Aug 122010
 

My chicks have been outside for about a week now and are doing great.  Their extra sturdy chicken run and chicken coop seem to be holding up well. 

I’ve had no more predator problems either lately.  I set a few traps humane around my yard and caught a few racoons and a possum.  I relocated those critters so that hopefully, none of my other hens or chicks will be killed.

Chicken care is very important to me and I like to feed all of my chickens, roosters and chicks natural treats which incluce lettuce, chards, tomatos, fruit and veggie peels of all sorts, apples, oranges, melons, etc.  If it is a fruit or veggie, they will probably eat it and love it!

Anyway, I gave my chicks a couple of really small cherry tomatos to eat.  Well, they ended up playing chick football with them.  One chick grabbed the tomato and took off running with it.  The other 7 chicks quickly took off after her.  They raced round and round the chicken run with the tomato changing beaks constantly.  This went on for about 30 minutes until the tomato was completely pulverized.

They finally collapsed and decided to take dust baths before taking a short nap.  Chicks are so much fun to watch and now that they have almost reached the four week mark, I am starting to worry about them a lot less.

If you are thinking about raising chicks to start a backyard flock, you need to give serious thought to building a very secure hen house.  Get some plans and free advice by clicking this link.



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Jun 292010
 

I have a chicken flock of about 40 hens and roosters and I have three chicken coops.  They usually tend to congregate in one chicken coop which is fine but I have extra hen houses for several reasons.

– If things get too crowded or they have to be locked up for extended periods of time due to bad weather, I can separate them – whether they like it or not!

– If there is a lot of bickering or fighting, I can pull out the offending chicken and put her somewhere else.

– If I notice that the roosters are damaging the hens too badly, I will pull all of the roosters out of the flock for a few weeks until the hens have a chance to recover.  I try to only keep 4 roosters at a time to help minimize the damage.

– I can use an extra chicken house and chicken run to raise chicks in.  Sometimes none of my hens are broody and I will incubate the eggs inside.  Since they don’t have a mom to watch over them, they have to be separated from the flock until they are older.

These are just a few of the reasons why it is a great idea to have more than one chicken coop or hen house.  The more hens and roosters you have, the greater the chances are that you will need more than one chicken coop.

To get some fantastic chicken coop blueprints, check this out.



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Jun 272010
 

I was so excited.  One of my bard rock hens went broody and started collecting a clutch of eggs to sit on.  Everything was going great.  I made sure that she ate and drank every day and she was being a good broody hen. 

On Friday night I candled all 8 eggs and all of them had little baby chicks floating around inside the eggs.  It was so great!  I locked her up tight in her separate little hen house and went to bed happy.

I got up the next morning and walked out to let the hens and roosters out and to check on my broody hen.  To my horror, I found her dead outside her little chicken coop.  Somehow something had managed to pull a board lose and then finished getting in my chewing a hole in the wood chicken coop.  The hole was just large enough for whatever killed her to drag her out of the hen house.  Whatever had killed her hadn’t been able to drag her body off though.

I checked the eggs and they were still there but they were cold.  The eggs were 13 days old by this time and I was sick that they would probably die.  By biggest problem was that I only had a 3 egg incubator so I jumped in my car and drove to Tractor Supply to get a larger incubator.  Luckily they had one in stock so I bought it and got home as fast as I could.

I put all 8 eggs in the incubator right away even though it said to let the temperature stabilize for several hours.  I figured at this point, what could it hurt.  So I sat there literally for almost four hours until I was sure the temperature in the incubator had stabilized.

I figured that I had done all I could do for the moment.  I waited twenty four hours and I candled the eggs again to see if I had any chicks left alive.  At that point I noticed that one of the eggs was actually chipped.  I didn’t hold out much hope for any of them still being alive but to my amazement, they were all still alive!

Now the wait was on to see if all of the baby chicks survived and hatched out ok.


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