Questions from Visitors to this Site
I read in the Poultry Press Paper that you have old articles for sale on Rhode
Island Reds. How can I buy some of these articles?
- California junior
The Rhode Island Red Club has over 80 years of old Rhode Island Red Journals that went from l912 to l944 and Rhode Island
Red Chronicles that went from l944 to the present. I have reviewed all of the above literature and the articles that I believe
will help you develop a flock of Large Fowl or Bantams in Rhode Island Reds and for that matter can help you with any breed
that you may be interested in. They range in size from one page to 5 pages and will be sold for $.20 each per page. This includes
shipping . A list of articles is on this site for you to review. More articles will be available around July of this year.
How do you ship baby chicks, and how soon can I get them? I want to enter them in my county fair the last week
- A mother of two 4-H
members from Iowa
I ship started chicks that range from two months old to four months old. I try not to ship young pullets (females) until
they are four months old because I may need them myself as next year’s breeders. I ship two day priority mail and it
is a easy way to get started with Reds with out investing in 25 day old chicks which are very hard to get a good breeder to
send you I have shipped hundreds of started ship out of my little post office over the past 8 years.
Can you tell the sex of a baby chick by its down color?
- An Interested Red Fancier from Australia
In the old days some people said the chicks with chipmunk stripes down their back were roosters and the light colored chicks
are females. My large fowl chicks are a dark chocolate color and I could never tell. One thing I have found in my Mohawk Stain
of Reds is the chicks that are 3 to 4 weeks old that are long in body and wide down through their backs are usually young
cockerels. I usually wait till the combs start to get large on my chicks and that is a good sign it will be a cockerel (male).
We are going to be moving to Northern California and begin Homesteading on about 20 acres of land. We will have
about an acre of land at first to have our cabin and buildings. What type of chicken would you recommend for eggs? We do not
want to eat the chickens we want them for our pleasure and for eggs.
- New Homesteader from California
You could start off with a small building of say 4X8 feet and I would recommend R I Red bantams. They do not take up much
space, the are beautiful to look at, they have enough meat on them so you could eat them if you wanted to at a latter date
and they are good layers. Two bantam eggs will equal one large fowl egg. They also do not eat as much as large fowl and they
make great mothers with their baby chicks. After you learn how to raise these bantams you could try your hand at large fowl.
My wife and I are some what homesteaders. We have 3 acres of land and we could if we had to survive off of these 3 acres.
We have electricity, a well and a computer. But our hearts are with you enjoying the piece and quiet as we do.
I have just seen your video tape on you Rhode Island Reds and are your roosters black or dark red in color?
- C.M. Mississippi
Our Large Fowl Red Males are very dark in color, but they are breed a dark dark rich lustrous Red. That’s the way
they were breed in the l930s, that is the way I breed them today. Thanks for the complement. Our l999 Videotape is only $5.00
and that covers the cost of the tape plus 2-day priority mail shipping. It lasts about an hour.
How much should 8-month-old young Rhode Island Red weigh?
- John Calif.
The standard perfection states the young cockerel under one year of age should way about 7 ½ pounds. The cockerel can be
one pound over this with out being penalized at a poultry show. My males will run lighter when hatched in May and June. The
Cockerels that are hatched earlier are usually about a pound heavier.
Do you get better show quality chicks from pullets or older hens?
- New York fancier
My best chicks the darkest ones will come from breeders that are over one year of age. I have females in my pen 2 large
fowl pen that is 3 to 5 years old. They don’t lay as many eggs as a pullet does, but their eggs are bigger and they
have proven their selves to me that they molt back each year dark in surface color. Old time superstar Red Breeders use to
only use two-year-old birds for their supper star matings. I do get great chicks from pullets as I did last year with my #68
cockerel in Pen 3. Both his parents where only 11 months old when he was hatched.
I want to sign my son up to join the Rhode Island Red Club.
The dues for a junior is $5.00 a year and you send you’re Money to our Club Sectary Mr. Emmett Rachels P.O.Box ll6l
My hens are eating their eggs. Do you think they need more protein?I am feeding them 100% cracked corn?
- Ray Ala.
Your females are in need of a complete ration called Egg Layer. Wayne feeds or FRM out of Georgia make a good all-purpose
laying feed. I use both in pellet form. I believe if you feed these females a correct all purpose feed like above your problems
will be over. If they still eat their eggs, open up an egg by 1/3 and put in some hot red pepper. Many times when they eat
that pepper a few times they will stop eating their eggs.
What is the best litter to use in my chicken house?
- Mike Oregon.
Mike I use to use Fir shavings when I lived in Washington State as a young boy. They came in a compressed bail and I bought
them at my feed stores. Also, oat and wheat straw works great. Make sure you do not get over 50% manure and 50% litter when
the percent is more manure you need to clean out your pens and put in fresh litter. The ammonia from the litter can be hard
on your bird’s respiratory system.
