My Weekend with the chickens

msjay2u(7)February 23, 2009

Well as you guys know I was planning on making that bird feeder this weekend using the free pallets my local Tiger Direct outlet store was letting me have BUT the guy never showed up so I altered my plans. I decided to increase my flock. This guy about 1.5 hours away had Ameracaunas (probably just Easter Eggers) for sale so I packed up my grand daughter and went out there. I brought 2. They are 4 week old pullets at $7.75. Whats with the 75 cents? He offered me a dollar discount if I brought 4 but I only wanted 2 at that price. I thought it was a bit pricey but since I could not find them anywhere else I paid it and traveled for it.

Okay so I brought them home and it was kind of late. I let my hens that I have out and put the new ones in the coop. The older ones kept coming to the coop checking them out and besides curiosity showed no reaction what-so-ever. I thought 'well good thing I have calm breeds'. I did read Velvets meet and greet technique but I also read others saying just put them in the coop at night and they will be fine.

Okay so the bigger ones get in the coop look at the pullets and commence to climb into their roost. Still no reaction. So I left them in there. In the morning I go out there still no problems. Well around noon I go outside and the lighter pullet (my favorite) is on the ground dead and half eaten. WTH? The other one looks dead and stuck in the corner with her head buried under the wood. I was so mad at myself and at Lucy and Ethel for being mean cannibals. How could they be so cruel as to attack babies. They tricked me into thinking it was okay adding them then when they had the opportunity they attacked them.

I fussed at Lucy and Ethel so bad. I would fuss then walk away come back fuss more. Then I came in the house and fussed at SO. He was from the south he should have told me not to put the pullets in there (never mind that I knew better, I had to fuss at someone besides the chickens). He was like "what did I do". Heck he should have warned me he is a southerner and don't all southerners know about chickens? (thats what us northerners think) LOL He felt bad for me and told me to go buy the other hens and he would pay for them... (smile).

I went back out there to clean up. Uggh so disgusting cleaning up a torn baby. Then I notice the other one is still breathing. YES! I pick her up and put her in a battery cage fussed at Lucy and Ethel some more. I put the battery cage in the coop and immediately Lucy went up to the cage and did what Velvet said, puffing up, pecking hard at the ground and showing all signs of aggression. I forgot to put the bin feeder in the battery cage so the pullet got out and ran and Ethel chased her for a minute. I caught her, put her back in the cage, put the feeder back on it so the hole was closed and then decided it would be too stressful for her to be around Lucy and Ethel so I put her in the basement.

Then I decided she would be too lonely by herself so I traveled 3.5 hours (round trip) to another farm and brought 3 bitties for $2 each (my kind of price). Two of them are silver Phoenix/Salmon Favorelle mix and one is a tophat/silkie mix. They are all supposed to be hens but now that I take a good look at them one of them looks like a rooster. SO says good, we need something to keep all those hens under control. hmmmph

I put the bitties in the cage with the pullet and now she thinks she is their mother. They are getting along just fine. So now I have 6 chickens. 4 in the basement and 2 in the coop.

Once I got home from that second long trip and got the chickens all straightened out in the basement I was so pooped but I had to take my grand daughter home (1 hour each way) and by the time I got back my weekend was over.

So now I know I have to make yet another roosting box in the chicken coop on the other side before I add the new additions. hhhhhhhhhhhh another project! It will go on the left side of the coop. I won't post a picture y'all know what it looks like.

Oh and now I have to think of some more names. The goats are Fred and Ricky, the chickens are Lucy and Ethel. I think I am naming the pullet Easter and not sure what I am naming the bitties.

How was your weekend?

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That is a hard learned lesson. Sorry you had to go through it. It is hard to mix chicks and adult bird together. I try to only put adults with adults and chicks with chicks. It is different when the chicks have a mother hen to protect them. Wished you lived near here I would give you birds for free. It is near the end of one breed session and the start of another. Always have 150 to 200 culls to give away.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2009 at 8:46PM
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awwww don't tell me that!!! Do you know how hard it is to find chickens around here? Of course you don't. Well it is hard and usually all you can find is leftovers from Mcmurrays and they are usually roosters. The EE came from McMurrays, which is why it was so expensive. He brought hens so he is pretty sure he sold me a hen. The mutts were a guess of the lady who sold them to me. I hope if she sold me a rooster it is only one in the group although in those breeds the roosters are prettier.

Your chickens are just beautiful and every time I have seen photos I always thought man I wish I lived near you so I could get some of them. I love your selections especially those itty btty ones. And to think you have all those extras.

