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The Chicken, Duck, Turkey Thread

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posted on Apr, 7 2018 @ 02:11 PM
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a reply to: TheRedneck

I'm clueless when it comes to chickens. Do you need a rooster when you have hens? Do the hens not lay eggs if there is no rooster around? Do chickens have intercourse to reproduce? How do you stop them making babies in the presence of an aggressive male?

And, er....shhh...do you kill them too for food? "If everyone had to slaughter their own meat there would be a world half full of vegetarians." And yes, I like meat but euw....I couldn't do it although I have googled humane chicken slaughter and it seemed a lot more peaceful than just chopping their heads off.

Cool thread!
I like egg yolks, great source of food but unless it's going to be an omelette I cannot stand the egg whites when fried, boiled or poached. It's like blubbery rubber.




posted on Apr, 7 2018 @ 02:17 PM
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a reply to: LightSpeedDriver

At a certain point they stop laying eggs do to age, you can either keep feeding them or make dinner.

Shouldn't need a rooster, we never had them growing up and had tons of eggs.



posted on Apr, 7 2018 @ 04:22 PM
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a reply to: LightSpeedDriver

Hens will lay eggs just as well without a rooster as they will with one. The only difference is the eggs won't be fertile. You can eat the eggs whether or not there's a rooster present... they don't develop until the hen has sat on them for a while.

If you want chicks, you might want a rooster, but I'd suggest buying or building a small incubator and hatching them yourself. We tried to let our hen sit on some eggs once, but something managed to eat them before they could hatch. With an incubator you just put the eggs in it and turn it on; it handles the temperatures from there until the eggs hatch.

Like Irishhaf says, the hens will get old over time and eventually stop laying eggs. At that point you can either let them out to pasture (just let them live until they die) or butcher and eat them. I have helped kill a chicken when I was young... chopping off their heads is probably the most humane way I know of. It's quick. It's also a little spooky... the chicken will actually run around the yard without a head for several minutes before it falls over.

And don't feel bad. You're not the only one who doesn't like to clean chickens. As long as they sell them cheap in the store, I'd just as soon not mess with it myself.

As for intercourse... I think so. All I know for sure is every so often the rooster is chasing a hen who is squawking up a storm. I tend to give them their privacy when that happens, lol.

If you like the yolks, then you will absolutely LOVE free range! They are so much better than what you get in the store, you'll wonder why you ever bought them.

TheRedneck



posted on Apr, 7 2018 @ 05:04 PM
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I would love to free range, but after our slaughter a few years ago, by the neighbors dog, we now have 5 foot dog fence. Huge area though, maybe 1/4 acre, with my garden fenced in inside. I like letting my ducks in there when the plants get bigger, for the bugs.
We have 19 hens, 2 roosters, 1 male and 3 female ducks,(just got rid of 3 males that we had hatch out last August) They are all kept together, except at night, the ducks all go into there box, and the chickens in their coup.
Male ducks can be bad, but I read that if you have 2-5 females, per male, they aren't so bad. I've never seen my male on a hen. But he likes to get on the female ducks in the kiddy pool.

I sell my eggs to the neighbors, but I only sell them for $1.00 a dozen. I don't want them to go to waste, and I can't eat them all.

And I do eat some of my chickens, but I am lucky to have a neighborhood butcher, that process birds for 3.00 each. Can't beat that price.



posted on Apr, 7 2018 @ 05:54 PM
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originally posted by: TheRedneck
a reply to: imitator

We have about the same preds here, but so far no issues. The dog keeps the coyotes and foxes at bay, and the turkeys handle the smaller possums, skunks, and coons.Turkeys can get mean when they want to!

So far no hawk issues, but we did have a run-in with a barn owl a while back. No missing birds after all was said and done, but it did net us a sleepless night.

TheRedneck


I used to free range, until we started losing chickens... My dogs are great at guarding our livestock, but they're not on duty 24/7 lol. Maybe I need some Turkeys haha. : )

I put out some trail cams about 100 meters from the coop...
These guys routinely check out our livestock... randomly picked out some pics here, I have tons more.

Recent pic








I'm using cheap Tasco trail cameras, they work great. No Bigfoot yet!

I could hunt them, but I kind of enjoy watching the wildlife. Plus they are no threat to the coop or the dogs.

The sheps




The dogs are constantly running off these predators, yet the preds return, looking for opportunities, checking for a quick meal.

