Chicken LOVERS

Any other folks into raising chickens????
I am renewing a hobby I once was fanatical about back in Santa Cruz. Back then I had near every chicken variety available. Now I see many new ones have been developed: – Favaucana was a most interesting new labrapoodle type, a designer cross with two of my favorites. Faverolles and Auracana.

Experience and sad remembrance – the Faverolle rooster is one to have. My Faverolle Rooster was the mightiest bird of all – not neurotic or cowardly as the touted fighting Araucana was. Coyotes hit me  once and slaughtered some of my chickens – The Faverolle gave his life to protect them, the Aracuana rooster survived and was safely perched high up in the shed. Now this new hybrid is beyond my price range but I think I am going with Ameraucana, Speckled Cookoo Maran, Speckled Sussex and Welsummer if I can get locally. Easter Eggers and Olive Eggers for the future.

As I live across from the raptor center the lodgings will have to be well thought out 

and my house will soon be a bit more chirpy for the next few weeks. 🙂

Couple of guard geese or an attack turkey would be great but I simply do not have the space, nor desire to deal with their splats.

YES, the Welsummer is a favorite pick … Gorgeous, dark eggs, though they don’t lay as many eggs per year as others. I pared it down to medium size birds with some predator ducking ability was one factor – free rangers and this bird certainly is equal to the Maran.
Still remaining is my attempt to get a Faverolle rooster – not as hot about the shy low pecking order on faverolle hens, but the Fav/Ameraucana cross looks like something to try.

Speckled Sussex won out because the Speckled Sussex is one of those family friendly birds, “Well dressed, curious, chatty and always keen to entertain – this chicken is the Oprah of the poultry world.”

Just figured out a great holding tub for the post four week birds as 70sh weather is a LONG time away.
More on the Red Green housing – a gutted old dryer machine.
(The lint filter becomes the entry for a lamp, front door opens to put in food and water and the top lifts up for serious revisions. The bottom is nice and sealed to keep rats out and the ONLY change made was reversing the back plate so the four inch dryer vent is now on the BOTTOM instead of up three feet. This can be opened and closed off easily.) Another unit will store the food. Another bonus – the long aluminum box holding the heating  element can be a drop feeder. The dryer tub makes for a great planter.

Mail order sources are many but shipping costs and minimums are killers.
One I used to buy from but their minimum is the same as most. FIFTEEN chicks. I then tried to order from another and 3 ea. female Sussex and Welsummer and ONE Fav. rooster. *36.00 express freight.* Think I will stay and buy local.

For the moment I am just into a few chicks. I still have a project to get the future coop in shape and then !!! Nothing cheap here … just saw the beginning outlay needed and that is for a Red Green layout not a Martha Stewart’s.

I just finished pricing out the starting needs. UGH. Sadly I had garage sale’d (sp.) all that stuff away, so it will be a new start. Well, I have the time and property but slow will be the start.
As I wrote in the local blog they are like people, some have better personalities than others and some actually will come when beckoned. Some follow you around like a pet dog. Some are better adapted to our winters and some hate the heat. HA! Others are broody in more than one sense of the word. I will be trying for darker colored birds (Anacona’s were another good one) to give some camouflage protection from hawks and eagles.
Yes, chicken people are good folks as well … so are beekeepers – Silkies were not a favorite in the egg laying dept. but I had all three colors. Poor egg layers, got mites and up here in the wet climate would be a bedraggled mess. Still, I liked those fluff balls as they were great Mom’s and actually used to follow you around.
Small snails??? They would come running if you called “Have some crunchies here!!!”

Two immediate issues jump out at me.
1. Varmint control, be it field rats or stray dogs and cats. Obvious answers but I sure as heck would appreciate if people did not let their animals prowl the neighborhood.
2. Medicated feed or not. ???

It seems to me that if you are raising them in a controlled (dirt free arena) some of the coccidocis issues might not be an issue. Some regions of the country are infested with it but if the chicks were vaccinated I would opt for a pro biotic diet and supplement with trace minerals and medicated water if needed. Electrolytes and such.

Now I started with the medicated Purina product but will stop at three weeks as the medication in that feed will have a carry over affect for long after . The alternative of giving liquid Ampro medication IMO as with pesticides has a much shorter half- life issue.

Mostly, if you provide a draft free and warm environment you will have healthy chicks. Stressed and over crowded ones will always be more disease prone.

So, what is your favorite chicken breed? Do you have Speckled Sussex? If not, I hope you’ll consider this breed as an addition to your flock.
TAGS
ameraucanaaraucana, backyard chickens, backyard eggs, blue egg layers, breeding chickenschicken breeds, easter egger chicken, egg colors, marans, olive egger, raising baby chicks, Great Maran link page . Old fashioned RAT TRAP  

Herbs that chickens love.  I would add calendula, parsley, hemp and chamomile – but basically every ‘chicken garden should include:

Catmint: Nepeta cataria.  A repellent for lice and ticks on chickens.

