babies at our place too

Discussion in 'Livestock' started by Jason, Apr 3, 2010.

  1. Jason

    Jason I am a little teapot

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    DW and I decided that we want to start raising chickens. We cleaned out an old chicken coop, went to Tractor Supply and got 1 dozen mixed red straight run peeps, along with a feeder, waterer, feed, shavings, and a heat lamp. I was told (by my dad) that straight run means hens and roosters together. Can anybody tell me if that's right? It doesn't matter; they'll either be in the crock pot or laying eggs. Win/win either way. Just checked on the little things right now and it's 90° in the pen and they are all snuggled up on the edge of the light beam. All looks to be well. :)
     
  2. UncleJoe

    UncleJoe Well-Known Member

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    Affirmative. Hopefully you'll get mostly hens. Pics Please. :)

    Good luck in your new venture. There really isn't much involved but if you ever have questions, someone here can help you out. :)
     

  3. *Andi

    *Andi Supporting Member

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    Congrats! :2thumb:

    Just so you know ;) once you have had home grown chicken you will not want to go back to the 'factory chickens' :D Which is not a bad thing. lol
     
  4. UncleJoe

    UncleJoe Well-Known Member

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    Same goes for the eggs. No comparison. :)
     
  5. Jason

    Jason I am a little teapot

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    Thanks, Joe. DW picked them out so if they're all roosters, it's her fault. :)

    I raised cornish hens when I was a kid but we've never had layers to amount to anything. We will be taking pics today and hopefully I'll upload one or two later today/tonight. Sometimes the dialup lets them load and sometimes it just kind of putts along forever.

    Happy Easter to all. We just got back into the house from hiding plastic eggs full of goodies all over the yard for our boy.

    The peeps did fine overnight. I checked on them about 6:45 this morning and all were warm, happy, and healthy.
     
  6. UncleJoe

    UncleJoe Well-Known Member

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    Even after 4 hatching's here, I can't tell the difference until they get older.
     
  7. Jason

    Jason I am a little teapot

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    Andi, if this works out I'd like to expand into some meat chickens as well. Not too many-just enough to put some extra meat into the freezer. If we make a go of it we'll add a few more and see where that takes us.

    All, I just uploaded 2 pics of the new little gals (hopefully) and guys into my photo album under "all albums".
     
  8. *Andi

    *Andi Supporting Member

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    Love the pictures! Your son is soooooooo cute! :D
     
  9. Jason

    Jason I am a little teapot

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    Thanks. He definately got his mommy's genes. He's as smart as he is cute, too. LOVES being outside and playing with animals. He hunted Easter eggs several times today and we couldn't get him to give up. Sometimes we even have to drag him (figuratively) into the house kicking and screaming (literally) when it's time for dinner or bed. In short, he's a typical farm kid, and100% boy. :D
     
  10. UncleJoe

    UncleJoe Well-Known Member

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    He looks fascinated. I'll bet he'd like to give them a great big squeeze. :D
     
  11. bunkerbob

    bunkerbob Supporting Member

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    I hope all of you included the additional family members to feed on your censless questionnaire form.:D:scratch
     
  12. Jason

    Jason I am a little teapot

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    I didn't see a place to add peeps onto the census form, Bob. Now I guess they'll send someone around to count the chickens.

    We went camping for a week here recently. Came back and the peeps were all feathered out and MUCH bigger. My dad was on critter duty while we were gone and didn't have any problems. The heat lamp held them over nicely through the cold snap.

    How old will they be when they start laying? It looks like we did get lucky- I only see 2 of the 12 that I'm sure are roosters.
     
  13. *Andi

    *Andi Supporting Member

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    Most pullets will start laying eggs at 20-24 weeks of ages and and congrats :congrat: about the roos.
     
  14. Jason

    Jason I am a little teapot

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    The chickens are all doing really well. We didn't lose a single one. We've had to put in a bigger waterer already and we've opened up the coop to let them run the legnth of the coop now. At first we had them confined to the enclosed end of the coop because it was cold at night and there's a heat lamp there. My father in law is slowly building a chicken tractor and I'm looking forward to starting to use it.

    A question for those with chicken tractors and/or free range poultry: How do you keep predators from raiding your birds? Around here we have coons, fox, possums, owls, hawks, even the occasional coyote.

    I'd also like to get a few guinneas, just because I think they are neat birds. Any advice for those?
     
  15. UncleJoe

    UncleJoe Well-Known Member

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    A .22 works pretty well :D if they aren't too far away or if you're good at compensating for the drop at longer range

    We have a friend with guinnea's. He has told us they make a great first alert system. Don't have any experience with them personally.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2010
  16. *Andi

    *Andi Supporting Member

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    My hubby has about 20 of them ... They are a first alert system. They are the first to start 'calling' when anything or anyone different comes around. They make a frightened shriek sound. :eek: So keep in mind they can be loud. (alright very loud)

    If allowed to roam they will consume more insects than other fowl.
    On a side note their eggs have the lowest cholesterol of all poultry. (If you can find their nest ;))

    My hubby loves them and I like them on most days.:D
     
  17. Jason

    Jason I am a little teapot

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    Can you just let the guinneas go loose? How do you keep them from wandering off? Do they just know where the food is?

    We have a .22 and a .17 ready to go. :)
     
  18. Jason

    Jason I am a little teapot

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    Well, we made our pilgrimage to Tractor Supply and got another dozen peeps. We got a half dozen layer pullets (not sure what breed) and a half dozen cornish cross meat birds. They'll be spending tonight in a tote in our basement and then they'll move out to the coop in the barn tomorrow.
     

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  19. Emerald

    Emerald Well-Known Member

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    Just a hint for next run to TSC if they have black sex link straight runs pick only the black headed chicks.. the ones with the white splotch on the heads are all males the plain black headed ones are girls. Usually the sex link straight runs are a bit cheaper than the rest so they keep them in stock and if you know what is what you can get what ya want.
     
  20. Jason

    Jason I am a little teapot

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    I did not know that. Thanks, Emerald!