Chickens

Discussions about how to grow your own food or raising livestock.
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Denob
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Re: Chickens

Post by Denob »

There is a guy just a few clicks from me selling urban coops...they are a bit fancy and quite expensive (starting at $450.00) but they are very much along the lines of what I was thinking of building using left over construction materials. I figure that 4 hens would get me about 2 dozen eggs per week at peak production...enough for my family and a few left over for bribes...I mean gifts.
Here is what the coops look like...
coops.JPG
coops.JPG (64.17 KiB) Viewed 2751 times
As far as neighbors are concerned, there is only one that worries me...well actually her adult son who tends to be an arsehole at times. We have had problems with him in the past regarding our dogs, which the provincial police, city, and local SPCA all sided with us on, but still, he's a concern. His mother however would be happier if all was quiet(especially after the police had a talk with him about a threat to slash our tires) and has gone out of her way to wave and smile at us as she drives by. I think a few eggs and and a handshake would get her to keep her son under control.


anitapreciouspearl
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Re: Chickens

Post by anitapreciouspearl »

These are so cute!! I wrote a post on my blog about chickens this morning and I was thinking of you and another friend who is about to make the leap!
(`'•.¸(`'•.¸ ¸.•'´) ¸.•'´)
*´¨`•.¸¸Anita <>< *.•´¸¸¨`*
(¸.•'´(¸.•'´ `'•.¸)`' •.¸)
¸.•´
( `•.¸
`•.¸ )
¸.•)´
(.•´

Quack, Cluck, Moo, Hee-Haw, Meow and Baaaaaaa from Shalom Engedi Farm
http://adventures-in-country-living.blogspot.com/
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Denob
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Re: Chickens

Post by Denob »

Yup, already read the post...
I would love to raise a few meat birds too, but I think that 4 laying hens is about all I will be able to get away with.
I am scoping out a good place for the coop, as far away from the property lines as possible, without being too far away.
I need to find a place close to the house, away from neighbors' ears, and close enough to the dogs so that they can provide security for the house and the coop!
The coop needs to be tractor style as I have reached my limit for outbuildings under city bylaws, so nothing permanent can be built.
The run will be covered to help keep it dryer and less muddy, will have outside access to 2 nesting boxes, measure about 4' x 4' for the actual coop, plus the run.
Now, I have to figure out how much I will be spending in feed and straw for litter. Feeders and waterers I can make myself to keep expenses down (cause I'm cheap like that being half Scottish).
Will the investment return? Maybe not if I have to give away half my eggs to make it happen, but if SHTF, I will be happy for a source of protein in the fresh eggs.
ICRCC

Re: Chickens

Post by ICRCC »

1 bag of 18% layer feed six laying hens for a month. That is about $14 per month.
OldTimeGardener
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Re: Chickens

Post by OldTimeGardener »

Denob.

When you get them, perhaps think of using shavings in your coop. It keeps the smell down a lot better then hay or straw. Absorbs more too.
Less smell, less chance of complaint from ppl next door. ;)

I use deep layer method, approx 6 inch or so and clean out early spring and fall.
Its all goes to the garden and ready in a couple months to plant. Late fall goes into the garden beds again and sits all winter long. Or you can start a compost pile in a garbage can (thinking ppl next door again) til its done.

The thick layer helps with more insulation on the floor as well.
To keep it mixed in, toss in some treats to them and they will dig to find it, thus mixing it for you. It also help to cushion their feet when they jump off the roosts.
Also easier to clean out for you as well. :)

I buy a big bag of compressed shavings from Buckerfields here ($15), don't know if you have one there. I think most farm stores should carry it. No cedar tho please.
For only 4 hens, it will last you a long time for coop floor and their nest boxes.

As to a coop, you might think about an A frame tractor. Low profile and less visible for snoopy ppl.. Many on line to look at. If you want, I can dig up some links for you.

Hope that helps you somewhat and good luck with your girls. :)
A sense of humor is absolutely essential to survival.
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Denob
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Re: Chickens

Post by Denob »

Not sure if I updated everyone here or not...I know I've put it on my facebook page...
Back in May, I picked up 4 2 week old russian red chicks (really cute)!
I have the coop right outside my back door...nice and hidden behind the house, so no noise escapes to the neighbors.
I took the wood chip advice for inside the coop and use the deep litter method...really works for the smell, and I have only had to clean it out once so far.
I tried 0-3/4 gravel for the run floor...big mistake!
That stuff turns hard like cement!
So, I had to get in there and clean it out as it was covered in poop and got really gross, really fast.
I replaced it with plain construction sand and have had no issues at all...the rain washes it through and the hens really help stir it up...especially after I toss some deer corn in there!
All in all, I thought I had made a huge timing error, as winter is setting in and I had not one egg. I had resolved to keep them through winter and wait until spring for eggs.
Then, while feeding and watering them the other day, there it was...a perfect brown egg laying in the sand in the run...the hens were 28 weeks and 1 day old.
Anyways, right now, there have been 2 eggs in 3 days, so I figure only one has come of age so far, but I'm betting the others will follow very soon!
Goldie
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Re: Chickens

Post by Goldie »

I love those pre-made coops that your nearby neighbor made...Wonder what the smallest one is.

Some of the organic farmers sometimes will sell me eggs, but it sort of stops pretty much in the
winter unless they add lighting for them to extend the daylight hours. The one farmer has recently
died, and the other doesn't use lights.
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Denob
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Re: Chickens

Post by Denob »

Well, since I got my first egg, I had been getting 1 per day...
This morning, as I went to let them out of the coop, I noticed my daily egg...several hours early as it was about 7:30 and I usually don't get an egg until around 10:00.
Later on, around 12:30 - 1:00, I went out to check on their water and wow...2 more eggs!
Looks like 3 out of 4 are laying now.
I don't add any extra light or heat, so we'll see if the trend continues.
Goldie
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Re: Chickens

Post by Goldie »

In a dire SHTF scenario, what are chickens fed ? assuming there is not place to go by feed
Goldie
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Re: Chickens

Post by Goldie »

Does this guy selling premade chicken coops have a website ?
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