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RabbitMage
Nov 20, 2008


LordOfThePants posted:

I'm thinking about getting some chickens next spring and will build them a nice coop with a big run in the yard.

The winters here are fairly cold (northern Ohio), will the chickens need to be locked up in their coop for the winter, or can they go out in the run? I was going to make a 10x12 coop, but if they're going to be locked up all winter, I might make it a little bigger to give them some more room.

They can go out in the run, but you'll want to make sure the coop stays dry and draft-free at night. You'll also probably want to look for breeds with smaller combs to help avoid frostbite.

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RabbitMage
Nov 20, 2008


Not to be a downer, but what's the likelihood of a chicken choking to death? I found my lovely Wyandotte laid out on the floor of the barn. All of the other birds are looking fine, I can't find any visible injuries, they've all been together since spring. It looked like she may have regurgitated some scratch and there was no water in there.

So could she have choked?

RabbitMage
Nov 20, 2008


She should have been getting enough grit in her diet-we don't provide it specifically, but they freerange on the property during the day.

All other chookens are still doing fine, so it could be one of those things.

RabbitMage
Nov 20, 2008


They don't need to, no. If you build a large enough fenced area and feed them well they'll be fine.

You can also build a chicken tractor, which is a small mobile coop. It keeps them contained, but gives them access to fresh grass every time you move it.

Unrelated, but I took some pictures of my chickens a few days ago.


My precious little Izzie.


Peggy


Agnes (you can tell the boys have been picking on her, poor balding thing)


Mateo, the bantam rooster who rules over all.


And Hank, who is three times Mateo's size and scared shitless of him.

RabbitMage
Nov 20, 2008


At least mine lay in the nest. The same nest. I put up three boxes, girls. You don't all have to share the same one.

RabbitMage
Nov 20, 2008


Shipping with MyPetChicken is expensive, but it's about equal to getting the minimum order from other hatcheries.

If you have a feed store nearby they often have chicks and know the sex and breed-try calling around. Otherwise MyPetChicken is worth a look.

A warm room isn't going to be enough. Chicks need a heat lamp-for the first week it should be about 95 degrees under the heat lamp. If you can heat a room to 95 degrees okay, but...it's probably better just to get the reflector and light for them.

RabbitMage
Nov 20, 2008


So I finally put my newest hen in with the others last night, and she beat the crap out of my poor wimpy sex-link Agnes. Even the little OEGB isn't getting messed with.

Poor Agnes.

RabbitMage
Nov 20, 2008


meriruka posted:

I read this and was curious - how many of you chicken owners have a vet that will treat chickens? I have been unable to find one here in VA despite the fact that I live in farm country. It doesn't help that the attitude around here is that chickens are disposable. I've had to do a lot of research and stock up on meds so I could at least try to save a sick chicken.

I'm very lucky in that the clinic I use treats pretty much everything-they have doctors who treat dogs and cats, do livestock house calls, and treat exotics. When our horses got out and ended up at a house up the road, the vet not only came out to check our mare's injured leg, he helped me walk them home safely. We've brought our Minis to their office, the same vet mentioned above let me help him do a necropsy on one of my other horses, and he sexed my ducks for me. The vet who sees my dog is very good with him, even though he's a nervous little wuss. I am exceptionally lucky to have them.

RabbitMage
Nov 20, 2008


Hawaii_Lame-O posted:

Introducing: Kokomo, my booted bronze-laced chocolate Serama pullet!

Ugh what a horrible bird.

Post pictures of your dumb crowing Sebright next.

(USER WAS PUT ON PROBATION FOR THIS POST)

RabbitMage
Nov 20, 2008


Hey, don't judge their special relationship.

RabbitMage
Nov 20, 2008


Rare breeds are the best breeds. I want Dorkings...I have one, but she's some random color. It's okay though, still like her.

Someday, though, I will have an entire flock of feathered breadboxes.

RabbitMage
Nov 20, 2008


Hatch Dorkings, send them to me (note: do not do this, I am probably moving soonish).

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RabbitMage
Nov 20, 2008


There's a big part of me that just wants a single flock full of my chosen breed, so I could really focus on raising just those. But then I look at all the other breeds, and oh, I could have so many different colored eggs...

I guess the solution will be two flocks, eventually.

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