In that chicken pic you can see our hotwire in the background, our chicken coop is like a mini fema camp with flood lights, wire, camera's and all lol.

ok enough pics haha....



posted on Apr, 7 2018 @ 07:04 PM
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I've thought about getting some chickens a few times through the years, I just really don't know that much about raising them... but they are so cute when they are babies...lol...
I know me, if I had started raising chickens back when I first started thinking about, I'd have a chicken retirement home by now because, well... I just wouldn't want to kill my babies!!
so, still no chickens, but now my son is thinking about it.. so I will be reading this thread, hoping to pick up some pointers to pass on to him..
thank you for starting it redneck..



posted on Apr, 7 2018 @ 07:17 PM
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Way cool thread!

My dad's family had a farm in northern Vermont we'd go to when I was a kid.

Loved it.

Don't remember much of the logistics of the animals, tho.

Here in the wet markets, they usually have the chicken man and the egg lady.

Lot's of different eggs, duck, chicken, quail. Preserved and salted, too.

The chicken guy has a couple dozen live birds to pick from.

Pick one out, he grabs it and turns it over to show you it's butt, (sup wit dat?) What am I supposed to look for?

Come back in 20 and it's cleaned and wrapped.

Tastes like chicken, lol. A little gamier than store bought for my taste.

I've seen some expensive chickens to, certain breeds I guess and black skinned chickens.

I like the eggs I get, from Japan, with the red yolks. Only 4 to a pack tho.

Unfortunately, no one has the property to keep chickens anymore. It's rare anyway.

Not sure if it's even legal. Bird flu is a big threat.

We just moved to the "boonies" and near our place someone has goats, about 5 or 6 and 2 little kids. Cute little buggers.

The chinese are big on chicken, 1000 ways to wok your chicken.










posted on Apr, 7 2018 @ 07:21 PM
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a reply to: dawnstar



I know me, if I had started raising chickens back when I first started thinking about, I'd have a chicken retirement home by now because, well... I just wouldn't want to kill my babies!!


Coming from you that is ironically comical. Thanks for the chuckle.



posted on Apr, 7 2018 @ 07:49 PM
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a reply to: Sheye

you welcome I guess, although not sure why you find it so ironically comical..
well, really I kind of think I know why...
tell me, why would I feel so protective over the little chicken that I raised from a baby chick and yet, still eat eggs that just may be fertilized with no problems whatsoever?



posted on Apr, 7 2018 @ 07:56 PM
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originally posted by: dawnstar
a reply to: Sheye

you welcome I guess, although not sure why you find it so ironically comical..
well, really I kind of think I know why...
tell me, why would I feel so protective over the little chicken that I raised from a baby chick and yet, still eat eggs that just may be fertilized with no problems whatsoever?



No it has more to do with you trying to come off as this protective mother hen , when on other threads you certainly don’t fight for the life of human babies.

That being said, to get back on topic... I have to say I salute the OP and others on this site who raise their own chickens.



posted on Apr, 7 2018 @ 08:09 PM
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a reply to: ignorant_ape

That was what I was thinking!




posted on Apr, 7 2018 @ 08:44 PM
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This is so awesome! Thank you redneck. Honestly, there is backyard chicken website, but it has become to SJW and urban/suburban. This is perfect for survival thread since I have found that the dedicated sites have become too commercial and have no natural common sense!

My family raised all kinds of animals when I was a young kid. I learned a lot of life lessons. The hardest was not becoming too attached to rabbits and thinking that by naming an animal it will be a pet instead of dinner.

I avoided ducks and chickens until a few years back, my husband and grandsons rescued one juvenile chicken and 2 pekin ducks from a neighbor. Needless to say, we were not fully prepared. An owl had swooped in and took the hen within the first week. The ducks irritated me to no end. They were extremely filthy and destructive. As juniors in mid June...my youngest daughter and I quickly studied and made sure they quickly found their way to the freezer.

I swore off anymore. I didn't want to deal with it. It was not necessary as far as I was concerned. Then last spring, my husband and grandsons came home with 4 ducks and 6 chicks in February! Damn you Tractor supply! Aaugh!

Luckily I found a tub and fixed up the old ferret cage. I had to commandeer the heat lamp from my greenhouse. Unfortunately, the first night the ducks were mixed with the chicks....one chick was dead the next morning. Soaking wet and trampled! The next morning, birds were separated, yet one chick was not well...heat lamp was too hot.

After just 3 days, I knew the animals had to go outside soon. Ducks are the messiest and at stinkiest! I kept raising heat lamp higher, reducing temp quickly and watching them. Finally, no heat lamp, just raised house temp to to 76 degrees and then reduced to 68 degrees. Moved all animals to green house and only chicks had heat lamp. Ducks are quite hearty even with all their wetness.

