newbie with a few questions :)

Discussion in 'Beginners Forum' started by sarachristine, Aug 18, 2012.

  1. sarachristine

    sarachristine New Member

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    Hello everyone!
    We just started raising chickens year. I picked up 6 black jersey giants from aocal store back in early May. For their coop, we used an old shipping crate Nd added.a few enhancements to make it nicer for them. We currently don't have a run set up for them. When I am home from work I let them free range in the yard.
    My first question is if anyone has any ideas when we might be seeing our first egg?

    How big is the possibility they will start laying somewhere outside of the coop? They usually spend most of the time in the woods unless I go out to the garden, then they venture out into the open ( so far they've completely left my garden alone).

    Is it okay for chickens to eat those big tomato caterpillars? My garden has been plagued with them this year and I'm afraid the chickens might get a hold of them and get sick.

    We ended up with two roosters, so far theyre both really sweet and haven't been getting in any fights - just the occasional puffing and squalking around. Is it really necessary for me to get rid of one of them?

    I'm sorry, I know this a lot at once but I just wanted to ask while these questions were on my mind!


    Thanks in advance for any insight you can give!
    Sara
     
  2. trey1432

    trey1432 New Member

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    Someone who has that breed can answer the laying question, my chicks (different breeds) lay between 4 and 9 months. I let mine run around the garden and eat whatever they find, well except the food, which they are known for doing.
     

  3. jjwilson72000

    jjwilson72000 New Member

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    Highly likely they will find their own place to nest. You can try putting a small box in the yard with golfballs in it and hope they lay in there with the golfballs.
    They can eat the caterpillars but if they have access to the garden they will eat the stuff you want to eat (they love tomatoes)
    Not necessarily but you probably don't have enough hens for two roosters. When they become sexually mature it will create a lot of stress on only 4 hens (you'll see what i mean, chicken sex is not pretty.) They will also get into crowing arguments that start at four thirty in the morning and last all day, they will also brawl with each other. The worst thing will be the stress on the hens.
     
  4. CountryMama

    CountryMama Junior Member

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    For sure the stress on the hens, but they may not fight at all. I've had two cocks for years, having gotten them both in the same batch of chicks, and they quietly established their pecking order and that was that. I see them put up their neck feathers every few months, and that was that. No fights at all.

    In my other flock (I tried to put them together, but the older flock refused to stay with the new flock, leaving them when out to pasture, so now they're just "yard birds") that I started this year, I have 4 Dorking cockerels, 6 Dorking hens (and 3 Marans hens), and my "bonus" which turned out to be a male Cochin. In the spring, 3 of the cockerels and 6 of the hens will be 3 breeding trios. The 4th cockerel is a "just in case" guy. If not needed in the spring, he'll be culled out. The Cochin has a name (Meatball) and has definitely established himself as a pet with the kids, so he stays. So here's a case of many boys together. So far, at 20 weeks, they're getting along very well, with only mild posturing. They do have some serious crowing competitions, though. LOL
     
  5. sarachristine

    sarachristine New Member

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    'Meatball'! Lol that's cute! So far they're all still getting along. I've read up a lot more on the breed and black jersey giants are supposed to be 'gentle giants' so I'll just wait and see how they handle each other! Lol they've started making little nests behind the coop with straw. It's always shady back there from the coop and its blocked from the wind by trees. Maybe I'll get lucky and they will lay eggs right back there :) :)