Do you put any supplements on your feed for your large breeders?
- Mary MINN.
When breeding R I Red Bantams, which priorities is more important: flat top lines in
the back sections, level wing carriage in the males or size of the birds?
Mary in the new 2 hour Video Tape the Rhode Island Red Club is putting out Matt Lhomon Ohio talks about using Red Cell,
Wheat germ oil and Cod liver Oil to give to his birds. He puts each one in a single spray bottle and sprays one of the supplements
on his birds feed each day. I started doing this and it is an excellent idea. You need to get this great video tape it is
the first one ever put out by a Breed Club. Well worth the $13. Plus $5. Shipping. Contact me via E-mail or order it from Mr. Rachel’s our Breed Club Sec.
Joe, the biggest problem that has faced Red bantam’s breeders over the past 50 years has been pointed down wing carriage
in the males. This is caused by the introduction of Old English bantams to form the bantam gene by Perrin Johnson in the 1930s
when he started Red bantams. Like the white leghorn bantams they also, had white old English blood to get the bantam gene
into the large fowl white leghorns. If you go to any show all the top white leghorn bantams have pointed down wings. There
for, it would take maybe 10 years of breeding pressure to try to get the wing carriage level and in my opine it would be third
on your list for right now. The sizes of our Red bantams on the whole are mixed. Some strains are larger than others are.
There is no Poultry show or judge that weighs bantams so its up to the judge to nock down a Red bantam for size. There for
it is important to have Red Bantams that are nice and small and that would be my second choice of importance. The top lines
that we see today are getting worse and worse each year. Judges keep awarding the big wins to these kinds of bantams and in
many strains they have become a fixed trait. One person told me that a excellent breeder told him if he does not bring the
Plymouth Rock reds to the show he will get beat. The judges like this kind of Red Bantam. I can not stand a Red Bantam with
a Plymouth Rock top line. I would get rid of any and try to breed from only the flat back ones. So flat top lines in the females
are first, size second and wing carriages third. A note, the females of males who have sebright type wing carriage usually
has level wings. The sons will have level wings till they start to crow at about 6 months of age and then the wings start
to come down. I hope this helps you and others who might read this on the web site.
I received your box and the trio of large fowl. Where did you get the box and how can I order some boxes like these. Also,
what size and type of box would you use for a pair or trio of bantams? On the day you ship the birds do you feed them late
in the afternoon, and do you put apples in the box for nourishment?
Perry I get my boxes from Horizon MicroEnvironments in Crawford Ga. There phone number is 1-800-443-2498 they have a web
site and it is www.go.to/hme .
The box that I shipped the large fowl trio in is called a trio shipper and it costs $17.95 plus shipping. I also, use for
shipping bantams and single large fowl pullets the box called the one stall shipper. It runs about $5. Each and if you order
10 or 12 you get a discount. These are the boxes that I will use to ship my 4 to 6 week old started chicks in next year. They
are excellent and affordable. If you order $97. Worth of boxes, the postage is free. In regards to shipping the birds I feed
them and water them good about 3:30 P.M. and take them to the post office at 4 P.M. they are off at 6 P.M. and have had excellent
results with this method and the boxes. I do put a half a apple the box for them to peck on for moisture, but they can go
two to three days with out water and feed and still make the trip all right. They will be hungry, as can be when they get
to their destination, but they are tough. Hope this helps you and give George at Horizon a call the have treated me right
for a long time. They are TOPS…
Could you explain what you mean by toe punching your chickens? I have never heard of this before and does it hurt the
birds? What is the reason?
Roy, most breeders who pedigree their birds have breeding pens and write with a pencil the pen that the egg came out of.
They put the fertile egg into a hatching compartment that is divided in four sections and when the chicks hatch, they take
a tool that you purchase from a poultry supply house and punch a hole in the web between the baby chicks toes. Most breeders
today only have say four matings but there are toe punch combinations up to 16 pens. I have seen one chart that went up to
64 combinations which was used in the 1930. I have written a short article on toe punching; it is listed under articles written
by breeders. Hope this will help you.
When I get your pair of large fowl tomorrow, should I let the ckl and pullet run together or keep the male in a separate
pen and let the pullet run with my other ten pullets?
Mike, I would keep the male separate and put him in a conditioning and training pen. I would also, put the pullet in a
pen just like the male, as you need to start handling her as well as the male. These birds where raised on free range and
they are not to found of small show coops. However, with handling and training your pair they can be tamed to show their selves
off in front of the judge when you show them.
Do you find that you get better chicks from pullets or hens? Old males or cockerels?
