How about those chickens?
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  1. #1
    Registered User Mr Fixit's Avatar
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    Default How about those chickens?

    I am thinking to build a chicken coop this spring, and keep 2 to 4 hens. I would also build a chicken tractor so I can move them around the yard so they can graze.
    The only thing is that I have never had chickens, and I need all the tips I can get on what kind of chickens to get, and how to care for them.
    Or am I getting into something that is more trouble than it it's worth? It seems like there are advantages, but I just want to hear from some real chicken people!

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    Registered User nvmommyx6's Avatar
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    Your in the same state as the best hatchery! This is where we order all of our chicks!
    MT. HEALTHY HATCHERIES INC. HOME OF THE HEALTHIEST CHICKS!
    I Love my chickens, they are not hard to care for! Rhode Island Red's, Buff Orpingtons and Black Australorp's are favorites of mine as they are disease and weather hardy.
    Buff's, RI Red's and rooster Austro's are good for meat as well. The Austro's are my favorite layers, they produce an average of 364 egg's a year per hen and lay for many years after my other hen's slow down and are butchered. The male's are great for meat, averaging 10-12lbs at 6 months old.
    Barred plymouth rock's are another great meat bird at about 2-3 years when their egg production slow's!
    We feed scratch and layer (1 coffee can of each for 17 birds) pellets once every afternoon plus whatever house scraps (no meat) we have from our daily meals.
    I keep oyster shell in their pen at all times to keep their egg shells hard, I add table salt to their feed once a month to deter pecking, use food grade diatomatious (sp) earth to dust their living quarters to keep lice off of them.
    Once a month add 6 tablespoons per 2 cups of water of gatorade or pedialite to their water source to deter dehydration and replenish electrolites.

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    Registered User Mr Fixit's Avatar
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    Thanks nvmommyx6, So just 2 hens would not be so hard to care for I take it. Do you let them graze in the yard? I have heard that they eat all day if they can run around the yard, and you dont have to feed them so much!
    I have also heard they make good pets. I can't see loving a chicken but then I have never owned a chicken so what do I know
    Plus with just the 3 of us, I would not want so many eggs, just enough for the 3 of us. So I figure 2 hens may be plenty, what do you think?

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    Registered User nvmommyx6's Avatar
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    Keep in mind there is going to be days when they dont lay! What if you want breakfast for dinner and you had egg's for breakfast or if your baking and need extra eggs!
    We have 7 in our home and I have 17 hens! This promises I always have egg's for breakfasts, dinners, baking and hard boiling!
    When you buy your chicks, you might lose one or 2 always take that into account and get a couple more than you want!
    My Chickens have a large yard that does not move as where we live their are coyotes, hawk's and eagles to prey on them, I clear their pen out once a month and add new dirt for bug's. I'd love to have them free ranged but it's not an option here!
    I also throw all the weeds we pull her in their pen for them to eat as well, this helps alot with the weeds not being able to germinate, whatever it is with the chickens systems, the seed is dead when they poop it out!
    They make great pets especially if you handle them carefully when you get them! We had one we called "houdini hen" she figured out a place to get out of the pen and would go lay 1 egg per day on the Hub's tool bench! (this drove him insane!!) She'd follow me round the yard all day doin chores, share lunch with me then back into the pen in the afternoon only to escape again that evening to piss hub's off again!!

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    Moderator ladytoysdream's Avatar
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    Hi.
    Well first you take the number of eggs you would use in a week.
    For example 2 dozen if you had them. To get 24 eggs, figure 6 eggs per chicken per week.
    So 4 birds would do that. Add 2 more birds for a cushion I call it. So 6 hens.
    If you plan on raising any replacements birds, add 1 rooster.

    I have a thread here about my adventures with my chickens.
    Bert the bad chicken
    I did a farmers market last summer with extra eggs, and am planning on doing another market this summer. I still am working on getting a few more year round customers. Chickens work for us and fit our retirement plans.
    Last edited by ladytoysdream; 03-08-2012 at 11:05 AM.
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    Registered User freebs's Avatar
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    With only 2 hens i would only plan on 7 or less eggs a week. 2 hens wont eat much at all. I feed mine a all stock pellet as i feed it to all my animals. If i was you since you are only wanting 2 is to buy them as pullets not chicks. Then you have less time and money in them.

