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Peanut

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We turned the cattle operation over to my great nephew about 18 months ago. Suddenly dad didn’t have critters to take care of for the first time in 85 years… I gave him the chickens to see after.

We lost 3 this spring to a racoon. I’ve caught 3 coons in steel traps.

My neighbor runs about 45 hens. When I ran that many, we helped each other out on orders. If she was short I’d give her a few cartons and vice versa.

Her sales are in a 6-month slump but she still has to feed all those hens.

I bought 3 young hens for $15 from her. 2 are less than a year old, the other one is about 18 months old. I’ve reserved 2 more to be picked up later.

Now we’ll have plenty of eggs for 3 people who don’t eat eggs every day.

Welcome to your new home girls! 2 domic's and a RR.

Hens (2)_v1.jpg
 
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backlash

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I really want to get some chicken but my wife is dead set against it. She's probably right.
I would just be feeding the coons and coyotes. Also she would not eat a home grown chicken because they would become pets.
There was a chicken that just showed up one day and stayed for a couple weeks. It was the ugliest chicken I ever saw. Half it head was chewed off and most of its rear end was mangled. Something almost killed it but she survived. She disappeared just as suddenly as she came. We thought she had finally met her end but we saw her yesterday in the neighbors pasture. One tough old bird.
 

GrannyG

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This made me laugh...so true...

C Harrison...…. we use to have a saying in my house, throw the old chicken in the pot, add a rock, boil until the rock is tender. That is how you can tell if the chicken is done or not.
 

Peanut

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Another welcome home! I was at TSC today... Peeps were in, they had straight runs of Australorps, Dominics and RR’s and one other breed. And pre-sexed Black sexlinks and my favorite, ISA Browns. They also had two lonely little ducks left.

I got a dozen ISA Browns... Best little layers I've ever had.

Prices seemed up... $4.31 each on pre-sexed.

Since I won't be sitting with dad at the nursing home for the foreseeable future I took a chance on the peeps. If I can get them to 5 weeks they'll be okay, smooth sailing from there on out. The weather has been pretty volatile so they'll stay in my herb room for at least 2 weeks.

20 isa peeps sm1.JPG
 

Peanut

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I had to go to town for errands sooo... I got a 100 gallon galvanized water trough for the peeps. The little 25gallon tub they were in was too small for a dozen bitties. This trough allows for a hot zone at one end and a cool zone at the other. Now they can self regulate their own body temp much better. They have room to exercise also. As soon as I put them in the began running from one end to the other flapping their tiny wings and singing sooo loudly. They love their new home.

Normally after 10-14 days I move chicks out on the porch into a 400 gallon fiberglass laundry cart. March/early April can still have wacky weather with cold snaps. Dad is still in the nursing home. I don't know when I'll be back on sitting duty with him leaving less time to keep an eye on young bitties. This trough will allow me to keep them inside in my herb room a couple of extra weeks if needed. By mid-April they'll be able to handle a cool night or a humid one if raining out.

peeps a2 (2) sm.JPG
 

Meerkat

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Let hens out to get some green and they ate all the Black Eyed susans right away.
They have a large yars inside a fence but they have demolished that area a few years ago.
Poor bumble that was enjoying what little nector he got from the flowers got stomped on yesterday by dog and dog got stung on foot.
That bee had been hanging around for awhile always watching us .
 

Peanut

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Little hussies! My hens haven't laid an egg since thanksgiving... I buy peeps 10 days ago. 4 days ago they still haven't laid an egg.

Since Wednesday evening... 13 eggs. I guess eggs are back on the menu!


eggs (1).JPG
 

Peanut

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If you see chicks every day might not notice how fast they grow... These two pics are 8 days apart... 15th then 23mar. Now they are pooping machines, the wood chips were put down 5 hours ago.

15mar20 (1).JPG23mar20 (2).JPG
 

SheepDog

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Dinosaurs...
 

phideaux

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@Peanut , you might think about them babies being a cash crop...
I called around yesterday for some 6-10 month old pullets for laying hens this year.
Have you checked out the going price of young laying hens ?

