Author Topic: Keeping chickens  (Read 2504 times)

Offline Slowbrew

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Re: Keeping chickens
« Reply #30 on: October 27, 2010, 02:58:09 PM »
Your enclosure should be pretty solid if you used 2" PVC and attach the chicken wire with zip ties.  Just a thought.

We raised fryers every year while I was growing up.  We never had laying hens.  Mom and Dad would order around 150 chicks each Spring and feed them out.  Last 2 weeks we fed straight corn.  Man I miss those birds for BBQ.  The shed we had them in would have about 6 inches of, shall we say leftovers, which was always a joy to clean out come the end of July.  Nothing says summer like 90+ degrees and a pitch fork.   ;)

Have fun!

Paul
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Keeping chickens
« Reply #31 on: October 27, 2010, 03:09:07 PM »
I'd stick with wood, but use either treated, redwood, cedar etc... they'll hold up alot longer.
I might stick with wood, I'll have to see.  If I do, I'll probably go with pine to keep it light, even though it will rot faster.  I'll see how long it lasts with that and maybe a coat of paint on it, then consider upgrading to something longer lasting.  It all depends on how well the chicken raising is going.

Don't get cockerels unless you plan on butchering them.
From the place we'll get them, they're not sexed.  If we end up with boys, they'll be gone one way or another :)  I'm not keeping them around.  I might prefer a male duck though, I don't really go for duck eggs.  :-\

the predators we have problems with are racoons and hawks.  Racoons mostly at dusk and at night.  We have not found an enclosure that is truly racoon proof.

Thanks Bruce.  I've heard the chickens will often scratch the larger slugs, so whether they eat them or not isn't so important :)  We have some bald eagles and bobcats in the neighborhood sometimes, they might go for a full grown one.  Maybe not.  The coyotes are regular visitors though.  I rarely see raccoons, but that doesn't mean they're not there.  I figure as long as I remember to lock the chickens up at night they should be ok.  Or not.  We'll find out :)

tom, you must be a small guy ;D  
Most would not say that, but maybe I'm just bad at estimating length.  Guys are supposed to over estimate length though, right?  :)

Mom and Dad would order around 150 chicks each Spring
Feeding an army?  Where do you keep 150 chickens once they're slaughtered?  Did you just have a huge freezer?
Tom Schmidlin

Offline phillamb168

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Re: Keeping chickens
« Reply #32 on: October 28, 2010, 02:47:14 AM »
Yeast... Bees... Chickens. It's a natural progression.


don't forget the goats after that

 And cheese...

And Ducks, Turkeys ......and I can't wait for what is next. ::)

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Offline phillamb168

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Re: Keeping chickens
« Reply #33 on: October 28, 2010, 02:57:08 AM »
Funny thing about Raccoons here in France. There used to not be any until WWII, when GIs came over here with Raccoons as unit mascots. Unfortunately they would escape, and now while they're not everywhere (you still have to go to a Zoo to see them usually) you can find them. The population is growing fairly rapidly from what I hear... maybe soon I'll be the first to bring that great Arkansas tradition of coon huntin' to La France.

tschmidlin, for coops and those fenced-in things that let you control where they peck and scratch, there's this: http://www.omlet.co.uk/homepage/ I think I'm going to order my coop from them. Plastic coop, which means all you have to do is borrow somebody's pressure washer every now and then to get them all clean.

A friend of mine has two chickens, which his kids named "Stupid" and "Stupid," which pretty much sums them up, but they get fresh eggs most of the time and given how much a guy can pay for "free-range" these days it seems silly not to do it myself. Let me know how it works out for you, maybe we can keep this thread open with photos etc once it gets going.
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Offline tubercle

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Re: Keeping chickens
« Reply #34 on: October 28, 2010, 06:14:25 AM »
I'd stick with wood, but use either treated, redwood, cedar etc... they'll hold up alot longer.
I might stick with wood, I'll have to see.  If I do, I'll probably go with pine to keep it light, even though it will rot faster.  I'll see how long it lasts with that and maybe a coat of paint on it, then consider upgrading to something longer lasting.  It all depends on how well the chicken raising is going.