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    Registered User Mr Fixit's Avatar
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    Well we would probably only need around 7 eggs per week because we only make breakfast on Saturdays and Sundays. Through the week, we eat out a couple of times, and when the girls cook dinner, they rarely use eggs for that.
    If I was retired and home all the time, I would have a lot of chickens and sell the eggs, but we all 3 work and from what you guys are telling me, 2 hens will probably do the trick.
    I hope those chickens don't follow me when I mow, I'd hate to run over them
    Do chickens know their names if you call them? I was just wondering how smart they are!

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    Registered User NicJean's Avatar
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    Smile

    I never thought I'd ever get attached to my chickens. Mine like it when DH's talks to them, they get all muttering and flirty with him - too funny. I make a clicking noise when I go out in the morning to let them out and feed them, so if I'm in the yard and make the clicking noise, they come running (I assume for food). They're pretty funny, independent as all get out, and manage to thrive on minimal (really) care.

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    Moderator ladytoysdream's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Fixit View Post
    I hope those chickens don't follow me when I mow, I'd hate to run over them Do chickens know their names if you call them? I was just wondering how smart they are!
    If you read my bertthebadchicken thread, I answer a few of those questions
    --------My signature--------
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    Put the frog in pot, turn up the heat real slow, and the frog doesn't hop out. And by the time he realizes, he should , it's too late... think about it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NicJean View Post
    I never thought I'd ever get attached to my chickens. Mine like it when DH's talks to them, they get all muttering and flirty with him - too funny. I make a clicking noise when I go out in the morning to let them out and feed them, so if I'm in the yard and make the clicking noise, they come running (I assume for food). They're pretty funny, independent as all get out, and manage to thrive on minimal (really) care.

    We had a turkey once that thought I was his mate. He would even fluff his feathers and pace back and forth when DH would come out to the coop when I was in there cleaning. He would even sit on my lap and put his head on my neck

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    Registered User Ponderer's Avatar
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    I highly recommend backyard chickens.com (no space)

    They have a ton of information, wisdom and coop help!!
    Right is right even if no one else is doing it. Wrong is wrong even if everyone else is doing it.

    IF IT IS TO BE.....IT IS UP TO ME
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    Registered User Mr Fixit's Avatar
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    Well chickens sound like really cool critters. I know we will never be able to eat our chickens because the girls will make pets out of them, so all bets are off with that one! They fall in love with all animals no matter how old, or sick, or what they are!
    We have an old mangy ferrel cat that hangs around at our place, and they love him like he a pedigree Persian!
    So it is official, we are getting some chickens!

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    Registered User freebs's Avatar
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    Have fun! I have 20 chicks that i got 3 weeks ago all caged up and growing. This will just add to what i have already. I free range all of mine and they do get picked off by preditors. Right now i have about 40 hens and 2 roosters. If i incubate eggs i keep the roosters and butcher them.

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    Registered User nvmommyx6's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Fixit View Post
    Well chickens sound like really cool critters. I know we will never be able to eat our chickens because the girls will make pets out of them, so all bets are off with that one! They fall in love with all animals no matter how old, or sick, or what they are!
    We have an old mangy ferrel cat that hangs around at our place, and they love him like he a pedigree Persian!
    So it is official, we are getting some chickens!
    If you cant/wont butcher I recommend Black Austro lorp's as they continue laying regularly up to 10 years old. Our neighbor has some that are almost 10 and still layin like champs'!

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    Registered User Mr Fixit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nvmommyx6 View Post
    If you cant/wont butcher I recommend Black Austro lorp's as they continue laying regularly up to 10 years old. Our neighbor has some that are almost 10 and still layin like champs'!
    Thanks NV, that is what I will get. Are they cool looking chickens, and are they gentle so when we get into their nest for eggs, they wont attack us! Nothing worse than an attack chicken

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