Wow. I met some real chickens today (longish post)

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Chicabee19, Aug 23, 2008.

  1. Chicabee19

    Chicabee19 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 8, 2008
    n/a
    Well.

    Nothing beats getting down in the dirt with a few real chickens.

    It's been 20 years since I was around real chickens, so I thought it might be a good idea to visit a family that has chickens before running out and buying some. My first impression was 'oh, yuck'. My second impression was 'If I'm going to have chickens they are not going to free-range the whole backyard!'

    I could see right away that I do not want white chickens. I'd be giving them baths constantly! My initial breed choices have definitely changed: I really do like the Rhode Island Reds! The aren't too huge, their feathers are sleek and clean, and they aren't too fluffy (i.e., scary).

    I was really surprised at the size of the chicken poop! I was thinking it would look like normal wild bird poop, but good grief. It wasn't easy picking our way across the yard. Definitely I can see why one must wear different shoes for chickening. The smell did not bother me at all, which was one thing I was worried about.

    I think if you have chickens you have to take care of their coop and yard regularly, and not let the poop pile up on everything! I can see it's a bad idea to have any ledges, however narrow, inside the coop. Straight walls, windows without sills, and a clearly-defined roost as far away from the single nest box as possible.

    I definitely will re-think our coop and run design. I can tell for sure we'll need to have the coop and run finished before any chickens come here to live!

    And I decided for sure to get pullets rather than chicks, so we'll have to find a good sexed source.

    whew.... [​IMG]

    oh... and I was really surprised at the size of the chicken feet!
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2008
  2. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

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    Glad you had a chance to get 'down and dirty' with some real chickens. That was a good learning experience for you.

    I have two white chickens who are usually white! Even after they've been bathing in the dirt. You really don't ever need to give a chicken a bath (they do that themselves) unless you are going to show them.

    I agree that their poo is enormous!!! How do they do that? Thankfully, after the poop dried out it is really easy to clean up.
     
  3. geckomama

    geckomama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You are doing it right.....learn first....way to go! [​IMG]
     
  4. Chicabee19

    Chicabee19 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 8, 2008
    n/a
    Thanks guys!

    ....not to be unkind, but I think the place I visited was not typical clean coop and chickens.
     
  5. SpottedCrow

    SpottedCrow Flock Goddess

    Probably not...
    We're a bit more on the picky side of cleaning around here if anything.
     
  6. digitS'

    digitS' Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sex-links are popular and anyone can identify the sex as long as you know that they are, indeed, sex-links.

    Chickabee, if a wild bird weighs 5 plus pounds the bird poop is likely to be as large. Don't forget that a bird's urine is excreted with the feces. As Chirpy notes, once dried it doesn't have so much volume. It least chickens are not usually overhead [​IMG].

    If your chickens just free-range for an hour or so, it's fairly easy to hose down anything they've gone on. Because where a chicken goes, it goes.

    If you are outdoors with them, they can be fairly easily trained to stay off certain areas of the backyard - like the deck, for instance. They don't like water, even flicking a few drops off the ends of your fingers will send them running. (Giving them baths would have to be . . . difficult?) Probably the easiest mistake people make with chickens is getting too many to take care of properly.

    Steve
     
  7. ridgefire

    ridgefire Chillin' With My Peeps

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    digitS' :

    If you are outdoors with them, they can be fairly easily trained to stay off certain areas of the backyard - like the deck, for instance. They don't like water, even flicking a few drops off the ends of your fingers will send them running. (Giving them baths would have to be . . . difficult?)
    Steve

    I would love to meet your chickens. My chickens love it when I have the hose out and spray water over them, granted I dont spray them with a solid stream of water. Plus mine love to hang out on my porch to aggravate the dogs on the other side of the glass.​
     
  8. digitS'

    digitS' Chillin' With My Peeps

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    ridgefire, I don't spray them with the hose either. It doesn't take that - just a few flying drops thru the air does the job.

    There aren't many to shoo away. I suppose they could come at the deck in chicken assault "waves" if there were and overpower me [​IMG].

    Steve
     
  9. luvmychicknkids

    luvmychicknkids Canning Squirrel

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    Great idea before getting chickens. I had NEVER been around one and was surprised by a few things when I got mine. [​IMG] The number of chickens will make a big difference in the amount of poo too, of course. [​IMG] Yeah, chicken feet are HUGE and (I think) beautiful. Good luck with the new flock. [​IMG]
     
  10. Chicabee19

    Chicabee19 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 8, 2008
    n/a
    Thanks everyone for the support. For a while I had a few people rolling their eyes when I said I was going to study before even thinking about getting chickens,

    I know me... and I really do better knowing all I can about something before I endeavor to undertake it.

    I'm only going to have 3 hens, so maybe it won't be too bad. I got the feeling there was no upkeep at all of the grass area in the yard I visited.

    I am leaning toward an RIR, a sex-link or red/brown EE, and a buff Leghorn... although these are, of course, subject to change as I learn and experience more!

    [​IMG]
     

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