Hello, we’ve been here three weeks now

ChickensWeekThree

Comparison pic of the chicks since we’ve had them.

Yesterday marked the chick’s 3rd Week-aversary in our care.

We celebrated the occasion by busting our butts all weekend long (in between baseball games and  everything else we had going on) to get the not-quite finishing touches on their new coop.  DH, Little Dude and I spent Saturday afternoon cleaning up around the outside of the barn where their run is going to be.  I guess we’ve decided to put up a small run for about a month or so, until the get acclimated to the outdoors area and then remove the fencing to let them truly be free range.

The clean up is not quite done.  It included pulling weeds, removing rock, trash, scrap metal, old boards and broken window glass.  There’s a lot to do, but seeing as the chicks are still only 3 weeks oldish and most still have down on their heads yet, we have some time to get the rest of it gone before the run goes up.

However, they are getting too big for our brooder box.  Most of the bigger ones have been trying to fly and keep hitting their heads on the chicken wire on top or careening into the brood lamp.  Not safe, in my fairly new-at-chickens opinion.

Also, we are expecting a delivery of Rhode Island Red chicks this coming week.

All the research I’ve done, from stalking other chicken blogs to looking on sites like Back Yard Chickens, suggests that since they are under 5 weeks old, I should be able to integrate the babies in with these guys in the brooder box and not wake up the next morning to the site of a massacre.  But the above statement that my three-week-old Gold Sexlinks are getting too big for our brooder box and the fact that 17 of them are rowdy little boys, I tend to think that mix them is a bad idea.

Not that any of the Golds seem to be vicious, but they are starting to act more like the chickens they will become and less like helpless little peeps.

And I just don’t want to wake up to a blood bath.

IMG_3399

DH hard at work building the ramp.

So, after the clean up, DH cut the hole for the door to the future chicken run and build them a ramp to walk down. That was Saturday.  Yesterday, he put the door and lock up, so we could lock them up at night and installed a brood lamp in the coop, in one corner.  They still have some down so they still need it.

After the door was installed, I picked up all the tools, swept the coop out really good (or as good as I could get it for an old barn) and with the help of My Girl (my daughter, she’s 15 and says she wants nothing to do with the chickens but she really does, if you know what I mean), put straw in the beds and wood chips on the floor.

After the lamp was installed, we were free to move them into their new home.  Some of them were totally okay with it.  Some of them completely freaked out and got scared.  Their toys did not make the trip.  We need to figure out where/how to hang them before that.  Also, as they get bigger, I want to build them some of these log chicken swings  They look neat.

Everyone else thinks I’m spoiling them.

Here’s a look at all our hard work.  Hope you enjoy it!  Tips/suggestions/comments always welcome.  🙂

30 thoughts on “Hello, we’ve been here three weeks now

  1. I agree with the first comment – its not something you can do – you have got a cohesive group here and they will not welcome newcomers – you either add them all together as day olds, or you wait until they are at least two months old, when each group is able to become curious about the others without harming them.

    In between, its a good idea to let them observe each other – say thro some netting or even glass – to make sure they don’t attack.

    I think you are following my posts on my chicks – see this one – https://julzcards.wordpress.com/2015/04/17/o-is-for-there-are-other-chickens/ – it takes ages for the grown chickens to accept the new brood – it is now several weeks on from these pics, and I have started letting the chicks out of the pen for short periods – at first the grown chickens chased them back in, and ate their food – but they are gradually getting used to each other. I still wouldn’t put them together at night!

    I take it you are growing the chickens to eat? If not, you are in real trouble with all those mini cockerels – they will fight!

    Liked by 1 person

      • well, you have been rather unusually unlucky in that case to get so many males – perhaps you can give some away, cos you really will have trouble in a couple of months if you keep all of them!

        Liked by 1 person

      • I hope so, too. Not that I’m not enjoying the Golds right now, but as spirited as they are now at 3 weeks, I have a feeling there’s going to come a day when it will be a real adventure trying to get into the coop to feed them.

        Like

      • just thought i’d add – your coop does look very good – congratulate your son for me!

        was thinking, if the Golds are sex linked, then they are are meat chickens and have been selected to send males – that’s why you have so many of them – they probably snuck the 3 females in “by accident?!”

        RIR’s (not RRR’s – letter got stuck – smile) are really good all purpose breed, and you should do well with them – look forward to following the ongoing story!

        Liked by 1 person

      • glad you got the RIR chicks – hope you put some pics up soon!

        by the way, it occurred to me that the golds will grow very fast if they are for meat – think they are full grown in a few months – perhaps you could check with the supplier – and I think you should definately NOT put the RIR’s in with them, they are a totally different type of chicken!