Chick coop was finished first. I simply added a regular heat pad into their enclosed coop. They would bunch up near it when cold even though the outside temp was in the teens and 20s. Their feathers grew in quickly and were quite healthy. During sunny days they explored upper coop more fully and Eventually, I opened door so they could explore down ramp into the rest of coop.

Ducks were a disaster. They were fine going from their coop to free range in backyard pond and back. Turned out we had 3 males and 1 female. She was the most annoying and noisiest! One male unfortunately was too feminine and smaller...the 2 drakes were relentless on the female and attacking the smaller male. The ducks all destroyed my pond. The methane killed most of the fish. My water lilies were delicious I am sure.

Obviously, by the time I realized the ducks were going to visit my freezer, the summer was too hot to make that happen. The first cool day at the end of summer...I rectified my angst! Unfortunately, 2 of the ducks were molting...I was forced to skin them...happily rectified by bacon wrapping those 2!

My hens made it through the winter and are happily laying eggs. My buff Orpingtons lay two med brown eggs most days. The 2 black australorps lay larger and extra large double yolk brown eggs. They have cut the tick population down majorly! The trails in the back pines are all leveled and no weedy growth.

Currently, the buff hen that was the lowest denomination of the group, has discovered she can fly over our 6 ft fence and continuously exploring further. We are expecting to award her the Darwin award. The foxes, coons, possums, feral cats/dogs that we have captured outside our pet dog patrolled fence on cam....will eventually get her.

Seriously, I cannot imagine eating my chickens. They are extremely friendly like pet dogs. My husband and I decided that unless the SHTF scenario occurs...they will get a proper burial. We know, we can, just not really necessary for our dedicated egg layers. Oh and by the way, read buff Orpingtons are not broody! Not true, my poor fat Henny is gathering all the undersized eggs and trying to hatch them this spring. Only way to get her to eat and drink is to physically lift her off and put her in front of trays while I take the eggs!

So sorry I wrote a book! Just more obvious that we needed this thread for folks to vent and share!
edit on 4 7 2018 by CynConcepts because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 7 2018 @ 09:03 PM
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originally posted by: dawnstar
I've thought about getting some chickens a few times through the years, I just really don't know that much about raising them... but they are so cute when they are babies...lol...
I know me, if I had started raising chickens back when I first started thinking about, I'd have a chicken retirement home by now because, well... I just wouldn't want to kill my babies!!
so, still no chickens, but now my son is thinking about it.. so I will be reading this thread, hoping to pick up some pointers to pass on to him..
thank you for starting it redneck..


Good for you! Seriously, some chickens can be like little dogs. Hard to kill them unless you are absolutely starving. A repairman was out recently working on my hot tub, he was amazed at how friendly and responsive my chickens were. His family has nearly a hundred and none of them are as friendly.

I figure that they are intelligent like dogs, having a small number, they recognize I am master. I am able to talk to them individually and give them a little pet. They recognize their names and look forward to having some attention from me.

I stated earlier I could not simply eat these hens UNLESS the SHTF scenario and I will add...I have already eaten my dog. Eggs are too delicious...and they are just as affectionate as the watch dog. Shhh...don't tell my dog.

Edit: I have to admit when you start collecting eggs, you have to learn how to use them all and not waste. I have up'ed my cooking/baking game and found a new use for my used pickle juice too! I just made the most awesome homemade chocolate custard meringue pie yesterday! Yum yum. My daughters have started getting their eggs from me so I am sure if your son gets overloaded, you will benefit too.
edit on 4 7 2018 by CynConcepts because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 7 2018 @ 09:17 PM
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a reply to: dawnstar

Hey, glad to oblige. I'm kinda proud of my little brood here. We're low on chickens right now, but I have 6 RIR pullets and 5 Mallard ducks inside in the heated boxes, so the population will increase. I also have two turkey hens sitting on nests... hopefully we'll have some little turkeys soon.

Anyway, here's what you'll need:
  • Someplace very warm to keep the chicks. They are very sensitive to cold and need a heat lamp or something similar. Mine are in a large cardboard box in our laundry room (which is heated) and had a 60W incandescent bulb for the first two weeks we had them. As they get older, they get more able to handle cold.

  • A bag of starter feed. If they're outside and free range, there's no need to feed chickens, but if they're cooped up there is. They don't eat much.

  • Be sure to think about cleaning up when you decide on a place to keep them. They are messy little birds, and they will stink!

  • Once they are bigger, especially if the weather is warmer, you can put them outside. I recommend some kind of cage. I have a 4 foot by 8 foot coop I use for this, but I am going to turn mine loose later; you might want a larger coop if you're going to keep them in it. It all depends on what kind of predators you have, whether you have dogs or other ways to keep the predators at bay, and how much area you have that they can roam in.

