Up to my ears in chickens.......

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by homesteadmomma, Jun 19, 2011.

  1. homesteadmomma

    homesteadmomma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I just quadrupled the size of my flock today [​IMG] I bought 15 chicks last night at a swap meet. Really, just 15, and I thought that should hold me over until spring. Then this morning, I walked past 5 cages of chickens, all cramped so tight they couldn't move (this coming from the woman who didn't even want to put two small roosters in a medium sized dog crate for fear they wouldn't be comfortable). They were completely soiled and stunk so bad. On top of that they had been rained on all day long. [​IMG] I bought them all, all 54 of them. I'm certain there are quite a few roosters, but there are just as many or more pullets and for $2 each, I can't complain. I am guessing they are approx 12-14 weeks old, as the barred rocks are about the same size as mine. There are also light brahmas and australorps. I hadn't planned on coming home with so many, and now I'm in a pinch and have them in a dog kennel in quarantine, because the new rooster is in quarantine, and I didn't want to mix them up, just in case these new ones were infected with something. Now I'm not sure what to do with all of these roosters and what to do with the brahmas that weren't in my favorite breeds either. I do think all of the brahmas are pullets though, so I guess if I had to keep them, it wouldn't be the end of the world if they would lay some eggs.

    I guess this isn't necessarily a flock management question, but I'm wondering if anyone else has taken on a few too many birds and felt a bit overwhelmed? They will be well taken care of, and I plan on bathing all of the new ones tomorrow if it's not raining. I have enough coop space for 80 chickens at 4 sq ft. per bird, but two coops share the same run, and would obviously infect my current flock if they were in fact sick.Fortunately, they do look healthy aside from the mud and poo though. Anyone have any pointers? I will keep them for the 30 day quarantine, but I do plan on selling some of them. I guess I was just hoping that someone would say, "yep, been there, done that, rescued a bunch of birds, and now I have too many. You are not alone." LOL. Sometimes, I'm just a sucker I think.
     
  2. dragontamer56

    dragontamer56 Out Of The Brooder

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    Well i would love to take an australorp rooster off you, but sadly i'm in Montana not Indiana. I guess you probably wouldn't ship, so good luck with all the birds. But no i have defininatly have never taken in 70 birds in two days.
     
  3. 3goodeggs

    3goodeggs pays attention sporadically

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    [​IMG]
    you are just so sweet.
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  4. homesteadmomma

    homesteadmomma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Parke Co. Indiana
    Dragon-these are just pet quality (hatchery) I'm sure, so I'm not sure he would be worth it to ship all the way out there, or if he could make the trip. But if you are truly interested, let me know.
     
  5. RGBistro

    RGBistro Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 17, 2011
    Orange County, CA
    Oh boy!

    Can't say I've been there, or done that.... (yet). So after I do (because it'll happen), I'll come back here and we can commiserate.

    Sounds like you've got it under control... despite the big addition. If I were closer, I'd offer to take some off your hands. [​IMG]

    - Kim
     
  6. homesteadmomma

    homesteadmomma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 26, 2011
    Parke Co. Indiana
    I decided that the kennel idea wasn't gonna work. They really had no protection for the night, and I'm not sure what they are used to. So in spite of my cautious nature, I threw in the new ones with the new SLW that has only been here a few days. So now they are all in the big quarantine coop, and of course it's a disastrous poop fest in there because there is very little bedding/litter in there. I really hadn't planned on nearly 60 teenage chickens being in there at once. So obviously, I am going to be working on getting some sand in there tomorrow. I was going to do it this afternoon, but with the rain, the sand weighs about 100 lbs per shovel full. The chickens still smell absolutely horrible, and it makes me wonder what type of conditions they have been living in at home, and how many more there are there. They are quite friendly though, a bit skittish, but are happy to take the spinach and lettuce from my hand from the garden. I built a trough waterer this afternoon for a temporary until I can make a couple good ones. They will definitely get baths tomorrow, so if anyone has any tips that would be great, as I've never bathed a chicken before. The brahmas are absolutely the most disgusting as their leg feathers are completely caked in poo and mud. I'm hoping running around in the wet grass will help out a bit. Their weight seems good in comparison with the barred rocks I have that are about the same age, so that's promising, at least they were being fed. It does look like a lot of roosters now that I am actually looking at them though. I've been trying to get ahold of a few people to try to rehome some of them. The whole reason we went to the swap meet anyways was to take our extra roosters [​IMG] I took some pictures so you can get an idea of the chaos. The cages that they were in measure 24x24x12", 18x12x12", and 18x18x12". Considering a nesting box is 12x12x12 and two hens look pretty cramped in one that size, picture 54 in something the size of 8 or 10 nest boxes....so sad. As far as I know, they are no injuries, but they will all get a good once over with their baths tomorrow. It will also give them a chance to settle in.

