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  #11  
Old 04-03-2013, 08:36 PM
Saeleofu Saeleofu is offline
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Our spitzhauben flies quite a bit. They're also the ones that have been prey on the most. We only have one left, and started with 5. She's an amazing chicken, though. She loves to cuddle lol
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  #12  
Old 04-03-2013, 09:36 PM
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Thanks everyone!

How noisy would, say, 6 hens be? Meaning how close to the house can they be?

I'm going to call tomorrow. Like I said, the whelping box is still up in the house with heat lamp and shavings...I can raise those little suckers!!

I saw a great video on youtube about making a box out of a rubbermaid storage container, I liked that! Cut a door out, fill it with straw.

Hmm...I think we can do this! Thanks everyone, I feel much more confident about this after talking to you all.

What do I feed?

Oh- my existing coop has a completely enclosed run, top and bottom. If they start fence hopping, I will hire someone to clean out the inside and go with that. But I am MAJOR arachnophobic. I can also top the run. I also have an empty stall that is enclosed with chicken wire up to 5 foot (the run) because my stallion would stick his head out and rub out his mane.
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  #13  
Old 04-03-2013, 09:58 PM
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They make a loud HURRRR noise sometimes, but I dunno... I don't really notice it much. I think mine are about 80-100 ft from the house? That works for me.

You can definitely do chickens. Anyone can do chickens. They can seem intimidating at first but once you've had them a while you'll see they're a piece of cake. They'll pretty much make do with whatever you give them.

You can feed them commercial layer pellets, grains, feeds for other animals, fruit and veggies that are past their prime, peelings (though I think you're supposed to cook potato peels first), old pasta, rice, bread etc. and they'll forage for their own food too, if you let them out (bugs, grass). They basically eat anything. They'll eat meat but I don't it to mine, and they'll eat their own eggs if they break (or if you have a naughty chicken that breaks its own eggs). They'll dig around in your manure pile and pick out grubs and worms and stuff. If they get into your garden they can scratch the top layer of dirt off of bulbs, kick dirt onto pavement, and they'll eat seedlings.
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  #14  
Old 04-03-2013, 11:14 PM
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Ok, I'm calling tomorrow to see what they have, and what I can go get. I am right that the whelping box (4x4 with 2ft high sides, wood) with shavings in the bottom and a heat lamp are OK? We're California, days are hitting 85-95 already so it's not very cold at all as far as drafts go.

Edit: as far as sexed chicks, they offer Red Sexlink Pullets.
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  #15  
Old 04-03-2013, 11:17 PM
Saeleofu Saeleofu is offline
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Ours are in our backyard, maybe 20 feet from the house? You can hear them, but it's not really an unpleasant noise, either (so long as you don't have roosters!) They make a wide variety of noises, and clucking doesn't even begin to describe it lol.
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  #16  
Old 04-03-2013, 11:18 PM
Saeleofu Saeleofu is offline
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Also, 2 feet tall won't last long. They will be jumping out in a matter of weeks! If you can put a mesh topper on it or something, that will help. We were unprepared for that, and had to chase chicks all over the basement more than once
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  #17  
Old 04-09-2013, 03:02 PM
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Ok, another chicken question.

I can order in the breed I want, all pullets (we don't want a rooster) but I must wait a few months and it will be pricey with the shipping.

Or, I can pick up the breed I want today, locally, 3 days old, in a straight run. HOW tough is it to pick out the males? What do I do with them? The local place mentioned they will take them back but not refund (oh no! Not at $2.50 each lol).

I guess I would be happier if I knew they were all girls, but not sure removing the males and returning would be that bad. Any advice?
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  #18  
Old 04-09-2013, 03:59 PM
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Well, I've never had chicks so the following is just from reading, talking to people, my friend's chick experience and scheming for when we move:

Some breeds can be feather sexed (I think the pullets have wing feathers of different lengths, males are all the same but don't quote me lol), just as some breeds have sex-linked color... you'll have to look up your breed, but my guess is if it was that easy to sex them, they wouldn't be selling them straight run.

The other way, that works on all breeds, is vent sexing, which is tricky... even professionals aren't 100% at it and I've heard that it's really something the needs to be taught to you and can injure your chick.

Most people just wait until you can tell by comb size, plumage, crowing etc. About a month old or more... really depends how the birds mature though, and of course is easier to spot as you get more experienced.

Once you know who's what, many people just finish raising them up and then eat them. You might be able to find "pet homes" for a few, depending on the breed and your area. If you end up with a dozen roosters though, it's unlikely they'll all end up as pets. So then you're looking at either selling them or giving them away for someone else to eat, depending on what people in your area will pay for your breed. Personally, I wouldn't return them. The store is unlikely to find them all loving homes lol. The reality is most roosters are killed and eaten (or just Garburated)... given that fact, and that you bought them, raised them and fed them... you may as well be the beneficiary of that.

Of course, if you're buying straight run buy more chicks then you want... I mean sex ratio should be 50/50 so if you want 5 hens don't buy 5 chicks lol. And if you're buying a small number of chicks you may not see the 50/50 trend, you may get eg 5 boys and a girl. At least if you over-buy and end up with more pullets than you wanted you can sell them as layers.

It's kind of a crap shoot.
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  #19  
Old 04-09-2013, 04:02 PM
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why return them? Just have them for dinner in a few months
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  #20  
Old 04-09-2013, 04:07 PM
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Coq au vin, my friend, it was made for situations like this lol. Or insert recipe of you choice, everyone likes chicken. It seems even people who don't eat meat eat chicken.

Failing that, whole prey model Maliraptor food.
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