josh1990's Chooks

Discussion in 'Pets & Animals' started by josh1990, Jun 6, 2017.

  1. josh1990

    josh1990 Member

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    This weekend past, we welcomed some new members to our household. My wife and I were planning to get some chickens for a while, just took the time sourcing the right breed for us. We settled on Australorp's and the searching began.

    Purebred Australorp chooks are expensive ($40 for a pullet here) and most people keep for show. The local "Chook man" recommend I go for an Australorp cross instead and even found me a source. So I ordered 3 pullets that would be ready on the 14th of June @ 14 weeks old. I'm fairly certain the breeder said they were crossed with a Rhode Island Red.

    Then on Saturday night, I saw advertised some point-of-lay Sussex pullets. Did some research on the breed and decided to grab 2 of those too. This was in expectation of the younger pullets not coming onto lay for a few more months at least.

    So, from having a few weeks to prepare the old dog pen down the back and repurpose it into a coop, we had to do it Sunday morning after picking the chooks up from the markets. Turned an old cube shelf into nesting boxes. Used a kiddy pool from bunnings as a dust bath. Thankfully we'd already ordered the treadle feeder and it has arrived Saturday so the training on that has started.

    As for the title? (Mod edited) My wife hates birds. Like REALLY hates birds. So these little mothercluckers were to be my responsibility. They were to be livestock and not pets, no names. So, introducing Henrietta and Stumpy :lol:

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    After spending less than 10 minutes with them, they were named and suddenly her fear of some birds have diminished. She won't pick them up yet, but will happily pat them and go in the coop herself.

    Anyway, we certainly weren't expecting an egg in the first few weeks, but lo and behold on Monday Henrietta popped one out. Taking this egg on the first full day as a sign they've settled in nicely. Little 42g beauty, followed up by another 44 grammer today.

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    The yolk was deliciously golden

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    The dust bath has been a big hit. I'm just using sandy loam from the landscaping joint atm.

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    For now, their diet consists of Coprice Lucky Layer (made in Leeton, where we are from) and kitchen scraps (veggies only). Using dried and crushed egg shells supplemented with medium shell grit for calcium and digestion. Also getting some warm porridge to help warm them up of a morning.

    Will upload some more pics as I take them, especially the new arrivals on the 14th. I will be using this thread as like a blog thing. Might do a weekly egg tally.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2017
  2. Madengineer

    Madengineer Member

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    Love it! Australorps are a great breed (little interesting to be bred with Rhode Island though). Just as a heads up though, if your purpose is eggs, you'll be a little disappointed (they will go clucky - regularly through spring) and typically through Winter they'll stop laying eggs all together.

    If you want eggs, Isa Browns are where it's at.

    Don't forget lice treatment (powder that you use on both the chooks and their surroundings). Avoid hay/straw etc as it helps lice (breeding/hiding etc) - Saw dust is a fantastic option that we use a lot of.

    Have you looked at other variants of the food available? I've always been suspicious of 'layer' pellets, because it doesn't have all the nutrients the chooks need (it has what you need for good eggs, but not everything that's good for the chooks). Kitchen scraps are good, and if you've got off cuts of meat (like fat) they'll eat that as well (in moderation can be good for them).

    If you're giving them layer pellets, you shouldn't need to give them additional shell grit, because it's usually in the pellets anyway.

    Warm porridge is a nice sentiment, but not really necessary. haha.

    There is a porridge type mixture that is good as well (I give it to mine). I'll get the ingredients and list them if you're interested.

    Hope you have fun with them though! Chooks are a great hobby! I have a selection of show chooks (mostly bantams) but at one point or another have had most. If you're just using them for backyard eggs, the perfect number is 3 (more of a company thing). But the more there are, the happier they'll be.

    Have fun!
     
  3. broccoli

    broccoli Member

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    Photos! My Marcy is a light sussex cross. She's a lovely girl.
     
  4. Juggs

    Juggs Member

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    i have 5 isa browns and get 5 eggs a day

    we eat a egg a week if we are lucky so i leave them and the two corgis go into the coop each day and eat them

    they destroy back yards will pull everything apart scratching etc
     
  5. OP
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    josh1990

    josh1990 Member

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    100% not interested in Isa Brown's. I've had them in the past and they just aren't long lived enough. Sure, you get loads of eggs for 2 years - then the health problems start.

    As for the Australorp, yes they can be broody. But as soon as you shake some food in front of them, they'll generally jump off the eggs. Grandparents have had them when I was a kid. The cross with Rhode Island Red or New Hampshire (which itself is bred from RIR) is a common cross (often just called a black cross) and results in higher egg production and less broody chickens.

    Done plenty of research on the breeds as I wanted something that was going to last, be docile etc. over outright egg production.

    As for straw and lice, it's all we've ever used on the farm and never ever had lice/mites. They will be wormed as per schedule and dusted for mites too. Want them to be well looked after. Yes, strict layer pellet diets (soft enough) don t need the grit, but with all the scraps they will need it. If the eggs exhibit any signs of calcium build-up then ill restrict access.

    Mad E, I'm certainly interested in your recipe.

