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 Keep Chickens?

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  • Total Posts: 3175
  • Joined: 8/15/2005
  • Location: Ipswich Ma
Keep Chickens? Mon, 04/4/11 8:42 AM (permalink)
Dose anyone here keep chickens?
Are they worth the trouble and cost {feed}?
What happens if you want to go away for a long weekend?
If you free range do they still have to be fed grain daily?
Someone dropped off a heard of chicks in my barn, 18 of them they made the night without incident under a heat lamp.
Just looking for some advice for a first time poultry proudcer, look out frank Perdue.
Chow Jim

    Re:Keep Chickens? Mon, 04/4/11 9:22 AM (permalink)
    I have always wanted to buy some chicks and I have a fenced in back yard but we have foxes and raccoon's and coyote.  I suppose we would have to coop them.  In addition I was concerned that since they poop everywhere, I did not want my deck fouled.  I was also concerned that I would become accustomed to them and would not be able to dispatch them once they quit laying.
    Fresh eggs see like a worth while effort however maintenance of just a few, feeding, watering and cleaning almost makes your local butcher and grocer seem like a bargain.  I guess if you had many, it would be worth it.
    Paul E. Smith

      • Total Posts: 2251
      • Joined: 3/16/2011
      • Location: Kennewick, WA
      Re:Keep Chickens? Mon, 04/4/11 11:13 AM (permalink)
      We have Chickens, It's no trouble at all. You need to build your Coop knowing how many chicken you want, how many nests you want and so on. You also need enough room in the coop so they can Roost. Where they roost they will have their droppings, it would be a good idea to have a try under them for easy clean up and also easy dumping of droppings into the garden or compost bin. We have had ours free range but we are building a coop now for winter and chicken safety....................feeding and water is easy, one Roaster per hen house, that idea works well in my house also........pnwc
        Michael Hoffman

        • Total Posts: 17855
        • Joined: 7/1/2000
        • Location: Gahanna, OH
        Re:Keep Chickens? Mon, 04/4/11 11:40 AM (permalink)
        When I was 5 years old my grandfahter, with whom we lived at the time, decided to raise chickens on his property. He built this huge place -- it was at least 200 feet long and wide enough for rows of cages on either side -- plus four smaller houses with incubators for hatching eggs. My job included cleaning the crap out of the damned places, gathering eggs, and feeding those damned birds from 100-pound sacks of feed. My only pleasure came from holding onto the hens while my grandmother chopped off their heads preparatory to making dinner.
        I hate chickens. I detest chickens. I think all chickens should rot in Hell, or at the very least become Kentucky fried chickens.

          • Total Posts: 2835
          • Joined: 3/14/2003
          • Location: Fox River Valley, IL
          Re:Keep Chickens? Mon, 04/4/11 11:53 AM (permalink)
          I'm in agreement with you Michael. I helped a friend with their chickens for a few months, it was a horrid experience and to this day (40 years later) I do not eat chicken or eggs.
            Michael Hoffman

            • Total Posts: 17855
            • Joined: 7/1/2000
            • Location: Gahanna, OH
            Re:Keep Chickens? Mon, 04/4/11 12:04 PM (permalink)
            Oh, I eat chicken and eggs. I've always thought of it as payback.

              • Total Posts: 6103
              • Joined: 11/22/2007
              • Location: Emmitsburg, Md.
              Re:Keep Chickens? Mon, 04/4/11 12:14 PM (permalink)
              Michael Hoffman

              Oh, I eat chicken and eggs. I've always thought of it as payback.


                • Total Posts: 4135
                • Joined: 7/7/2003
                • Location: Rentiesville, OK
                Re:Keep Chickens? Mon, 04/4/11 2:19 PM (permalink)
                Best eggs i ever had and the best tasting chicken dinners i ever ate both came from the backyard! Keeping chickens CAN be wonderful--IF--1-you are set up well for them---2 -You dont have TOO MANY of them--3- you have the time to be there and someone who will be if your not around --4--you buy THE RIGHT BIRDS--see a good ag agent--EVERY country in the country has one--for recs on where and what to buy-some birds are meat birds--some eggs--some good for both-do research BEFORE you buy. I had a large yard so i had a hen house with outdoor pens on two sides--that way when the ladies ate all the green growth and bugs on one pen i moved the to the other side and watered the old ine till the vegaetaion grew back--when i was around i let them roam the yard and garden--they came back to the pen fast if i called them for feed!

                  • Total Posts: 7609
                  • Joined: 4/17/2005
                  • Location: Marina del Rey, CA
                  Re:Keep Chickens? Mon, 04/4/11 2:49 PM (permalink)
                  I have a friend in Malone, Texas a city of under 300.  Her neighbor has chickens.  Her dog thinks they're tasty.
                    Hot Dog Empire

                    • Total Posts: 175
                    • Joined: 2/20/2011
                    • Location: Western Ma, MA
                    Re:Keep Chickens? Mon, 04/4/11 6:47 PM (permalink)
                    I raise chickens. I also raise fast growing meat chickens. PM me if you want more info

                      • Total Posts: 1957
                      • Joined: 6/22/2009
                      • Location: Near You, WA
                      Re:Keep Chickens? Mon, 04/4/11 11:07 PM (permalink)
                      Are they meat birds or layers?

                        • Total Posts: 3175
                        • Joined: 8/15/2005
                        • Location: Ipswich Ma
                        Re:Keep Chickens? Tue, 04/5/11 7:39 AM (permalink)
                        Not a clue. I don't even know who dropped them off, but I do have my suspisions.
                        My neighbor said I should have them sexed, I said no no I've got 18 already that's enough.
                        No idea what they are, balls of fuzz that hang around under the lamp working on their tans. Chow Jim  

                          • Total Posts: 3778
                          • Joined: 6/17/2004
                          • Location: Columbia, SC
                          Re:Keep Chickens? Tue, 04/5/11 11:04 AM (permalink)
                          Both my mother and sister in law have very small flocks, less than a dozen each.  Both have coops and have somebody come by if they're going to be gone more than a day or so--but the mother in law has horses, so that has to happen anyway.  The coop will keep everybody warmer, healthier, and really contain the area where they leave their stuff too.  I think one of them started on a secondhand coop they got on Craigslist or Freecycle.  Or you can repurpose; the MIL's current coop is a refurbished outhouse:

                          The SIL is actually on their second coop and it's a slightly bigger affair:

                          We tease my MIL because she sells the eggs to folks she knows for something like $1.75 a dozen, and I keep telling her she needs to up it to three bucks and find the hipsters.  Hell, I pay three bucks at the store for the slightly schmancier eggs.  I wish we lived closer to them.
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