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Ok you are probaly wondering why that is a strange title... Well sit a spell and I will explain.
I went into the feed store on Friday to get hay, and heard the peeps coming from the back room. Every year Billy and I look forward to the baby chicks coming in and spend time back there. We have never bought any, as I thought raising baby chicks are beyond my scope of chicken knowlage.
Well I rounded the corner and there were two big tanks filled one with ducks and one with Chickens... Oh the sight of them were awesome. Black, Yellow and Tan colors all running around peeping... I could not resist the temptation to pick up one. (Billy was not with me so I reached in)..
Well 10 minutes later after much debate, I had picked out 6 of the fuzzy brown with black trims...
They did not have any chick starter for sale, so they gave me some in a bad and said this should get me thru until they got their shipment. WRONG... More on that to come.
With my hay loaded and the chickens in a box on the floorboard of the truck, I went to get Billy from school. OHH the look on that boys face when he saw the chickens was worth it. He gently petted each one and showed all his friends.
So I am driving home and it occurs to me where am I going to Put these little friends, what will it take?
I walked in the tack room and found an old tub I used for storage, pulled out all the tack and thought that might do for a while. I went out and cut a peice of old fencing and put on top to keep cats and dogs out. Put the Tripod from my Camera to weight it down so they could not lift it and fashioned my Grandmothers Quilt Rack so I could suspend a heat lamp over the top of it to keep warm. This contraption resides in the corner of my bedroom.
OK this is where I need some advise.
1) I am running really low on chicken starter and they have not gotten the shipment in yet, what can I give them?
2) I got a 250 watt heat lamp bulb, but am wondering if it is too hot for them during the day? There is a cover over half of the box that the light is not directly on them. Could I have not used a regular bulb when this heat bulb burns out?
3) is the tack box alright for them to move around?
4) how long do I keep them in the house?
You can chop up cooked eggs, or mash them into a sort of paste, and feed them that temporarily. You could also make a mushy oatmeal mixture (not dry oatmeal) and they can eat that.
If the 250 watt bulb is too hot for them, they will hang out at the other end of the box. Watch for them doing that. If they stay in the "cool" end, you know it's too hot. They should be around 90 degrees now, and then drop by 5 degrees each week. I keep mine in the house and after about 8 weeks, no more heat lamp. Our house is at 62 degrees overnight.
Tack box looks fine.
I keep mine in the house until they are fully feathered and able to stay warm outside on their own. Here, that wouldn't be until April. Where you are, it is probably sooner than that. I would still give them 3 or 4 weeks indoors, since they don't have a mom to cuddle them at night. Others in your zone may be able to offer more help in that regard.
Hey Miss Jester: Back in November I hatched two new babies and like you could find no Chick Starter due to the time of the year. I took a jar of regular chick crumbles and put them in our vitamix and ground them up. They have been on that every since, with no additional vitamins. They are healthy, large and full of vigor. In one more month they will be ready to be with the rest of the flock. Hay.
MissJestr, those are adorable babies!!! I know Billy is in heaven!
I have seen laying crumbles at 16, 18, and 20 %.
How long before they get the chick starter in? My walmart does not have anything for chickens. I am jealous!!!
It's hard to resist those lil peeps! Your babies are adorable. Did the feed store say what type they are?
Wow that was bad planning on the feedstore! You'd think since the chicks were coming in they'd been stocked up on the starter. Hope they get it in soon for you. Do you have a TSC nearby? We've picked up feed there before too.
I went to Wal Mart yesterday, and found chick starter at 18% protein. It is the Medicated like Green 04735 said. I looked at the other feeds they had there and none of them were that high... It was only 3 bucks for 5 pounds, so I bought me 20 pds.
The chickens are doing well. We have named 4 of them, Stripes, Chipmunk, Happy and Pickles. Still have two more to name. Billy is naming them, hence the intresting names. I looked when I got home and sure enough they were out of the light in the box, so I raised up the light. It is going to hit 70 degrees here today, with our lows in the 30's. I will lower the light at night, and raise it in the daytime.
They said they were Americana's, I have done some research on them and it is my understanding they lay different color eggs... That would be cool and yep Billy is in chicken heaven...
Yay! I love the fun color eggs. I have Ameraucanas (well they are technically Easter Eggers, which probably yours are too, but I don't want to get into that whole discussion on genetics and all). They lay light blue eggs, some more turquoise blue than others. I also have some that lay light olive green eggs, and some that lay a kind of pinkish egg.
