COOP (Chicken Owners Outside Philadelphia)
COOP (Chicken Owners Outside Philadelphia)

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COOP News Vol. 2, No. 1, May 7, 2008


Well, we finally all have chickens! Monday was a great day for COOP with the delivery of 45 living, peeping chicks via US Postal Service.

Here are the pics (if you haven't seen them already):

Because Doug and I run the website, we have a Heller Chicks page. However, if you want to send us your chick pics we'd be happy to post them as well.

Kristina has a blog with chick pics and video:


Ron has a chick with curled toes. We saw her tonight and she is having a hard time walking but is getting around well enough and eating.

However, according to, the foot should be splinted with either electrical tape or a band-aid that straightens out the foot for a few days. It should be done as soon as possible while the bones are still soft.

Here are two helpful links with pics:


COOP is catching on! I've had two wonderful email conversations with local chicken owners/potential owners.

Susan VonMedicus lives in Fort Washington and has four chickens and is a wonderful artist. She is also involved with Pennypack Farm and comes to us thanks to Harm Sherpbier.

Jenny Hammond lives in Oreland and she and her hubby are considering chicks. Jenny is the director of alumni relations at Abington Friends School. She comes to us through Kristina.

In addition, Kristina has two different friends in Cheltenham who are also looking into chicken raising.



After seeing Kristina's chick pics I thought her silver laced wyandotte had been switched for an araucana but after much research and checking Ron's chicks, Kristina's chick is the right one (it just has a really brown head in those pics). Sorry for starting the confusion!


I was wondering about grit and roosting, and had two very concise paragraphs that I pass along here: Grit

What is grit? It is small stones that the bird stores in its gizzard, where they act like teeth and are used to grind up food. Grit is necessary only if the chicks have access to grain or other foodstuffs. Chicks on mash or crumbles [COOP uses mash] don't need it. You can get a chick-sized granite grit through your feed store or use parakeet grit from the pet store. I sometimes use old aquarium gravel if it's small enough. Once the chicks are old enough to be running out on the ground, they don't need it supplied, as they can pick it up naturally. Warning: Do NOT give chicks oystershell. It is not grit, it is used to give laying hens extra calcium for egg-shell production. This extra calcium will cause bone development problems in young birds. Roosting

Chickens do better when they roost at night up off the ground. And they're happier, also. It is the natural way for a bird to sleep. It helps prevent external parasites and keeps them from lying in their own droppings. I introduce my chicks to roosting by placing a stick or narrow piece of wood several inches off the floor. I keep it placed so that it is under the heat source. They get used to hopping up and sitting on this. When I move them to larger quarters I raise up the roost and the heat source. Some of them will use it and usually some won't. Once they're 6 weeks old and out from under lights, I check at night and if any are not on the roost I place them there nightly. After a (short to long) while, they all learn.


Just a reminder that our next meeting will be on Saturday June 14 at 5pm at Dave and Debbie's on Camp Hill Road in Ft. Wash. More details to follow.

Time to go back and stare at my girls.

8^ Nancy