  • As they get close to grown, assuming you have good answers to the above questions, you can turn them loose. They will have imprinted the area as home and stay fairly close. One caution: if you have more than one rooster, the others may take a hen or two with them and wander off. There is only one alpha rooster in the yard at a time. Of course, you don't have to have a rooster if you just want eggs.

  • You need a place for the hens to lay eggs. That can be as simple as a little wooden box with straw lining. Mine are 16 inches square. You do not need one for each hen; they will happily share. If you buy a pre-made coop, it probably will have laying boxes built in.

  • If you have a rooster, you might want to invest in nighttime earmuffs. Mine has a broken alarm clock. Optional.

  • An account at ATS so you can ask advice. We apparently have a lot of poultry ranchers here.
Always remember, you can do anything that anyone else can do. Raising chickens is easy, and I love the sound of a rooster crowing. Somehow it makes it seem like home.

TheRedneck



posted on Apr, 7 2018 @ 09:26 PM
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a reply to: imitator

Oh,great... now I got to get me some trail cams... gee, thanks, like I didn't have enough to do...


Seriously, looks like you have a great place there. We have the place cleared clean up to the treeline, so it's not as much cover for predators that roam into the yard. And even though I know they're around, so far no major issues with coyotes or bobcats.

I just had a thought... kind of a sick thought, but a thought... living this far out in the country, I am not a bit shy about taking a leak around the tree line. To the predators' noses, I might be marking territory and telling them to stay out.

TheRedneck



posted on Apr, 7 2018 @ 09:40 PM
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a reply to: TheRedneck

Thanks Redneck


This is one of the best reads here in a year or two.



posted on Apr, 7 2018 @ 09:43 PM
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a reply to: CynConcepts

We have had similar experiences (including Tractor Supply, lol). We almost lost one chick when we put ducklings in with them, and we have had our run-in with the owls. And the ducks... I'm sorry, I thought chickens were dumb! They're geniuses compared to ducks!

It's a simple test: if I throw down a cigarette butt and a chicken tries to eat it, they might try it twice before they realize it's not food. After a few experiences, they'll look at one like "I ain't gonna go for that old trick!" A duck will continue to try to eat the damn thing until I finally stop laughing and grind it so far into the ground they can't get it. And they never seem to learn those little round brown things ain't food. I do love to hear the drakes quacking, though, even if the hens do get kinda screechy in response.

My biggest surprise was turkeys. I got these as a gift from a friend... someone gave him several and he brought me half of them. I raised them just like I do chicks, except they never went inside because it was summertime. They are not dumb, and faced with a smaller pred, they are better than the dog at maintaining order. I saw four of them making a skunk run for its life!

My wife used to have a peacock when she was younger, and I want to try and get a peacock and peahen up here too. I understand they're badder than turkeys, so I feel sorry for any possum that wanders in here. Only problem is, the darn things are hard to find and $50 each!

TheRedneck



posted on Apr, 7 2018 @ 10:06 PM
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a reply to: TheRedneck



Yeah, that's what they do themselves.

Spread your musk. lol.






posted on Apr, 7 2018 @ 10:09 PM
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originally posted by: TheRedneck
a reply to: CynConcepts

We have had similar experiences (including Tractor Supply, lol). We almost lost one chick when we put ducklings in with them, and we have had our run-in with the owls. And the ducks... I'm sorry, I thought chickens were dumb! They're geniuses compared to ducks!

It's a simple test: if I throw down a cigarette butt and a chicken tries to eat it, they might try it twice before they realize it's not food. After a few experiences, they'll look at one like "I ain't gonna go for that old trick!" A duck will continue to try to eat the damn thing until I finally stop laughing and grind it so far into the ground they can't get it. And they never seem to learn those little round brown things ain't food. I do love to hear the drakes quacking, though, even if the hens do get kinda screechy in response.

My biggest surprise was turkeys. I got these as a gift from a friend... someone gave him several and he brought me half of them. I raised them just like I do chicks, except they never went inside because it was summertime. They are not dumb, and faced with a smaller pred, they are better than the dog at maintaining order. I saw four of them making a skunk run for its life!

My wife used to have a peacock when she was younger, and I want to try and get a peacock and peahen up here too. I understand they're badder than turkeys, so I feel sorry for any possum that wanders in here. Only problem is, the darn things are hard to find and $50 each!

TheRedneck




Geese are the front line.

Vicious border protection.

I been chased and they ain't small.

Would rather deal with a dog. More or less.


edit on 4 7 2018 by burgerbuddy because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 7 2018 @ 10:09 PM
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A really great thread Redneck and thanks for all the information.




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