Easter Eggers intresting, too bad they would not be laying by easter, that would save me from having to color the eggs. Are the Ameraucanas hearty chickens? I plan on moving them from the house when I can to the front yard until around may or june when I will move them to a coop, they should be about 5 months by then.
They sure are beautiful! (Blue ones) They almost look like the blue Andalusion mix I have. Foofoo broody pants! Lets see if I can find a pic. I love EE and Ameraucanas. I would love to have the colored eggs!!! sigh...
I only have one left.. and I've got to get a better pic of her.. she has huge muffs and is my favorite of all for holding.. she is so quiet and sweet.. She is about to start laying now.. she is making nests, going in and out.. acting just a bit confused.. I just love her!
Yeah.. I got her at the feed store for $2.80 Last August.. :)
Aww the chick pictures are awesome and those are some awesome looking adults.
I got these for 2.50 a peice. We are having so much fun with them, we talk to them everytime we pass the cage, Billy gets to pet them every day and they are starting to respond to us talking to them. He has named the other two chickens, and I swear I must have the strangest chickens names ever..
Stripes, Chipmunk (Those are the two I named)
Pickles, Happy, Spiderman and Speed (These are the ones that Billy named)
I found out when I got them on the 30th of January, they were 2 to 3 days old so we are saying thier birthdays are on the 28th of January. The Healer dog watches with and wants to play with them, so far she has not gotten into the cage. I am hoping that she will loose intrest in them as the newness wears off. The cats have lost intrest already.
They must be very active with names like those. :-) Billy must be a very happy boy! My nephew, 5yrs, just found out that the turkeys and Cuckoo Marans are coming in a couple of weeks. Now he's calling the Post Office the chicken store again!
I'm so glad that you found some starter for them. It must have been nerve wracking trying to figure out what to give them. I'm going to the feed store this weekend to pick up the starter. After reading what you've gone through I want to make sure I have some on hand!
Pics of my brood from last oct(australorp in the very front, then the two directly behind are EE's:
Right now I can tell them all apart, Chipmunk and Speed look alike, but Chipmunk is fatter. Stripes has diamonds on her head, and Happy has alot of Yellow on her. Spiderman and Pickels look too much alike and will have to wait to see who comes to thier name.
LOL not sure when they get older if we can tell them apart, we will see.
saanansandy, If you have a walmart, you can check there for the feed. I was suprised at what our walmart is carrying in the way of feed not only for chickens, (they have scratch and lay feed and cracked corn) but for livestock and horses as well. Our walmart even has a small section of fly spray and small tack items that are really cheaper than the feed store. Thanks for sharing the pix of your chick...
Billy is happy and has a blast with them, but I will let you in on a secret, I am having a hoot watching them grow from day to day. I notice little changes in them, how they crane their necks to listen to us when we speak, to the wing growth and how I think soon they will be flying. I can sit there for hours just watching them. Today we will change out the hay in the bottom of the tote, and It will be Billys job to line the tote with the fresh hay and set the feed back in there. It is great for him to do this, and I enjoy the fun we have together.
I try to find marks on their beak to tell them apart. That will stay the same for a LONG time.. . The colors, size, etc is going to change so fast, if you are away from them for a day.. you will get mixed up! LOL
Don't you love the way they do lil "poppin cock fights" ?? LOL It cracks me up.. like.. I'm bigger, No, I'm bigger, NO I'm bigger... okay.. LOL
LOL I watched that too, its like they try and stand up on thier toes to make them taller and fall over.. I will look tonight for the beak signs.
I was reading somewhere you can tell the sex by the top of the head color, is that true?? How do you tell the sex at this young age? I was told they requested all hens, but well I really dont want 5 roos and one hen. So am I just going to have to wait?
Depends on the breed as to whether you can tell by the top of their heads. For example, barred rocks have white spots on top of their heads. If they are smaller and well defined, more likely male. If they are larger and diffuse, more likely female. With yours...I'm not sure...
They are SO adorable! I love their markings. I also love my Americauna. I hope they are just as sweet and productive and she is. She is truly a doll. I also really like Billy's names. That'll be so fun to holler in the chicken yard. HA!
Looks like Claire, et al, to the rescue and you are doing great chicken-mama!
The chicks are starting to fly about, is the tote going to be big enough for them until I move them outside in 4 weeks? They have room to move around right now, and when they try to fly they sometimes hit the sides. I know it is tall enough, but have conserns it is long enough.