        Liked by 1 person

      • My research all says the golds are egg layers. They are gold sexlinks (aka red sexlinks or golden comets) .

        http://www.extension.org/pages/65355/which-chicken-breed-is-best-for-small-and-backyard-poultry-flocks#.VUpEBmlViko

        “The red sex-link cross (also known as the Golden Comet, Gold Star, or Cinnamon Queen, depending on the specific cross used) is produced by a number of different crosses. A White Plymouth Rock hen with the silver factor (a gene on the sex chromosome that inhibits red pigmentation of feathers) is crossed with a New Hampshire male to produce the Gold Comet. A Silver Laced Wyandotte hen is crossed with a New Hampshire Red rooster to produce the Cinnamon Queen. Additional possible red sex-link cross combinations are the Rhode Island White hen with a Rhode Island Red rooster or a Delaware hen with a Rhode Island Red rooster. Males hatch out white and can feather out to pure white or to white with some black feathering, depending on the cross. Females hatch out buff or red, depending on the cross, and feather out buff or red.”

        Mine (according to the sign at the store when we bought them) are Rhode Island Red crossed with Rhode Island Whites. Seems like the straight RIRs will fair well with them.

        I must have just totally lucked out buying them. Or else the supply store order straight runs and it was their luck we fell prey to.

        Liked by 1 person

      • replying to your info about the golds – well if they are bred to be egg layers, and they are sex linked – the whole point is that you can tell by the colour what sex they are – if you ordered them as egg layers, they cheated you!

        UNLESS of course, it was a special cheap deal – smile – which persuaded the buyer to get them and hope for the best?

        All a bit odd – but of course you can’t send them back!

        Like

      • No, I didn’t order these ones. They came from a tractor/farm supply store. All spring they’ve had tubs of chicks, ducks and geese for sale and when DH got tired of waiting for the Reds, he just went to the store and bought a random bunch of what they had at the time.

        All his chickens (in the past) were RIRs so I don’t think he was aware of the nature of a sexlinks. He keeps telling me I’m wrong and more of these will be hens than I think. We’ll see. I’d be okay with being wrong if it meant we had more girls.

        At this point, I wouldn’t send them back. Little Dude likes them, even though they aren’t small any more. He’s still going to be heart broke when the boys go to the freezer, though.

        Liked by 1 person

      • oh dear – so the culprit is nearer home, and won’t want to be told he’s wrong – well you have the evidence in the research you did – as I said, the whole point in producing sex linking is to be able to tell by colour what sex the chicks are – hmm – hope you lad isn’t too upset!

        Liked by 1 person

    • Replying again because I sent too early… DH had special ordered the Rhode Island Reds when the supply store didn’t have any for about three weeks of asking. That was back in March, and we were told they would come on May 5th. Then, three weeks ago, DH got anxious/tired of waiting and on a whim decided to bring home the Golds.

      He’s never had sexlinks before, so he didn’t know that only the 3 darker ones would be hens. I’ve been doing research because my farm experience is dairy cattle and the occasional beef. DH grew up around pigs and chickens. It’s been a learning three weeks for me.

      And yes, much to my Little Dude’s disappointment, we will wind up eating most (or all) of the males from this first group. He didn’t realize, even though his sister has been joking about ‘chicken nuggets’ and ‘chicken bbq’ for weeks. He knows now, because my dad told him. But he’s grown very attached over the last three weeks and politely informed my dad that “oh no, grandpa, we’re going to selling them.”

      Poor kid.

      Eggs we’re going to sell. I have people waiting to see how many eggs we get because they want some.

      Liked by 1 person

      • great you have a ready made market for the eggs – unfortunately you will have to decide how to go about letting your lad down easy – or let him learn the real lessons from farming!

        Like

  2. Reblogged this on the spare and commented:
    I am re-blogging this post because of the enthusiasm of this family and they deserve a bit of support.

    Unfortunately, its also a warning to newbies in the ‘backyard chicken’ world, that sometimes, things don’t go as you expected – I had quite a conversation with them in the comments section, and it would be nice if others could also offer stories from their own experience – smile!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. We have (we had–we lost the sexlink) 3 isabrowns and 1sexlink that were raised together right out of the water tank at TSC. My partner built a log swing for them as they matured, but they ignored it. On the other hand, she had a wooden frame base for something which she threw in and they do their gym exercises on that, (However, in answer to your unasked question, the dog is faster than we are, so clearly we are not experts on chickens in any way.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m sorry you lost your sexlink. 😦 I placed logs (not a log swing, just logs) and a gnarled root in their coop as perches and they sit on those all the time. The root is a lot of fun for them because it’s tippy and if one sits on one end and another jumps up, it acts like a teeter-totter.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s