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The Chicken, Duck, Turkey Thread

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posted on Apr, 7 2018 @ 10:33 PM
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a reply to: TheRedneck
Chickens are annoying if there under your feet all the time. We have them around here, we moved here some years ago. Or at least my parents did. Really kind of the wrong place to have chickens and or farm setting, being on the edge of a forest and seeing here in WA the trees pines really are feet apart thick. Its literally a rain-forest, and people just dont know it yet.

And there surprised that they keep dying. I was like, really you didnt read the newsletter from the local wild animal sightings before you decided it was a good idea to raise chicken there.

I mean i read it, and it went like. Local woman has horse killed and eaten by cougar. Man spot's what he thinks was a wolf in the back yard. Pet left in the front porch disappears. Oh, and man on a bike ride with his two dogs, runs into black bear, which proceeds to grab him by leg and lift him upside down breaking arm and legbone mauling him, then gets bored drops him and walks away. And the two dogs they found a week latter still running.

And your surprised that your chickens are disappearing? Talk about being clueless. But anyways.

It was a pain in dealing with chickens, there were about 22 or more. I don't really count them, and over the years I think about 15 died, and one rooster I accidentally sort of killed because it just would not shut up, also 4 ducks likely that same bobcat got them to. I think a bobcat got most of them in fact, and they were fenced in and had a pretty spacious chicken house I built, about 8 ft by 10 ft, and they got space to really get up in to the ceiling a good 8 to 10 feet up, if anything ever chases them in there.

Anyways a 6ft wire fence is really nothing for a bobcat to jump over, or even the cyots, but over the years and generally in winter, few disappear or you find there bones here and there. They will eat a chicken in literally minutes. So a few months ago I got a puppy, bullmastiff, just to not encourage that bobcat or the coyts from getting to friendly when nobody is around. They may jump in over the fence, but now they will have a hard time jumping back out.

But then my sister who gets pets but ultimately always end up just unknowingly getting pets for other people who did not want pets. Well she got a dog to, and months before I got the puppy, but now we now have two dogs an Australian cattle dog or something. Now both of them are running around chewing and biting anything they see.

And while its good my dog has somebody to play with. It leads to issues, including chewing on chickens if they are both let in, they go in straight pack mode and chase them in corners, they think there playing, but there not, and one chicken had to be put down because they were chewing on her badly. Caught my dog and the other doing that about two times, had to spank them, even picked him up by the neck and threw him on the grass. Just so they will get the picture. Next time I will punch them in the balls if I catch them.

There basically like two teenagers now, making a mess and tearing things up. And yes they will eat them when in pack mode. But now we dont let them in the chicken yard but one at a time, they don't really pay attention to the chickens when its just one of them in there, even the hyper one gets bored after a while trying to chase them around. That and there still young, in a year or two they will mellow out. Or at least my sister will get her dog back.

That dog is way to hyper, and while he is a good dog, but is kind of stupid, even heard it chased after a cayote or something in the bushes. Not smart as that's how they hunt, one goes out and shows himself, here I am come get me. Gets dog to chase into bushes, and then all 8 attack at the same time. Nope not smart at all, the bullmastiff though just kind of sit's and waits, its not chasing after anything, to much work. Though if they come to him, its a different story. So ya, even though there still puppies really, we have had no more dead chickens since they were old enough to run around the property.

Oh and hawks, I know a few must have been caught by hawks, but I only saw it one time in these few years. It was a new chicken to, as we replace them every time one gets killed, it was wondering in the bushes alone, a hawk attacked it, and it ran but got caught in another bush and well, when i was going down there all I saw was a hawk take of from that spot. When I went down there it was already gutted. And checked around and saw feathers from the scuffle some ways off, were it first got attacked.

Now I got to make little wire shelters for them to run under all around there yard, but before all that got to clear a bunch of bushes and trees. So ya, kind of hassle as I don't even eat the eggs because I don't have time to in the morning when I go to work. So ya, chickens are kind of a pain. Next will be goats, which may attract a bear or two and likely other as large predators, but hey, if they do there job, and eat all those bushes saving me lots of hours and pain in the assery. I'm all for it.




posted on Apr, 8 2018 @ 05:03 AM
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originally posted by: rickymouse
I like eggs, I actually eat quite a bit, it is good for my hypoglycemia, a good protein to keep from crashing is needed.


Now I know why I have always liked eggs and eat a fair amount on a weekly basis too

Thank you!

