma is that the Easter Egger cockerel is being rather nasty to Godfrey. He pecks her and chases her off food. So far, he's respectful of me, and I wanted a rooster to help protect my ladies. If he doesn't straighten up, he's looking at being re-homed or heading to the freezer. Godfrey has been through too much to put up with a man being mean to her! I've got the little sicilian buttercup x barred rock cross and I hear barred rocks are supposed to make lovely roosters. Mr. E definitely needs to straighten up and watch his back, or anther man is gonna be sliding in those ladies DMs!





Awe... My heart hurts for what happened to your new chicks. It’s hard not to feel connected to them after the long anxious wait to finally get them outside in the big girl coop. Thank goodness little Godfrey made it. Good luck with your new little crew. And I agree about the roo....I wouldn’t keep one that was rough on my little ladies.
 

Juju2773

Songster
Apr 10, 2020
126
118
103
It’s also a good idea to add hardware cloth along the outside perimeter of your coop to prevent animals from trying to dig under the edge. I used poultry u-shaped nails to apply 19 gauge hardware cloth all the way up to the top edge of the outside baseboard and then along the ground extending about 14 to 18 inches. I used a few of those long u shaped metal stakes pushed into the ground to secure it. Here’s an image.
 

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HargroveOutdoors

Chirping
Apr 22, 2020
165
326
83
It’s also a good idea to add hardware cloth along the outside perimeter of your coop to prevent animals from trying to dig under the edge. I used poultry u-shaped nails to apply 19 gauge hardware cloth all the way up to the top edge of the outside baseboard and then along the ground extending about 14 to 18 inches. I used a few of those long u shaped metal stakes pushed into the ground to secure it. Here’s an image.
Thanks! We have already been looking into that!
 

HargroveOutdoors

Chirping
Apr 22, 2020
165
326
83
Awe... My heart hurts for what happened to your new chicks. It’s hard not to feel connected to them after the long anxious wait to finally get them outside in the big girl coop. Thank goodness little Godfrey made it. Good luck with your new little crew. And I agree about the roo....I wouldn’t keep one that was rough on my little ladies.
Yes, I’ve been keeping a close eye. He’s a nice Roo otherwise, so I’d hate him having to go. If it improves he can stay, but so far it hasn’t.
 

HargroveOutdoors

Chirping
Apr 22, 2020
165
326
83
Storms came in late yesterday evening, but I still snagged a few with my favorite cuddle bug.
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The younger chicks seem to be doing alright. At least nobody else has gone the way of chicken heaven. I’m obsessing a bit over their health and keep checking on them.
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I had mentioned yesterday showing off the Sicilian Buttercup x Barred Rock crosses I came up with. The yellow arrows are those two. A pullet and a cockerel. Purple is a black? Marans. It came from a splash breeding. Green is the two Olive Eggers and blue is the little Sussex. The blue OE is the one that wasn’t doing too hot, but it seems to be ok now.
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