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Lets talk about Chooks! :)

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Posted 25 July 2012 - 09:03 AM

I'm a newbie with our first egg yesterday, so very excited!

So, who here has chooks and what do you have?

We have 4 at the moment:

A Wyandotte bantam
1 x Isa Brown that was given to us
2 x Hy-lines that we got at 15 days old.

Looking for 2 more purebreds.

Looking forward to hearing about everyones feathered friends.

Edited by ~THE~MAGICIAN~, 25 July 2012 - 09:03 AM.

#2 missy78

Posted 25 July 2012 - 09:18 AM

Congrats on your chickens! We haven't got any chooks at the moment- but hoping to get a couple when we move into our new place (buying; we have been renting so far and frankly 1 cat is enough when you are trying to find a rental! Will be watching this thread with interest! We thought we might get 2 for a start, maybe 3. What sort of pen do you have? Did you make or buy it?

#3 Gumnut82

Posted 25 July 2012 - 09:24 AM

3 Isa Browns we got at point of lay, then we got 2 Australorps and a Rhode Island Red as day-old chicks 6 months later. The purebreds have just started laying (little eggs!) and one of the Isas has gone into molt, so we're averaging 4 or so eggs a day. We had some issues when we integrated the two groups and the Australorps are currently very defensive when they're in the nesting box - sooooo noisy!!
DH likes bantams, so if we get any more we'll prob try one or two of those. For now, 6 is enough in our backyard coop!

#4 TheGreenSheep

Posted 25 July 2012 - 09:33 AM

I love talking about chooks!

We have 6 girls.
2 Marans
1 Welsummer
3 Isa Browns

Our girls all get along pretty well so far. We recently lost 3 to a daylight fox attack, so we are keeping them in their run most days until its summer and the foxes bugger off.

We have had a variety of different breeds and so far the best layers have been the Isas and Welsummers.

ETA I cant add up my chooks, so came back to say I have 3 isas. Doh!

Edited by TheGreenSheep, 25 July 2012 - 08:18 PM.

#5 nen-c

Posted 25 July 2012 - 09:46 AM

We have 5 - currently complaining as I haven't taken their scraps down yet!!!

2 x Isa browns (maybe 4 yo now? given to me when their owners had to move)
1 x black bantam - not sure exactly what kind (given to me when a friends Golden Retriever ate her 2 friends,   sad.gif  she must be at least 6 now)
2 x feral honey coloured bantams (given to me by a friend with property who had too many feral bantams running around her property). These ones are pretty feisty - the dog is scared of them!!! There were 3 of these ones but the smallest one used to just come and go as she pleased (over and under our backyard fence) and one day she didn't return  sad.gif  I like to think she found a home she liked better, but in reality I'm not so sure.

They all get along OK, with a definite pecking order, although I feel sorry for the little black one, as she is right at the bottom of the pack.

#6 la di dah

Posted 25 July 2012 - 10:47 AM

I don't have any nor will I for another year or two but I love hearing about them.  ph34r.gif

I haven't picked breeds yet. Do you order them from a hatchery or is it more a "neighbour had such and such, now so do I" sort of thing? I would like to be able to know I was getting a laying breed and the local pet stores all just sell "chicks" and I'm not sure I want to go to a petstore anyway.

#7 Chelli

Posted 25 July 2012 - 10:57 AM

I now have about 13 chooks after I put some fertalized eggs from our local hatchery under my broody hen. That experience was awesome, the kids got so much out of watching the chickens hatch and seeing them grow. Mine are all Isa breeds, both black and brown. I've had white ones before but they were not as friendly. My brown ones would jump up onto my lap when I sat down outside and I found one sitting in the carseat one morning when I had the car door open ready to take the kids to school. Because of getting eggs, I didn't know what would hatch, so now I have two roosters for the first time.

Mine are all free-ranged and locked securely of a night. I found out the hard way that native cats will decimate them if I don't sad.gif I need to finish a roof for their yard so I know they will be safe if I'm not at home right on dusk when they put themselves to bed.

La di dah, I purchased mine from a local hatchery and mine are a good egg laying breed. It took me two years to want to get more chooks after the native cat killed all of mine, and in that time I really noticed how much food scraps went to waste. My chooks devour everything and it makes cleaning up after a meal really easy. They are huge fans of the crusts of bread that comes home in school lunchboxes wink.gif

#8 Bigfatbum

Posted 25 July 2012 - 12:02 PM

Dh and I are just talking chooks, great timing.

How do you all choose your breeds?

We have a old chook pen in the yard from when we brought - over 4 years ago now, we need new laying boxes and feeders and water, what else should we be looking at for set up, we were thinking three. Do we need a rooster as well?

Sorry for all the q's! It's Ben on my mind the last few daysso this seems like divine inspiration!

