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Keeping Chickens Newsletter

Page 05

Keeping Chickens Newsletter

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January 2009

This is our first go with hatching, Hopefully the B-date is 1/20/2009

My Reply : Different breeds of chicks can hatch out at different colours. A standard Black Sex Link chicken is a cross between a Rhode Island Red or New Hampshire Red rooster and a Barred Rock hen so although I am not 100% sure I think that may be what you would be getting if it were not a pure Rhode Island Red chick. If so the black sex link female is a completely black chick, and the black sex link male is black with a white spot on the top of its head. I believe that Rhode Island Red chicks are born a yellowy-brown.

Jackie : My partner works in large University gardens where they regularly chip all sorts of branches and shrubs, which they have no use for. Would I be able to use these chippings in the chicken enclosure or would it be harmful to their feet? Also, is there a time of year better for buying chickens or does it not matter?, bearing in mind we do live in England.

My Reply : Any chippings / shavings used should be absolutely bone-dry. Home-made wood chippings can be tricky because of the potential problem with mould. Mould can cause a lot of health issues with chickens (and people) so it would be a bit risky to use them. Cedar is toxic to both chicks and chickens but can be particularly overpowering if used with chicks in a brooder. Some plants / bushes can also have various toxins in which may be harmful so unless you can separate tree wood from bushes etc. and be sure they are absolutely dry it is probably better to avoid using the chippings altogether.

In most breeds pullets will start to lay at around 6 months old and it is easier for them if they have done their growing and started laying by around September/October time before it gets into the cold weather. So,

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Keeping Chickens Newsletter - Published January 2009 by