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Posts posted by Microstead

  1. Thanks CT. I went and checked on them again whilst they were out in the garden and Fanta was back in the nesting box raising her feather at me and making a weird noise.  I got my pet cage ready to put her in and when I went to pick her up not only could I see bald patches on her chest but she was sitting on an egg, which may or may not have been hers. I've put her back in the garden but if I find her in the nest box again she will have to go for a stay in chicken jail ie a small pet cage. She is the chicken with the most maternal nature, my two youngest always used to hide under her wings when I first got, them and she picks bits of everyone when they are dustbathing

  2. Thank you CT. Im scared I will miss one of them becoming egg bound or something. I've grown quite attached to my chooks and am worried for,them having been bred to produce so many eggs. 

    Thanks for the reply MH. I had their names planned before I even got them...well Fanta, Pepsi and Sprite''s anyway as I was only planning on getting 3 chooks. VI'm to was an extra after I was pursued to get 4 bantams by the seller. 

    I think Fanta is feeling broody. I removed one egg this morning and I think it's Pepsi''s.  Later I found Fanta sitting in the nesting box on nothing but she's pulled out about 10,feathers and raised her feathers and made a strange sound when I picked her up and put her with the others who were free ranging. She''s eating mealworm with them as I type.

    Please excuse my typos, they're not really my typos but the stupid spellcheckers

  3. So Fanta, my miniature blacktail, started laying eggs on 20th August at approx 23 weeks, and she's laid every day since. Sprite, my miniature experimental breed suprised me by laying a green egg on 31st August at 21 weeks and has laid every day since. Vimto my miniature bluebell laid on Saturday I think as she stopped free ranging and ran to the coop and stomped about squarking and later I found an egg in the nesting box. I think she' laid yesterday and today as she was similarly stomping and vocal until she had laid. I watched Pepsi lay her first egg yesterday I believe on Sunday. She began returning to the coop and acting like Vimto and when I went to check she was OK in the nesting box, she laid an egg before my eyes. But I only got three eggs yesterday so somebody didn't lay and that must either be Fanta or Vimto.  The same happened today. I got one green egg and found Fanta properly sitting down on two eggs in the nesting box. She made a funny noise at me but didn't fluff up her feathers when took the eggs and happily socialised with the others when I removed her out to free range with the others and is feeding and eating fine. Is it possible that she isn't laying anymore after the others started laying as she is feeling broody? 




  4. 1 hour ago, Luvachicken said:


    Although Gemma is the oldest she is at the bottom of the pecking order but strangely, she is the one that pecks Molly's neck feathers.


    That's interesting. What signs does Molly show as the chicken at the top of the pecking order? truly interested as I thought the one the pecked the others was at the top. Do both your pekins still lay?

  5. On 6/22/2020 at 2:53 PM, Daphne said:

    I have to say, though, that this thread prompted me to have a look at the ingredients of alfamix (1055, not sure if there is a range of different blends or something), and I see dried lobster is one of them.  Although chickens are omnivores, I wouldn't really like to meet the one who has worked out how to get into a lobster in the wildI. 

    I was confused by all the different types of feed garvo do to be honest and I was in a rush to order more food due to

    1. The big bag of mash the breeder gave me splitting as I drove my bantams home and loads pouring down the back of the boot of my car into the spare tyre well

    2 Making the mistake of filling the grub right up with mash and watching a lots of it fall into the woodchip in their run.

    I saw lots of,positive reviews for the alfa mix and didn't have to buy a 20kg bag of growers, half of which I wouldn't need. Im embarested to say that I didn't even know that you had to buy separate growers food for very young  chickens until some days after after I got them home and realisted I needed to get them some more  food quickly. 

    I didn't even look at the ingredients because I don't know enough about a chickens nutritional requirements. I just knew from rea ding that it was a good quality product.. I've just started on this chicken journey and I'm learning lots very quickly

    • Like 1
  6. 1 hour ago, Cat tails said:

    You can wait until the first hen starts laying, which might not be before they are 24 weeks. 21 weeks is a bit early for most bantams to start laying.

    Brilliant, thank you. That's should work out nicely then given that I can put them all on layers when the youngest are 18 weeks and the oldest 22 weeks and the oldest will be getting,their calcium before the lay. 

  7. On 6/22/2020 at 1:48 PM, Beantree said:

    Think you will find they eat a lot more than 0.5Kg a month. A large fowl can eat 1Kg a week and although bantams are supposed to be a quarter of the weight ours eat half of the large ones, so that would be 0.5Kg a week each. So you could need 14Kg before they lay? My practice is to keep them on rearers pellets until the first one lays.

    Wow! I read that a bantam eats about 1lb (500g) a month each of pellets and a chicken about 5oz (125g) a day. That's what I based my calculations on and will be transferring them to adult layers food when the youngest, who are now 11 weeks, are 18 weeks old ( 500g x4 chooks x 2 months), though this means the older cooks who are 15 weeks will be fed growers for a 4 longer than they should so that the youngest dont get too  much calcium. I can't really feed them separately, 


  8. Thank you for all your replies. 

    As a new keeper of chickens I very much appreciate the advice given and have taken on board a lot of suggestions, particularly from you DM and CT and MH and I would be lost without your advice. However the alfa mix is already on it's way (it's just arrived ) as I'd already ordered it before it became a contentious issue here. If it doesn't work and they do pick out all the good bits and won't eat the porridge I make from the pellets they leave until last then I obviously will reconsider but personally I'd prefer to feed them some sort of mash. They've been fed mash since coming off chick crumb by the breeder and the local chicken feed place to me recommended a mash feed too, though I do appreciate that they could pick only the bits they like from that. 

