Author Topic: Keeping chickens  (Read 3038 times)

Offline phillamb168

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Keeping chickens
« on: October 27, 2010, 06:53:41 AM »
Yeast... Bees... Chickens. It's a natural progression.

Seriously though, we're going to building a coop in the front yard this winter and get some chickens in time for spring. Anybody done it before? How'd you deal with the litter? I know it makes a great fertilizer, but I'd like to keep my neighbors happy. My house growing up had its 35 acres fertilized with chicken litter every few years... the smell still haunts my dreams....
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Keeping chickens
« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2010, 08:51:57 AM »
I haven't done it yet, but my plan is to build a coop this winter so we can get a few in the spring too.  My coop will be in the backyard though, and hidden from the neighbors.  I just hope to keep the coyotes and raccoons away from them.  :-\

I've got a pile of scrap wood and some vague ideas of what to do - I visited a couple of friends who have chickens and checked out their coops to have an idea of the important elements of design.  A place to roost, some nests to lay in, and doors to make it easier to clean and get eggs.  A door that can be shut and latched at night to keep the predators out, a larger enclosure so the chickens can get out a bit during the day.  A water and food source.

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Offline denny

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Re: Keeping chickens
« Reply #2 on: October 27, 2010, 08:57:59 AM »
when I moved into my current place, we had 3 chickens left behind by the previous owner.  They pretty much ran wild and roosted on a ladder in the garage at night.  They also laid their eggs in the garage.  I say "garage", but at that time it was more of an open shed (no doors) with a gravel floor.  They lasted about 3 years before the coyotes and raccoons got them.  We have a chicken coop I was going to restore, but we discovered it was painted with lead based paint, which had gone into the ground all around the coop.  we didn't want the chickens scratching in that, so the coop became a toolshed.  Plans are to build or buy a new coop...eventually!  This place here in Eugene sells some pretty cool ones...

http://eugenebackyardfarmer.com/
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Offline weithman5

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Re: Keeping chickens
« Reply #3 on: October 27, 2010, 09:01:06 AM »
Yeast... Bees... Chickens. It's a natural progression.


don't forget the goats after that
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Offline tubercle

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Re: Keeping chickens
« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2010, 09:01:58 AM »
Done the chicken thing. Been without for about ten years and was fixing to start up again when Lo! and behold, Ms. Tubercle's friend-girl at work has a bunch of chickens and loves pickled eggs but don't know how to make them. Tubercle does :D

  I get 3 dozen eggs at a time for the price of returning one dozen back as pickled. ;D

 Two dozen eggs every two weeks for the price of 1-1/2 cup of vinegar and a few spices and none of the hassle.
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Offline tubercle

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Re: Keeping chickens
« Reply #5 on: October 27, 2010, 09:02:30 AM »
Yeast... Bees... Chickens. It's a natural progression.


don't forget the goats after that

 And cheese...
Sweet Caroline where the Sun rises over the deep blue sea and sets somewhere beyond Tennessee

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Keeping chickens
« Reply #6 on: October 27, 2010, 09:04:20 AM »
That sounds like a cool place Denny.  I'll probably get ours from this place.

http://www.grangesupplyinc.com/chicks.htm
Tom Schmidlin

Offline Mikey

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Re: Keeping chickens
« Reply #7 on: October 27, 2010, 09:31:19 AM »
With chickens you get chicken $hit. I ran around at my Grandparents barefooted too much to ever want any of my own.

Offline bluesman

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Re: Keeping chickens
« Reply #8 on: October 27, 2010, 09:39:19 AM »
Chicken $h!T makes great fertilizer.  ;)
Ron Price

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Keeping chickens
« Reply #9 on: October 27, 2010, 09:40:30 AM »
I walk around barefoot too, but since they're my chickens (as opposed to my grandparents) I can keep them confined to a small area rather than give them the run of the yard.  I'll probably build a movable enclosure that I can put them in every day to confine the manure to a small area as opposed to the entire back yard, which is probably about 1/2 acre fenced.  It will make it easier to scoop and compost the manure.  That will make my garden happy :)
Tom Schmidlin

Offline Mikey

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Re: Keeping chickens
« Reply #10 on: October 27, 2010, 10:01:36 AM »
You can keep them in a confined area, but if you let them run around they'll eat a ton of bugs. I really like the benefits of chickens and chicken$hit, but I do remember stepping in it. It does make great manure for a garden and you can get some very tasty eggs if they aren't cooped up all the time.

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Keeping chickens
« Reply #11 on: October 27, 2010, 11:05:40 AM »
Right, I'm talking about a movable enclosure that is not the same as their coop.  I can put it in a different spot every day and let them work over the bugs there.  That way they won't kill the grass in any one spot, and I have a smaller are to look for the manure, and I know where they are when it's time to put them in at night.   :)

I'm thinking about a bunch of 1x3s to make a lightweight frame, and some chicken wire to keep them enclosed.  That one won't keep anything out that is really trying to get in, but it's for the daytime so hopefully it will be ok.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline denny

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Re: Keeping chickens
« Reply #12 on: October 27, 2010, 11:06:56 AM »
That's a great idea, Tom.  There's a CSA down the road from me that does that with both chickens and ducks.
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Keeping chickens
« Reply #13 on: October 27, 2010, 11:13:59 AM »
Cool, glad to know it will work :)  I might have to start leaving the dog out during the day to keep an eye on them, but I don't think she'd like it much.  She's a people dog.

I'm considering adding a duck, I've heard they're good with slugs.  I don't know what they'd do with this guy though . . .

Tom Schmidlin

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Re: Keeping chickens
« Reply #14 on: October 27, 2010, 11:20:37 AM »
OMG is that real?
The ick factor went way up there just now.
Jeff Gladish, Tampa (989.3, 175.1 Apparent Rennarian)
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