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#76104 - 10/28/06 10:45 PM Re: Making Plans
CJR Offline
Coop Master

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 8499
Loc: Montana
Remember, this is preschool. Older children can more easily undertake success or failure as a learning experience than the wee folks, for whom understanding of the development of chickens, is more limited.
Still, with planning, it is a good plan. CJR

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#76105 - 10/29/06 04:28 AM Re: Making Plans
Twin Oaks Farm Offline
Coop Cleaner

Registered: 03/11/06
Posts: 229
Loc: Louisiana
Lifelong Learner, I'm across the lake from you. My neighbor who has the 200+ chickens has told me that he at times goes (gratis) to elem. classrooms with a couple of chickens and some fertile eggs to talk to the kids. He leaves the eggs and they hatch them. After they've hatched (I'm not aware of the exact timetable here), he goes back to pick them up so that they can "go home." I'm sure there would be no problem with you keeping a couple of the pullets. However, you are in N.O.- keep in mind the mosquito, spider, and rat problems when you plan your home coop. How about buying two chicks of the breed you'd like for yourself, and letting the kids hatch the regular laying breeds? I'd give you some eggs myself, but no roosters here, so . . .

If you would like to talk to my neighbor (real old-time kind of guy, very genial and knows & loves chickens) or the teachers who have participated in this sort of project, PM me.

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#76106 - 10/29/06 05:39 AM Re: Making Plans
Susie Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 1902
Loc: Arkansas
Wow, there you go. That sounds like an interesting way to approach it with a classroom of little ones.

One other thing that crossed my mind last night, regarding a classroom project, is allergies. Little chicks create tons of dust as they sprout out feathers. It's hard to keep it clean inside. I have friends with children who can't be around birds due to severe allergies, so that's definitely something to investigate. But somebody who lets them hatch for you and then comes to pick them up, might be a real solution to that issue.

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#76107 - 10/29/06 09:28 AM Re: Making Plans
Lifelong Learner Offline
Chicken

Registered: 10/27/06
Posts: 126
Loc: Louisiana
You have all been so wonderful! And I know I'll need to rely on you in future as we move forward.

"Inside" for the chicks means in the classroom (and home sweet trailer on weekends) until they are hardy enough to live in a coop. After that, I would have them in an "ark" type of coop which I am in the process of persuading my husband to help me build.

Predators/pests which I anticipate may be around my neighborhood are cats (We have 2 and my soft-hearted husband and daughter are always finding someone new for me to feed and take to the vet.),
raccoons, possums, mosquitoes, maybe rats (haven't seen any, but I'm sure they're around.).

I wasn't aware that spiders are a problem. Tell me more.

I really want to do this well.

As far as breeds, I will want them (eventually) as a source of eggs for eating (mainly) and hatching (occasionally). So I was thinking of maybe 3 hens and a rooster. Breeds I am mainly considering, just lookin online at charts, etc. for temperament, hardiness, laying, etc. are:

Australorp, Faverolle, Delaware, Dorking, Holland, Orpington, Langshan, Plymouth Rock, Sussex.

Orpingtons and Plymouth Rocks are my favorites so far.

It seems like Silkies aren't great layers since they are so broody. I don't know how available the other breeds are or if I can get just a few in my area. Also, this information is just from a chart. I would like to get real input from people with practical experience.

Thanks again, y'all!

--Angelle

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#76108 - 10/29/06 04:10 PM Re: Making Plans
Coop Slave Offline
Chicken

Registered: 08/14/06
Posts: 127
Loc: Australia
My favourites are my Barnevelders, but I really like my Austrolorp and my Buff Orpington. Sussex are lovely as well.

Good luck, there are many to decide from and you will get many different opinions about what is 'best'.

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