What's Your Favorite Breed of Chicken?

Discussion in 'Livestock' started by Baymule, Nov 21, 2016.

  1. Baymule

    Baymule Gardener

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    @"M" Love the Polish! I plan on getting some just for grins when I get better coops and infrastructure built. I would like some Cream Legbars too! @Linz that is a cute coop. Wyandottes are good layers and come in so many colors!
     
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    • Linz

      Linz Total Gardener

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      Thanks @Baymule Not as pretty as yours @"M" but picked up my 2 girls this morning.. bit of a bad idea to let them roam in my kitchen first off..poop and straw everywhere sitting under the coop for now hope they perk up a bit soon.20161125_125748.jpg
      20161125_123751.jpg
       
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      • "M"

        "M" Total Gardener

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        :yay: What a lovely pair!! :yay:
        They will soon perk up, so don't worry. Hen pooh has a smell all of its own doesn't it :heehee:

        Did you say you were expecting to get a couple of Silkies to add to the coop? When you introduce new hens to a coop which already has hens in it, do expect a good few fisty cuffs between them! The term "pecking order" will take on a whole new significance for you. It can appear quite brutal to human eyes/ears and that purple spray will be absolutely necessary if a peck breaks skin; but ... they do settle down (eventually).

        Anyway, what have you named them? :chicken: :chicken:
         
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        • "M"

          "M" Total Gardener

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          @Linz - you are going to have some great compost for your garden from their straw/droppings :thumbsup: Just make sure that you rot it down well because their fresh manure is way too strong for going onto your borders.
          Also, if you let them free range around the garden you may well get some "volunteer" plants growing the following year. My girls love tomatoes: in my previous garden (which was large enough to take them free ranging most days) I started noticing I had tomato plants growing in odd places. Took a while for the penny to drop :heehee:
           
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          • Linz

            Linz Total Gardener

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            Ah I really like silkies but not sure if I should get them.. they are mainly for pets not eggs but I showed the lady my coop and she only seemed to want to sell me them 2 as I was new to it all.. and warned me off the marrans as they would bully too..so think she put me off getting more plus I was reading about pecking order and introducing new birds ad as you said it does sound brutal! :(
            Think I might be over cautious. I dunno.

            Daughter dearest named them Cruella and Heather. I was sat in the window around 4.32pm went to make a cuppa by 4.36 they had disappeared.. shat them.. so run out side and checked they were in the coop! Bed time really is dusk for them.. amazing!

            I have no compost bin! :( it's on my list though (along with a shed and a proper greenhouse) but Xmas is round the corner and kiddies come first! Thanks for the support and advice it's been fab
             
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            • "M"

              "M" Total Gardener

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              Heather :chicken: and ... :chicken: Cruella! :roflol: I can see why :heehee:
              Absolutely! :grphg:

              :think2:
              Check out your local council website and see if they do discounted compost bins (the round ones); maybe Freecycle would be worth a look? Local ads? In the meantime, when you clean them out, maybe bagging it up and putting it in a quiet corner of the garden will be sufficient until you can organise something else? In my previous garden I used old pallets to make a compost area so you don't even need to spend much and a great way or recycling old pallets ;) Just a thought.
               
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              • Linz

                Linz Total Gardener

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                Told her they had to be old fashioned names..she said Ellie first :doh: Heard 2 good names this morning mind, Be-hen-say and Doris-lay!

                Council are quite pants when it comes to recycling garden waste..I'll keep checking gumtree for compost bins, I'll deffo hold on to the used bedding though :thumbsup:

                Am cacking it about letting them have a roam too, just in case they "jump" the fence and I'll have to run after them or they go into the field behind and up a tree :heehee: Mr linz is no longer living here so I can't nag him to go fetch them if they do! Roped my old man into putting a gate on the side of the house but he's not impressed with my new "pets" and told me to clip them.. I said about foxes and he just gave me this look..:th scifD36:

                Cats are not bothered too! One sniff and ran off :yay:
                 
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                • "M"

                  "M" Total Gardener

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                  Totally appreciate that :grphg:

                  Personally, I would say it is too early for that. They only flew in yesterday and are probably jet lagged and in need of getting their bearings first. They need to imprint where their *home* is and who that all important food importer is! Give it a couple of weeks for them to adjust to their coop, you and the children. Then you can implement a plan for free ranging (gotta have a plan, right?) ;)

                  Now, Top Tip: the secret to training your hens to come to call and go where you want to herd them to is ... Mealworms!! (Dried. Sold in Poundstretcher in bags/tubs ... maybe in Wilkos too, can't remember). Mealworms are the crack cocaine of the henny world :love30: :love30: :love30: :heehee: In my previous garden they could hear a mealworm tub being opened in the kitchen from the far end of the garden and would run, jump, flap, barge, bok-bok-bok and almost knock one another over to be the first to get to the beloved mealworms :rolleyes:

                  New girls would be let out just for a few minutes at first. After a couple of days they could have 15 minutes grazing. Few more days and then they would have a full half hour (gosh, I'm sooooo kind!!:heehee: ). No fences were breeched because they knew which way their tummies grumbled and who the Great Provider of All Things was.

