The Natural Chicken Keeping thread - OTs welcome!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Bulldogma, Dec 13, 2012.

  1. kian

    kian Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 20, 2012
    Lancaster, CA
    Well, I am pretty excited. I set 8 fertile Olive Egger eggs under my broody yesterday. For a chicken, she seemed pretty happy to see those eggs and she hasn't budged. Do I count yesterday as day one or today as day one?

    If today is day one, then that makes day 21 Mother's Day! And that would be pretty cute :)

    Thank you all for all of your great advice!!!
  2. lalaland

    lalaland Overrun With Chickens

    Sep 26, 2008
    Pine County MN
    I kind of get crazed with the american food system. It is sooo scary, and half the time people look at you like you are a lunatic if you say anything. - about chicken feed, about cat food, about people food -

    armorlady, I hope you tell us how your LAB making goes.

    You know, I've never quarantined chicks. Hmmm.....I mean, have kept them separate from the big girls, but not biologically quarantined, more like chicken wire between the two.
  3. lalaland

    lalaland Overrun With Chickens

    Sep 26, 2008
    Pine County MN
    ok, the dead hen is off to the lab for necropsy. I asked them to also check the parasite load just out of curiousity.
    so far today, all surviving hens still active, responsive, happy.

    Except......10 more #^@*($ inches of snow coming. I don't think I can take this anymore!
  4. BlueMouse

    BlueMouse Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 5, 2013
    Esperance NY
    UGH I would cry if we had snow. I mean, it's possible. We've had snow in may before, but it's actually starting to look like SPRING in my corner of the world! we're only running the woodstove at night, and there's green out there! looks like some of my blackberry bushes that I planted, then abandoned last year (baby with colic = not any time for taking care of plants...) actually survived! at least three are budding out, which is great news. My fruit trees should come today or tomorrow, and i have tomatoes and veggies growing in flats in front of the sunny window in my studio. I'm getting excited! Now hopefully the cat will refrain from EATING any more seedlings... he ate an entire tray of leeks down to nubs. [​IMG]

    I'm also cleaning out my canning shelves. I have a whole batch of tomato sauce with meat that went bitter after about a month (I have no idea why) I haven't wanted to throw it in the compost heap because I'm concerned about the critters it will attract. Also it means I will be unable to keep my dratted Dog out of the compost heap (hard enough already, he sure does love those tasty rotten veggies! [​IMG]) Do you all think I could feed the chickens a cup or so of it once a week until it's gone? I hate to waste all that meat!! It's home canned from my own veggies, hasn't gone bad, just turned bitter on me.... So there's nothing "funky" in it.

    as per dog food, we've gone to a grain free food for both the dog and cat. It is expensive, but they eat way less. The dog also gets leftovers, and a fresh egg every so often. They are both much healthier, beautiful glossy coats. Kitty is nine, and Griz is eight, and other than a touch of arthritis in Griz, no health problems. I simply will NOT feed anything that has "by products" listed on it. People sure do look at you like you're crazy! I think I'm going to freeze chicken feets and necks and feed those to the dog this winter (raw). they need raw meat, and those raw bones really contribute to good tooth health and overall wellbeing. I've started putting UP ACV in their water too. I think it has significantly decreased the odor in the cat box as well as the number of stinky farts from the darned dog.
  5. Leahs Mom

    Leahs Mom True BYC Addict

    Feb 9, 2012
    Northern Indiana
    I tried mealworms too...but it would take a whole warehouse to make enough mealworms to make a dent in just what 6 chickens would eat if they could! It just felt like they were a "drop in the bucket" and I've decided not to do it anymore.

    Tell us about your dubias. How do you keep them?

    One thing I get concerned with is the possibility of releasing a bug into the environment that doesn't grow here natively. I know we're keeping them inside, but the possibility exists that they can get out so I am always a little conservative about what kinds of bugs I try to raise.

    Thank you for sharing that history overview! I know I've picked up bits and pieces of your story but never all in one place like that.

    All of your previous experience is invaluable to us - in both what you learned NOT to do and what you learned TO do.

