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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by HillDweller View Post
    Congratulations on your chickens @gingermillie ! How exciting We have chickens and ducks. We had a French Maran Wheaten called Matilda who was my favourite chicken ever. She was so beautiful and clever, used to want to sit on my shoulder all the time and would come running when I called her name! She passed away suddenly out of the blue when she was about a year old and I was devastated. We still have a whole herb garden dedicated to her with a big cross in the middle with her name!

    You've got some great advice on this thread already. HOw big is your backyard that they will free range in? Just be aware, if you're not already, that they will scratch and dig up your grass and eat most of the plants. We have ours confined in one decent size area and it's a dust bowl lol. We did find a way to give them their own patch of grass though - we've laid a nice big square of it, put wood around the sides and mesh over the top. They can still peck at the grass and find bugs in it, but not scratch it up! We also created a few fun things for our chickens to do - interestingly stacked logs to climb on, a mirror to look at themselves in and 'snack baskets'(hanging baskets we put lettuces and other scraps in for them to use like a pinata )

    I am trying to convince my DH we need a silver or gold wyandotte and a barred rock added to our flock
    Lol yes we've already realized they are garden destroyers very quickly 😮 so we've put in a run today attached to the coop which is 4mx2.5m which is for 4 chickens (1 of the frizzles is a rooster so will have to be re-homed). We'll let them out maybe once a week otherwise they have their run under a big tree with lots of soft dirt to scratch in they were making dust baths straight away!
    The French maran is just a gorgeous sweet chicken the gold laced Wyandotte is bff with the French maran but a bit more skittish. DH picks them up every day to get them used to us though. Can't wait to eat the first eggs!

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by gingermillie View Post
    Lol yes we've already realized they are garden destroyers very quickly 😮 so we've put in a run today attached to the coop which is 4mx2.5m which is for 4 chickens (1 of the frizzles is a rooster so will have to be re-homed). We'll let them out maybe once a week otherwise they have their run under a big tree with lots of soft dirt to scratch in they were making dust baths straight away!
    The French maran is just a gorgeous sweet chicken the gold laced Wyandotte is bff with the French maran but a bit more skittish. DH picks them up every day to get them used to us though. Can't wait to eat the first eggs!
    Haha I know when I first realised what destroyers they were I couldn't believe it! HOW do they do that in such a small amount of time?! We have our ducks free-ranging and they're almost as bad....but they don't scratch up lawn. We've had to build our entire garden around them though, fencing everything off, getting standard roses they can't reach etc!

    They'll love their run anyway. How cute are they when they have their dust baths? My parents looked after our house when we were on holidays once and when we got back my dad told us it was really hot one day and one of the chickens was flopping around on the ground looking half dead, so he grabbed her and started dunking her in a bucket of water to cool her down, since she obviously had heat stroke. Then suddenly he says "oh no! Look, she's doing it again!!!" Me: "I'm dad, she's having a dust bath..." Poor girl had been minding her own business having a lovely dust bath and she'd been picked up and unceremoniously dunked in a bucket of water!! LOL!

    Getting the first eggs is so exciting!

  3. #23
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    Mine are currently making a right mess of my lawn. DH is not impressed. Plus they are moulting, so look awful, and I'm not getting any eggs!! Need to pull my finger out and get some Hyline or Isa POL's. My speckled sussex's and lace Wyandotte's might be pretty to look at, but gosh I'm over the broodiness and the impacts on my egg production!

  4. #24
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    ImageUploadedByThe Bub Hub1452906649.265737.jpg

    One of my girls enjoying her dust bath. Their fav place is under the roses. Which is good as they keep the weeds down!

  5. The Following User Says Thank You to Californication For This Useful Post:

    HillDweller  (16-01-2016)

  6. #25
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    Default Getting chickens - any advice?

    You know, funnily enough, I've got two lavender araucana's (the ones that lay blue eggs) and I was ready for them to be poor layers, broody all the time and just not as hardy, but they're both just over 3 years old, have laid an egg every single day (even in the winter), only one of them had gone broody once and they were the only two not to catch a flu when the rest of them did! I am so surprised! And I love their blue eggs, they make my egg basket look pretty! They're a bit darker blue than the photo shows though.

    ImageUploadedByThe Bub Hub1452907313.730533.jpg

  7. #26
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    Wow! They are so pretty!!! I'm hoping mine will grow out of the brood as they get older. They vary in age from 12-18 months, so hoping as they get older they will settle. I've had 3 girls in my brood box at once! Luckily it's a decent size. We seem to get a run of them, and then a few weeks of eggs, and then brood cycle starts again. Sigh.

  8. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Californication View Post
    Wow! They are so pretty!!! I'm hoping mine will grow out of the brood as they get older. They vary in age from 12-18 months, so hoping as they get older they will settle. I've had 3 girls in my brood box at once! Luckily it's a decent size. We seem to get a run of them, and then a few weeks of eggs, and then brood cycle starts again. Sigh.
    Ugh, yep that's what happens to us too with the rest of the chickens. Ours seem to go broody as soon as we have 2 or more days in a row of 40+ degrees. So apparently in their mind, that's the best time to go and sit in the tin shed where the laying boxes are!! :O


 

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