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Old 04-15-2014, 11:33 AM   #26
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Great article on raising chickens:

raising chickens 2.0: no more coop and run!

http://www.richsoil.com/raising-chickens.jsp
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Old 05-22-2014, 07:25 PM   #27
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Barnyard memo to BG Broody Buff Orpington hatch date June 19, 2014
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Old 05-25-2014, 03:31 AM   #28
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I would like to keep chooks but the economics of it throws me .
When I can walk to the local shop and buy 6 barn laid eggs
for $3.4 ( or 6 cage laid when feeling sadistic for $2.80 ) , to
me that does not compute after your factor in food and labor .

Having said that I like the idea of it and want to be able to quickly
do it should a need become apparent .

I saw this chook tractor at the local plant nursery and was taken
by its simplicity , but is it viable ? Apart from being rather crowded
surely the chookies would get rather cold in winter even with nesting
boxes so you really also need a hen house ?
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Last edited by Ross; 05-25-2014 at 03:52 AM.
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Old 05-25-2014, 09:09 AM   #29
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That tractor would be great for running a couple of hens between the rows in a garden. It would have to be moved daily though and yes, something larger would be better for a primary coop. Depending on the breed, chickens can be quite tame and friendly. A couple of pet layers could give you a half dozen or so eggs a week and a great deal of entertainment. We really enjoy our birds.

During the growing season we only lightly supplement their diet with scratch grain. Its mostly a treat used to keep them in a feeding routine that brings them back to the chicken yard. We also supplement with kitchen and garden leftovers. It really doesn't cost that much to keep them unless you spend money on a high dollar chicken Hilton. Even so, the difference in the quality of the eggs you get is worth every penny. There's nothing like eating fresh cackle berries and KNOWING what it took to make them.
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Old 05-31-2014, 09:37 AM   #30
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Just remember...chickens are evil.

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Old 05-31-2014, 09:57 AM   #31
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We handle evil chickens by putting them in the stewpot!
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Old 08-20-2014, 12:44 PM   #32
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I think this might be one of the members here.

You and your SO know who you are.

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Old 08-20-2014, 01:34 PM   #33
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Old 08-20-2014, 07:03 PM   #34
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I gotta ask how do you dispatch you chickens to be ready to process.... I mean my dad told me about when his aunt told him to bring her a chicken and told him to "catch it, grab it around the neck, then swing it over your head a couple times, and then pluck it"
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Old 08-20-2014, 08:10 PM   #35
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We chop off their heads. It's very quick and allows them to bleed out before we scald and pluck them. It's not a fun job but we treat them with a great deal of respect and keep them as calm as possible. We thank each and every one of them for their lives. It just seems like the right thing to do.
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Old 05-26-2015, 05:57 PM   #36
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This Spring we were able to make a deal for the older chicks and ducklings at the farm supply. We have LOTS of ducks and chicks LOL! Our world QUACKS! Because our friend, J is in the social circle at that store (she's KNOWN for being the crazy chicken lady) and J loves us, we are now raising over 50 ducklings (mostly Pekin) and around 30 chicks (all heavy breeds and brown egg layers).

The plan is to put the roosters/drakes in the freezer as needed and raise the rest for the holidays and layers. There is no USDA processor for ducks nearby so we will process here and sell from the farm.

Duck eggs and well colored hens eggs go for a premium at the markets.
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Old 05-26-2015, 06:35 PM   #37
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A couple of days ago something ran the ducks. We didn't loose any but 4 were injured. 2 of them have been confined to limit their movement. Each day they get to take a swim in the mule trough and if they are lucky they might get a goldfish. We keep fish in the tanks to keep the mosquito population at bay.

They both have a great attitude and are eating well so we'll take our time deciding how to handle them. They may end up being garden ducks... for awhile.
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Old 05-26-2015, 06:38 PM   #38
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We're having a lot of fun with them!
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Old 01-30-2016, 03:43 PM   #39
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Default Talk to me about chickens

What breed(s) of chickens do y'all have? Why that breed(s)? Do you raise them for meat or eggs or both? Just for your own consumption, or to sell? How do you sell them?
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Old 01-30-2016, 10:47 PM   #40
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Oh boy!

We have an assortment of yard birds most of them heavier, dual purpose breeds known for their pleasant dispositions and tinted eggs: Buff Orpingtons and Barred Rocks make up the majority of the flock but we have a few Australorps and Maran crosses. J has ordered some nice specialty breeds: Black Copper Marans who lay a very dark egg will be her primary money maker. They are a good dual purpose breed. Salmon Faverolles, Light Brahmas and Buff Orpingtons will make up the rest of her flock.

She intends to sell hatching eggs and chicks through word of mouth, facebook, and poultry group sales. Right now because of avian flu she won't be able to sell ducks. They aren't allowed at the sales.

Each mini flock of 5 hens and 1 rooster will live in portable chicken tractors that can be moved through the gardens. We're still honing in on a design but we'd like to make something that could be sold as a kit.

We raise chickens for meat and eggs and to help with parasite control, we sell a few processed birds but mostly eggs right now. If we have a USDA inspected processor butcher and process our chickens we can sell them through the farmer's market and other types of local food organizations.

I don't know if I want to go there right now. It means raising and processing larger batches of chickens and right now its more than I want to do while I'm trying to build up the business side of being an education facility. I'm pretty content to take small steps and think about things carefully.
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