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TO GET PROPERLY LAID

 
 
Reply Sun 13 Mar, 2011 10:39 am
I always choose a chicken breed that is quiet and less "flighty" , even though such boirds dont produce as highly as the leghorns or Barred Rocks. Weve been raising home grown eggers for about 25 years and are about to start a whole new yard size flock.
If anyone is interested in yard chickens, Ill be happy to provide what weve learnt over the years.

1Dont overbuy peeps. If you have a very small yard, buy no more than 2 hens (no roosters-buy guranateed pullets(not what is known as a "STRAIT RUN"). The fewer chickens you have the more friendly and docile they will be. They actually fit the space provided and mpre chicken in a s,all space leads to "Pecking order" brutality among the birds

2If you can, let the chickens learn your property and learn to feed themselves by foraging. This will make for vey high, orangy yolk eggs with super doses of Omega 3's

4Get them off the medicated food within 10 weeks after you get em. Dont let em stay on these heavily treated foods. (Weve actually used sheep mash for peeps. We may lose one or two but the immune system boosts they recieve from natutal untreateted foods is what you want for chickens to reward you with an egg a day
5Chicken molt once a year and they will shut down egg production for up to 2 weeks in that time so dont be quick to "make an example of the nonprudctive ones"

6Which breeds ? QWeve settled on Auracanas or AMericaunas. These chickens are docile, friendly even, and they lay colored eggs from blues to greens and even some pinks (very rarely). They will gather around you and follow you around until you shoo them away .

7 If you have a graden, get some deer fence and screen it cause chickens also love your best tomatoes

Nows the time to begin yer peeps so you can have eggs by September. You wont get a fresher tastier egg than a homie egg. Stores cannot compare, and the only pl;acese that can are the AMish garden stores(I wont buy eggs from them cause they pack their hens into small coops and yards. The AMish will saw the upper beak of the chicken almost half off so they dont peck their neighbors to death. This insterferes with theior foraging . YOU can keep the chickens from attacking each other by providing more space , like letting them wander around your yard (They recognize their territory and stay put)
 
Rockhead
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Mar, 2011 10:48 am
@farmerman,
how big is a big yard?

I gotta pen, about 30 x 50, with a hen house mebbe 10 x 25.

feet not inches.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Mar, 2011 11:26 am
@Rockhead,
A yard can be just a few hundred square feet to over an acre (anything beyond say 10 acres is a farmette.
I think you have plenty room for about 5-6 chickens without them getting cannibalistic(s0metimes when they are cooped together too closely, they will also start snacking on theor eggs.
djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Mar, 2011 11:29 am
well this wasn't what i was expecting Sad

my uncle supplies with eggs from his hens, wonderful things, the yolks are almost orange, and the taste, incredible
0 Replies
 
Rockhead
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Mar, 2011 11:29 am
@farmerman,
are they (the weird ones you got) large enough to discourage poaching by cats?

we have about 5 toms, and their resulting harems.

this place had chickens before, but I don't think the cats were as thick then...
0 Replies
 
Rockhead
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Mar, 2011 11:32 am
I don't think I want more than a half dozen anyways.

I'n not looking to get into the egg business, really.

what do they forage on?

(I might could let them free range if the cats don't like them too much...)
djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Mar, 2011 11:32 am
i'll have to ask my uncle what kind he has, he's got a small orchard,lets the chickens run around in there eating caterpillars and fertilizing the soil
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Mar, 2011 11:36 am
@Rockhead,
they will forage nicely on grass. I often pull up clumps and the chickens run to the clumps to get the worms. I always plant a dense row of sunflowers several times a summer and the chickens have learned to eat the seeds. Lately the mail lady has discovered treats for the chickens so she throws some cracked corn when she delivers the mail and somehow the chickens get a message and come running to the ,mailbox.
Serves several purposes

1chickens get some free food and exercise

2The running chiskens alert anyone that the mail is here.

Rockhead
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Mar, 2011 11:41 am
@farmerman,
ok. I am cutting volunteers today (if I get feeling more sparky), and clearing the debris in the chick house.

I can run the tiller through part of it. we do sunflowers anyways, I'll just plop some in the pen.

