JTR

Chickens

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53 posts in this topic

On 5/28/2022 at 6:02 AM, PSegnatelli said:

Predators are always an issue. 

Rats are the hardest to control.  

 

You will lose birds, sometimes they just die.   

 

Keep the coop as clean as possible.   Wear a mask when u clean. The dust can be problematic.  

Water is very important and alotta work in the winter. 

 

Can't think of anything else ATM,   but they're wicked fun and I enjoyed them alot.   Wish I could have them again someday.  

We've had chickens for 10+ years and this post pretty much sums it up.  We replenish with some new birds every year or two.  

 

Hawks will take a bird here and there, but foxes will take a f*^k load real quick.  We were coming in from a family sandbar trip and I saw weird spots in the yard as I was backing the boat in.  Upon closer inspection it looked like it had snowed chicken feathers in our yard after a fox took us from 18 chicken to 6 or 7.  Based on where the feathers were it had to have gotten 4 or 5 in the first few seconds and then ran the rest of them down after the flock busted.  We still let them free range from time to time, but try to avoid consecutive days or any type of pattern.

 

sam

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On 5/28/2022 at 6:02 AM, PSegnatelli said:

Predators are always an issue. 

Rats are the hardest to control.  

 

You will lose birds, sometimes they just die.   

 

Keep the coop as clean as possible.   Wear a mask when u clean. The dust can be problematic.  

Water is very important and alotta work in the winter. 

 

Can't think of anything else ATM,   but they're wicked fun and I enjoyed them alot.   Wish I could have them again someday.  

We've had chickens for 10+ years and this post pretty much sums it up.  We replenish with some new birds every year or two.  

 

Hawks will take a bird here and there, but foxes will take a f*^k load real quick.  We were coming in from a family sandbar trip and I saw weird spots in the yard as I was backing the boat in.  Upon closer inspection it looked like it had snowed chicken feathers in our yard after a fox took us from 18 chicken to 6 or 7.  Based on where the feathers were it had to have gotten 4 or 5 in the first few seconds and then ran the rest of them down after the flock busted.  We still let them free range from time to time, but try to avoid consecutive days or any type of pattern.

 

sam

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On 6/3/2022 at 2:19 PM, z-man said:

$6,000 for a chicken coop? You can buy eggs for 5 lifetimes for that. If I build one it’s going to be pretty much free salvaged materials except for the chicken wire. 

You can buy them a lot cheaper.   We purchased a pre-made coop for about $500-$700 and it worked very well.   Quality was decent.   We purchased in 4-5 years ago and still works.  It looks good, very functional, but thin wood and have had to do some minor repairs over the years.  No big deal.   I suggest starting with a cheaper coop to see what you like, don't like, and if your going to do this for a very long time.   You can always upgrade later.    We built a fenced in area around the coop for a few hundred dollars.   I'd guess pen is 25' x 15'.   All metal fence posts we just drove in, except the entrance.  I used wood to make a large door and frame so we can enter and covered with chicken coop wire.   Make sure the fence is high enough to allow you to walk in and the birds to roost on top of the coop.   We ran the chicken wire in two layers around all the posts to get the fenced in yard.   One layer from ground up to middle of the fence.  The next layer, with some overlap, from the middle to the top.   Support top with wire.  Put string or wire along top to keep out hawks.  Don't use just any string as it will rot in less than a year.  Half day job.   

 

Make sure you sink some wire fence well below ground level to keep diggers out.  Plus, chickens will dig all the dirt out near the fence which essentially exposes the bottom unless it is deeply buried.   We buried the wire about 4-5" which wasn't enough after the chickens decided to look for bugs along the fence and exposed it.  Foxes eventually figured it out and we went from four to zero chickens in one night.   

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Posted (edited)

I don't have chickens, but I saw firsthand they eat almost everything. 

About 25 years ago we visited my wife's uncle in the Finger lakes region of NY.  

I went deer hunting, and got a nice buck.  Dragged it back to his barn, and gutted it into a large galvanized tub. I asked Uncle Fred where he wanted my to dump the guts?   He says dump them in the chicken coop, they'll take care of it.

So, I did. In 24 hours there wasn't a sign of deer guts, not even a piece of hair.

I wonder if whoever whacked Hoffa had chickens?

Edited by bob_G

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1 hour ago, bob_G said:

I wonder if whoever whacked Hoffa had chickens?

Never trust a guy who keeps more than 12 chickens!

I miss my girls!

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On 6/3/2022 at 6:11 PM, JTR said:

They have arrived. Day 1 was a success. McMurray threw in a couple extras, so we have 11 for now. I’m really surprised that they’re tough enough to survive 40+ hours in a little box going through the USPS system, but they all seem very healthy. Once they got some food and water in them, their energy levels really skyrocketed. The dog doesn’t seem to think they’re toys yet either, so that’s good, and they didn’t seem bothered by the dog either - the goal is to keep them well acquainted, so they are all cool with each other.

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Why type of chickens did you get? I checked out McMurrys website and am amazed at how many chicken types they sell. 

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7 hours ago, z-man said:

Why type of chickens did you get? I checked out McMurrys website and am amazed at how many chicken types they sell. 

We ordered Rhode Island reds, barred rocks and buff Orpingtons - 3 of each. They shipped us 5 RI reds plus 3 of the others. We lost one of the buffs today, so down to 10 total.

