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  1. #1
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    Default Getting chickens - any advice?

    Hi all we are getting chickens in the new year, very exciting. Primary purpose will be eggs but also as new pets for the family (we have 2 cats, dog, tropical aquarium, and an aquaponics system!).
    Anyone who has/has had chooks what advice can you give two total chicken newbies?! Any info re feeding, housing, socialising etc would be great. We won't get chicks as we have two cats (neighbours have chickens and our cats visit but don't touch but wouldn't trust them with chicks).
    We are hoping to get 4 chooks, housed in a coop/run at night and free ranging in the backyard during the day. Have tentatively decided 1 of each of the following breeds but open to alternatives! We're in Adelaide and with a week of 40+ just now (43 today ๐Ÿ˜ฎ) they need to be heat resilient!
    Silkie bantam
    Wyandotte
    Rhode Island Red
    Brahma
    Thanks for any advice ๐Ÿ˜€

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    Quote Originally Posted by gingermillie View Post
    Hi all we are getting chickens in the new year, very exciting. Primary purpose will be eggs but also as new pets for the family (we have 2 cats, dog, tropical aquarium, and an aquaponics system!).
    Anyone who has/has had chooks what advice can you give two total chicken newbies?! Any info re feeding, housing, socialising etc would be great. We won't get chicks as we have two cats (neighbours have chickens and our cats visit but don't touch but wouldn't trust them with chicks).
    We are hoping to get 4 chooks, housed in a coop/run at night and free ranging in the backyard during the day. Have tentatively decided 1 of each of the following breeds but open to alternatives! We're in Adelaide and with a week of 40+ just now (43 today ๐Ÿ˜ฎ) they need to be heat resilient!
    Silkie bantam
    Wyandotte
    Rhode Island Red
    Brahma
    Thanks for any advice ๐Ÿ˜€
    What sort of dogs do u have?

    We bought a second hand coop off gumtree I can't remember how I cleaned it I think it said bleach and something else and sun light (for pests/parasites) if you go down second hand route.

    Free range is good idea (of course lol) but just keep in mind dogs might not like. We have lost three chickens we now have none. Our neighbours stole one of chooks ๐Ÿ™„

    Also check with your council even though your neighbour has them

    We preferred scraps, shell grit and corn/seed. We get our feed from Oliver's. There is a good video on gardening Australia recently and it's even a Adelaide video I'm on my phone so I'm bit ditzy at linking lol.

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    gingermillie  (31-12-2015)

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    I like Rhode Island Reds: reliable layers, lovely chooks.
    Do you know that bantam eggs are miniature size? I prefer to eat regular sized eggs so that might be a consideration.
    You may need to think about clipping their wings - you just clip the wing feathers short periodically so they can't fly & go roost in someone else's backyard lol!
    Maybe think about getting half grown chooks (I think they're called pullets), big enough to hold their own against the other pets.

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    gingermillie  (31-12-2015)

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    Default Getting chickens - any advice?

    Chickens are awesome. I have 10! But we live rural . I've got a mix of Isa's, Hylines, Speckled Sussex's and Gold Lace Wyandotte's.

    With the breeds, just know that heritage breeds go broody. A lot! They also won't lay over winter. I sometimes have 3 in my brood box. You need to let air circulate under them to cool them down and break their brood. Isa Browns and Hylines lay all year round and don't go broody. They're not as pretty, but they are lovely chickens. If you want eggs all year round, I'd get at least one of them in the mix. They don't live as long (4-5 is a good age for them) but they lay a lot.

    Make sure the coop is safe and locked at night. Even in the city, you can loose them to foxes/predators.

    I use a high protein pellet mix, plus scraps and free ranging to feed mine. Don't give them avocado as its poisonous to them. They also don't like onion, capsicum or citrus. I give them everything else though - meat, egg shells (just crush them so they don't get the idea to eat theirs), peelings, the kids dinner that doesn't get eaten ๐Ÿ˜. They also need shells to help grind their food up.

    I dust mine periodically to get rid of parasites, and they will make a bare patch for their dust baths. And if your garden is small, they will probably make a mess of it!

    But they are funny, have huge personalities and I love my girls. They are all different, but they are all curious and they follow me around the yard, to collect the mail etc. and the kids love collecting, and eating! the eggs. There's nothing like a backyard egg. Even tastier and creamier than free range from the shops.
    Last edited by Californication; 19-12-2015 at 22:40.

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    gingermillie  (31-12-2015)

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    I've got 4 girls we got 4 hybrid layers from our local produce shop she are wonderful hens we purchased them at POL point of Lay so they are just coming of age to start laying. We feed them layers mix with high protein content and scraps and they get to roam for all the bugs- they are very resilient- we you tubed automatic feeders or pvc pipe feeders so we can go away for weekends and they have plenty of food and water- out coop has the layer box accessible from the outside so you aren't climbing through poop to collect eggs- our girls are very happy and we love our eggs everyday- we get 4 eggs daily from 4 hens ๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ‘

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    gingermillie  (31-12-2015)

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    I have a Rhode Island red and a silky in a small yard. Large chickens can do a lot of damage to a garden - I can't bear to lock them up during the day so I will never have another tulip, daffodil or any other small plant in my garden again.
    The silky often goes broody but she is adorable. I have never clipped their wings because I want them to be able to escape from a predator. They never leave the yard.

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    gingermillie  (31-12-2015)

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    Capsicum is my chickens favorite! she loves the seedy bit in the middle.

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    gingermillie  (31-12-2015)

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    Quote Originally Posted by beancounter View Post
    Capsicum is my chickens favorite! she loves the seedy bit in the middle.
    Mine leave it untouched so thought all chooks didn't like it! Maybe mine are just fussy. Or take after the kids. They don't like it either.

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    gingermillie  (31-12-2015)

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    Quote Originally Posted by AmyRoberts View Post
    I've got 4 girls we got 4 hybrid layers from our local produce shop she are wonderful hens we purchased them at POL point of Lay so they are just coming of age to start laying. We feed them layers mix with high protein content and scraps and they get to roam for all the bugs- they are very resilient- we you tubed automatic feeders or pvc pipe feeders so we can go away for weekends and they have plenty of food and water- out coop has the layer box accessible from the outside so you aren't climbing through poop to collect eggs- our girls are very happy and we love our eggs everyday- we get 4 eggs daily from 4 hens ๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ‘
    I was about to come in and ask what you do when you go away but you've already answered that.

    We moved onto a farm a month ago and we will eventually get chooks. We've got 80 acres and there's already a chook house but it needs a tidy up as it has been unused for several years. The previous owners were getting older and let the whole property go a bit so we've got a lot of work to do.

    Can't wait to have chooks! I have found a chook/bird forum which seems like a good place for info too.

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    gingermillie  (31-12-2015)

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    Backyard Chickens? That's quite good for info and chicken chat.

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    gingermillie  (31-12-2015)


 

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