#9 melliecat

Posted 25 July 2012 - 12:19 PM

Umm, I have no idea what mine are! We have 4 that are about 3 months old, one of which is a rooster that is just starting to crow and sounds like a preteen whose voice is breaking! tongue.gif  We also bought 5 females from the local market when they were about 1 week old. They are still in their own pen as they are little at only a month old now.
I want more but will wait to see if we end up with fertilised eggs in the future?

#10 3_for_me

Posted 25 July 2012 - 02:00 PM

We have:
4 Araucana hens(lay blue eggs)
1 Araucana rooster
4 Bantam White Leghorns
1 random ring in that turned up in the yard and never left (hyline maybe)
4 Belgian bantam hens
1 Belgian bantam rooster

If you are only after eggs you don't need a rooster.


Posted 25 July 2012 - 07:59 PM

Yay for more chookie lovers!

We got ours off Gumtree (except for one) so no choice in the breed really. Now I've done some research there are some particular ones we like the look of.

Looking forward to hearing more from everyone/anyone. It's my new hobby!


#12 Bigfatbum

Posted 25 July 2012 - 08:06 PM

We have been looking at breads all afternoon, my eldest ds does ag in school and recently did an assignment he likes leghorns and isa browns, I like silkies and  aranacas ( though I might be easily swayed by the fluffiness and blue eggs), and dh just wants something that isn't to fly uppy as he does not do birds.

We want egg laying but also not to flighty for the little kids to be able to collect eggs as well.

We are thinking Isa browns?

How are they with your little ones? Apparently the 13 year old will be taking care of them, but on weeks he is with his dad I have no doubt the little boys will want to collect the eggs as well

Edited by strawberryfire, 25 July 2012 - 09:11 PM.

#13 GoldenBlack

Posted 25 July 2012 - 08:09 PM

We are getting ours this weekend - Australorps x Rhode Island Reds.  I would love pure Australorps, but I cannot find pullets or 10-15 week old young for love nor money in the Melbourne area.

I've done quite a lot of research into chook breeds and Australorps seem like what we want - incredibly productive, healthy, and attractive, as well as handleable as long as you spend some time socialising them.

I have heard silkies are very good for with young children, docile and quite cute with the fluffiness, but we're in this for their use as garden clearers and bug eradicators on waste ground, so I need a decent sized chook.

If I could have any breed I wanted, I would get Transylvanian Naked Necks because how awesome are they.

#14 TheGreenSheep

Posted 25 July 2012 - 08:31 PM

We got our first chooks from 3-for-me!
We have lost chooks through foxes, neighbours dogs, dreaded illness, and some just pop their perch.

We buy ours from the old fellas at a regional market at point of lay. The fellas are such a funny pair, they give great advice on who lays and who doesn't. We have bought a few different breeds and would say that for us the isas (plentiful) and wellsummers (large eggs)  have laid the best. I really want Aracuana just for the colored eggs, but so far have found them hard to come by.

#15 Bigfatbum

Posted 25 July 2012 - 09:15 PM

So pullets are nearly layers and point of lay is beginning layers? Is layers a word, or am I spelling it wrong, looks odd.

Was also looking at Plymouth rocks and Wyandottes as well as the ISA browns, we want for the egg production and for pets I guess.

Edited by strawberryfire, 25 July 2012 - 09:16 PM.

#16 FeralRebelWClaws

Posted 25 July 2012 - 09:16 PM

QUOTE (strawberryfire @ 25/07/2012, 08:06 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
We have been looking at breads all afternoon, my eldest ds does ag in school and recently did an assignment he likes leghorns and isa browns, I like silkies and  ( though I might be easily swayed by the fluffiness and blue eggs), and dh just wants something that isn't to fly uppy as he does not do birds.

We want egg laying but also not to flighty for the little kids to be able to collect eggs as well.

We are thinking Isa browns?

How are they with your little ones? Apparently the 13 year old will be taking care of them, but on weeks he is with his dad I have no doubt the little boys will want to collect the eggs as well

We have:
1 x leghorn
1 x wyandotte
1 x australorp x a few other things, but she is just black...
1 x australorp x Rhode Island Red
1 x RIR x leghorn

We got the first 3 (Lemon, Honey, Soy) in Feb, I think it was and they were too young to lay. Then it got cold and we didnt' get an egg. We originally had another chicken Satay, but she died when we had the Earthquake in April. When Satay died, we got the last 2, Drumstick and Schnitzel.

Drumstick (Austra x RIR) started laying about 8 weeks ago. Schnitzel started laying 1 week ago!

Today we got 3 eggs! So a third chicken has started laying today! I am not sure who it is but I suspect it's Honey (the Wyandotte) as is the plumpest out of the other 3. Lemon (leghorn) is still small and Soy (austra x) is sickly and small.

Our daft chickens think 14 degree top temps is Spring LOL

DSDs LOVE getting in the coop with ours! We don't let ours out of the coop because of our dogs. But they have a large coop (3 x 3 x 2), with plenty of branches in it. DSDs manage to pick up some of the chooks that don't let DF or I pick them up! You turn around and they are holding a chook who normally doesn't let us pat them!

