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Chickens.. Whaaatt?

Chickens, Ducks, Geese, Guineas,Turkeys. Pheasants etc

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w0lfygirl
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Chickens.. Whaaatt?

Postby w0lfygirl » Wed Jul 10, 2013 12:33 pm

So yea.. My family now owns 4 hens.
I'm not sure of their type but one is red, two are like.. gold with some black, and one is a light grey.
One of the gold ones also has feathers that are growing in on her feet.
They're still young but they're getting there.
Also i believe my sister said they are going to lay blue or green eggs. :shrug: weird.

Anyways, i've never owned a chicken, at all. So it's a little weird.
Do they tend to smell worse when they're wet/scared?
They got wet from the rain and i brought them in and their feces smell so much worse than yesterday. Yesterday they just sorta smelled like.. bread and oats? idk, it wasn't a bad smell, just weird. But today when they 'drop' i'm slapped in the face by an awful smell.
If not then i guess my nose is just deciding to be better today.

They seem to like me.. yesterday one tried jumping out of the box i had them in so when i went to put her back, she jumped back onto my arm, and then the others did the same, and i was stuck with 4 half grown hens perched on my arm. I didn't know how to get them off since i was sitting at an awkward angle and never even held a chicken before then. Eventually they moved and i figured it out.
Not sure if i'm picking them up right, but it doesn't hurt them. It just doesn't fell secure and i don't want to hold them tight because i'm afraid of hurting them. Birds are so fragile ._.
But as soon as they all were climbing all over me they stopped chirping, and seemed a lot more calm and as if they felt really safe.
i was told i'm a mama chicken by my OH. :roll: :lol:

Now.. what exactly do i feed a chicken. We've been feeding them dry oats because my sister's friend that stays with them left the top off on a huge tub of feed that they bought and until we get more that's all i can think of for feeding them. icon_confused.gif
I don't imagine white bread would be healthy since it's bleached..

Anyways, right now they're cute. I don't really like the red stuff they get on their face when they're full grown, so chickens were never cute to me. But when they're young like this they haven't grown it yet other than a start above their beaks. It's really cute.


I feel bad for them though. We don't have a proper shelter for them yet, and my sister's boyfriend just bought them on impulse because they were cute little chicks for 3 bucks each that a farm supply was selling close to his house. :C

Here's a bad picture of them i took yesterday
Image

they were sleeping, so i didn't feel like the flash would bother them too much, and i don't think it did. I couldn't get a very visible picture without flash, so i just waited till they fell asleep.
They decided it would be nice to dump the outs from their little.. i think that's a feeder O.o
my sister brought it over with them.. They seem to be fine with it.
My younger sister lost the dish for their water, so i've been using a bowl from a bird cage but the red one insists on putting his foot around the rim and then knocking it over everytime i fill it, and it's soaking my floor icon_confused.gif He's still my favorite though, haha.
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Ash
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Re: Chickens.. Whaaatt?

Postby Ash » Wed Jul 10, 2013 1:21 pm

Chickens can be lots of fun, especially if they're friendly. My sister and I had two pet chickens growing up. They were very fun pets, would follow you around, let you hold them.

We fed them just regular chicken feed, like you'd get from Farm and Fleet or Tractor Supply. We would also let them be free-foragers during the daytime in our backyard (they chose never to go through the fence) and so they ate lots of plants and bugs too.

If they lay as well as the chickens we had, you're going to wind up with TONS of eggs, lol. You'll need a plan for that. ;) Maybe sell or give them away to neighbors and friends.

Our chickens felt most secure when we held them tightly with their wings pinned against their bodies. It always calmed them down and they'd hold still. Obviously don't squeeze them to death, but you can hold them pretty tightly and they'll be okay. You can be "rough" with chickens; they're pretty hardy. If they were full grown and on your arms, you could have just dropped your arms to your side and they would have flapped off.

They're pretty messy, so you'll definitely not want to keep them in the house once they're full grown or even a little older. Building a small pen with a chicken coup would be the best for them. They also like having a roost inside, so just do a dowel across or something for them to hop up on. Also make sure that it is predator proof, or that you can at least lock up the coup part at nighttime.

Do you live in a city? If so, there are probably laws against keeping chickens in city limits, so you may want to check that out just to be doubly sure. We had our two pet chickens and we didn't realize at the time that there were laws that restricted you from keeping them. Our city didn't allow them, but we got away with it.

Anyway, good luck with them. I like the red one. Ours were Barred Rocks, so they were black with white freckles.
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Re: Chickens.. Whaaatt?

Postby TamanduaGirl » Wed Jul 10, 2013 2:12 pm

What Ash said and I think that's only part of a feeder. You can buy chicken feeder and water things at the farm store too that dispense and help keep it clean by having just a small area for them to get to it.
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Re: Chickens.. Whaaatt?

Postby w0lfygirl » Wed Jul 10, 2013 3:32 pm

Sounds interesting o:

I actually don't think i would have been able to get the off like that, my rooms a really big mess right now and i was sitting in one of those round chairs you can buy at walmart that just slump inwards, and minds a little big, with my arm half way in a box, and my bed right at my feet, haha.
They'd be able to flap down and stuff, they're not quite that young. They jump out of the box a lot so yea.
I'm used to bird being fragile, and i've never really been around chickens other than when i was like 6-7, and didn't bother trying to pick them up, i just wandered around following the chicks to watch what they were doing. A friend of my sisters owned some and he lives down the street from us.
So i really just didn't want to hurt them. I'm also scared of them pecking me because i was attacked by a rooster when i was young and i think one of them might be. Either that or he/she is very curious of my hands.

Having them inside is only when it rains, and only temporarily till we get a new place and have something proper for them. :P They're already messy enough as is.

I honestly didn't imagine that there would be laws against chickens..
But i don't think there are any, there's several people around here that have chickens, roosters, and rabbits.
It's a smaller city, so even if it's illegal, they're really only strict about fights, theft, and driving laws. Anything that could harm someone. And as i said we're moving so it'd be different there.
We're moving either to austin, or just outside of it.

Hmm.. i wonder where the rest of the feeder is then o_o
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Re: Chickens.. Whaaatt?

Postby Trefoil » Thu Jul 11, 2013 11:31 am

The rest of the feeder is a quart or larger mason (canning) jar. Congratulations on the chickens, they are lots of fun. The back yard chickens forum (BYC) has lots of information for new chicken owners.http://www.backyardchickens.com/f/
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Re: Chickens.. Whaaatt?

Postby veralidaine » Tue Nov 19, 2013 7:03 pm

I would reccommend (as Ash said) feeding them chicken feed that you can get from a farm supply store. Oats are full of soluble fibre and chickens (especially the ones we tend to breed) have really sucky fibre digestion so they don't really get any energy from it. Also, soluble fibre tends to gum up the feed as it goes through the digestive tract, making it even harder to absorb the nutrients that the birds need.

Do you know if your birds are from a layer or broiler strain? If it's broiler, you have to limit their feed intake so they won't get too fat and have bone problems because we have basically bred them to eat all the time. If it's layer, you can expect 1 egg a day from about 19 weeks of age. The important thing there though is making sure they have enough calcium in their diet; they deposit 2g of calcium into each egg that they produce. This means that 5% of their diet needs to be calcium.

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