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7 hours ago, z-man said:

Why type of chickens did you get? I checked out McMurrys website and am amazed at how many chicken types they sell. 

They sell a ton of different varieties, some apparently very rare. They ran into a scare earlier this year with avian flu and it sounded like they were scrambling to protect the rarer breeds. There was talk that some of the breeds wouldn’t ship out to people that ordered them, because they had to keep the stock they had left for breeding.

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23 hours ago, sams said:

We've had chickens for 10+ years and this post pretty much sums it up.  We replenish with some new birds every year or two.  

 

Hawks will take a bird here and there, but foxes will take a f*^k load real quick.  We were coming in from a family sandbar trip and I saw weird spots in the yard as I was backing the boat in.  Upon closer inspection it looked like it had snowed chicken feathers in our yard after a fox took us from 18 chicken to 6 or 7.  Based on where the feathers were it had to have gotten 4 or 5 in the first few seconds and then ran the rest of them down after the flock busted.  We still let them free range from time to time, but try to avoid consecutive days or any type of pattern.

 

sam

We have had chickens for 8 years now.  I built a little coop 6x8 and put a 6x12 dog kennel on the side with another panel on top.  We have yet to have anything get in. We let them free range a couple times a week. Foxes have taken more of my chickens than anything else. Lost a couple to hawks.  I can tell you that the foxes seem to come around when my dogs haven't been home for a few days.  My lab covers a lot of territory on my 10 acres.  When her scent is around, the foxes are not.  The foxes will sit and wait to ambush. Incredible hunters as I have watched one run across the yard and snap 4 necks and take the last one.  Once they are safely stash that kill, they will come back and get the others.

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Figured I’d post a little update. Of the 11 chicks we started with, 10 have made it. We lost one very early on, but since then, they’ve all survived. We’ve got 2 buff Orpingtons, 3 barred rocks and 5 Rhode Island reds. They’re pushing 8 weeks old now and very ready to get outside full time. Only issue with that is that the coop and run aren’t done yet. 
 

I built everything from scratch. Basically have one day left and it should be ready for them. Can’t wait to get them out of the dining room and into the coop.
 

It’s almost entirely made local rough sawn pine. Based off of plans from Third Coast Craftsman, with some changes made by me. Still waiting on a light sensing automatic door, but otherwise it’s pretty much complete besides finishing putting up the hardware cloth. All things considered (besides a lot of time) we’ve got about $1300 into everything. 

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I've a friend who stopped keeping his 32' boat in Danvers for diving and now channeled this hobbies money to keeping birds.  Amongst them are chickens, some pretty large coin birds.  

He said he does let them free range the property when he is home and they do return to the coop at sunset.  

 

Do all chickens return to the coop at sunset if they are out?  Or is this certain varieties that do this?

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2 hours ago, chisler said:

I've a friend who stopped keeping his 32' boat in Danvers for diving and now channeled this hobbies money to keeping birds.  Amongst them are chickens, some pretty large coin birds.  

He said he does let them free range the property when he is home and they do return to the coop at sunset.  

 

Do all chickens return to the coop at sunset if they are out?  Or is this certain varieties that do this?

I don't know about all birds, but my neighbor free ranges his.  They kind of run around the yard, scratching leaves and dusting themselves. 

If anything scares them, them immediately run back to the coop. Otherwise, they return on their own as dusk approaches.   We have fox, coyote, red tail hawks and mink around, and he never looses any birds.

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40 mins ago, bob_G said:

I don't know about all birds, but my neighbor free ranges his.  They kind of run around the yard, scratching leaves and dusting themselves. 

If anything scares them, them immediately run back to the coop. Otherwise, they return on their own as dusk approaches.   We have fox, coyote, red tail hawks and mink around, and he never looses any birds.

I suppose it's all chickens then.

 

I don't think he's lost many to the typical predators, however, black bears I guess are the large nuisance.  They have ripped up the aviary a couple times, so it's undergone some revisions to strengthen it up.   Now the thing is fully enclosed with chain link fence and supports the bears on the ceiling so they walk about on top of it instead of falling into it.  To each their own...

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4 hours ago, JTR said:

Figured I’d post a little update. Of the 11 chicks we started with, 10 have made it. We lost one very early on, but since then, they’ve all survived. We’ve got 2 buff Orpingtons, 3 barred rocks and 5 Rhode Island reds. They’re pushing 8 weeks old now and very ready to get outside full time. Only issue with that is that the coop and run aren’t done yet. 
 

I built everything from scratch. Basically have one day left and it should be ready for them. Can’t wait to get them out of the dining room and into the coop.
 

It’s almost entirely made local rough sawn pine. Based off of plans from Third Coast Craftsman, with some changes made by me. Still waiting on a light sensing automatic door, but otherwise it’s pretty much complete besides finishing putting up the hardware cloth. All things considered (besides a lot of time) we’ve got about $1300 into everything. 

018DFA1F-17A4-4B1F-A6B5-B86DB97E9DB9.jpeg

CBD83B09-5D11-42A9-9018-D53B0EEB7B47.jpeg

That coop looks great. 

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10 hours ago, bob_G said:

   We have fox, coyote, red tail hawks and mink around, and he never looses any birds.

Hows your population of kids making out with those coyotes?

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