OMG !! $20-$50 EACH.

I only wanted 4 , to keep fresh eggs...but I got people down the road , I can buy eggs for $2 doz.

That's easier.

Jim
 

Peanut

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I haven't checked the prices... The hens I got from a friend last summer were $5 each, but I was doing her a favor taking a few off her hands.

Her egg sales had dropped and she was feeding 40+ hens.

It's unfathomable to me why anyone would buy eggs from a store unless it's their only choice. Fresh eggs are sooo much better! I guess $1 a dozen eggs at WM are something a lot of people can't pass up... :dunno:

It's been years since I ate eggs at a restaurant until a couple of nights I was staying with dad at the home. I got hungry in the middle of the night and walked the 2 blocks to a Waffle House. Their eggs had absolutely no flavor...

@phideaux Your friend is giving you a bargain... At $2 a dozen it's not even paying for the feed.

The market on hens is iffy... The only reliable sale is old hens to the hispanic community... They want chicken meat with flavor, not the flavorless chicken meat at american grocery stores. The same is true for beef and pork, they'll buy from a farmer in a blink. That presents a host of regulation issues depending on the paticulars, state laws differ.
 
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Peanut

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I worked a while late yesterday and a couple hours today to finish up a new home for the peeps outside. Its a laundry cart from a state asylum that closed down, fiberglass, casters, about 400 gallon.

I've used it before to raise peeps but now I have a feral cat problem. So, I had to enclose it and make it critter proof yet serviceable. The hardware cloth can be removed but is meant to stay in place. It slips off the end like sock from a foot.

The plywood cover is "lift out" with guides on the bottom to keep it in place. It's painted in case rain blows up on to the porch and also give the peeps protection. It has a large vent where I can use a heat lamp or a 7 inch industrial fan for cooling.

They seem happy and I'm happy to have them out of my herb room. They are doing well. I purchased them 2 weeks ago tomorrow from TSC. They have doubled in size while in my care. I'm guessing they are about 3 weeks old.

20 peeps mar (7).jpg20 peeps mar (8).jpg20 peeps mar (9).jpg
 

Peanut

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The peeps have never lived outside of a controlled atmosphere building. Last night was their first night on the porch. Temps are cooler tonight but still mild, mid 50’s. It’s supposed to be down in the 40’s in the coming nights.

So, tonight I’m playing around with two heat lamps just to get an idea of the heat they generate outside. I’ll probably unplug one of them before I go to bed.


prrpd hrstlsmp sm.JPG
 

Meerkat

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about 10 years ago we had los of ducks,chickens and we really enjoyed the peeps. 2 Muscovey ''Heckle and Jeckle, 2 Peking Sassy and Aflac and 20 chickens. I let Heckle and Jeckle out ,they flew off and told hubby " there go your ducks" but they circled [ first time they were ever in the sky ] and came right back to their yard.Those baba ducks are so cute too like peeps.
 

Peanut

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I cleaned out the peeps container today, put down fresh shavings. I rigged them up a little roost from a piece of dowel and old bricks. They seem to like it.

I've had them 3 weeks tomorrow, they are at least 4 weeks old. Their feathers are filling out so they are at that ugly stage when they look ratty. In another week they'll be able to fly out of this home. Time I get their next home ready.

I'm surprised all 12 have made it this far, seems I always lose at least one.

Peep Clean (2).JPGPeep Clean (7).JPGPeep Clean (9).JPG
 

Peanut

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Between yesterday and today I spent 6hrs working on the chicken pen. The perimeter fence is now secure as well as the coop. I think I built this pen in ’08. This is the last time the perimeter fence is going to get some TLC. The base of the fence is about rusted away. I’m sure it’ll last until fall. I hope it lasts until next spring. In either case it’ll soon be time for a new perimeter fence. I think I got my money’s worth on this roll of chicken wire.