Rainbows
Jane



posted on Apr, 8 2018 @ 06:06 AM
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a reply to: TheRedneck

is there a way to ensure that chick are just female? I've looked at the county laws and I might be wrong but I don't think we can have a rooster... pretty sure we couldn't where we were living, not so sure about where we just moved to. depends on how it's zone but I have a rather close neighbor, so wouldn't want to bother him anyways.



posted on Apr, 8 2018 @ 08:52 AM
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a reply to: dawnstar

Yes, there is. You need to buy pullets instead of straight run. Straight run means you get pot luck on what sex the chicks are; pullets are all female (hens).

It's a little harder to find pullets and they cost a little more, but it can be done. I just got in 6 RIR pullets this year.

TheRedneck



posted on Apr, 8 2018 @ 09:32 AM
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originally posted by: angelchemuel

originally posted by: rickymouse
I like eggs, I actually eat quite a bit, it is good for my hypoglycemia, a good protein to keep from crashing is needed.


Now I know why I have always liked eggs and eat a fair amount on a weekly basis too

Thank you!

Rainbows
Jane


Actually, any protein is slower at releasing sugar than carbs. But eggs are fairly cheap, you can boil them in advance then keep them in the fridge to eat when you are hungry, and they do not contain a lot of the chemistry that is not so good for you if you eat them often like beef and pork has. Chicken white meat is not as good as it is being touted to be either.

Eggs contain quite a bit of choline, it is a chemical related to betaine and our bodies need that to create acetylcholine which is a neurochemical that increases our ability to reason. Too much is not good, but our bodies do have a way of moderating acetylcholine as long as you do not inhibit or promote the creation of the enzyme out of homostasis you should be all right. Many mood stabalizing meds work on adjusting the enzyme. Taurine is another necessary neurotransmitter, that is found in meats more than in eggs. Taurine can be created by metabolism if you have all of the necessary ingredients in the body and an active enzyme sulfite oxydase. One of the B vitamins knocks out sulfite oxydase, the reason is that B vitamins are found in meat and it regulates the bodies need to create taurine.

Here are a few articles on sulfite oxydase, remember bioavailable molybdenum is needed to control this but many sources also contain sulfurs which boosts the need. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...

Here is a good article, it addresses drinking water but kind of explains some things about the need for more molybdenum and proper balance of zinc and copper in the body. I haven't researched the site yet, there could be some interesting stuff on it. feelgoodbiochem.com...



posted on Apr, 8 2018 @ 10:29 AM
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originally posted by: CynConcepts

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.



Clip one wing so that the wings are not the same length and she won't be able to fly over the fence.



posted on Apr, 8 2018 @ 10:55 AM
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a reply to: TheRedneck
Only mods get away with posting cock photos...

On my childhood farm we got dragonflies because they eat everything. Mosquito population decimated, they eat every bug that's not them!



posted on Apr, 8 2018 @ 12:08 PM
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a reply to: Ridhya

How do you get the dragonflies to lay eggs?


TheRedneck



posted on Apr, 8 2018 @ 01:21 PM
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a reply to: TheRedneck

The simple answer is water and plants. The long answer from wikipedia is:


Vegetation and its characteristics including submerged, floating, emergent, or waterside are also important. Adults may require emergent or waterside plants to use as perches; others may need specific submerged or floating plants on which to lay eggs. Requirements may be highly specific, as in Aeshna viridis (green hawker), which lives in swamps with the water-soldier, Stratiotes aloides.[30] The chemistry of the water, including its trophic status (degree of enrichment with nutrients) and pH can also affect its use by dragonflies. Most species need moderate conditions, not too eutrophic, not too acid;[30] a few species such as Sympetrum danae (black darter) and Libellula quadrimaculata (four-spotted chaser) prefer acidic waters such as peat bogs,[31] while others such as Libellula fulva (scarce chaser) need slow-moving, eutrophic waters with reeds or similar waterside plants.[32][33]


My old house had a pond. I had dragonflies in the spring/summer. Hope it helps. Nature is a wonderful thing.
edit on 8/4/18 by LightSpeedDriver because: Typo



posted on Apr, 8 2018 @ 02:07 PM
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Well, we just got our first brood of turkey chicks!

One of the two hens hatched her eggs (both were sitting on a nest) and we just got our first glimpse of the babies. I can't get close enough yet to take pics, but trust you me, turkey chicks are much cuter than the full grown ones. I counted 4; there may be more. Tom is strutting his stuff like a good protective father.

The other hen started sitting about a week after this one, so in another week we should have more.

