We purchased twelve, three-day-old chicks on March 09, 2016. They are red sex links. Click here for more on this breed of chicken The Lowdown on Red Sex Links
Here they are at six days old.
This is a good link for beginners to learn about raising chickens Backyard Chicken.com Frequently asked questions of raising chickens
We have raised chickens before. We started while living in town. Truly a backyard chicken venture. Then we moved to a place with some land and allowed the chickens to free range. They loved it! We loved that they kept the insect population under control. We made sure we closed everything up at night and all went well for the first two years. Then hens started to go missing. We finally discovered that a fox and her kits had taken up residence close to the house in a rock pile (go figure). She and her kits were well fed but we lost all of our hens. She attacked during the day while the hens free ranged. We also lost the rooster to a different predator that came in the evening before we had the coop closed up. We have since built a new coop with some added safety features and hopefully these chicks will live long happy lives.
The new coop is ready to go and has a large run. These babies will not go outside (except for field trips) until they are fully feathered out and the temperatures stay above 65 degrees. We have an automatic door now that opens at dawn (or a little after) and closes at dusk. We hope that this will prevent the door from being left open after the hens have put themselves to bed if we are not home. The plan is to not allow the hens to free range unless we are home. We know that we have fox, racoon and opossums in the area (in the yard some nights).
Chicks on their first field trip outside – 22 days old
We still need to build the nest boxes and set up the feed and water for the new coop. there are so many ways to set this up and I just haven’t made up my mind which system I want to try.
I would love to hear any suggestions on nest boxes, feed or water systems you may have tried.
2 thoughts on “Raising chickens”
I really like this style of bulk feeder: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7zzj5Gl5EXA It’s a bit of effort to set up but once done means that you only need to top up the feed occassionally.
Also, if it’s done with a small enough aperture for the grain to get into the feeding holes, it’s rodent proof too – and if you use threaded elbows, you can put caps on the outside at night to further rodent proof it. Come to think of it, threaded pipes wouldn’t even be necessary for that.
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Hi! I have watched the video on Rob Bob’s Backyard farming (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChz2QEbZECEzUih1DiqZTNA) as well. Thanks for referring some of his videos to me in the past. I had a problem with rodents chewing into one of those 5 gallon buckets with lids, like you can get paint in or at one of the big hardware stores. I was surprised. Glass or metal seems to give them pause at least. I like the idea. Thanks.