    They also get a lot of green food which I hang in a holder in their run which they love as they've been raised in a field and are used to eating grass. When they are older they will also,have access to some of the lawn to eat and will also,get lots of green stuff. Yesterday a neighbour gave me e whole load of radish tops for them. Today I've picked a lot of lettuce leaves and found them a slug. I also,give them meal worms in the afternoon and some corn in the evening before bed. They definitely won't starve.

    It will be interesting to see how much they actually eat compared to the amount the Internet says they are meant to eat

  9. I've read a few posts on here now about alfamix and some said their chickens were picking bits out and leaving the pellets. Howver there are lots of very positive views on it elsewhere. As a prevoisly poster stated, I will make the leftover pellets, if there are any, into porridge for them the next day. The amount they will be fed each day will mean the food is quite low down in the grub which should minimize spillage too.


  10. 12 minutes ago, Cat tails said:

    Alfamix is a mixed feed right? It does mean your chickens can fish out whatever they like best and leave the rest. 

    Yeah it's a mixed feed. Hopefully they will like all of it. Lots of people feed their chooks with it so I presume they generally like to eat most of it. I guess I will find out. I'd like to try and give them some variety and I imagine they will eat what there bodies are telling them they need (as well as as much corn and mealworm and other treats as they can get their beaks on!). 

  11. 22 minutes ago, Cat tails said:

    They won’t start laying for quite some weeks don’t expect any eggs before 22 weeks, so that’s at least another 7 weeks to go. 
    Have a look at grower pellets. They are a lot less wasteful than mash. Just googled and petsathome have grower pellets in 5 kg bags.

    There is no harm in keeping them in longer. Young bantams are small enough to become prey to all sorts. And they are very quick and flighty if you need to catch them again.

    Thanks CT. I will keep them in the run longer. I don't want the crows, magpies or next doors cat to get them. When they are older they will be less vulnerable. 

    I can get everything but growers mash in smaller bags for some reason. Given that bantams eat so little and that they are hybrid bantams, I want to give them the best food I can get, which I understood to be garvo stuff. I'd happily move them on to Garvock alfa mix as layers, but will it matter if they have Garvo growers mash after they start laying? Apparently bantams eat about 1lb (0.5kilo )a month per bird... that 4lb or 2 kilo a month....20kg of Garvo 715 will last approximately 10 months, they should be laying eggs by then. So will it harm,them to,eat the growers mix whilst laying until the growers mash runs out? Really wish I could get 4kg of garvos growers mash.

  12. I was given a bag of growers mash when I collet my girls but it's only going to last another week. I've looked at buying some more growers mash but they only seem to available in 20kg sacks. Given that my cooks are now 11 and 15 weeks old, would it be alright to keep feeding them the growers mash until it's all used up, or do I need to also have some layers mash too. I was thinking about getting the Garvock 715 young has mash. 

    Also I was told by one breeder to keep the chooks in the run for two weeks before letting them out, but the breeder whom I purchased them from said to only keep them in the run for a week. They are much younger than I expected them to be and am inclined to keep them in the run for longer than two weeks even. What do you all think?


  13. 20200620_165124.thumb.jpg.48a4a6cb989c1bec58f362c18c95d9a0.jpg20200620_165124.thumb.jpg.48a4a6cb989c1bec58f362c18c95d9a0.jpg20200620_165140.thumb.jpg.e040a222b55ce38af13ed77afd2e52f8.jpg20200620_182729.thumb.jpg.c664080beea433552599ecc61dd5df87.jpg getting on well with each My bantams seem to be getting on well with one another. Sprite is definitely bottom of the pecking order. Pepsi is very occassionally pecking the others, mostly Sprite, but I watched her peck Fanta once and Fanta pecked her right back. Vimto and Sprite, being 4 weeks younger,  always approach Fanta to snuggle up to. This was them all this afternoon. I'm looking forward to being able to let them out on a patch of grass to free range when they've settled and matured  and won't fly away. 


  14. Hi Patricia

    I've put a couple of perches in as well as a few logs and a dirt bath made from low round plant pot. Here is a picture of my first ever flock.

    There's Fanta  (blacktaiil), Pepsi ( rhode rock), Vimto  (bluebell), and Sprite ( the blue egg laying experiment that intrigues me. It's gold, cream and grey with a crele pattern and a crest and maybe a beaRd?) Its hard to get a photo of them all together!



    • Like 1
  15. Good morning CT,

    I know which is why I was thinking about getting an extension for the run ( and some more hybrid bantams) but since I've only had my first ever cooks for 37 hours I need to just concentrate on looking after the ones I have.

    I only wanted 3 bantams but the breeder recommended getting four as they were different ages and it would minimize the chances of bullying if I bought two of each age and unless they are sleeping,  when they all huddle up together, the younger ones keep close each other  and the older two stay near each other so buying four seems to have been the right decision. 

    They are fascinating to watch. They were up and out of the coop and in the run when I got up this morning and I watched them in the drizzling rain whilst drinking my breakfast coffee. 


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