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Thread: A harem of chicks..

  1. #1
    FishBone
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    Default A harem of chicks..

    I've chosen to take the journey of raising chickens. Egg laying chickens to be specific. I currently have 6 3-4 week old lovely little ladies.. I say ladies because they seem to have grown faster than a fat man's belly in a buffet.. I've wanted to raise chickens for awhile and wasn't sure I'd get the opportunity. But I'm doing it and I haven't regretted it yet. We should all do something.. Even something small to produce more and consume less..

    Just wondered if anyone else has taken the same journey? I believe I'm going with a tractor coop.. Which my hens are going to go to work for me..

    Let me know your experience and if you have any tips!

    Thanks as always..

    Here's my favorite lady.. Chicken nugget..

  2. #2
    Guide Supporter Bax 40's Avatar
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    You and Firebug will be makin omelets soon.

    Larry
    Just my opinion, I COULD be wrong!!

    Turley #88 GEEZER

    AXE MOB

  3. #3
    FishBone
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bax 40 View Post
    You and Firebug will be makin omelets soon.

    Larry
    Firebug and I have split paths..

    But I for sure will be making omelets soon!

    Lets keep this thread about chickens.. I'm curious if anyone has any good coop designs..

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    Guide Supporter Hawkcreek's Avatar
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    Lots of coop designs on the net. Cant help much without knowing how much room you have etc.

    Growing up on a ranch I guess I kind of view life and death of "stock" a little different than most people. But I will say a couple things. First be reasonable with the heat lamps. When we had chickens we only used them in winter and then rarely. Lots of people leave the lamps on all night and all day. Seriously, how would you like to have to try to sleep under a heat lamp?
    Second thing is make sure they get some calcium in their diet to keep the shells from getting thin. You don't have to go all crazy with special feed. Just wash the egg shells from the day prior and crush them up and toss them in the pen with the chickens. They will eat however much shell they need.

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    Scout hanzo's Avatar
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    Got these from a frond's (see back woodsman post) harem.

    Was told that fresh organic eggs have an anti-bacterial coating on them, so they don't need refrigeration until you wash it off. They seem heavier to me than store bought probably because the yolk seems bigger. Was also told that if you boil them, to salt the water otherwise the membrane will stick to the shell when you peel it. Just what I was told by my frond. 😄

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    Scout hanzo's Avatar
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    And they were delicious!

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    Scout Bushcraftgeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hanzo View Post


    Got these from a frond's (see back woodsman post) harem.

    Was told that fresh organic eggs have an anti-bacterial coating on them, so they don't need refrigeration until you wash it off. They seem heavier to me than store bought probably because the yolk seems bigger. Was also told that if you boil them, to salt the water otherwise the membrane will stick to the shell when you peel it. Just what I was told by my frond. 😄
    Fresh eggs are much better than store bought. and ya no refrigeration if you keep them as is with no washing perfect for the bush or anything and at times cheaper than store ones.

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    Scout gila_dog's Avatar
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    Good for you! I think the chicken tractor is a great idea, tho I've never used one.

    I have kept chickens for many years. Here are a few things I've learned.
    1. Protect them from predators. Everything likes to eat chickens. In my experience the worst threats to chickens are dogs, coyotes, raccoons, hawks and owls. A good strong fence 5 feet high will keep dogs and coyotes out. Some trees in their pen will give them a lot of protection from owls and hawks. Almost nothing will protect them from raccoons. If you keep them in a chicken tractor make sure it's built very strong. Don't count on chicken wire to protect them from dogs or raccoons. Chicken wire only keeps chickens in, not predators out. It's very tempting to let them "free range" (run around loose eating whatever they find). They love it and they find lots of goodies. But the predators will get them eventually.

    2. If you find that they are eating their own eggs it means they need calcium in their diet. Recycling your shells is a good idea, but it doesn't add any net calcium. For that get some crushed oyster shell for them. They will eat what they need and should stop cannibalizing their eggs.

    3. Eventually they will get old, stop laying, and become nonproductive. I think you can count on them being productive for about 3 years. Then you need to get hard-hearted and put them in the pot. My wife slow cooks an old hen in the crockpot and then picks the meat off the bones and makes all kinds of tasty recipes from that. I don't like to kill my old hens, but it needs to be done. They are going to die anyway from old age, sickness, cold, etc. So I would rather get them into the kitchen than find them dead in their pen. What to do with chicken guts, feet, etc when you butcher? I tried burying it but something always digs it up and scatters it around. So now I just take it all and dump it out in the woods away from civilization. The scavengers find it and eat it. Problem solved.

    4. A lot of people feed their chickens official "laying" feed. This will certainly maximize your egg production. But if that's all they eat then what's the point? Your eggs will be the same as what you buy in the store, just more expensive and more work. What makes homegrown eggs so good are the natural goodies (kitchen scraps, garden scraps, weeds and bugs). I feed my hens a mix of chicken scratch and black sunflower seeds, plus all the kitchen and garden waste. The chicken tractor is really a good idea for this reason. The sunflower seeds boost the protein which is important for production. The other stuff rounds out their diet.



    Good luck, good eatin', and have fun!
    Last edited by gila_dog; 04-28-2012 at 09:01 AM.

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    Scout Bush Class Basic Certified Whitestone's Avatar
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    I started with chickens about 4 years ago. Free range is a synonym for predator buffet.
    I built a tractor but my Mom has it now for her 4 chickens in the city! I really like my chickens but I eat them too!

    We feed our store food as a base, but then add mowed grass, kitchen scraps and sometimes I buy them special veggies from the store like Collard Greens or Kale. They love that!!

    I gentle them with meal worms and scrap fat. Once they figure out that you are a Meat Vending Machine....they come runnin' everytime they see you!! That really helps if you need to find them, or get them penned back up quickly. Just like dogs!

    There will always be one that you like the most. Good luck!! I hope that you do not lose as many as I did as I climbed the learning curve!!!

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    Supporter Supporter pat_t's Avatar
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    Last year I got 24 chicks to help keep the grasshoppers down in the garden. Thanks to the dogs, hawks and snakes, I'm down to 6, but I picked up 24 new chicks a couple of weeks back. The eggs have been a bonus. My chickens get locked up at night to protect them from the coyotes, but free range during the day.

    pat

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