    I'm so glad you're here with us and starting out with a new flock of kiddos! case anyone wants to read about the "gnarly" chickens that Mumsy is talking about, the whole story was taken from the beginning and put in a quick-to-read full version at this link called: Healing Story. Definitely worth reading!

    Last edited: Apr 22, 2013
  6. Bulldogma

    Bulldogma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 29, 2012
    SW Virginia
    My Coop
    Mumsy -
    Thank you so much for sharing your own story with us!

    There will always be squabbles when introducing a new roo - it can take them a while to decide who is going to be "boss." When a cockerel grows up on a property with an existing roo, the transition tends to be a bit smoother with the only squabbles happening when the younger boy hits puberty. Usually the older roo will keep him in line and things rarely will get out of hand in this kind of scenario.

    If a new roo comes from elsewhere, after quarantine they are best introduced with the new guy in a cage, and later while free ranging so that if things get nasty, it can turn into a running race and not end with someone getting cornered. Keeping the new roo in a separate bachelor's quarters at night for a few weeks might be helpful also. The problems mostly occur if they are in a confined space, IME. After a few weeks, things tend to settle down. And as with everything chicken, the more space they have, the less social issues will arise. Of course the hen/roo ration needs to be balanced no matter how much space there is, or the hens will become over-used and the roos might fight for breeding rights.

    The SFH is a very smart breed. My guess is that they just figure out faster than some other breeds that fighting isn't as worthwhile as hunting for yummies in the grass. LOL!

    I have 3 mature roos on my property. They are currently separated into breeding groups, but never had issues when they were a single flock.

    Don't worry about the notebook - we try to get most of the good stuff on to The Thing. If you see something you think is great information and you want to be able to reference later, tell me or Leahs Mom, and we'll look into getting it into an article. In fact, that is the very reason The Thing was started. A lot of us were trying to start notebooks and such to keep this info handy... so I just started one for all of us - LOL!

    See the Article Index tab for quick reference of most of the stuff we've covered.

    Suggestions for articles are very, very welcome!

    On pins and needles to hear what the lab results are. Hoping it was just coincidence to have a cluster of losses as you did and nothing bad.
    Sorry about your snow. I tried living in VT once for a few months... I couldn't do it. I'm not a snow person. My DH is, but he knows that southern VA is the furthest north I'll live - LOL!
  7. camilleathome

    camilleathome Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 25, 2012
    New Brunswick Canada
    So I had to add a second feeder for the chicks they are growing like weeds :D. Would anyone have any photos of homemade perches I could make for them? I think its time to offer one or two.

    Also For those of you who also garden. What is your take on roundup?

    My landlords father in law has a tiller and is a retired farmer/cattleman and said he would till our garden for us. He said if we wanted he could treat the ground with roundup which he prefered to do only for the first year and he didnt have any issues with weeds ever again. Now Im debating doing this because it is a chemical and we would like to try to be as organic as we can(Even though we are not using any organic seeds this year). I was reading that using a mix of mulching, letting the chickens into the garden on short trips and Carefully spraying vinegar on the weeds and just pulling some can be a more natural way of weeding. Suggestions and insight would be most welcome. This is our first fullblown garden :).
  8. Leahs Mom

    Leahs Mom True BYC Addict

    Feb 9, 2012
    Northern Indiana
    Just got a coupon code for Treats for Chickens for Earth Day. 30% off site-wide until Wednesday. If anyone wants the code, PM me! (Looks like it's right on the home page on their site too, so you don't need to PM! If you buy something, let them know that I sent you and that you heard about them on Natural Chicken Keeping!

    ETA: They have some great herbs for nest boxes!

    (And they have a smaller size than the one that pops up in the purchase box...look down at the bottom and you can change the size!)
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2013
  9. Leahs Mom

    Leahs Mom True BYC Addict

    Feb 9, 2012
    Northern Indiana
    NO ROUNDUP!!!!!! It's VERY TOXIC (My opinion of course...based on lots of VERY TOXIC research!)
  10. cywiar merch

    cywiar merch Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 3, 2013
    Its really good to read all of this and see other perspectives. I too was someone that read that DE was a sort of de wormer and anti mite and lice. I sometimes use it in my cats' food. Am I just wasting my money?

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