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Here are a few of my chickens. We had snow this past weekend and today was the first day they could get out of their lot. I try to let them out of their lot on sunny days and when I am around to watch over them. The neighbor's dog used to be a bit of a pest.
Most of my chickens are Rhode Island Reds or Barred Rocks.
What kind of chickens do the rest of you have?
I'm ordering those Columbian Wyandottes this year (and some Golden Laced ones, too). I'd love to get Light Sussex (same basic color pattern) but only Sand Hill carries them in this country, and they're not sexed, and I need to get them within a certain time frame. Ah well.
Oh yeah, it's poulty central here. Every time I pass one of those trucks LOADED with chickens it makes me feel sad.
We don't slaughter our chickens either...they are really just pets...well fed pets. Sixty of them eat about 12 pounds of scratch a day. I do sell the eggs or barter them for something else. I am going to try raising at least some of my own feed this year; corn and wheat or wry. I have about an acre of winter wheat planted now. If it doesn't grow I will plow it up and plant corn in the Spring.
MiniSchnuz, did you get your flock built back up? Last I heard from you a neighbor's dog had gotten some of your chickens. I hope you got some replacements.
Our chickens are just pets! We sell eggs and eat them! We don't slaughter ours.. :o)
Virginian ~ We are going to buy a small wood barn shed for the chickens also put fence around with electric wires outside of the fence so chickens won't touch it. We are ordering the chicks in 2 weeks! Oh I can't wait. I love peeps. They're cute. I still have 2 hens ( barred rock). They're BAD! LOL They pulled spider plants out its pots! But still love them anyway! LOL
LOL at chickens pulling the spider plants out of the pots. They do seem to get into everything don't they? I'll try to take a picture tomorrow of how I strung the wire for the electric fence around my chicken lot. What kind of chickens are you going to purchase?
We have had chickens for the past ten years or so. The Rhode Island Reds in the pic were hatched last Aug. I got an order of about 50 of them from Murray McMurray. They are just starting to lay. I got 10 eggs today! The Barred Rocks in the pic are about 18 months old. The Wyandotte rooster was hatched last Aug and arrived with the RIRs.
I got home from work early enough today to turn them out of their pen for an hour or so...they had great fun scratching around the hay field.
How do you get your chickens back in there coop? We have 11 hens and 1 rooster. At first we let them free range until they wouldn't stay out of the neighbors driveway. My neighbor don't like my chickens!! So we built them a coop and fenced in area for them, but I would like to let them out this summer so they can eat the grasshoppers, they were terrible last summer. I tried last summer to let them out for a couple of hours a day, but they would not go back in the coop for me, they would fly into the trees, a few had to sleep in the trees because they would not come down and when it got dark I gave up trying to catch them. I'm hoping this summer since they have been in there coop for so long they will want to go back with out a chase. I guess what I want to know is how do you train your chicken? LOL. DH wants to hatch a few more and maybe I can train them to go back into there coop.
Cathy...if you let them out, be sure to train them by throwing out some scratch in the area of their coop, near their door, just before the day ends (and before they start seeking shelter in the trees!). This will cause them to come to that area. You should also have a light on in the coop (a 40 watt bulb will be fine) and they will be naturally attracted to the light and go in on their own. Once they do this a few nites, or a week, they should seek their coop on their own.
I have a timer on my light, it comes on just before dark, maybe an hr or so, and then goes off a designated time after dark.
Thank you. I will use a light, never heard that. Wow if that helps I will be so happy. I do have a timer, I think I'll give it a try this weekend. I'll use the scratch also. Chickens are wonderful, I love all my girls and hate to see them penned up all the time. My chickens love cabbage as a treat, I buy them 2 heads a week and give them half of a head every other day. Maybe I can entice them in there with there cabbage if they don't want to get in there coop. This weekend I'll see what happens and let you know. Thanks for all your help.
Yes, that rooster can be bossy, maybe he will help. He wasn't around when the girls were getting into trouble.
Yep, chickens LUV greens! Being the miser that I am though, instead of buying their greens I just drive around behind the store to their dumpsters...there is usually quite a large amount of produce thrown out, often times sitting in boxes. Just grab a box and go. Some stores will let you have it, some won't. Personally, I don't even ask anymore...if it's been thrown out, they obviously don't want it so I bless my chickens w/it (especially in the winter time when I don't have many greens/garden scraps to feed them).
LOL, I should try dumster diving, never thought of that. They also love chick weed, and I pick that on off days, that is if theres no snow or it's not frozen. In the spring/summer I pick up cabbage and other produce at the flea markets, much cheaper than the supermarket.
MiniSchnuz, we received our 45 "exotics" yesterday from McMurray. They are precious. They were in excellent health, survived the trip fine and started eating and drinking immediately. We babysat them for the first couple of hours to make sure there was no dehydration. So far, so good. We have a few of many different breeds. I ordered frizzled as well as some of all their exotics. I ordered 15 bantams and the rest regular size. Those little bantams are soooo feisty. Way too cute. Enjoy yours when you get them. They're precious.
Hilary... Things have changed! I won't be able to order chicks until next spring. I made a choice so we went and bought me a new tiller so I can have gardens! :o) My two hen better stay out of my garden or they will end up stay in the pen the whole times! LOL But they are good helper with bugs anyway!
My DD has horses, dogs, cats, chickens, etc., and also had a plague of ticks. She bought a dozen guineas who cleaned up the ticks in record time! Now they keep her garden bugless and also warn when the hawks are in the area looking for chickens. Truly an all purpose bird!
Uh, I guess I misled you all! I am a Farm Life lurker, and my daughter tells me about her adventures "homesteading". I have NO direct knowledge of any farm critters. LOL
I do know her Guineas had their own house, but chose to roost in the trees and on the BBQ on the patio. They are only really noisey when sounding alarms and such. Apparently they sleep all night. They hang out with the horses most of the time, I guess their feet stir up bugs.
There are DG'ers posting on this Forum that actually have Guineas. I bet if someone started a thread titled "Need info on Guineas" you could get a lot of information.
Thanks for letting me lurk!