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 Post subject: My first flock
PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2013 3:39 pm 
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Gallant Game
Gallant Game

Joined: Sat Jun 23, 2012 9:14 pm
Posts: 498
So I spent a year reading and planning for my first chickens. I order a large chicken tractor and I find the name of a breeder of bantam langshans- the breed I have finally chosen. So before Christmas I go and check out the breeder who kindly allows me to visit and see the different breeds he has and the Langshans in particular. So remember I am a first time owner I try to see if the chickens look healthy - they all seem to have shiny feathers and all bright and alert. So the order is given for 4 young chickens and a rooster.

They aren't available to be picked up until the end of January but that allows time for the chicken tractor to arrive and I go and buy feed and rice hull bedding- I'm leaving the tractor under carport as it has the most shade with all the heat and has a concrete base- important while I am waiting for my portable chicken electric fencing to arrive. So far so good I'm feeling organised. So end of January arrives and I look forward with excitement and fear - I'm a new chicken owner and I know I don't know enough.

As I leave for the hour drive with my dad I promise myself that I won't bring home any chicken that looks sick (I'm notoriously soft). So I arrive and the breeder has 3 hens and a rooster in a small show pen and apologises that he doesn't have a second black hen but I can take a white hen instead. I agree and point at a young bird who looks bright and alert- (she has subsequently become my favourite but don't tell the others). We put her in with the others and I notice that the young dark blue girl looks quite and hunched up in the corner. Ok I have done the reading and I know this isn't right so I say no and the breeder offers to give me a one year old hen instead as he doesn't have any other 2 month olds. I hesitate and dad and i ask about risks of bullying of young ones by older hen. I'm assured that she is quiet and it will be fine. So we drive home for an hour and dear readers you will of course have guessed that she proceeded to own the whole pen and the other 3 hens and rooster were assigned to a small corner. So the next day I ring and arrange to take her back and pick up another young white bird- turns out there was another one available.

So when I get there I make the mistake of asking how the young dark blue girl is and we find her still a bit hunched up . When I ask the breeder what he is going to do to treat her he says nothing. So I look at her and say I will take the two hens. Basically I figure that she will probably die if she stays with him and may or may not die with me if I treat her. Yes you can spot the problems with this decision I know. So I take the two young hens home and on the way I arrange to take them straight to my local vet.

He has a look and there is nothing obvious other than a high temperature. He says to keep them seperate from the others but I can't as I have only just got set up for the one flock. So I decide to risk putting her in with the others on the basis that she had already been in a small show pen with the others the day before so they had already been exposed. The following morning the white girl I had brought back with her was dead in the cage and the dark blue girl has swollen eyes. So since the end of January I have been giving her oxymavb morning and night in a syringe as much as she will take and the rest in the drinking water. After two weeks of no change I got some eye drops so now she is having medicine in the mouth and drops in eye. She is putting up with it but not getting better or worse. Last Sunday we changed to a doxy? Antibiotic and she seems to be finally improving. The eye she couldnt open at all is now open all the time with only some of the inner eyelid showing - eyes still a little bit puffy but definately an improvement. Never seen any nasal discharge and no cheesy discharge in eye- clear fluid and swollen. She is still skinny- about a third the size of the others but she is bright and alert- eats and drinks well, scratches around and yesterday even had a go at trying to move up the pecking order by puffing her feathers up and stretching up tall - very funny and fortunately the other hen didn't try and beat her up for her audaciousness!

All the others seem fine. My only niggling concern is the remaining white girl is often a bit hunched up and quiet in the mornings but is alright during the rest of the day. She has normal droppings and eyes and nose are clear. She has quite a sharp breast bone and so does the sick dark blue girl.

They are all getting barastoc grower pellets with cocci so I'm hoping this plus the antibiotics in the water will prevent anything further. Thy also get protexin with the pumpkin I give them every couple of days in the evenings(after they fill up on the pellets during the day)

So all in all a rocky start - I'm still worrying a lot about them but thy all seem bright and alert and with shiny feathers.

I finally understand why you are all addicted to chickens. I go outside to check in them for 5minutes and an hour later i realise I should stop watching them- highly addictive - I am just besotted by them.

When I work out how to load photos I will put up a photo of Amy(white), gwen(dark blue) rose (light blue) oswin (black with the most beautiful beetle green shine) and jack the rooster.


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 Post subject: Re: My first flock
PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2013 4:02 pm 
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Wise Wyandotte
Wise Wyandotte

Joined: Tue Nov 17, 2009 3:10 pm
Posts: 4579
Location: SE Qld
OH you've had a rough trot with these chickens. Still you seem past the worst of it now and hopefully they are on the up and up.

I did wonder if they may need worming too?

If you are looking to build them up a little more, it might be worth changing to a turkey or meat bird grower mix. The extra protein and energy should help to build them up a bit. Also for some reason, the grower mixes seem more palatable than layer pellets.


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 Post subject: Re: My first flock
PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2013 4:11 pm 
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Gallant Game
Gallant Game
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Joined: Fri Nov 09, 2012 10:37 am
Posts: 567
Location: NE Vic
Even though you know you should not take a sick chook, it is so hard not to feel sorry for them and to want to make them better again, suckers that we are. Best of luck with your little flock and I hope they all pick up very soon.

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"When you let go of what you are, you become what you might be."
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 Post subject: Re: My first flock
PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2013 5:30 pm 
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Gallant Game
Gallant Game

Joined: Sat Jun 23, 2012 9:14 pm
Posts: 498
Yes I have been wondering about worming - breeder said he wormed them mid January so I think I will hold off as they are still only around 12 weeks old. I had also wondered about mixing the grower crumble with a turkey crumble as I do like the idea of the cocci preventative in the grower mix- they have enough to contend with with out having to risk cocci as well but then I thought might be risky to mix feeds. All very fraught knowing what the right thing to do is!

