Author Topic: SEEDS...  (Read 8544 times)

ilinda

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Re: SEEDS...
« Reply #105 on: September 09, 2017, 05:47:58 PM »
Hi Ilinda,

The little duck house has to be replenished daily, as duck excrement is more liquid due to all the water they drink and their preference for greens as food.  Henhouse gets cleaned out once a week during fair weather when they're pastured, and occasionally twice a week during foul-weather confinement, which amounts to a one-month period in winter, unless Px changes the routine.  I figure that we might go through a couple of two-twine bales of hay every month, which @ $5 per bale is nothing compared with the cost of caring for larger livestock.

Wheel barrow is right next to the henhouse, and old litter goes straight to the open gardens along with grass clippings and dead leaves, where the hens are allowed to work it in the open air and further break it down into good quick compost.  The worm houses receive all the veggie and fruit scraps, which they turn into priceless castings that go straight on the gardens once a year in autumn.
Sounds like you've got it down to a science and it is working.   I've only had chickens once and that was only for about a year or two, but really want them again, plus several dreams showed me with baby chicks in a box, so maybe it's time to get busy looking. 

Sandhill Preservation in Calamus, Iowa still has hatch dates listed in their catalog, but better go online to see the latest.  If I get them now, how soon can they be tolerant of cooler weather?  (I know when young they must be kept warm, etc., no drafts, etc.)

R.R. Book

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Re: SEEDS...
« Reply #106 on: September 09, 2017, 06:47:00 PM »
Hi Ilinda,

Sounds as if your dreams are trying to tell you something!  Bet the chicks would get along with the goats too :)

For your area, which is slightly in the north I believe, I'd consider sticking with Northern breeds at this late date, to be sure they'll overwinter easily.  Might want to think about getting Rhode Island Reds, Plymouth Barred Rocks, Wyandottes, etc., in other words the brown egg layers.  Once they're fully feathered with their pullet feathers, at six weeks, they can leave the brooder and be outdoors at least part of the time, maybe on a gradual basis. 

Of course, tolerance to the cold can be increased by other factors too, such as body heat from a flock size near capacity of the coop (our larger one is rated for a dozen, but we keep the chicken flock @ between 6 and 10 usually, so disease is not encouraged).  If you're having a coop custom-built, you can request that a layer of foam be put between the floor joists, beneath the glassboard-covered floor (glassboard is the only way to go for cleanliness and durability).  Wrapped hay bales can be stacked around the base or legs of the coop in winter, and blankets folded over the nest box door, if one comes with the coop.  And deep dry hay, both on the floor and in nest boxes.  Extra treats to plump them up will also harden them off to winter - some folks like to keep a suet cake available during cold weather, or you can make your own with PB and seeds, etc.

As an alternative to chicks, you could spend a few dollars more and order started pullets, which would be brought home about a month before they begin laying, so around 16 weeks of age. 
« Last Edit: September 10, 2017, 06:13:30 AM by R.R. Book »

ilinda

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Re: SEEDS...
« Reply #107 on: September 13, 2017, 05:25:39 PM »
The two olive trees mentioned in another thread were seedlings I think, and not started from cuttings. I think.  So, am posting a pic of one of them here, and as of this week they're a bit taller than 5', whereas last year at this time were maybe 1 1/2' tall.  They apparently love our Ozark climate, for now at least.