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The benefits of keeping chickens

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posted on Sep, 14 2011 @ 03:46 PM
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Funny you mention that tomato worm... I just pulled one off my pepper plants, its bumps were all white, looks real creepy lol

So with free range chickens... I live on a somewhat busy road, have lots of property, would I have to worry about them getting hit by cars and predators? Only predators would be maybe a fox, and possum, or possibly hawks I guess too...

If you free range them, how do you collect eggs? Do they still know to go to a chicken coop to lay?




posted on Sep, 14 2011 @ 03:49 PM
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reply to post by bloodnoir
 


Yes, all what you say is true... I often go in my garden to weed, dig and do other general garden jobs, but once i finish i often just sit on my bench and watch the chickens.

I know i am biased, but i have never tasted eggs as nice as the ones that come from my own chickens.

Peace



posted on Sep, 14 2011 @ 04:04 PM
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reply to post by morder1
 





So with free range chickens... I live on a somewhat busy road, have lots of property, would I have to worry about them getting hit by cars and predators? Only predators would be maybe a fox, and possum, or possibly hawks I guess too...

If you free range them, how do you collect eggs? Do they still know to go to a chicken coop to lay?



If you live close to a road and have predators i would definitely recommend fencing them in. Chickens will wonder around and this will pose a risk. If you confine them, but give them plenty of room, they will remain happy. Room is important to a chicken’s happiness and happy chickens are good layers


I live in Britain and the fox is a major threat... most fox attacks (in Britain) happen at night so I have made sure that my coop is robust and fox proof.

Even when you have free-range chickens they will need a coop to stay secure at night, shelter from severe weather, and lay eggs.

Chickens will automatically go back into their coop when the sun starts to set (so no rounding them up) and they will also lay their eggs in the nest boxes that all good coops should have.

Hope that helps,

Muckster



posted on Sep, 14 2011 @ 04:40 PM
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I have hens too!! got my first ones bout 5 years ago, and only have a small garden but enough to fence off an area big enough for 3 at a time, in what I call my orchard, - actually 2 apple trees about 8 meters square.
I have 2 at the moment - they are great friends to each other and to me - eggs in abudance and some to sell to neighbours (i put them outside my house in a bowl with some straw - used to be in marketing lol and they go in about 30 mins most days) this pays for their feed. Eggs are awesome, also have a veg garden and agree that chicken poo in compost really pays dividends. If you've ever seen the conditions that caged hens are kept in you'd keep a few in your backyard. I've had at least 6 ex batts and they arrive 'home' in a terrible state - no feathers (oven ready) and ignorant of how to live a free range life - no scratching, foraging or normal chicken behaviour its lovely to see them grow healthy and learn but they have never lived for more than 18 months, which unfortunatley is a testiment to their hard lives in the factory farms. This is not the sort of food I want to feed my children - even though I haven;t raised any for meat yet - not enough room and equipment to incubate I NEVER buy supermarket crap chicken and never will. Actually made the mistake of picking some up the other day, realised I'd made a mistake when I got it home and fed it to the cats!!

definately keep hens if you can.



posted on Sep, 14 2011 @ 07:38 PM
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reply to post by morder1
 


Hi on my previous post theres a link to a moveable chicken coop you would surround this with electronet the great thing about this is your chickens are safe but it gives them a form of free range. Its very easy to relocate.Depending o how many chickens you have move it every week or two. This keeps your chickens from sitting in a muddy pit that they've cleared of all bugs and plants. So they get fresh bugs and your lawn gets some nice fertilizer! You can pick how big your netting is so they wont be confined to a small area and some are even solar powered. The coop size is up to you big or small just remember if you pick a bigger size you will need a tractor of some sort to move it! Hope this helps here is some pics to give you an idea.

and this is the net



posted on Sep, 15 2011 @ 11:23 AM
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reply to post by britchik
 


Great post Britchik... i completely agree. I seriously considered getting ex batts myself but decided against it because I thought that it may not be the best way to introduce my kids to chickens and also because, with the popularity of hybrids, I wanted to ensure that the older pure breeds keep going.

However, I really do admire your kindness and strength in choosing the ex battery hen option


Peace



posted on Sep, 15 2011 @ 11:55 AM
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What a beautiful thread. I'm near tears with envy! The pictures are lovely. I'd dearly love some hens. I'm beginning to loathe my circumstances with a fiery passion. I came from very blighted conditions in a run down drug infested neighborhood, so at first I considered us quite lucky to settle in this pretty suburb. That was before I discovered nearly all the neighbors and the homeowners association are avid pesticide and herbicide sprayers. The air at times is heavy with the noxious smell of these chemicals. We are like everyone these days owing more than our house is now worth, so can not afford to move now that I've realized our mistake. Under the American dream lies this toxic secret. Good luck also finding a neighborhood these days not ruled by an HOA. Most prohibit solar panels, too, though ours may not.