Soy (australorp x) is at best, partially blind. However, she knows where her food is and loves her seed and won't eat other food. She LOVES pats and will hop on your foot as soon as you walk in the coop and she pecks at you gently if you don't pat wink.gif

Drumstick also will let us pat her (hehe she stomps when we walk in the coop, and you pat her and then she decides you aren't too bad.) She is also the cheekiest chook we have, because if you walk in with a bag of bread, she jumps up and pecks at the bag! LOL

They are great animals to have and the kids LOVE collecting the eggs. When they see me coming they start making noise because they know I am their treat lady and I normally have bread or rice etc. I am currently growing meal worms into bugs to feed them.

#17 Bigfatbum

Posted 25 July 2012 - 09:28 PM

Pussydids that some interesting chook names! Love it!

#18 lottiebobs

Posted 25 July 2012 - 09:35 PM

we have 5 Isa Browns... I love popping out to see my gorgeous fluffy bummed girlies every morning!

#19 Alina0210

Posted 25 July 2012 - 09:37 PM

I have 3 Golden Wyandottes, they are gorgeous, there names are: Dora, Katsu and Henry.

We go them as day olds and are now 18mths old..., we get 1 egg each a day an ur sometimes they go clucky and dont lay and it's annoying... Doesn't last too long tho.

Edited by Alina0210, 25 July 2012 - 09:38 PM.

#20 Beltie

Posted 25 July 2012 - 09:39 PM

We had a first egg party for our little Light Sussex 2 weeks ago. It was rolled oats and parmesan cheese for all the girls. Our littlest chick is now a woman.

We have 4 chickens.
2 x Isa browns - the most amazing egg layers and very friendly
1 x wyandotte - an enormous butterball who is the chief chook in the henhouse. Easy to cuddle (too fat to run away)
1 x light sussex. Pointy white eggs, mad a a cut snake and very neurotic. Able to fly long distances at low altitude, a real Houdini.

I'd also like araucanas for the pretty eggs and Marans. We bought ours from an amazing nursery in Sydney called New Leaf. The henhouse is a gravity-defying structure with an old cot at the main support structure. There is nothing as charming as watching a little group of hens wandering slowly about the garden.

Edited by Beltie, 25 July 2012 - 09:46 PM.

#21 Sloane Peterson

Posted 25 July 2012 - 09:41 PM

We got 3 x Isa Browns recently.. They are not laying yet (I think they are about 16 weeks) and boy do they crap! We have it all through the garden. The coop is not a bad size but I feel a bit mean keeping them in it all day, so I might convince DH to build a run for them somewhere....

#22 FeralRebelWClaws

Posted 25 July 2012 - 09:43 PM

Any excuse for pics...

Chicken coop...

Honey and Lemon (and Satay RIP)

Soy (now her little cheek bits have gone white....)

Drumstick and Schnitzel

#23 Lakey

Posted 25 July 2012 - 09:51 PM

We have 3 little pekins, nice and plump and fluffy, 1 x cuckoo rooster, cuckoo hen and a lavender hen, would like to get another colour just to mix it up a little.  No eggs yet, hopefully once spring arrives we'll start getting some.

My DH built our cage, it's about 1 1/2 mt x 1mt by 600mm high, we move it about.  Cost about $150 to make, way cheaper than store ones, a lot sturdier and bigger too!

I like the hens, but the rooster is a feisty little so and so!


Posted 25 July 2012 - 09:52 PM

There are so many breeds I have never heard of! Will have to check them out.

Don Burke from Burke's Backyard recommends the Australorp as the No 1. backyard laying chook. They do look attractive!

Lovely photos Pussydids!

#25 FeralRebelWClaws

Posted 25 July 2012 - 09:55 PM

QUOTE (CherryAmes @ 25/07/2012, 09:21 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Our chooks are a bit aggressive unfortunately; my advice is definitely give them lots of attention and affection in their youth to avoid this

You can bribe them with food! If you keep going out with bread or rice, they will then come to you. Our original chickens weren't really handled. The last 2 were a little more, but not much, but they learnt better manners from their 800 sisters. Our "friendly" chook doesn't actually like bread and I think she just likes me because I bring food. The more I take bread out the closer they come. They come up and take bread from me now. DSDs can pick them up... DF and I must just be too old to move fast enough LOL!

OP, don't get leghorns, they are flighty and not great for kids. Australorps are awesome for kids original.gif Also they are  pretty wink.gif

Just be careful with hylines (Isa Browns) etc, as they tend to lay a lot for a few years and then stop and then you have a chicken that might live to 10, but isn't laying. So unless you have enough room to keep adding chickens then you will end up having chickens and no eggs.

Purebreds or cross breeds lay for life, but might lay less (though we are averaging 6 eggs per week from 1 chook.)

Edited by PussyDids, 25 July 2012 - 09:56 PM.

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