I would play it by ear. You have 5 in there. I have the same tote and have 6 in mine. I am hoping it will last but if not I will have to split them up into another tote. That would be sad. Mine are not flying in the one batch yet but they will begin practice soon. ;)
I'd give them something they can fly up onto, like an old cardboard box (tissue box?) or something. Just to give them something to practice flying up and down from. I don't think it's a problem hitting the sides - they are just learning.
I know it! Imagine watching 87 of them in a big aluminum tank. It's totally addicting. And as of this morning, it's 88. A new Ameraucana hatched from one of my own girls' blue eggs. It is black with a chocolate brown colored head.
Awww That is cool Cmoxon. I dont know if I could handle 88 or them, these 6 keep me going. I am constantly getting after the dogs for trying to get in and play with them, I think 88 would drive my heeler crazy. Now that they are getting older, I noticed that 5 of them have the tuffs of fuzz on thier face,like cheeks, but Stripes does not. Could she be a different breed? Which is totally fine with me, I am just happy they are healthy and getting older. I want to let them out to get pictures but not sure how I would corral them back in after that. I can put my cats in the bathroom, the dogs outside and no harm would come to the chicks, LOL I think I will try it this afternoon. Cant think of a better way to spend a rainy day.
The cheek puffs are definitely suggestive of the Ameraucana (Easter Egger) traits and so that would be consistent with what they told you at the store. The one without the puffs could still be one - not all of them have the trait. That is one of the difficulties with the "Ameraucana" breed.
There is a debate of sorts between what is really an Ameraucana and what is an Easter Egger. There are lots of chickens out there that are sold as Ameraucanas that are actually what they call Easter Eggers. There is a little article on it in this Wikipedia entry.
That was some good reading and if I judged it right by looking at the pictures that I found on a link from that last link http://www.ameraucana.org/
I think I have some Blue or Sliver... Got to check when I get home tonight and get out the camera.
I went to the feed store yesterday where I got them, and was going to get some more. They did not have anymore girls that looked like my girls. They actually were not as pretty, no tuffs on the face and no pretty colors. So I went home empty handed...Maybe around easter when they get the new shipment in. I think the chicken fairy has waved her wand on me giving the hankering for more chickens...
Miss J what did you decide these chicks were? I would swear that you have been in my brooder and taking pics of my 6 chicks. I hatched these out and was told they were RIR's I am not to sure of that now. i do have 1 that is the red color but 5 are the black brown rust color like yours with the stripes.
I was told they were the Americanas (Ok I cant spell I admit it) So I am really hoping they are the ones that lay the colored eggs.
OH NO Luvs, you caught me... LOL well not yet anyway. My son will be stationed in Ok in 2 months, and then I will be making a trip to see him. I went back to get more, but they only had the yellow ones without the tufs so I did not get any.
Does yours have the tuffs? 5 out of 6 do.
Ft Sills is all I know luvs, and I am planning a trip that way in August, It will be around the rodeo that they have there. I am also looking for a horse trailer and hope in Ok they are cheaper.
QUESTION ABOUT CHICKS if I may...
Ok the chicks are about a month old, now its time to take the red light away? I heard somewhere that it may cause them to freak out and attack eachother as the red light was a security blankey for them. Is this true?
Now the weather has turned to 70's in the daytime and 40's in the night time, when can I place them out side??
Can I take them off the medicated chick starter since I found some that is not?
Thanks in advance
MissJ, if the chicks are a month old, you can take the red light away as long as the temperature remains between 75 and 80 degrees. You are supposed to decrease the temps by 5 degrees per week, so 95 the first week, 90 the 2nd, 85 the 3rd and 80 the 4th week. I have taken the light away after 6 weeks with no problem. As I understand it, red light *stops* them from attacking each other because they can't see blood under red light, whereas under white light they can see blood and it's an attractant. I have never had trouble with chicks attacking one another though, with or without light. I think that may be more of a problem if they are very confined or underfed? I am not sure. I have just not seen it personally.
How much of their body is covered in feathers? I would not put them outside until they are basically "fully" feathered" or at least 90% of their body is covered in feathers (not fluff). Also depends on whether their coop is enclosed and will be warm enough for them - they will huddle at night - or if it is more open and possibly drafty.
Definitely you can take them off medicated starter. I only use that for the first 2 weeks.