  Wood attached with screws might be best if you're not sure this will be lasting thing. It can be taken apart and the wood used for the next big project.
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Re: Keeping chickens
« Reply #35 on: October 28, 2010, 06:39:11 AM »
Tom, there are plenty of places you can get the chicks sexed and they seem to be cheaper than the web site you posted. Some will ship less than the 25 chicks that most require. I was going to suggest ducks, ours lay better than our leghorns and the eggs are wonderful, but you don't sound like a fan of them.


Phillamb168, the next thing is quail. ???  Is quail good eating? Do you skin them or pluck them?

Offline weithman5

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Re: Keeping chickens
« Reply #36 on: October 28, 2010, 06:46:10 AM »
my good friend growing up lived on the farm where president harding was born (blooming grove-galion ohio)  they had a huge chicken farm.  factory really.  supplied tons of eggs, and then when the chickens were old they sold them, i think, to campbells soup. 
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Offline phillamb168

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Re: Keeping chickens
« Reply #37 on: October 28, 2010, 07:13:01 AM »
Phillamb168, the next thing is quail. ???  Is quail good eating? Do you skin them or pluck them?

In my book, if you can smoke it, it's usually good eating. For a nice bit of cross-thread referencing, http://cowgirlscountry.blogspot.com/2009/04/quail-catfish-brussel-sprout-and-wild.html
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Offline 1vertical

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Re: Keeping chickens
« Reply #38 on: October 28, 2010, 08:19:43 AM »
If I'm missing something someone please tell me!

Where I live Aerial Predators are a thing to consider as well....hawks, owls, eagles....they
like chicken dinner too!   
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Offline 1vertical

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Re: Keeping chickens
« Reply #39 on: October 28, 2010, 08:20:41 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 1vertical

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Re: Keeping chickens
« Reply #40 on: October 28, 2010, 08:21:49 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.

You knew this already, but ya HAD to make me say it in the Bee thread didn't ya!   ;D
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Offline Slowbrew

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Re: Keeping chickens
« Reply #41 on: October 28, 2010, 08:47:39 AM »

Mom and Dad would order around 150 chicks each Spring
Feeding an army?  Where do you keep 150 chickens once they're slaughtered?  Did you just have a huge freezer?
[/quote]

Pretty much.  8 kids (4 boys and 4 girls), 2 24+CF freezers and a rented locker in town.  Don't forget the cattle, hogs and ducks too.  You'd be amazed at how much food 8 kids eat at every meal. The table looked like a buffet and was picked clean after every meal.  :D

Paul
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Offline tubercle

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Re: Keeping chickens
« Reply #42 on: October 28, 2010, 08:58:50 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.

You knew this already, but ya HAD to make me say it in the Bee thread didn't ya!   ;D

 I'm slow sometimes. Takes me while to catch on :D
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Keeping chickens
« Reply #43 on: October 28, 2010, 09:32:05 AM »
http://www.omlet.co.uk/homepage/

Thanks for the link - looks the same people as omlet.com :)

I think you should get the coon hunting going now, before they're totally out of control.  Either that or bring in some mountain lions to help keep the population down.   ::)   ;D

I'll post pics as this gets going, it will be several months before we get chicks.  I just need to have the coop built by the time they're ready to move outside.

I might go with an online place that sexes them, but I think I'd rather buy locally and take the kids to pick something out.  more fun that way.
Tom Schmidlin

boulderbrewer

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Re: Keeping chickens
« Reply #44 on: October 28, 2010, 10:11:22 AM »
After checking the website a little closer they do mention pullets, they must be getting them in from a hatchery. So you should wind up with mostly pullets. Way more fun to take the kids and let them pick some out!