My biggest worry now is poison ivy. 50ft of the west side was wrapped up with the stuff. I had on leather gloves and a long sleeve shirt but the chainsaw is the problem. It’ll throw drops of urushiol everywhere. There was a good bit of brush I had to trim back.

There is supposed to be another “Super Cell” storm tomorrow afternoon. If it wasn’t for that the peeps would be in their new home tonight.

There is still work to do in the pen… I need to cut down 2 trees but don’t want to try it by myself. Next time I’m in the big town I’ll get a couple hundred feet of 1/16th aircraft cable. I need it for several purposes but it’ll also help me drop both trees without crushing the chicken pen fence or the coop.

Edit to add before and after... I've had the peeps 5 weeks yesterday. They were about a week old when I got them... They've grown like little weeds...

20 peeps mar (3).jpg2020 18 apr peeps (3) sm.JPG
 
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Meerkat

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Between yesterday and today I spent 6hrs working on the chicken pen. The perimeter fence is now secure as well as the coop. I think I built this pen in ’08. This is the last time the perimeter fence is going to get some TLC. The base of the fence is about rusted away. I’m sure it’ll last until fall. I hope it lasts until next spring. In either case it’ll soon be time for a new perimeter fence. I think I got my money’s worth on this roll of chicken wire.

My biggest worry now is poison ivy. 50ft of the west side was wrapped up with the stuff. I had on leather gloves and a long sleeve shirt but the chainsaw is the problem. It’ll throw drops of urushiol everywhere. There was a good bit of brush I had to trim back.

There is supposed to be another “Super Cell” storm tomorrow afternoon. If it wasn’t for that the peeps would be in their new home tonight.

There is still work to do in the pen… I need to cut down 2 trees but don’t want to try it by myself. Next time I’m in the big town I’ll get a couple hundred feet of 1/16th aircraft cable. I need it for several purposes but it’ll also help me drop both trees without crushing the chicken pen fence or the coop.

Edit to add before and after... I've had the peeps 5 weeks yesterday. They were about a week old when I got them... They've grown like little weeds...

View attachment 40004View attachment 40003
Those little peeps are so cute! Almost looking like pullets aka teen chic
s.🥰
 

Grumpy521

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I had to go to town for errands sooo... I got a 100 gallon galvanized water trough for the peeps. The little 25gallon tub they were in was too small for a dozen bitties. This trough allows for a hot zone at one end and a cool zone at the other. Now they can self regulate their own body temp much better. They have room to exercise also. As soon as I put them in the began running from one end to the other flapping their tiny wings and singing sooo loudly. They love their new home.

Normally after 10-14 days I move chicks out on the porch into a 400 gallon fiberglass laundry cart. March/early April can still have wacky weather with cold snaps. Dad is still in the nursing home. I don't know when I'll be back on sitting duty with him leaving less time to keep an eye on young bitties. This trough will allow me to keep them inside in my herb room a couple of extra weeks if needed. By mid-April they'll be able to handle a cool night or a humid one if raining out.

View attachment 37167
Next time you brude, hit me up for the design I came up with for bruder boxes. I use one sheet of 3/8" plywood and one 2"x2" firing strip. it's great because it's super light and bottomless. I can keep them in at night and put them out on grass during the day when they're old enough. The whole setup usually cost me about $12.
 

Peanut

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Next time you brude, hit me up for the design I came up with for bruder boxes. I use one sheet of 3/8" plywood and one 2"x2" firing strip. it's great because it's super light and bottomless. I can keep them in at night and put them out on grass during the day when they're old enough. The whole setup usually cost me about $12.
It'll be about 3 years before I need to raise another clutch, if I can keep the critters out of the pen... post away with some pics. Lets see what you've come up with. :)
 

