Robyn Morton

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since Jun 09, 2010
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Recent posts by Robyn Morton

I thought about spikes like that, but I think it would spear the alpacas in the throat every time they go to eat if we did that.
6 years ago
Hi all,

I have a situation here. Our flock of chickens keep roosting on the feeders in the alpaca barn at our farm. This is making the alpaca care folks unhappy, and they want it to stop. We've moved the chicken coop as far away from the barn as it will go, to no avail. Does anyone have suggestions for how to break the chickens of this habit?

Thanks!
6 years ago
Hi all,

We just got 25 new baby hens at my work/farm, and we're being diligent in trying to socialize them well so that they're friendly. These chickens will be around many children (field trips) and elderly Sisters (convent), so this is a pretty important goal. We've been following the methodology found here: http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-to-socialize-baby-chickens, and even though they're only about 4 days into it, they're responding well.

Except for one. Every time I put my hand down into the brooder with feed, there is one chick who comes and persistently pecks at my freckles. Now, a lot of the chicks do this occasionally, and they quickly figure out "hey, not food, move on" so there's no problem. But one of them is *persistent*. She managed to break skin today, just out of repeated pecking and bloody-mindedness.

I'm not sure the best way to deal with this. Like I said, most of the others quickly get hip to the whole "that's not food" thing, so I'm content to let them peck a few times and then move on. I don't necessarily want to "shoo" this one off, as I'm trying to socialize them to like people and not be afraid. But I'm worried this one is taking all the wrong messages here. Advice?

Jedimomma
6 years ago
Hi all,

I'm hoping someone can help me out here, because my Google-fu has failed me miserably.  My father broke his back in four places recently (!)--he's going to be fine, no paralysis or damage to the spinal cord or neck, thank gods--and I'd like to make him a good bone-healing salve to apply to the area.  I already have comfrey to make a base oil, and I also have a tincture of boneset that I'd like to add, for obvious reasons.  But the tincture is alcohol, which I'm guessing will not incorporate well.  Any suggestions for how I should go about adding the tincture?  Or would it be better to just go and get some dried boneset herb and make an oil infusion to add instead?

All help appreciated--thanks!

Robyn M.
7 years ago

Mangudai wrote:
This thread started 4 weeks ago.  How are the chicks?

Did the chicks survive? 



So far, so good!  All of them are doing very well.  I wasn't able to put bales under the coop, but I'm doing deep litter (which, yes, they are certainly enjoying), and I've got a heat lamp installed in the coop which is on a timer.  I don't really have room to "raise" the lamp, but I've been moving back how early the lamp kicks on progressively, and it now comes on at 11pm.  Pretty soon I hope to have it off entirely. 

I've probably been overly-paranoid about the whole thing, too.  The other morning it was 25*F outside in the morning, and even though the heat lamp was still on in the coop, the birds were all outside on the ground, just having a good ole time.  I think they're in good shape! 

Thanks to everyone for their advice, and for having this wonderful forum!
8 years ago
Hi all!

I hope I'm not duplicating a previous discussion--I did check the past forums first, promise!

I have 8 chicks that will be 4 weeks old tomorrow (*sniff*), and I'm trying to think through the logistics of getting them out into their coop without killing them with the cold.  I know, it was probably just stupid and irresponsible for me to have gotten chicks so late in the season, but something snapped in me, and I just couldn't NOT get them, ya know?

Anyway, here are the details of my situation:

I have a fully-enclosed coop & run set on the ground.  The coop itself is raised 3 ft. off the ground, has closeable windows and two ventilation openings in the top that can be closed as well.  The coop is not insulated, nor does it currently have any heating.  I would like to avoid using heat if possible, but I'm prepared to use a heat lamp out there if necessary, especially if a transition period becomes necessary.

I have two speckled sussexes, three buff orpingtons, and three rhode island reds.  All of these breeds are rated as hardy for winter.  All of the chicks are either fully, or nearly fully, feathered now.

The chicks brooders are now down to 75*-80*F during the day; I need to get a better idea of how cool it gets at night, though. 

The room the brooders are in can easily go down in temperature--they're actually in the cold-porch on the side of our house.  It's the heat lamps that have been keeping the room sauna-like lately.  I can open windows and such to bring the room in line with outside temperatures.

I live in Indiana, zone 5b.  Forecast for my area for the upcoming week has highs in the mid-70's, and lows in the mid-40's, with a couple of days dropping down to high 30's.  The daytime temps don't phase me at all--the chicks will be totally fine with those temps.  It's the nights that worry me most.

Thank you for reading!  Anyone have any experience here?  Suggestions?  Thoughts?  Chiding for getting chicks so late in the season?  All input is appreciated (except maybe from the last point, although I'm sure I deserve it).  On the plus side, if I can pull this off, the chicks should start laying right at the beginning of spring, which would rock....
8 years ago
The hardware cloth is a great idea!  Thank you!
8 years ago
Or, well, not exactly in the chicken coop--more rather in the ground that the coop is on.  I just got a lovely little coop & run built by my father, delivered last week to my property.  We put it in an old section of the garden that was a complete fail (too much shade & tree competition) figuring that would be a lovely location for a few chickens.  The problem is that the coop is sitting over some former raised garden beds (not with solid walls, just mounded up), and I'd not realized that there are about 6" ditches between these beds that now make lovely tunnels right out of--or into--the coop.  WHY I didn't realize this would happen is beyond me, but it's done now.  So my question is--does anyone have suggestions for what to fill in these ditches with that the chickens, or any predators, won't just dig straight through?  Should I just pack in a good amount of dirt?  Suggestions?

Thank you!
8 years ago
Our main predators here are coyotes and wild dogs, and also raccoons & such.  We've been hearing about some big cats in our neighborhood, but it's only just crossed over from the DNR guys saying "no, that's just a rumor" to the DNR guys saying "well, we do have one confirmed sighting." 

I've also found out (much to my surprise) that the only protection the alpacas have right now is fencing -- not even electrified.  I think part of their concern is that they know their defenses really are low, but they've been getting away with it.  If we bring in chickens, this could actually *invite* predators that they had otherwise been avoiding somehow.  This is pure conjecture on my part.

R.
8 years ago
Well, it's not so much that anyone doubts the utility of a dog--a LGD would be great for security & protecting all of our animals.  The problem is that the staff feels that they would not treat the dog appropriately (they'd be too "lovey" for it).  I could try and persuade them otherwise, but given that I've never raised a LGD myself, I don't really have any background to speak from.  And the primary alpaca manager is fairly convinced on this point.  Apparently this is something they went in circles on long before I came on, so I don't think I'll have much luck changing them here. 

So, while I actually agree with everything that's been suggested so far, I don't think it'll get any traction with my co-workers.  Consequently, I'm looking for a non-LGD option (and still hoping to convince them on the LGD front, but not being optimistic).

Edit:  Oh, and also, as an educational facility, we have numerous troups of tours, workshops, elementary school field trips, and more coming through all the time.  That alone might create too much of a problem with a LGD...
8 years ago