Thanks Claire, I have been raising it up every monday. They look like they have bunches of feathers, I have to clean out the box tonight, I will check them out real good. I thought about taking an old dog carrier and attaching it to a wire run and putting it in the coop with the older birds, so they are getting use to the outdoors, but not out with the others. The dog carrier would be like a mini coop and small enough for them to huddle tightly.
I have a half of bag of the medicated left, I will mix it with the non medicated and use it all up.
Thought about you yesterday when I was riding my mustang across the desert. I found some catcus patches and am waiting for them to bloom and then I will send you some pictures. Also watch the mail, Tomorrow Lingernot is sending you a suprise,
Oh wow! Real cactus blooms in the wild! That is so neat. I have this one cactus that can handle the Iowa winters, called Opuntia humifusa, and it flowered last year for the first time. To me, that was just amazing. It was a yellowy-peachy bloom. I wish I could have more kinds of outdoor cactus here. They are neat! I can't believe Lingernot is sending me a surprise! He is the nicest little gnome I ever met! What a treat! I shall keep my eye on the mailbox! Thanks!
I think the dog carrier is a really good idea because that way the older birds can't pick on them either. It will give them a week or so to get adjusted, and then I'd let them out, but keep an eye on them to make sure they don't get mobbed. I've had no problems with mine, but it's best to watch anyway to make sure the older ones don't pick on them too much.
I hope you will show us a picture of the chicks again! It's so neat to see how their feathers come in!
You wouldn't enjoy me on a road trip i like to stop at all the fruit stands and flea markets and plant nursery's i love buying new plants i don't have and if i see a chickens for sale sign i got to stop.
They are. We would pick a direction and just go. The only rule is we would have to be back by night. Some time we would go to a place we heard of. Gardens, museums, nurseries, restaurants. There is a great seafood restaurant in a little place with a big name on the Gulf coast Stainhatchee, Florida. Citra, Fa has a peach orch., Tallahassee, Fl has a great state garden and a couple of really great nurseries. For the last 3 years do to my late DD we had not been able to go but now we are starting again. Only problem is DM is having trouble walking, so we have to go places where we can use the wheelchair or the distance to walk is small.
Let me know if you are every down here and I would plan a few trips or if you are ever in Florida any where from Jacksonville west to Tallahassee, south to a little south of Orlando and I may be able to tell you about the area.
New Home for chickens...
Moved them out to a old rabbit hutch that I converted to a chicken hutch.. I used 1/2 pound of nails, and patched the chicken wire. Then I moved them out to the front yard, and would you now it the temps dipped at night to freezing. So I still leave the light on at night.
Yep there are getting big, but I really dont know the sex. I was counting toes but found out that may not always work...
I will take the camera home tonight and get some pictures without the chicken wire. I cant tell them apart anymore...
You have to look very close.. but the roo will have 3 rows to it's comb, where the pullets have one row. The middle will be big and the two on either side are very small at first. It's hard to see.. When you see it for the first time, you will know for sure..
We all started out not knowing... We are here to help eachother, and enjoy chicken talk, not judge.
I just learned about the comb thing one day sitting around playin with my 2 blues... and noticed one had 3 rows.. They were about 3 or 4 months old at the time.. no other signs that the other was a roo... they looked identical!! Up until that point.. I had no clue.. so I'd guess that yours are still very young to start showing a comb thing yet.. Pea combs are weird.. LOL
Hope she doesn't have any rose combs. LOL Both my bantam roos have rose combs.
What do you mean when you say "rows"? I am trying to figure out what my 2 chicks are. It's about time to put them out in the chicken yard. They are almost too big to fit through the wire and escape. They wouldn't actually escape cause the barn cat would get them.
The roos combs get color much earlier than the hens. Thats one way I know also. I think the different breeds have different characteristics. ZZ's right. We are all in this to learn and to glean from each other. :D FUN LESSONS THOUGH! hehehe
I was told they were americauna's but buying from the feed store you never know. I went to take pictures yesterday, and had a dead battery on my camera.. I guess I took too many at the JR rodeo the other day. It is now fully charged and I will get some tonight.
Only one chicken looks like it has a comb, and it is the one who is most friendly. That would be a good thing if it is a Roo. The rest of them have no signs of a comb on thier head, they are smooth.
I was feeding this am and heard a strange noise coming from the coop. I ran around thinking something was wrong and here was this chicken tryine to crow... Could the ages of these chickens be wrong? at what age do they start to crow?
