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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Chickens in the back yard.'s LiveJournal:

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Wednesday, September 28th, 2011
10:28 am
My girls!
I've had chickens once a long while in the past, and I really enjoyed having them even if at that time there was very little information available (before the internet had anything on it) to go with. I just kind of made things up and went with my intuition at that point.

Fast forward to a couple months ago when my neighbor took me a bit too seriously about my renewed desire to have chickens, and he picked up two weeks old RIR's at a local pet store for me. One was a young cockerel. I don't know what it is but there is this misperception that a hen won't lay unless their is a rooster present. I wasn't into have a rooster about so I found out where he got them, returned the male (!, chicken returns!) and picked up two females. I didn't have much of a set up so I made a quick and hasty run for them, while I designed and built their new one...

And here they are loving their new dusty enclosure:


Current Mood: giddy
Saturday, May 29th, 2010
11:02 pm
Uncle Sam wants YOU to raise chickens!
From www.BackyardChickens.com ... do you love it?? :D
Friday, May 21st, 2010
7:08 am
Duck question
I know this is the city chickens forum, but I was wondering if anybody had any insight into runner ducks.  I know that for chicken hens to produce on a more regular scale, a rooster is needed so that the hens have encouragement essentially.  I was wondering if the same thing was true with duck, specifically Indian Runner Ducks.  We lost some ducks in some recent flooding here in Nashville, and we only have females left.  So we're trying to rebuild the flock, and we just need to know if an all female flock will produce a good amount of eggs or if we need a male as well.

Current Mood: curious
Saturday, February 27th, 2010
11:15 am
sick rooster

We have a rooster that we recently acquired last weekend who is not feeling well.  When we got him it was somewhat warm (60's/70's) and he had a spot of molting near his tail.  But he seemed to be doing well otherwise.  For the first few days he was ok, and then we got a cold snap, where it dipped into the 20's at night, and 4's in the daytime.  He ended up with a touch of frost bite on his comb (Thursday), which we treated with antibiotic ointment.  The next day we noticed that he was lethargic, not eating much, but was drinking.  We brought him inside in a cage yesterday (Friday) to get him out of the cool air.  All day yesterday he rested, he would breath with his mouth open on occasion, has somewhat of a raspy sound, coughs and sneezes, somewhat stinky breath.  This morning his eyes were gummed shut, but has opened them since then.  We suspect he needs antibiotics, which we hope to be able to pickup from TSC later today.  In the meantime, does anybody have any recomendations, suggestions, thoughts as to what ishappening?  We'd like to know what antibiotics he may be needing, what products we may require.  I noticed TSC has an antibiotic feed, should we try this?



Current Mood: sad
Tuesday, January 26th, 2010
7:18 pm
I may start putting some pics of my chickens in weeks to come.
I have various types of chickens. I also have various types of ducks. I also got me a few white guinea hens today.
Monday, January 4th, 2010
1:37 pm
I'm thinking of raising a few chickens this year.  I have never done this, so I'm a complete noob at this.  I'm wanting to do this for as little as possible.  I'm going to fence off my garden with 6 foot wire fencing to help keep out predators, and let the birds have the freedom to go all over the garden.   I figure that would be a great way to fertilize the soil and keep out pests from the plants.  All the plants are in raised beds, and I have an area of 10x12 to build a coop for the birds.  I'm mostly wanting to keep chickens for eggs, and on occasion as a meal. 

My main question today though is the coop.  Like I said, I'm wanting to be economical.  So many coops on the internet look either like small houses, or look too closed in and not well ventilated, Others look like they may be too open air and may not provide enough shelter.  I guess I'm thinking about this issue because we are not getting above freezing this week (Nashville, TN).  I certainly don't want to bake the birds during the summer, but I don't want them to freeze during the winter.  Is there a coop design that is favored for my area of the country that is innexpensive to build, but conducive to egg laying and keeping the birds relatively cool in the summer and warm in the winter?

Current Mood: curious
Friday, June 19th, 2009
10:04 pm
broody buff
My three-year-old buff orphington has gone broody. Feathering the nest, brood patch exposed, comb all floppy, attitude all pecky. How long should I expect it to last? I go in and bug her a couple f times a day and pull her out and make her mingle, is that bad? 
Saturday, May 16th, 2009
12:47 pm
male or female
What do you guys think is my chick a Male or female???




Thursday, March 5th, 2009
9:53 am
Bright yellow yolks = quality eggs: Myth or reality?
 I feed my Red Sexlink and Buff Orpington organic Albers Mill crumble, and supplement with treats of black oil sunflower seed and crushed oyster shell. But their yolks aren't the stunning yellow everyone talks about. I've seen that yellow: after feeding them sunflower petals that are yellow in color. What do you think? Is the lack of intense color an indication of something that my girls aren't getting?
9:50 am
Sudden chicken death
 A friend of mine had a Rhode Island Red that just up and died last week. Before she died, her comb turned white. She'd been laying so she wasn't bound up. What would cause the color to drain from her comb? Heart attack? 
Wednesday, January 14th, 2009
9:45 am
has anybody else had the surreal experience of deciding to bathe your banties, steeling yourself for lots of squawking and flapping, and then discovering that the birds LOVE it? truly bizarre :) but at least now i know i can keep the silkies nice and fluffy with no drama!
Tuesday, December 30th, 2008
8:26 am
Integrating a Flock
So ... Beaudacious didn't make it and is now scratching grit up in chicken heaven, as it were. It's too bad, and I wish I knew what to do to help them be more resilient. They have a varied diet, a warm, dry shelter and fresh water. Beyond that, I don't know enough about chickens to know what else would make them stronger.

