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Author Topic: wanting to get started with chickens  (Read 7808 times)

Offline Natalie

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Re: wanting to get started with chickens
« Reply #40 on: January 14, 2009, 07:40:08 PM »
I have 18 that at are laying age and I get around 12-16 eggs a day but don't have light.
The other ones who should have gone into lay around now haven't and I am sure that its the light issue.
The thing is, I am just giving away all these eggs right now. I can't start selling them until spring so I guess it doesn't really matter.
I have heard that chickens*(like humans) are born with all the eggs they are capable of laying and if they lay alot they burn out early, kind of like the sex links burning out after 2 years.
So I guess if they are late laying this winter or slow down it will just mean they will lay eggs longer.
I guess thats one way to look at it huh?

Offline Jerrymac

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Re: wanting to get started with chickens
« Reply #41 on: January 14, 2009, 08:01:41 PM »
Some of the girls hang out (in the light of the door) after dark. Cold windy days they are in before sundown. But I usually can herd them in pretty easily. One got shut out one night and greeted me in the morning.


There was this other one got killed. Not sure if she got shut out or if it happened during the day.
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Offline Natalie

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Re: wanting to get started with chickens
« Reply #42 on: January 14, 2009, 08:12:27 PM »
That happened to me once as well, a I can't remember if it was my husband or my son that locked up the coop for the night, but they missed her. She was shut out all night and she was sleeping next to the coop in the morning.
The only reason I know it wasn't me is because I do a head (or tail count depending on which way they are facing me from the roost) when I lock up and they won't do that. They get confused when the hens start moving around and they think they all start to look the same.
For some reason my black copper maran cockerals use to try to hide around the corner from the coop and not go in at night when I wanted to lock up. They were very tough to catch too. Its the first time I ever had roosters do that. The roos are usually the ones that keep circling and nudging the girls to lead them into the coops at night. That is the one thing I like about roos, the nice ones anyway, they know how to treat their ladies and really watch out for them.
Except for this one lout I had, if a hawk started circling he would be the first one cowering in the hen house while they other rooster would be rounding up the girls and protecting them.
Anyway, this had been going on for months until about 2 or 3 weeks ago and now they finally go in.
Its weird because I have never had issues with any of them going in at night until I started using the floodlights.
They all seem past it now though so I just have to go out and lock the doors again.

Offline Jerrymac

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Re: wanting to get started with chickens
« Reply #43 on: January 14, 2009, 08:19:45 PM »
These aren't flood lights. Just a couple of those curly energy efficient lights inside the coop. I don't know the names of all the different breeds. I have a couple that have a copper colored head and a darker body. Really short comb and puffy looking cheeks. The odd thing is they are the only two that roost on the wires for the lights. None of the others do it.
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Offline Natalie

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Re: wanting to get started with chickens
« Reply #44 on: January 14, 2009, 08:40:22 PM »
Yup, I know the lights you are talking about. I bet it doesn't add much to your electric bill either. It doesn't seem like it would make much of a difference there.
I have two coops right now and I want to build one large one this spring and I would love to have electricity run out there.
Its just a convenience to not have to go out with a flashlight at night to refill the waters and lock up and all that.
I could run a hanging light to the house with an extension cord in a pinch though. I did that once when we were building new nestboxes and some other stuff in the coop one night.
Puffy cheeks huh? I wonder if its an easter egger, does it lay colored eggs?

Offline Jerrymac

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Re: wanting to get started with chickens
« Reply #45 on: January 14, 2009, 08:54:21 PM »
I got the assorted rainbow layers from Estes and these do lay blue eggs. I'll try to remember to get a picture tomorrow.
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Offline Natalie

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Re: wanting to get started with chickens
« Reply #46 on: January 14, 2009, 11:29:43 PM »
Awesome, I love pictures. The auracanas and ameraucanas are pure breds and both lay blue eggs, eastereggers which are a mix of those two or one of the parents is one of those 2 breeds then they are an easteregger which can lay blue, green or a pinkish egg.
If you take one of any of those eastereggers and breed it with a very dark egg layer like a marans you get an olive egger. A real olive green egg. People are very excited about that on the chicken forum I am on. Apparently its the newest color combination. I have both so I may breed my marans roo to my easter egger and see if I can't get one of those olive eggers.
Eastereggers can come in alot of variety, so many different colors and patterns. The purebreeds usually all look the same like most other breeds.
Thats what I think is so cool about easter eggers, they are unique.
I have tried to get ameraucanas a couple of times and both breeders told me for sure thats what they were but then when they started laying they were green eggs.
I think its really hard for people to tell them apart sometimes, but I would love to get some blue egg layers.I am hoping for some this spring.

Offline Jerrymac

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Re: wanting to get started with chickens
« Reply #47 on: January 15, 2009, 06:35:24 PM »


The holes behind the chicken is where the chickens have been dust bathing. I keep expecting to see a China man's head pop up one of these days.

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Offline Natalie

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Re: wanting to get started with chickens
« Reply #48 on: January 15, 2009, 06:50:15 PM »
Jerrymac,thanks for the pictures, she has beautiful coloring. I am surprised how much she looks just like one of mine, amelia my easter egger. I was told she was an ameraucana but she lays green eggs. Does yours lay blue? They are so pretty, I love the puffy cheeks on them.
I love the personality on this breed.
Have you seen some of the auracanas that look like they have a handlebar mustache shooting off the side of their face? Their are called tufts, now those are kind of strange looking.Some are born with tufts and some aren't. They are tough to hatch because they carry a lethal gene related to the tufts, a guy on the byc forum sells the eggs but he gives you 40 at a time because they are so hard to hatch you are lucky to get 5 or 6 out of that many. I might try to hatch them one more time, I would rather buy pullets though.I get sick of the brooder in the house.
Here is a link to what the tufts look like.
http://www.araucana.net/images/ACA_Images/Araucana_Alan_Stanford_Article.pdf

So true about those holes, I have a young shrub, just planted this fall and they have almost uprooted it they dig so much around the base of it to lay in.

Offline Jerrymac

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Re: wanting to get started with chickens
« Reply #49 on: January 15, 2009, 06:58:08 PM »
Haven't seen the tufts.

I think these I have are at the very bottom of the pecking order. I had to chase that one all over the place to get a picture because when they are not hiding they are trying to stay away from the others. They are always running away. They run in, grab a piece of scrap food, and run for a hiding place.
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Offline poka-bee

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Re: wanting to get started with chickens
« Reply #50 on: January 15, 2009, 11:31:04 PM »
JM, Ihave one that looks like that too!  Also what I found out was a blue wheaten.  Yep, they are hard on plants & can sure dig holes..J
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