Comfrey: Symphytum officinale. Beneficial to chickens for their general health and laying, but their leaves can be harmful to humans if ingested. Now why we can eat avocados and they cannot I have no clue.

Fennel: Foeniculum vulgare. Their foliage and seeds are good for chickens to eat for general health. tasty for your own cooking as well.

Lavender: Lavandula species. Only because they won’t eat them.  Put dried lavender in your chicken coop for an enhancing fragrance and to calm chickens.

Nasturtium: Tropaeolum majus.  A great general herb for chicken health. It has antiseptic and antibiotic properties. Its seeds can be used as a natural chicken de-wormer. It also has insect repellent qualities.

Rosemary: Rosmarinus officinalis.  Its aromatic scent repels insects.

Sage: Salvia spp. Many different varieties, and quite striking in a garden setting. Sage is a good herb for chickens’ general health.

Now – just to name a club for the Olympic Peninsula yolks.

Name possibilities for the club: Chicken NAMES can be found here! 🙂

The Fluffer Eggers
Edward Scissor Beak Club
Eggs and Pecks club
Annie Yolkley Club
Sequim Chickstanistan
McCluckahen’s
Wyandotte Courtesan’s
All Americauna team

Or perhaps something more Faverolle ROYAL?

 


Comments

Chicken LOVERS — 4 Comments

  1. LOL Love the chickens and the names!
    my girls had a chicken named Z-Bird.
    Can’t remember the breed now but, it was a beautiful chicken.
    white with black edging on all her feathers, hence the name.
    Z for zebra.
    good luck with your new feathered friends, I really love chickens. 😀

  2. Interesting observation.

    I had a batch I raised from 3 day old chicks. I then bought a second batch recently. They are both now four weeks old. Pullets.
    Okay. The second bunch I brought in are bigger.
    1. She had put them under Red light which I was too cheap to do. This is accepted practice. Many reasons, including calming behavior.**
    2. She fed them 3X a day with warmed mash. I fed mine from feeders with dry stuff. Obviously the warm mash makes a diff.

    NOW the observation: HER chicks were far more rude and greedy. I feed them treats (greens – they are unfamiliar with and or meal-worms or chopped up cat food) Instead of feeding from the pile they go berserk chasing the first to pop something in its mouth. MINE do not act like that. (suggestive of the more limited time factor of feeding time – mine had food all the time – these did as well but had a heavy duty breakfast, lunch and dinner.)
    Red light is also missing now and of course a change of housing – all issues to make any pet a bit neurotic.

    Amazing how such behaviors can be set in just four weeks of life. Suggestive of lighting issues for humans – more and more unnatural LED and florescent and every less natural light. Crowding issues to overpopulation and the aggressive competition for limited food resources.
    Light and color do have much to do for mental health. Do not even want to go into the unnatural and contaminated air waves with bandwidth transmissions like Wi Fi that this generation is bombarded with, much less sticking it right next to their brains.

  3. found a wonderful description of a “HAPPY HEN HOUSE”
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/happy-hen-house-in-the-pnw.73769/

    I added my own COOP construction comment and will post pictures when I finish the job.

    Very well done. I too just finished building my coop. One difference being I used the INSIDE of my garden shed to be the access point to my nesting boxes. Easiest would have been from the outside, but with the PNW (Pacific NorthWET) prevailing winds I did not want to be dealing with gathering my eggs in the rain.
    Will also have some heat from my wood burning stove that can have air blown into the COOP area – I left one extra roost compartment open**, but tightly screened so air can flow from the greenhouse/garden shed into the colder Northern attached Coop.
    Was lucky that most was done with recycled material and I too am looking for more insulated windows to build my second one. **
    ** I expect that this last roost next to the extra warmth will be the premier suite for the dominant hens.
    The nesting boxes that extend into the coop, have a six inch landing and are further covered with a 45 degree slanted 16″ wide flooring material to discourage temptation to land on top of the nesting boxes.
    ** can be used as wind screening in the run – I also used a broken apart TV dish antenna to provide hiding places for them to run to should a hawk come by. Will take pictures when I get the exterior walls painted and the thing is finished.

  4. Regarding Chicken Breeds. I am evolving and shying away from some of the larger birds.

    I just picked up my three baby Saphire Gems and with my silver blue Americauna they are hard to differentiate. With two Easter Egger roosters I believe this is the direction I wish to go.
    Very, very different personalities between the more aggressive O Eggers and the more friendly and laid back Americauna and EE.
    No idea how these gals will turn out, but even now they seem more friendly than the VERY skittish and much larger breed Speckled Sussex.
    They, the OE and the Cuckoo Maran will be the larger birds and I will try to whittle that percentage down.

    Interestingly, the two E Egger roosters look very different, but are gentlemen already and hang around without getting into fights. The first may have some Welsummer blood and is a BEAUTIFULLY colored bird. The second is dark and has a cuckoo/barred white chest on a rather dark body. Was there some Wyandotte background? Perhaps.

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