Bobbi Jo is bawking away a storm ... either she wants to lay an egg, or she's trying to find out where all her mates are, because she's the last of the flock. In fact, she was up super early this morning, before it was even fully light, looking and bawking.

As much as I would love to bring in new chicks and start from small fry, the weather sucks for it, and I'm not equipped to keep Bobbi Jo away from them until they're old enough to fend for themselves. This means bringing in some pullets.

Has anyone ever integrated grown chickens into a flock before, and is there anything I need to watch out for, besides the general picking at each other that they sometimes do? I know what to watch out for with adults and chicks, but not adults and adults.

Any advice?

Current Mood: sad
Saturday, December 27th, 2008
4:40 pm
Veterinarian's Hospital
One of our remaining two chickens is feeling punky. I think age combined with two weeks of snow and freezing temperatures has sent her into a decline. I was hoping that with the snow melt, she'd perk up ... you know, bugs to scrounge, greens to forage (they're free range girls), but mostly she hid under the wood pile.

So now she's in Chicken Rehab out in the workshop. It's a small, portable pen we built, that we can cover with towels to keep the drafts out, put a heat lamp on there so she'll be warm, and mostly it gives her a chance to be undisturbed, eat extra nourishing foods and rest in a less damp, cold clime.

We'll see if it works. We've nursed one chicken back to health from damp and cold related weather issues, but Beaudacious (for that is her name) is four years old, and no longer a spring chicken.

Beau and Betty Jo are not even egg laying anymore ... if we see another egg out of them this spring, I'll be surprised. However, they are AWESOME dandelion and slug control mechanisms and I just wish I could let them roam the front yard as well.

Here's hoping she holds on a bit. She's been an excellent family chicken, and gorgeous to boot.

Current Mood: knackered
Friday, December 12th, 2008
8:52 am
Chicken waterer
Avian Aqua MiserMy boyfriend has spent the last two months working on a chicken waterer to prevent me from swearing in the morning when I go out and the conventional waterer is full of poop. :-) Once he made one which I (and our hens!) adored, he turned it into a product which we're selling on our farm blog. If you wander over now, I'm giving
one away
to a lucky visitor. I hope you all enjoy it as much as I do!
Sunday, October 19th, 2008
8:07 pm
new chickens
I have a new chicken her name is stella, I think she is a Easter Egger, what do you think?

Friday, September 5th, 2008
3:29 pm
more research
A question. I found something the other day that said a tractor is for "day-time use" and that you still need a coop for night times, and a friend is arguing that a tractor is so you don't have to build a coop. Just curious. I googled "tractor vs coop" and came up with nothing but tractor designs. I am willing to build one, but once again, I would like to do my research first before I end up with a bunch of pissed off chickens. :)

Also, has anyone here bought chicks online? How did that work out?
Thursday, September 4th, 2008
10:46 pm
Our first Rooster

 He just started crowing 2 1/2 weeks ago.... but he will go days without crowing and then one day he'll be crowing to beat the band and the next nothing..... 

Current Mood: curious
Tuesday, September 2nd, 2008
7:10 pm
yay! my hens finally laid their first eggs, so how should i store these eggs? is there any different way or just keep them in the fridge?...
Thursday, August 28th, 2008
4:11 pm
adding hens to an established flock- help!
Hey all, I live in Atlanta and have a small backyard chicken flock. Recently we had a predator attack, and lost 2 of my 5 hens. I went a little nuts and built a much larger coop with a predator-proof run, and bought 5 more hens. I have added chickens to a flock once in the past, and everything went well, but this time I'm having problems. I thought that adding 5 new chickens to a flock of only 3 would sort of keep the balance of power, especially since I put all the birds into the new coop together, at night, but my 3 older chickens are being very aggressive. They're not injuring the new chickens, except for a few pulled feathers, but they're monopolizing the run and the food and water- the new chickens are immediately retreating to the interior of the coop, and not coming out to the run. I tried putting food inside, but it's not really working- they're sitting on perches and not eating, I guess because it's dark in there. Anyway, I finally figured out how to rig up some netting that will divide the run in two, but my favorite of the new birds has just died, I suspect from starvation. I pushed all the birds out of the coop into the run, and when they realized the old birds couldn't get at them anymore they stayed out, and ate and drank, but the netting is a temporary fix at best. Does anybody have any advice? I'm getting desperate.

Current Mood: sad
Wednesday, August 27th, 2008
8:27 am
chicken pictures!!!
I don't think I ever posted pics of my chicks.
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