Grumpy521

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It'll be about 3 years before I need to raise another clutch, if I can keep the critters out of the pen... post away with some pics. Lets see what you've come up with. :)
One 4'x8" sheet of 3/8" or even 1/4" plywood ripped in to four 2"x 4' sheets. Cut one 2"x 2"x 8' firing strip in to 2'long four pieces. Screw it all together. I always have scrap lumber laying around Soni added a perch for a cockerel
It'll be about 3 years before I need to raise another clutch, if I can keep the critters out of the pen... post away with some pics. Lets see what you've come up with. :)
IMG_20200423_120022944.jpg
 

Grumpy521

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One 4'x8" sheet of 3/8" or even 1/4" plywood ripped in to four 2"x 4' sheets. Cut one 2"x 2"x 8' firing strip in to 2'long four pieces. Screw it all together. I always have scrap lumber laying around Soni added a perch for a cockerel
View attachment 40449
Dang thing posted before I was finished. I always have scrap laying around to i added a perch for a cockerel and a heat lamp.
 

Peanut

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Now they are really home! I picked them up 45 days ago (7w3d). They were about a week old then. I bought a dozen pre-sexed hens, ISA browns, at TSC. They've all made it. I've never lost a chick I've hatched here in an incubator. Seems I always lose at least one on purchased chicks.

These are finally big enough to eat big hen food and drink from the tank in the main pen. As you can see they are big enough to roost as well. I put down fresh wood chips because they'll still probably lay on the ground in a mass for a few more nights. They'll figure it out what to do from watching the 2 old hens I have left.

ISA browns will lay an egg every 22hours when they start laying. These should start laying by August.

z 01 (1) sm.jpgz 01 (2) sm.jpgz 01 (3) sm.jpgz 01 (4) sm.jpgz 01 (5) sm.jpgz 01 (6) sm.jpg
 

Peanut

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3rd night in the main coop and the instincts finally kick in. Nature tells them to roost off the ground. Good thing, supposed to be a rainy day tomorrow. Tomorrow night the ground will be damp to soggy.

A couple of the little hens were trying to find something higher than the roosting poles to sleep on. Some are still trying to sleep in a pile like little chicks do but still off the ground. They piled up on the cinderblocks. Looks like my work is done. I bought 12 peeps and 12 have lived to roost like the old hens.

Trimming wing feathers will be next. They are getting a bit flighty... in another month they'll be able to fly out of the main pen. I'll have the shears ready before then.

I noticed tonight I need to work on the hardware cloth that covers the bottom half of the coop door. It's come loose. I try to keep the coop critter proof.

28apr20 peeps.JPG
 

Peanut

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Dizzy? Me to! I've raised lots of peeps over the years but I have never had a group imprint on me like these have. They think I'm momma. Every time I go in the pen they herd around my feet like they were tiny. It's usually all I can do to keep from tripping and falling.

They are still growing, starting to grow combs I noticed.

peeps 14may20 sm.JPG
 
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Peanut

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Spent a few moments down at the chicken pen late this afternoon. The peeps are getting sooo big. First pic... my two old hens have black arrows pointed at them... The peeps are almost as large, will be in a couple months.

peeps 21 may c (1) sm.JPG

The peeps still climb on me if I sit down... Help! Attack of the chickens! Critters always seem to like me.

peeps 21 may c (2) sm.JPGpeeps 21 may c (3) sm.JPGpeeps 21 may c (4) sm.JPG
 

txcatlady

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I had a 10 year old Americana go broody on an empty nest. I made her a nest in our grow out pen and put 5 eggs under her. 4 hatched out at 20 days. Another young hen is now in there too and sitting on 6 eggs. Hopefully hatch out in 2 weeks. Probably all roosters! Exciting. I chose not to buy pullets this past spring as my birds are 1 year old but with the way this year is going, I decided to take advantage of natural production. May even invest in an incubator if we can have a bigger pen. I currently have 18 hens and a banty rooster and barred rock rooster. My hens are half buffs and other half are RI reds. I have several buyers for eggs. Get 7-13 a day. Had to put sulfer out today as I found a snake in coop. It was not happy after eating a golf ball. I got the golf ball back.
 
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