New to chickens

Discussion in 'Beginners Forum' started by RitaS, Jul 21, 2020.

  1. HSJ07

    HSJ07 Member

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    I got them from Meyers hatchery. They were supposed to hatch and ship on Monday night. I got them on Thursday. They were so small. My little rooster was almost dead. I wrapped him in warm clothes. My wife got a little water and gro gel in him. I massaged his stomach for an hour(praying the whole time). I repeated the process that evening. He was well the next day. He was the smallest chicken I ever saw. One of the hens had neck spasms. I wrapped her in warm cloths and massaged her neck for 30 minutes. I repeated the process 3 times that night. She was well the next day. They were all so tiny, I thought they had sent bantams. I was told I could expect to lose one or two. That is why I began what I learned as a child as I was told oatmeal would guarantee that you will not lose one. I have babied these chicks. I have sat with them for hours at the time. I give them treats but they eat a lot of their organic chicken starter mixed with chick grit and a bit of diatamaceous earth. For 3 weeks their water had probiotics and electrolytes. They still drink purified water just like I drink. When I let them in their run, I stay with them 2 hours. When I go back in their house they follow me in. I sit with them in the house as well for about 30 minutes 3 times a day. They are under a heat lamp. They have a brooder heater and an electric heater controled by thermostat. They have roosts which they get on inside their house and in their run. They have wood floors in their house with rubber mats on top of them which I wash daily. I wash their waterer every other day with clorox and water. I give them fresh water and food daily. A couple of times each day I have had oatmeal and/or grits in my hand teaching them to eat from my hand and to come up to my lap to eat from my hand. I have most that I scratch their back and/or rub their neck. They are healthy and happy. My goal is to have the healthiest happiest chickens I can. I want to keep them laying and living a long time. When they quit laying they will just be pets. No slaughter for them. I just want to do right by them.
     
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  2. Poultry Judge

    Poultry Judge Moderator Staff Member

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    Maybe make some suet/peanut butter/seed treats. There are tons of recipes available. I usually work with what I have but all my birds love veggies.
     

  3. HSJ07

    HSJ07 Member

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    I will try that. What kind of seeds? I tried the baby cake from Tractor supply. After 2 weeks I threw it way as they ignored it. I was disappointed about the blueberries and yesterday the tomatoes. I do not want to harm my chicks in any way. Can they have raisins? I was told that was a good treat. My chicks eat the chicken starter crumble for their regular food and love it. Maybe they only like crumbly things.
     
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  4. Poultry Judge

    Poultry Judge Moderator Staff Member

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    Folks on the Forum here will have a ton of advice on treats! I have about fifty birds, ducks, chickens, turkeys and peafowl. They prefer fresh food first, probably dried fruit treats second and seeds third. They have free access 24/7 to both mash and pellets in the coop. The ducks also like catfish pellets as a protein treat. Things that are usually sure-fire for chickens are a head of lettuce tied on a piece of twine and corn whether on the cob or fresh kernel corn. I stock up on canned corn when it's on sale for use as a treat in the winter months. When I make suet/peanut butter seed treats, I use scratch grains or bird feed when it's on sale. If it's too sticky I add some layer mash to get it to a consistency I can roll in little treat balls. My birds are all so conditioned that it is a mob scene when I go out there. Also, try the dried worms as a treat for hand training.
     
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  5. HSJ07

    HSJ07 Member

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    This is the inside of my chicken coop!
     
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  6. HSJ07

    HSJ07 Member

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    I clean my coop every other day to look like this. The totes in the corner will be nesting boxes with an additional 2 . Will 4 boxes be enough for 6 hens or do I need 6 boxes?
     
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  7. HSJ07

    HSJ07 Member

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    Please note roosts on both side of house. The latter not completed yet.
     
  8. robin416

    robin416 Administrator Staff Member

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    I don't see roosts.

    Are you using shavings on the floor? You will want them to keep the birds' feet cleaner. It keeps things dryer too.

    You've more than likely got plenty of nesting places. Chickens all seem to want to use the same nest box even if it's already in use by another hen.
     
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  9. HSJ07

    HSJ07 Member

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    Please enlarge the pictures and you will see two sets of roosts. One side has two 5 foot 5 inch wide equal height roots. The other side has a smaller roost for smaller chickens which is being upgraded this week. I was going to use shavings but was told by several they are a fire hazard and bad for their breathing as they could ingest some. Once I am not using a heat lamp, I may try some though as I see many people use them. Most people I know use straw. I thought since I use thick rubber mats I wouldn't need them but it does make sense.
     
  10. Poultry Judge

    Poultry Judge Moderator Staff Member

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    They will not nest where you want then to anyway but a couple nesting boxes should be fine and you can see where they work best. Only pine shavings with a high resin content or highly aromatic are remotely harmful. Most shavings sold by feed stores or the farm supply stores are safe and adequate. Regarding the interior of your coop, think ergonomically and arrange it so you can easily sweep it out.
     
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  11. robin416

    robin416 Administrator Staff Member

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    I did and I still don't see roosts. If it's that thing on the floor you'll need to change that to either something round or at least 4 inches wide. Birds wrapping their feet around a square edge can cause foot issues.

    From what I saw they don't need a heat lamp, they're fully feathered. Large enough that they can regulate their body temp.

    At some point you're going to relax and truly enjoy the feathered ones. They will surprise you at how easy they are to keep and how irritating they can be when they do things opposite of what you want them to.

    What PJ said about the shavings. Don't use cedar, ever. Pine is the only way to go. Don't get your shavings from a sawmill. I know someone who had chicks dying on a steady basis, the only difference was where she got her shavings from. She went back to feed store shavings and the deaths stopped.
     
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  12. HSJ07

    HSJ07 Member

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  13. HSJ07

    HSJ07 Member

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    Very easy to sweep which I do daily. Take mats out and wash every other day. That is super easy as well.
     
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  14. HSJ07

    HSJ07 Member

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    The one near the heat lamp is hard to see. They are a set of equal height flat 4 inch boards. All of my chickens roost at 5 weeks. None sleep on the floor. They learned this from the ladder in their run which they love. The roosts on both sides of the coop will be adjusted as they grow. Thank you and everyone for your help. Sorry to be a bother but I just want the best for my chicks.
     
  15. robin416

    robin416 Administrator Staff Member

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    OK, you seem to be struggling using the forum. How can I help you with that?
     
  16. robin416

    robin416 Administrator Staff Member

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    You're not a bother. We want to help and we love success stories and the pure pleasure they bring to their humans. We also get the opportunity to see new ideas from other keepers.

    Yeah, I still haven't spotted them but the fact you've already got the wide flat roosts is excellent.
     
  17. HSJ07

    HSJ07 Member

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  18. HSJ07

    HSJ07 Member

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    No, I am not struggling. I just have many questions. I got the flat roost idea from you and they roost well. I know people that have chickens for a year or more before they learn to roost so I am proud of mine. The only struggle I really have is knowing how to post a new post and include others. Not sure I am doing that properly.
     
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  19. robin416

    robin416 Administrator Staff Member

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    If you're using the reply button, just click below the box that shows up. You're cursor will show up, then you can post below the reply you're replying to.

    Boy, is that clear as mud or what? I can do screen grabs to better illustrate what I'm talking about.