Here is a picture of the suspected Rooster with Billy Yesterday, it was the first time I let them run outside the coop since I was off yesterday and could keep an eye on them.,
Well well, a difficult guess! The comb does have a pinkish tinge. There is no sign that I can see of neck or saddle hackle feathers, which have pointy (instead of rounded) ends. But, it may be too young for that. I don't want to make it sound like you're crazy, but are you sure it was a crow? Did it sound like a broken party horn? Because sometimes when their voices change (hens I mean) from peeping to clucking, they can make funny noises. Not really crowing though. If he was doing the neck-up stance and being a broken party horn, then it's a crow.
They all look awesome though - really healthy and perky! Way to go!
He was doing the neck-up stance and sounding like a broken horn, that is what took me by suprize... I just stood there and watched him again...I just did not know that they would do it this young. He can hear my other rooster that is out in the big chicken yard.
I will try and get you a picture of his neck. He does herd the others when they were outside yesterday. He was the first one out of the cage to check it out. I really like him and if he is a Roo, then I am so lucky cause like I said, he is very gentle and will be a good boy. He treated me and billy to a show yesterday afternoon when he took his first dirt bath. I at first thought billy had hurt him playing with him, so I picked him up and put him on his feet and he went a few steps and was ok, Then he went back to the dirt pile and continued his bath... It was such a hoot and then Billy tried it as well. He was one dirty kid.
Wow, he's maturing early then! Way to go! I think the dust bathing is just the funniest thing! The sunbathing makes me laugh too. Especially when they lean up against the sheep. I once thought one of them was dead, but she was just sunbathing!
It's a little hard to tell from your pictures on their size because there isn't much to use as a scale except the water bottle and Billy (though since I haven't really seen him except in pics, it's hard to have a really good sense of his size too!). Here are my young Speckled Sussex that hatched at the end of January, so they are about 7 or 8 weeks old. Are they kind of the same size? They look about the same to me.
Yup, he's a roo, and the back one is a hen. That is what a speckled sussex comb looks like, but there are so many comb types...I should take pics of more comb types at home. I have some weird ones coming on some of my barnyard mixes! The roos always seem to get more pink earlier than the hens. Also, you can just see his wattles starting - a little pinkness under his chin on the sides.
I forgot about the horse hair question! To be honest, I had no clue. I have a pottery item that was made with horse hair - they put it on in the final stages and it makes sort of web-like patterns on the glaze. It's a beautiful piece (well, in my opinion) so I know pottery studios can use it.
I have seen taht pottery at the craft fair, I thought that was cool. I thought it was made with mane and tail hair... How did they use to stuff a mattress in the old days I wonder? I will check out the links...
On the chicken front... I REALLY DO HAVE A ROO...I caught him again this morning, doing the roo stance trying to crow... He is really a keeper... Ugly but a keeper...
4 hens and one Rooster. We started out with 6, lost one when I moved them in with the others. That prompted me to build them there own space, and started the health issues I had...LOL what we will do for our chickens...
Cut myself with rusty wire fixin up that pen, got an infection from it... LOL I now protect myself from rusty wire... and a few other health issues, but the good news is I QUIT smoking, (NOT by my choice mind you but I did it)
I was lucky, I only got one roo out of that bunch.. and since we handled tham all since we got them, they are all gentle... Spiderman eve lets Billy tote him around...
RR is starting to get me mad, he has started going after Billy when he goes in there, he might be headed for the pot.. Cant have him do that.. That would leave Spiderman as my only Roo...
That dang RR not only went after Billy yesterday, but my Nephew as well when he went into the coop. He does not come after me, so I am not understanding this now. He is getting more aggressive towards everyone but me... I really hate to see him go in the pot, but I dont know how I can keep him. I am due to go to Northern Cali for a vacation in a week, and I have someone watching the critters. She is an old hand, so I am sure she will send him flying if he comes ofter her, I am wondering if it is just not men that he goes after...
WHOOO HOOOO the girls are laying... Ok just an egg here and there, not in the nesting box, but I will take care of that tonight, putting in a 3 compartment box from my other pen since those 2 girls share the same slot, they wont mind a bigger one slot..
Would show you the egg, but me and Billy used it last night in CMoxen's flan recipie... Yumm Yumm
Ok You all know I love my chickens and so does Billy. Today I picked up the eggs (Billy is still on vacation) and I found 4 eggs. So that means all his girls are laying. 2 Blue, One light green and one dark green...