Amazing timing... last night the temperature dipped below freezing, but that's not supposed to happen again. We're actually looking at Wednesday to put the chicks outside because the lows aren't supposed to get below 40 after that. So if the little ?turklings? survived last night, they should be good to go!

I'll post pics when I can get some.

TheRedneck



posted on Apr, 8 2018 @ 03:08 PM
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Have had chickens and geese for many years. Predators are a huge problem here though, and we had to learn all sorts of tricks to defeat them. Between the coyotes, snakes, skunks, hawks and worst of all the owls, the chickens and even geese were dropping like flies. Night time was the worst, and unless you just laid awake all night by the coops with a rifle or shotgun those predators would always be on the winning side.

Probably the best trick we leaned to beat the predators was to take a full width of chicken wire and lay about 3 feet of it flat on the ground around the coop area, and then take the remaining 1 foot and lap it up the side of the coop. Then we'd attach the wire to the coop (either by sewing it with wire it into the coop fencing or by stapling the crap out of it with construction staples). For the part laying flat on the ground we'd then use those heavy gauge geo-fabric hoop staples and drive them into the ground to anchor the chicken wire down about every couple square feet. Then cover the chicken wire on the ground over with dirt.

This was STUNNINGLY effective!! Instant results! An old farmer taught me that trick, and the reason it works as well as it does due to something I'd have never thought of. You see, most of your worst predators dig / tunnel their way in. That or they grab things through the coop fencing. But, predators absolutely HATE trying to dig through wire laying on the ground. Equally, they hate even walking on it. So, by anchoring the chicken wire to the ground we in effect created a 3 foot buffer zone all the way around every coop. Nothing could even get close. This took every single predator except for the hawks and owls out of the game literally overnight.

The geese pretty much keep the hawks away during the day when they're out free ranging around. The white tails won't come in on the chickens with the geese around. The owls are a different story! Best solution for the owls is to keep the chickens cooped from just after sunset until after sunrise.

In any case, if you've got a problem with predators, try this wire trick. It works amazingly well!


P.S. - A note about owls; I've learned owls are one of the smartest and most effective predators of all (I used to think coyotes had that title, I was sorely mistaken!). And owls are fearless! We have to deal with the great horned owls here and those owls get huge, up to 6 foot wingspans. The owls will come in and kill the geese first. They don't eat them, they just kill them and leave 'em for the coyotes. It's a strategic move to remove the defense from the chickens. Once they devastate the geese they move in on the chickens, and they gobble those guys right up, one by one. Haven't really figured out a completely foolproof defense against owls yet because they figure about everything out in short order. Just keep the chickens cooped until the light of day is the best method we've found so far. Fortunately, most people won't have the same problems we do with owls though (we're in a pretty wild area).



posted on Apr, 8 2018 @ 03:45 PM
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a reply to: Flyingclaydisk

That's a good trick with the chicken wire... so far I haven't had any trouble with predators digging into the coop, but that's because it's partly buried and the dog usually goes after whatever shows up before they can dig under. For snakes, I ringed the bottom foot of the coop with 1/2" hardware cloth on top of the chicken wire.

We battled one owl one night. We didn't even realize it was an owl at first; every few minutes the chickens would squawk, I would run outside, and there would be feathers on the ground and a chicken missing. I never could find a predator sign. The third time, the hen wasn't missing, but was running across the yard like the devil was chasing her. Then something attacked her again, even though we were maybe 75 feet away. Still no sign of a predator. We managed to catch her and put her in the coop, and we found another hen hiding in some grass that we couldn't catch. The third hen was back out the next day, so I figure she had hid as well.

Best I can tell it was a young barn owl tired of flying in light rain. It wasn't quite big enough to get the hens but big enough to try. The next day I built a cover out of chicken wire over their roost... and the dumb chickens refused to get under it! After a while they started roosting on the cover!

Anyway, I hit the Internet to figure out what to do and found out owls hate flickering lights. So we started just muting the TV and leaving it on all night; it shone all around the roost through the windows. No more problems with owls.

Some people just hook up a small flashing LED or two... you can get those kits cheap.

TheRedneck



posted on Apr, 8 2018 @ 03:53 PM
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Another kind of slick thing I saw once related to chickens was to create a chicken run around your garden. They actually did something similar on the TV show Fixer-Upper recently, but it was far, far, more elaborate than need be.

You put up a fence high enough to keep the chickens out of the garden proper, but also pen them so they can't get too far away from the garden either. They'll eat every damn destructive bug that gets near your garden (except the bees). They don't seem to eat the bees because the bees go straight up after loading up with pollen.

