Backyard Farming Forum

Gwydion's chicken
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Author:  Gwydion [ Tue Oct 01, 2013 9:03 pm ]
Post subject:  Gwydion's chicken

We got our chicken 11 days ago and it is big fun to see them growing.

I bought a chook shed from home timber and hardware which is roughly 1.5 by 1.5m and 1.8m height. I still have to work out how to fit out the interior, but for now it's just a feeder, waterer and an empty 10l water container open on one side as a nesting box for the nights to cuddle up. I also put on a temp roosting thing (25mm round bar 250 off the ground).

The seller said the chickens are sexed ISA browns when I got him right on the markets.


File comment: 10 days old, already getting heavier and cheekier...
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File comment: the chook shed
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File comment: that is when we got them. 4 days old
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Author:  Gwydion [ Tue Oct 01, 2013 9:12 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Gwydion's chicken

one more...

I also got a pekka block and some kelp for the water. And they like cucumber slices.

The shed will also receive a shade sail cover very shortly.

File comment: also at 10 days
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Author:  Simo [ Wed Oct 02, 2013 11:41 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Gwydion's chicken

Interesting land in the back ground where are you, NT?

I'm not an expert but I have learnt a thing or to from my mistakes in the past and my advice on the interior set up is as follows:

For the roosts use natural bush poles (branches from trees) that are about 30 to 50mm diameter as the uneven shapes are better for the chickens feet than uniform round poles.

Put the branches about 300mm apart on an angle so the chickens can jump form one to the other to get to the top one that they will want to use and put the top on in the most sheltered part of the chook shed at least 1.2m from the ground

When the chooks get bigger hang that feeder from a wire or chain so it is off the ground to keep rodents and chook poo out of the food and make sure it is not hung under the roosts.

If you decide that you want to put the nest box off the ground too then always have it lower than the highest roost or the chickens will want to use it as a roost and will soil the nest.

Concrete floors which you have are great at preventing stick fast fleas as they drop off the chickens at night when they roost and burrow into the soil to lay eggs, the absence of dirt under the roosts breaks the breeding cycle.

Author:  Gwydion [ Wed Oct 02, 2013 10:25 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Gwydion's chicken

Simo, you are right, it's the nt, Humpty Doo to be accurate.

We were thinking the same, I just have to find some timber which is not already affected by termites. ;-)

The idea for the nest boxes was to build something which attaches to the outside of the shed maybe also with a lid which gives access from the outside for egg collecting.

For the concrete floor I actually put a gap between the floor and the steel of a couple of millimetre so I can clean the floor properly if needed and don't have water building up (also good in the rain here).

I also want to install some shade cloth in the side mesh windows to stop rain from getting in to much, the front is pretty good protected by the shipping container.

Author:  Gwydion [ Sat Oct 05, 2013 10:23 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Gwydion's chicken

so, I got a roost up for the chickens and made three nest boxes out of milk crates on a back leaning angle and covered them with some acrylic sheeting. I also installed the heat light and did some waterproofing which I have to finish tomorrow.

The small chickens are already flying up and down the roost but it looks like the prefer it more to be on the ground close to the food.


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Author:  Gwydion [ Sat Oct 05, 2013 10:26 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Gwydion's chicken

and btw we lost one chicken last night, reason unknown because the biggest holes in the aviary are 6 by 6mm so no rodent can get in, but the chicken looked half eaten. We got three more browns and one silky from the markets today and luckily the get along pretty well so far.

Author:  Gwydion [ Fri Nov 01, 2013 9:28 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Gwydion's chicken


Long time no update but the chickens are growing well. We only had a problem with one which looked like it was plucking itself a little bit. I don't know whether the other birds helped a bit. I had her in isolation for a couple of days and the feathers started regrowing.

I read somewhere it could be because she is the smallest or reason being not enough protein in their food so I got some black sunflower seeds but the chickens looked confused and were just picking the whole seeds and drop them again. After I used the coffee grinder they started eating some bits of them.

Today I want to build a hoop house as a chicken run. The material I am going to use is star pickets, 50mm green line poly pipe, snake wire for the low part of the wall plus as anti dig protection on the ground and shade cloth for the roof.

There is not much grass growing in the area were the run will be but I will add some blue barrel wicking beds which I have seen in the aquaponics forum to grow comfrey and a chicken mix I got off green harvest Australia.

Does anyone know here what the minimum size for the door to the run should be (for the chicken)?


Author:  Gwydion [ Fri Nov 01, 2013 9:29 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Gwydion's chicken

And BTW the silky doesn't look like a silky and it started crowing a while ago...

Author:  Gwydion [ Sat Nov 02, 2013 4:39 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Gwydion's chicken

Ok, now the promised pictures... The result of two days hard work and lots of beer... :cheers:

File comment: Where it started...
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File comment: Another view...
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File comment: The finished run, just ignore the extension lead, that was for the heat lamp and needs to be removed and replaced with something more practical for the next batch (but i will have plenty of time before we get some more)
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Author:  Gwydion [ Sat Nov 02, 2013 4:44 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Gwydion's chicken

:wink: :bat: Tomorrow i have to cut a door into the chicken coop and install a guillotine style door, maybe with draw wire for operation.

Here is a picture of the flock.

There are a little bit unsure what the fuss is all about... being outside, eyeballed by dogs, i have weighed down the snake wire with timber logs to avoid the dogs digging through... but one of them is a wolf hound / German pointer cross and she sometimes drags logs around which are nearly her own body weight if there is a rat or something hiding inside. But she is also scared when the chickens start flapping their wings... we will see and hope for the best :bat: :wink:

The one looking straight into the camera is my favorite... she always flies onto my arm when i enter the coop.... lets call her beer can chicken...

We bought the rooster on the left as a not sexed silky... doesn't look like a silky, i think more a Brahma bantam from the pictures i have seen and started crowing a couple of weeks ago, i guess he can stay until big enough for a roast :devil: or until his crowing starts to annoy us or the neighbors (lucky for him it's wet season and the aircon covers the noise, plus the run is 35m from the bedroom)


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Author:  Charlie [ Sat Nov 02, 2013 10:41 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Gwydion's chicken

Looks great Gwidion, very neat workmanship. Im looking forward to getting some chickens.

Author:  Gwydion [ Sun Nov 03, 2013 7:28 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Gwydion's chicken

Thanks, Charlie. I even cut a door way into the coop but I have to finish the slider door for it in the next days.

The chicken are enjoying the run, you can really see how much they have eaten today On the large crop. I hope they stop eating before they explode. :-D

Let's see whether they make it back to their roost or try to sleep outside. I was in their coop shaking the food bowl and they all hopped in one after the other but a couple minutes later they were outside again.

It's really good fun having all these projects, I should have done something like this earlier.

Author:  Gwydion [ Fri Nov 15, 2013 12:07 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Gwydion's chicken

The rooster is getting more colorful, the tail feathers are developing a green/black shade of color and whatever breed he is, his manners towards the girls are sometimes not very nice. At least he looks like a silky when he tries to make himself bigger than he is. :-D

Author:  Gwydion [ Fri Dec 20, 2013 12:40 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Gwydion's chicken

Little update on the chickens. They are still all alive, growing lots every day... eat lots every day... I am using a grower pellets, scratch and shredded black sunflower mix as feed.

They are three month old today.

The rooster Silly gets louder every day, but i think before the next dry season starts he will end up on the bbq, so we can sleep with open windows. ;)

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Author:  Jaymie [ Fri Dec 20, 2013 6:49 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Gwydion's chicken

he's gorgeous! you get used to them crowing and the girls love having a boy around

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