Do you think I am going to have to build a whole other coop for the rest of the birds or will I eventually be able to put them in with the other girls?

    Bookmark   February 23, 2009 at 9:24PM
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When they mature (17 to 20 weeks old) they will be easier to blend together. It is best if you can put your cage in the middle of the main coop. This way the will see each other on a daily basics. Once they are near full grown they will be better able to protect themselves form the others. I would put some old chairs and buckets--both on their sides giving the new birds places to hide and protect their heads and backs from the 'Old Gals' of the roost. Check on them often during this period (2-3days) to be sure you don't get a repeat.

Maybe in April 2010 I can bring a few hundred chicks to Your County Fair Grounds and have a 4-H give-away. Have 3 planed this year-Chicago-Minneapolis-Lincoln. Planing to take 1400 (4 to 24weeks old) to each.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2009 at 10:52PM
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Oh Misjay2u! I'm so sorry you went through that! How frustrating that would be, to find one of your new babies dead! I would be heartbroken! That poor little thing!

You have a good heart, Seramas, giving away all those birds to for kids to raise.

That's a good lesson for me too. If I am able to hatch peeps this spring, I am putting them in the second coop and dividing the pen, even if they do have a mother.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2009 at 6:41AM
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Seramas the state fair is in Raleigh, NC. I have not been to it since I moved back although every year I plan to. Something always seems to come up. They just passed an ordinance in several counties here whereas you can keep the chickens in the city now. I bet your birds would be a hit. Let me know if you plan to come and I will surely make the fair then.

How are the movies coming along?

Runningtrails, it was very heart breaking. But it was a valuable lesson learned and will never happen again. Now I have to figure out if I am going to try to put the new birds in with the seasoned ones or if I am just going to build a new coop and call it a day. I really did not want to have to build a new coop this year. I am going to try putting the battery cage in the coop for a few days and see how they react to each other. I am definitely going to build another nesting box (probably not the right word, I mean the box where they sleep at night) and hopefully that will alleviate any territorial issues.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2009 at 8:11PM
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Msjay2u, I'll have to contact my local 4-H leaders who will look up the local Raleigh, NC 4-H leaders names and phone numbers and make arrangement that way. Most 4-H groups have local 4-H shows/meeting that occur during the spring. This way they have plenty of time to raise young birds to adulthood so they can show them at the fall Fairs in their respective counties. I'll make sure that you know the exact date, time and place of the giveaway.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2009 at 9:04PM
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I'm sorry to hear about the little one. Chickens can be mean. Seramas gave some great advice about the pen inside the coop. We introduce like that & it works out fine.

No Auracaunas here, I couldn't find any available either at the time, but I can send you a dozen EE fertilized eggs if you would like to incubate them.


    Bookmark   February 24, 2009 at 9:15PM
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Brenda Sue...I wish I would have know that before I brought the ones I have. sighhhh If you have any guinea eggs I will take you up on that offer!!

Seramas you are a good hearted person. I am sure any 4H group is glad to be of your acquaintance. Not only for the give away but the knowledge I am sure you give them at the same time. Are there any advantages of me being an adult without a lot of knowledge looking up a 4H group? I really do not know much about them.

I got on here to tell you that the peeps and the pullet in my basement. They are all getting along fine. They look to the pullet one as if she were their momma. they even hide under her. LOL sooooo cute. I go down there and there they are peeking from under her wings. I would put the camera down there so I can see what they are doing when I am not around but I still have not figured out how to get it working right. hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

Now that they have bonded I still wonder what is going to happen when I put them all together with the bigger girls. Have not decided if I want to build another coop, extend the one I have or just put another sleeping box in there. If I put them together I will start them out in the battery cage for a few days though. decisions decisions.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2009 at 9:48AM
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Sorry, no guineas. 2 years ago we were looking for better bug control & decided on the muscovies instead of the loud guineas.

Good luck with the introductions. We use pallets leaned against the wall both for roosting & somewhere for chickens to get away if they want.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2009 at 5:39PM
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its okay maybe I will luck up on some

    Bookmark   February 28, 2009 at 7:12PM
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I'm so sorry to hear about your busy weekend and loss of your chick. That IS a hard lesson. I bought some new chicks this past weekend as well. DH had built me a nice sized cage in the garage for now. I got a few breeds that I didn't set out to get, like a few banties and a few Polish. Right now they are all doing fine together but I wondered about the banties once the other (standard) breeds got bigger. They seem to hold their own, pretty fiesty little ones. Of course it has been soooo cold again here so I have sheets around the cage to hold in the heat from the lamp. So far so good. Lori

    Bookmark   March 2, 2009 at 3:54PM
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