I really love these little birds who are dependent on me. I even enjoy cleaning the rice hulls out and giving them a new bedding every couple of days - something really satisfying about seeing them scratching through clean bedding and then cuddling up together to have a good preen.

Will keep you all up todate on the next saga- there is bound to be more :shoc

Thanks for good wishes :hiya:


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 Post subject: Re: My first flock
PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 5:39 pm 
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Gallant Game
Gallant Game

Joined: Sat Jun 23, 2012 9:14 pm
Posts: 498
Well a couple of months on and I am totally addicted - I let them out into the garden before work and have breakfast as I watch them run around (literally!) playing what appears to be a chasing game. Then we leap up as high as we can to get the most succulent leaf off the wattle trees. Weekends are even better as more time out in the garden and then we can dig dust baths- watching chickens sun bath and purr with delight just makes me happy!

The illness seems to have gone although the sick girl eyes have remained a bit puffy but the vet said she may always be like that as the respiratory infection may have damaged the sinus permanently. But she is certainly happy and active which is wonderful to see. My white girl, Amy is going through the biggest moult - lots of pin feathers and pink skin showing. The black girl gwen is a real beauty - beetle green shine in the sun and her feathers feel like silk when I caught her. This weekend they all got a spot on of revolution more as a preventive and as a follow on from the wormer that they had in the water - I gave two doses 14days apart and then the spot on 3 weeks afters that.

I am replacing their bedding twice a week so I am hoping to now minimise the worms.

I have finally got my portable electic fencing so now I have to arrange the solar power and then I am hoping to start moving their tractor around now it is getting a bit cooler. I am going to try tapatalk to load some photos as I only have photos of them all on my phone.


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 Post subject: Re: My first flock
PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 10:07 pm 
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Gallant Game
Gallant Game

Joined: Sat Jun 23, 2012 9:14 pm
Posts: 498
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 Post subject: Re: My first flock
PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 10:11 pm 
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Gallant Game
Gallant Game

Joined: Sat Jun 23, 2012 9:14 pm
Posts: 498
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 Post subject: Re: My first flock
PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 10:18 pm 
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Gallant Game
Gallant Game

Joined: Sat Jun 23, 2012 9:14 pm
Posts: 498
Finally worked out how to use tapatalk!

1st photo a dust bath
2nd photo my Australian Langshan Rooster 'Captain Jack'
3rd photo Australian Langshan Pullet 'Oswin'
4th photo Australian Langshan Pullet 'Amy'
5th photo Australian Langshan Pullet 'Gwen' (was sick)
6th photo Australian Langshan Pullet 'Rose'


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 Post subject: Re: My first flock
PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 11:32 pm 
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Proud Rooster
Proud Rooster

Joined: Fri Mar 08, 2013 3:52 pm
Posts: 334
Location: stockwell SA
Mmmm do I sense a Dr Who/Torchwood vibe going there :)
They look great!!


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 Post subject: Re: My first flock
PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2013 7:00 am 
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Gallant Game
Gallant Game

Joined: Sat Jun 23, 2012 9:14 pm
Posts: 498
Yes you do :bg bit of a dr who tragic- it was either that or lord of the rings- my two cats are called Boromir and Faramir :smile blink


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 Post subject: Re: My first flock
PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2013 5:10 pm 
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Proud Rooster
Proud Rooster

Joined: Fri Mar 08, 2013 3:52 pm
Posts: 334
Location: stockwell SA
Lol mine will probably have Buffy, Angel and Firefly names....if we name them might be eating them so maybe not :-?


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 Post subject: Re: My first flock
PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 7:13 am 
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Gallant Game
Gallant Game

Joined: Sat Jun 23, 2012 9:14 pm
Posts: 498
Really enjoyed firefly but to my shame haven't seen buffy-not sure how I missed it!

Re naming we used to name our sheep and then decided better just to use the ear tag number as we got so attached to the ones with names. Didn't work because then we just used the number as the name and got just as attached!

We stopped breeding sheep in the last couple of years when dad got sick- bit weird after 24 years of breeding. But now we are getting involved with chickens- dad helped me choose my flock and now he has started to talk about getting a flock of his own!

It's addictive this chicken business ;-)


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 Post subject: Re: My first flock
PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 7:23 am 
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Gallant Game
Gallant Game

Joined: Sat Jun 23, 2012 9:14 pm
Posts: 498
Just realised I should add that I did end up buying the laucke game bird finisher pellets with 22%protein - I mix it with the barastock grower crumble at a ratio of 1:4 (3/4 grower crumble)


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 Post subject: Re: My first flock
PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 9:17 am 
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Sultry Swan
Sultry Swan

Joined: Wed Jul 01, 2009 6:02 pm
Posts: 4449
Location: mid victoria
hey Trillian, i too can be a soft touch - i bought pure rhode island reds from an old lady that looked like she needed the money one time not long ago & maybe those girls had seen a rir b4 maybe not. they lay well & your girl looks very happy.
i too have my photos on the phone as it is in my pocket. i email my photos to myself & put the size as small then load them into the gallery so more people can see them.
did u find a reasonable solar power fence thingy yet?

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whomever lives longest wins


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 Post subject: Re: My first flock
PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 12:06 pm 
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Gallant Game
Gallant Game

Joined: Sat Jun 23, 2012 9:14 pm
Posts: 498
Thanks grabby :hiya: I have the electric fence but haven't organised the solar power yet- need to save up some money first ! The place I bought the netting from (Allsun farm) recommended a thunderbird system by I haven't checked these out yet.


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