Genetically speaking. It should not make much difference. A young-breeding pen can produce super show birds and most people
use just such a mating. However, if you have females that are two to three years old, and after they go through their molts,
they can look nothing like they did when they were pullets. The underline, can sag and it looks like excess fat under their
rear end or keels. It has been my practice to keep my best pullets for up to six years and just see how they look year after
year for type. It is my belief that if you have a three or four year old hen and she still maintains he brick shape and that
classic pullet look, she will pass this trait on to her offspring. You will have a more uniformed strain and it is my opine,
that if you win best old female and male at major shows, and you can win best of breed with these old birds, you have one
heck of a strain. There have been many breeders who have had top strains of Reds and have one big with their young Reds, but
few win with their hens and cock birds. If they do you have a super breeder and a master craftsman. In a nut shell I believe
you will reach a higher level of quality when you breed from older proven breeders. You have to keep a few more birds, but
if they are super star birds it is worth it and you can have fewer birds per breeding pen.
My county agent told me that I should raise my baby chicks on 28% baby chick feed till they reach maturity. Does this
sound good to you?
I start my chicks off with baby chick medicated feed at 20% protein. I by it from FRM out of Georgia. Once the chicks get
about 6 weeks old I start them on half Game Bird starter 20% and half of the FRM baby chick meditated starter. When the chicks
get to about 13 weeks of age I put them on game bird pellets or Finisher feed. The reason I use game bird feed is because
it is a better or higher quality of grains. I seem to get better luster on my birds and when they are shown by me or others
it looks as if you sprayed them with some type of polish. I would not give my baby chicks such a high protein feed. This is
what country agents recommend for broilers such as Rock/Cornish crosses. For show quality birds such as ours the above recommendations
will work fine. If you do not care to show your R I Reds, you can use a standard chick starter, then developer. I will write
a short article on nutrition for this web site latter in the year. It will be titled From Egg Shell to Show Room. Keep in
eye on it. I think it will ask a lot of questions that I get each Month. Hope this helps you.
I have just purchased 25 R I Reds from the feed store and want to build some pen and houses for them when they grow
up. Do you have any plans that I can use?
Boy this is a good subject; I will try to give you some web site addresses that you can use under favorite Poultry Links.
I will post these links as I up date this web site in Oct 99. Look for them and also, I will try to put some plans on my section
titled From Egg Shell to Show Room. There are also, some great poultry books you can get on library loan that I have mentioned
in this web site up date. Try to get some of these books, and you will find some pictures and plans that will help you. We
are also, trying to put together videotape of people’s homes and poultry plants or buildings that you can see and then
go out and try to build. The semi-monitor building is my favorite and it works great up North in Ohio, New York and say Wisconsin.
The late Dr. Prince Woods wrote great articles and was a leader in this kind of building in the 1920s. There is a book that
he wrote called Fresh Air Poultry Buildings and can be obtained on Library loan. See my article on this site on how to get
classic Poultry books by Library loan. If you still need more help, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You say that your favorite bedding for your birds is shavings, however, I can not locate area. Can I use wheat straw, and
what do you think of it for chicken bedding?
Ben, wheat straw will be perfect. In fact, I have started to use wheat straw in all my breeding pens. I plan to use shavings
for my chicks in their pens as they are under their heat lamps.
You mentioned in the Rhode Island Red Club Video Tape, that you use wheat germ oil, cod liver oil and Red Cell. How do
you apply it to your birds?
Mary, I am mixing about a quart of wheat in a half-gallon container and about 1 oz of the product of choice on top of the
wheat. I then mix this up so that there is a nice coating of the liquid on the wheat and then give each bird about 1 tsp.
This seems to be working out right now in my conditioning pens and I put it in their feed cup for them to eat. I alternate
each day one of the above supplements to my birds.
Do you ever use bleach in your bird’s drinking water?
Mike Washington State.
Yes, I do, at a rate of a half a tsp. Per gallon. It also, keeps the drink cups nice and clean.
How do you prevent Fowl Pox from your strain of R I Reds?
This year Carl was the worse year I ever had with fowl pox. It seems that the past two years we where hit with hurricanes
and each hurricane dumped around 20 inches of rain in a two day period. This year we have been free of these storms, but the
Fowl pox virus has been every where within 100 miles of our town. I will give the one-month-old chicks next year Fowl Pox
vaccine to prevent this costly out break. If you have a problem then you better vaccinate for the Pox.
How do you store your feed for your chickens?
- Jeff England
Jeff, I store my feed in 32-gallon garbage cans with the lids on them. It is important to keep the feed dry and free of
mold. Any, bacteria in the feed causes stress on the bird’s digestive tract. Also, don not keep more than a week supply
of feed if you can. This will keep it fresher and less chances of messing up your flock’s growth and health status.
Can you tell me how I can tell what sex my baby chicks are by the color of their feathers when they are hatched?
- Sara Ill.
Sara, I have received many questions this year on this subject. I do not know, and I just wait till my chicks are about
two to three months old to see what sex they may be. As soon as I can tell a young rooster from a pullet, I separate the two
sexes and place them in separate pens. The young males bother the pullets and cause undue stress on them.