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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey there! Ive been lurking the forums for a month or so and decided to join and post. I have learned a ton and think I can do better with my own flock this time around. Technically this is the first flock I will own, I took care of 15 RIR a year or so back. My plan is to order from a hatchery in the next week or two. I think Murray McMurray, Mt Healthy or Meyer may be some of my big hitters from what I have read. My plan was Speckled Sussex, and I haven't ruled them out but I think I'm going to start with Plymouth Barred Rocks. So some knowledge I have about the birds upbringing...
ACV/molasses in the water for the chicks pasty butt? Warm wet cloth and vaseline to cure it. Hot and cold side of brooder... So they can self regulate.Pine and cedar shavings are poisonous? Also I'm waiting for full feathers to go outside to my coop. The coop is a shed just out back off the grape gondola.(I know they will eat the grapes and they have seeds and I have a trillion of them...is it a poison factor or a choke factor? I can figure something out either way.) It has receptacles and lights already so it's perfect. It's a 10x12, and I planned on 4 nesting boxes for 10-15 girls.

I live in Maine so winters are a little harsh but nothing the girls can't handle. My ideal situation would be to feed them bugs, seeds, berries and greens all year long. I planned on starting a fodder system with wheat grass. I also considered other greens like alfalfa sprouts, spinach, clovers... Will they eat all this?
I want to start a three tier mealworm farm as well. Would this varied diet year long help in egg production or anything? I would imagine it couldn't hurt their health.
Should I keep them out of my garden altogether or are the chickens beneficial more than destructive? I plan on having roughly 300 sq ft of veggies corn etc... If so I can just use fencing, but how high should the fencing be? 4ft?
Any advice would be great, I know there are some seasoned keepers here. Thanks for taking the time to read my post! Let me know what I should or should not do. Thanks
 

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Hello and welcome! Been thinking if the mealworm farm thing too. There are a few folks up here, in Alaska, who are doing it too. Along with the wheatgrass. Wonderful plan. I can't help out much with your other questions, I haven't had my chickens a year yet. I think you will still need to have layer pellets available, when old enough. Mine hardly ate the chicken feed during the summer while they free ranged.
 

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Hello and welcome aboard. Barred Rocks are a great chicken to start with. Very hardy and friendly. I let my girls in the garden under supervision. They do an excellent job of working up the soil around the plants and taking care of not so desired bugs. I did have to fence my garden off though once produce started to arrive. My fence is about 4 1/2 feet tall. No problem with any of the 9 making their way in unless I let them in. Also, I use pine shavings for their bedding and floor cover all the time. Its just cedar you can't use. Cedar is hard on the respiratory system. Pine shavings is all I have ever used for any of my small critters or my chickens from the day I got them. As for incubating, I am useless in that dept. I've never tried it. Hope this helps address some of your questions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Some stuff I picked up, I'm about to go to a hatchery now and pick my flock and set it in stone! I still need ACV and Vaseline for the chicks ... I think I'm using a huge box for my brooder. How big should a brooder e for 10-15 chicks?

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If you would like to start a small mealworm set up that will allow you to have a supply of mealworms for your chickens. You might not be able to have different sizes all the time since larger worms tend to pupate once they get to certain size. It's fairly easy to start it though.

If you need any help starting your farm contact me. I will be more than happy to give you tips. We are a mealworm farmer in Texas. Although we do it on a large scale I once started with a home setup as well.

Good luck!

Hello and welcome! Been thinking if the mealworm farm thing too. There are a few folks up here, in Alaska, who are doing it too. Along with the wheatgrass. Wonderful plan. I can't help out much with your other questions, I haven't had my chickens a year yet. I think you will still need to have layer pellets available, when old enough. Mine hardly ate the chicken feed during the summer while they free ranged.
 
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