    We have 3 (possibly 4 :lol:) to pick up next Wednesday, so that will bring the total to council limit of 6 if we get the 4. Enough for a nice social group.
     
  6. Juggs

    Juggs Member

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    Health problems thatsbwhen you just replace them

    Wasn't trying to sway your choice just was talking about what we have currently an eggs a egg
     
  7. broccoli

    broccoli Member

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    I had australorps before, now I've got some isa browns and some "silly chooks". I think the australorps' eggs tasted better than the isa browns'. They were really "something".
     
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    josh1990

    josh1990 Member

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    That was more so to MadE's statement. They are a great breed for eggs. I wanted longevity over production, and generally just something different than the brown chooks I've had in the past. With 6 I would hope to see at least 2 a day (excluding winter) as that's what we eat regularly. Some weeks we'll go through a lot more.
     
  9. brettmo86

    brettmo86 Member

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    Would love to see pics of peoples full set ups.
    I've got plenty of space in the yard and wouldn't mind picking up a few chooks one day.
    How much time per day is required feeding/cleaning etc?
     
  10. broccoli

    broccoli Member

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    It depends on your setup. I have bucket feeders so I don't have to serve "meals" they just help themselves to crumble, scraps take 2 seconds to give them. Ditto waterers are large, they don't need filling every day. As for poo inside, it drops below their perch(es) so it's not hard to scoop and doesn't take long. If you let them free range, they'll poo wherever they want. How much that matters depends on where you let them go. How much poo depends on how many girls.

    tldr: not long, they are pretty easy to provide for.
     
  11. chook

    chook Member

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    I would just like to say, for the record, that slavery is illegal in the modern age.

    Set my people free!

    :)
     
  12. broccoli

    broccoli Member

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    You are free, now stop pooing on my patio and stick to the garden.
     
  13. rickbishop

    rickbishop Member

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    I built a house with my own hands, but do people call me Rick the house builder? No. I built a shed, but do people call me Rick the shed builder? No. I wired my dads house, but do people call me Rick the electrician? No! But fuck ONE chook!
     
  14. OP
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    josh1990

    josh1990 Member

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    So it's been 7 days since we've bought the 2 sussex. I've gotten 5 eggs (M,T,2 between W/T/F - we weren't home,S) so far. First was 42g, last 2 have been 46g. Still only Henrietta laying, but Stumpy's wattle and comb are getting redder every day and increasing in size. No more pics as yet, photobucket is still being a pain. Uninstalled and reinstalled but still not uploading. Will have to get the compact out and upload via the pc.

    Edit - Got another today, so 6 from 7 days. Pretty happy with that considering only one on the lay
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2017
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    josh1990

    josh1990 Member

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    [​IMG]

    This is Stumpy laying back enjoying a blow dry. Poor bugger was looking a bit sorry for herself when I went down this morning. After a quick examination, she seems to be egg bound. All the symptoms of it too. So I've had her in a warm bath, then the photo above taken as I dried her off. Giving her a bit of calcium via syringe shortly. She did take water via syringe also. Inside in a box for warmth and monitoring. Hoping she pulls through as the wife's getting a bit upset (which is understandable, we've had nothing but loss for the last 3 months straight).
     
  16. broccoli

    broccoli Member

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    I'm sorry Stumpy isn't well, I hope she recovers.
     
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    josh1990

    josh1990 Member

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    Thanks Broc. Stumpy is back out with Henrietta this morning. Henrietta cracked the sads yesterday after I went down and collected her egg and came back up to the house. Stump got another inspection/spa yesterday morning and couldn't feel a bloody thing. I had some Amprolium 200 for when the new girls come along (similar signs to being egg bound) and since having some of that she is back on her feet (literally). This morning she jumped out of the box when I popped the lid, so down she went to see Henrietta. They were very happy to see each other, very vocal indeed.

    Here's Stump this morning, smashing a homemade wholemeal bagel (well 1/4 of one)

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2017
  18. OP
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    josh1990

    josh1990 Member

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    So. Todays new arrivals.

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    They stayed close to me for a little while

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    Then one spied the food

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    Henrietta - I'm above this shit

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    Stumpy - I'm healthy enough to beat the shit outta you still youngin' (well she gave it to 3 of them that I saw hahaha)

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    So what you see is the result (well, 4 results) of a Rhode Island Red cockeral over the Australorp hen. The Australorp colouring has been domininant in 3, and 1 has a fair bit of red in the throat feathers. Little motherclucker is too fast for me to grab for a decent close-up photo :lol:, but she's the LHS one in last photo.

    These little buggers cost me a total of $68 ($17ea), the Sussex were $25 each but are further along so worth more. Some people advertise Isa Browns here for $30 (which I think is overpriced, I picked up point of lay Isa's for $12.50 in 2007), so $25 for a POL Sussex is very well priced IMO.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2017
  19. FOTW

    FOTW Member

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    Love the photos, great setup you have for them. Hopefully stumpy gets better.

    Love seeing people caring for their animals well. :thumbup:
     
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    josh1990

    josh1990 Member

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    Thanks mate, Stumpy is showing definite signs of improvement. Has a great appetite and keeping the new arrivals well in order. Hopefully get an egg out of her soon too, poor Henrietta is carrying the flock there.
     

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