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  7. blueberrychickens

    blueberrychickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    you are a saint for rescuing those chickens!!! I hope all works out for you, & as for bathing them, a big rubbermaid type tub should do the trick, just submerge to about their chest height, make sure their heads stay above the water, dunk them while holding their wings or you'll be as wet as they are! Give em a swish in the tub, rinse if you use any soap really well, & let them air dry. Good luck!
     
  8. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Sweetie, there but for the grace of the Goddess, go I!!

    I do NOT go to chicken swaps, or any place other than my favorite feed store, because that is is exactly what would happen to me. As it is, I incubate and hatch breeders' eggs I purchase, and I have hens who have hatched chicks. So my flock has grown in leaps and bounds. Should I attend a chicken swap or such, and saw the same thing, there'd be 70 chickens going home with me.

    It just hasn't happened yet, and only because I do not put myself in that particular situation.

    I have every living rooster which hatched or developed in my flock. They're mine, I raised 'em (or one of my hens did), and they're not going anywhere they might appear on a menu or in a meal.
    [​IMG]

    Might not have been THERE, or done THAT, but I sure as heck understand.
     
  9. Mommy 2 Wee Ones

    Mommy 2 Wee Ones Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 19, 2011
    North Texas
    Bless you for rescuing those poor babies. They do look good, no missing feathers. Good luck with the baths tomorrow.
    My hubby is a landscaper & one of his jobs. the lady had chickens in separate dog pens. I guess it was not enough room for them because most of the hens & roosters have major missing tail feathers. Even the chicks she had, were either stressed or they were pulling out each others feathers.
     
  10. homesteadmomma

    homesteadmomma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 26, 2011
    Parke Co. Indiana
    After looking at them, a few of the brahmas have feathers missing on their backs...immediately thought an over-eager rooster, but these pullets are too young and the roosters have them to, so I think they may have been in these tiny cages for a while. I believe I will dust them all in Sevin tomorrow, because I'm not sure how many I will actually get done bathing in a day with three toddlers at home to "help". So I will dust them for mites and I will worm them just as a precautionary measure. I've been trying to be super careful and have changed my clothes and washed my hands before going out to my original flock, I hope it's sufficient. The coops were built on opposite sides of a 5 acre property just for this reason, but none were made to fit this many, so I might separate the roosters and put them in the kennel and work on it a bit more this week, because I honestly want these chickens to feel like they have some room to roam. They seemed so happy out in the run and tonight all were huddled on the floor when there are lots of roosting spots. So I'm not sure these guys have ever roosted in their short lives. I have talked to a couple of neighbors who have agreed to take a rooster or two, but that still leaves me with about 20 or so to go. If I thought I had the means to keep a bunch of roosters, I would, and I would love to see them go to a good home, but realistically, I have kids to feed, and I know that I can process them in a quick and humane manner, and if that's what it boils down to, that's what I will do. I suppose it depends on how many are left after the rehoming process. I have called everyone I know that has chickens personally, and all have too many roosters or will butcher them. I really do want to find them forever homes. I really do not want to butcher them. I'm in a pickle. So until I hear otherwise, they will live here for a while. I do know for sure that when butcher time comes, the BR roosters will be the first to go, they are mean! Too young to be that mean anyways. Doesn't look good for them, as I will not tolerate an aggressive rooster with kiddos here, and the kids love to go help with the chickens. They are not allowed in this coop and run right now. It's so sad to go out there and see them, it just tears me up inside that someone can be that cruel. My husband sees them as "just chickens" and isn't thrilled with all of the roosters. Sigh...I can't even sleep worrying about what's going to happen, and what might possibly be wrong with them, and how much it's going to cost to fix them.
     

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