Works great with elevated garden beds.



posted on Apr, 8 2018 @ 04:01 PM
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a reply to: TheRedneck

Then there's the bull snakes. Now, around here all the bull snakes get a free pass. Every now and then we'll get a bull snake in the coops. They'll eat an egg or two and then just take a nap. To me, it's worth donating a couple eggs to Mr. Snake (and his/her bretheren) in return for the devastation they wreak on the mice and rats. I just relocate them to outside the coop into a pasture somewhere and we're all good. Heck, we've got one lady down the road who's deathly afraid of snakes. She'll call me screaming about some snake...I just go over there and grab it and re-home it back here at the house.

Bull snakes are one WELCOME predator!



posted on Apr, 8 2018 @ 04:01 PM
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a reply to: Flyingclaydisk

Since we're talking cool set-ups...

Get a cheap bug-zapper and take the catch tray off it... the chickens and ducks will camp out under the thing for the free food falling from the sky. I've actually tried that one... it works great. Chickens don't do much for flying bugs, but if you set this up, they will.

TheRedneck



posted on Apr, 8 2018 @ 05:10 PM
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Great thread. We recently sold the big house and bought a small farm house to slow down and be sure there wasn't enough room for any of the kids to move back in. One of the cool things we did was build a chicken coop and area for them. We originally had a flock of 9 laying hens with one little bantam rooster. The dog next door tasted the rooster and he died. then the dog behind us flat our ate 7 of the 9 hens. Both times, I made reinforcing repairs to the coop to stop intruders, but failed to save them beforehand. The remaining two hens were killed by a hawk I believe. So again we fortified the pen with a mesh top. Here are pictures of what we have.


This is the pen area. It's been fortified and waiting for the new flock.


This is a watering system I built for them. Parts were cheap, I bought the tips and the tees on amazon and used leftover conduit for the pipe. I sealed the hole in the bucket and it works good. (providing I can teach the birds to use the nozzels)


This is the new flock. One Plymouth rock rooster (he was a straight run, I assumed would be a rooster, and he was) 5 black sex-links, and 3 (was 4, but one died) Rhode Island reds. (bought them from Tractor Supply) They are about a week from being released into the pen.

I'm sure they are looking forward to having some walking around room.

I learned a bunch from the first flock, and at peak, we were getting about 9 eggs a day. (since the original flock had 3 different sized hens, we had three different sized eggs.)

I think I have removed all the ways intruders might come in, but necessity is the mother of invention, so my work is only as good as the next hungry predator.

Happy chickening!



posted on Apr, 8 2018 @ 06:55 PM
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a reply to: network dude

Wow...I'm impressed!!

Good JOB!!



posted on Apr, 8 2018 @ 07:36 PM
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It's amazing how much difference having even a few chickens running around the yard makes when it comes to bugs, and spiders...

My mom and dad had a dozen or so chickens for years in the city, and we simply had no bugs worth mentioning. ...and eggs? Good grief, we had eggs all over the place. The trick is to get 'em to lay in the same place...once you get that figured out, you're golden.

When I get my place, chickens, geese, and turkeys, I like geese for some odd reason, are going to figure prominently. Geese make great alarms, and good eating, the turkeys and chickens are, of course, good eatin', and for eggs, too.



posted on Apr, 8 2018 @ 09:24 PM
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a reply to: seagull

Looks like you might have a source for turkeys... the wife just got a good look at the brood, and counted 8 instead of 4. And one nest left to go!

These things are so cute it's amazing. 3 of them are dark colored with a white face.

TheRedneck



posted on Apr, 9 2018 @ 03:26 AM
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a reply to: seagull

Geese are good guardians, but if guardians are what you really want then go with guinea fowl instead. They're 10x better sentries. Nothing (and I mean nothing) will get within a mile of your house without you knowing about it when you have guinea fowl!

Geese put on a good tough act, but it turns out they're really not all that tough. We had (3) geese recently, called them Huey, Dewy and Louie, they were pretty cool. Originally got them because I love roast / smoked goose. In the meantime they became pretty good sentries. They had the dogs buffaloed, that's for sure. The dogs wouldn't mess with them at all. But, in the span of three days the owls killed all three of them. Geese are almost completely defenseless from an attack from above. Guinea fowl are smarter that way. Because they can jump-fly pretty well they seem to never let themselves get in a position where they can be attacked from overhead.



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