                  In the meantime, you can still pick them up, give them a cuddle, share a bit of gossip with them and get used to handling them and for them to get used to being handled. Also, you need to be able to handle them to give them regular checks for things such as peck marks, wounds, mites, scaley leg so the sooner you get used to doing it the better :thumbsup:

                  Baby steps, Linz ;) you're doing great so far :thumbsup:
                   
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                  • Linz

                    Linz Total Gardener

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                    Aw thank you such good advice :) I was planning on leaving them in for a bit (a few days tbh) but it does make sense. I'll give them a few weeks.

                    Luckily, I bought some dried mealworms (crack cocaine hahaha nearly wee'd myself) in Wilko for the robin (and magpies :mad:) and have read they go ape for them! Fab. Think I'll let them scratch round on the patio first and train with mealworms there before letting them on the grass.

                    They were very skittish when I got them out in the kitchen, diving underneath eachother and bok-boking as if to say "what is this thing doing to me" when smoothing. Bless them. I keep going out every few hours and poking my head in the coop to say hello and give them a stroke... not sure if they appreciate it... it's taken me a good 15 mins to write this, my pc keeps switching off. Thank God for saved drafts! switched to mobile..

                    I'll let them out like you said, few minutes for a few days, 15 mins.. half hr etc I done that with kittens and it really does make sense. Thank you :)
                     
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                    • Baymule

                      Baymule Gardener

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                      I don't name all my chickens, just the ones that really stand out. Our rooster is named Bless You, one of the Ameraucana hens is named Beard-O because of her black muffs on each side of her cute little face. A solid white Ameraucana is named Elsa, a black sex link is named Robin, another red sex link is named Stupid Chicken, And we have Dottie and Rose. The Delawares are known collectively as Mean Girls. They all run to me when I go outside and some tag along, following me wherever I go. What's not to love about a chicken?
                       
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                      • "M"

                        "M" Total Gardener

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                        Bay - for the ones you have chosen to name, you've chosen some great ones! "Stupid Chicken" & "Mean Girls" get my vote :roflol:

                        @Linz - how are Heather and Cruella settling in?
                         
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                        • Redwing

                          Redwing Wild Gardener

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                          Good thread; I seem to have missed it until now. Good luck with the chickens Linz and lots of good advice from M.

                          I kept a few hens for years. My favourites were Marrans and Sussex. Marrans lay the biggest brownest eggs ever. Most had names, Queenie and Jenny spring to mind. Various successive cockerels were Agro, Hen-ry and Mr Clucky..........needless to say Agro ended up in the pot as he was just too aggressive.

                          If they spend too much time free range around your garden, they will make a mess of your seedlings and veg garden.
                           
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                          • Linz

                            Linz Total Gardener

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                            Ah I'm really not sure, they've been spending alot of time in the coop last few days but I think it's the cold? They are not too fussed on me still, literally poop if I smooth them:frown: they hate the train going past too which is understandable. Tried some porridge again today, they tipped it over their feet and run in to the coop! So that went to Mr Robinson. Love the mixed corn we chuck in just before bed so at least I know they're warm..ish?

                            Thanks @Redwing I plan to get one of these https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&s...EE39g04ApxKIUvYHQ&sig2=sTPhl59cd7ldEXoxQMKJ_g after Christmas and put it on one side of the lawn instead of having full run of the garden.. I can get a chair and sit in with them then. They'll have no option but to like me :heehee:
                             
                          • Redwing

                            Redwing Wild Gardener

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                            That looks ideal.
                             
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                            • "M"

                              "M" Total Gardener

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                              Not the cold; just change of address ;)

                              It does take a little bit of time: try to equate it to a new male friend you meet who has hands *everywhere* ... how would *you* feel? ;) Again, it takes a bit of time and it is still *very* early days yet.

                              It is! But, they *will get used to it :grphg:

                              Yup! They will do that with *everything* you give them; so, not just porridge :heehee: I feed mine layers pellets. But, changes in diet can (and often does) result in a change in their pooh and really should be avoided, if possible. What they need is a regular, balanced, diet to ensure good health and productivity. Treats, if given, should be occasional (or used for training purposes). Now, DEFRA advise against feeding hens kitchen scraps :nonofinger: So, if I am tempted to give them the occasional "treat" I buy the hens the good stuff and feed the family any "scraps" :whistle: :heehee: ;)

                              No sweetie; their *feathers* keep them warm ;) feeding them mixed corn is very nice, thank you very much, but it is a marketing ploy (IMHO) designed to make you worry more and thus spend more :heehee:
                              Do remember that, originally, chickens were woodland birds (just like pheasants!) and, just like those pheasants, there were no doting humans around to feed them mixed corn. They got it when they could (Autumn/harvest time) and not as a means of keeping warm! Hens will huddle together and fluff up their feathers to trap warm air. It would need to be Arctic conditions for them to freeze in the night; thankfully, despite us moaning about the cold, we do not suffer that extreme of weather here in Blighty ... not even in the Wild West of Wales :thumbsup:

                              Love the outdoor walk-in run you linked to. I think my walk in run cost a lot less than that though, so do have a good look around before you commit yourself.
                               
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