I have lotsa leftover implements, most of which I understand.

what is the best way to keep them watered? (the birds, not the flowers)


we have a different opinion on the mail man, and a dog to keep him away...
0 Replies
 
BumbleBeeBoogie
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Mar, 2011 11:45 am
@farmerman,
I love your topic, Farmerman, even though Butrflynet and I don't plan on having chickens. We both grew up having chickens in our yards. We had one white pullet who would follow my two kids to school. They had to bring them home or I had to drive to retrieve it. This chicken would top the pile of dogs and cats when they gathered to sleep at night.

BBB
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Mar, 2011 12:02 pm
Rock: (I might could let them free range if the cats don't like them too much...)

Last chickens I had terrified the cats by pointing their beaks at them and charging them.
Rockhead
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Mar, 2011 12:10 pm
@edgarblythe,
that's my kinda chicken, ed...


what brand were they?
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Mar, 2011 12:17 pm
@Rockhead,
Don't know. They were bigger than a banty, but pretty small. Between the two, we rarely bought eggs.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Mar, 2011 01:00 pm
@edgarblythe,
yeh, our cats dont **** with the chickens. ALthough, we originally had a Polish Rooster (Jerry Lee). Jerry Lee terrorized the catys if they were even within 50 feet of the chickens.
0 Replies
 
Rockhead
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Mar, 2011 01:00 pm
@farmerman,
and why do I gotta have a noisy ass rooster or pullet, or whatever?

I think I just want girl chickens. less conniving and craziness without a male in the mix...

and I think that unless the quality of grocery chicken slides a lot further, I really don't wanna ruin the zen of the place by having to stop and kill something.

mebbe I'll get a peacock...
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Mar, 2011 01:07 pm
@Rockhead,
lots of people have chickens with no rooster, it cuts down on the number of fertile eggs. (SOme health food nuts like fertile eggs and I have no understanding what nutrient they carry).

Chicken are self reliant and will mostly keep the catsd at bay. Cats learn early that not all birds are harmless (eg, mockinbirds will dive cats and actually pull hair for their nests)

Peacocks, on thne other hand, are like guinea hens, they are somehwat genetically helpless, using flocking as their defense. Weve had several peacocks all lost to foxes. SInce we love it here, moving was not an option so , we just dont raise peacocks anymore. Those people who do, must put em in pens at night.
Rockhead
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Mar, 2011 01:13 pm
@farmerman,
I have lots of pens.

used to be horses here. not gonna do that now, too much work and expense just yet.

mebbe some day....

how do peacocks handle ugly winters...?
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Mar, 2011 02:04 pm
@Rockhead,
peqacocks are touchy , high maintenance if you want em looking good. Males especially will get all tattered and torn if not kept in large open areas(We kept em in one pasture area and people would stop along the road to watch em. So did the fox.

In winter we had a series of run-in pens that they would live in. All we needed was some perches. We had a neat peacock inside room in the barn (It was an old tack room next to the milkhouse but the damn birds never wanted to be in there. I think they felt confined
Rockhead
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Mar, 2011 02:16 pm
@farmerman,
I think we'll stick to chickens to start.

not gonna cut trees today, it's starting to rain...

0 Replies
 
Ceili
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Mar, 2011 02:50 pm
My aunt lives on Vancouver Is. A neighbour years ago raised peacocks. She also had a whole brood of kids. One day, welfare - chilren services showed up at her door, said that a complaint had been made against her for beating her kids. It was the peacocks cry - help me, help me. Anywho... shortly after that the peacock flock ended up in the trees around her property and are still there to this day, 20 years later. So, they have no problem, apparently, with colder weather and snow, it would seem. Last year, some of the more wiley ones attacked my aunt. Seems freedom has made them angrier too... Wink I saw wild flocks in India too. They travel to the same places day after day, sitting on rooftops of their preferred villages, you can set a watch by thier travel habits.

A question Farmer.. if you've been to the caribbean, you'll see chickens everywhere. I'm wondering what kind they are, and/or are they mixed breeds? Some look like big/small banty's but you do see small while ones running around too.
0 Replies
 
 

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