If all these chemicals don't kill us off straight away, I hope someday to move not all that far from where I am currently, to a more rural section, and have a little chicken coop. Meanwhile we are very lucky to have all the nearby groceries supporting free range organically raised chickens and eggs and making them easily available. The cost is noticeably higher but worth it to support ethical farming. We just cut expenses in other ways.



posted on Sep, 15 2011 @ 12:17 PM
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I can't wait to get some chickens. The ladies will have a field day on the compost heap.
We too are going to rescue some poor battery hens.
edit on 15-9-2011 by Suspiria because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 15 2011 @ 12:37 PM
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Chickens! That is my one desire right now. Have had a garden for a few years, but really want chickens. My family raised a hundred of them when I was growing up. Couldn’t stand them then. Things are different now. I live in a small private area and one of our neighbors is involved in law enforcement. Said I couldn’t have chickens when I asked the other HOA’s. No one else was opposed and it appears the covenants are ok with it too, so gonna get them hopefully next spring. I’m lucky enough to live on a couple acres with a fenced in yard and have the materials necessary to build a fine coop. Won’t get any roosters just yet. Want to experiment with having a few hens for a while before trying my hand with those. Eventually want to add a couple of goats and a donkey to keep away other pests. Can’t wait. Happy to see so many people able to do this and feel for those who can’t.

peace



posted on Sep, 19 2011 @ 08:44 AM
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Thanks for the thread.

Cannot say enough about my wonderful batch of bantams.

Roosters and hens, all in a mostly content community, cleaning my yard of bugs, trimming the plants, working up the soil in the raised bed.

It is work to keep them, but worth it.

I agree with the poster who said to respect your food and pray before you eat it.

I thank the girls for every egg.

Have 2 hens sitting on eggs ready to hatch, and one lady in the house with her chick. It's awesome.



posted on Sep, 19 2011 @ 03:01 PM
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I was wondering if anyone here has had to take any sort of precautions regarding the avian influenza I've heard so much about in the media, and if so, what are you doing?

I was happy to see that someone living along one of the routes I travel to take my daughter to school has set up a chicken enclosure in their yard. It's become great fun to pass by and see the chickens out and about. I guess if I am ever able to sell this house, I won't need to move terribly far to be able to raise chickens. I just need to avoid another builder subdivision with an HOA.



posted on Sep, 22 2011 @ 10:21 AM
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As promised...

Me holding our speckled Sussex



One of our Cream legbars



Our Sussex having a run



The coop and run (They are let out of the run most days and have free reign of the yard)



Inside the coop



The coolest thing ever?? An automatic door opener that lets them out at sunrise and closes the door at dusk





posted on Sep, 22 2011 @ 03:17 PM
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reply to post by Muckster
 


Thank you for posting such nice closeups of your chickens and their setup. I love what I can see of your yard. It looks like you've made the most of your space and it looks like a serene place to spend time outdoors. I wish I had a fence around my property. Currently the entire neighborhood and half a dozen passing strangers trample through my property almost daily and the lawn is eaten away in patches and there is no privacy. It is an expensive and annoying process to get a fence where I live and we can only fence just the back part of our yards here. We must go through extra steps to get approval on certain kinds of fences such as those over five feet in height and metal fencing is prohibited outright unless it is meant to simulate the look of wood. Chicken wire is prohibited so we can't even protect a given plant from deer. We have been saving for a few years now for a fence but something always comes up to eat away at those funds. But we deserve no less for being sheeple and choosing this suburban blight to begin with. Live and learn the hard way!



posted on Sep, 22 2011 @ 03:55 PM
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reply to post by SheeplFlavoredAgain
 

I read a few of the brochures the USDA puts out about avian influenza.
My personal precautions:
I don't bring in chickens from other sources to my brood. (Like buying chickens at auction and bringing them home) They are raising chicks from eggs they laid. I bought some fertile eggs from ebay, and one hatched, but he/she is not a sturdy thing. One of my hens is tending it today. I would only bring in "new blood" from fertile eggs hatched under my hens.

The theory is the moms pass on their good gut bacteria to the chicks, inoculating them.

I wash the waterers daily and refill. If a dry food feeder is grungy, I clean it with disinfectant, rinse and dry before filling. I feed an extremely varied diet with human grade unspoiled food. I use a natural wormer 2 times a year.

My chickens are inside my garage, inside a coop. I sweep it daily, or vacuum with a shop vac (and a face mask). I hose down the sidewalks of the area where they range, use disinfectant if poopy.

Speaking of...I do check poop for worms and infection.

I have a cat carrier inside my house, with its own waterer and feeder. Any chicken who looks poorly goes into the house after a thorough check-out and gentle bath, if necessary (usually just their rear needs a wash)

I wipe the garage floor with disinfectant spray and vac or sweep it regularly.

We have indoor tropical birds so all this precaution is to keep the cross contamination down.



posted on Sep, 22 2011 @ 03:59 PM
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I've enjoyed this thread so very much...the reading, and the photographs. Maybe not enough to make me want chickens - lol - but certainly enough to appreciate them more.

Thanks.



posted on Sep, 22 2011 @ 04:37 PM
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reply to post by SheeplFlavoredAgain
 





I was wondering if anyone here has had to take any sort of precautions regarding the avian influenza I've heard so much about in the media, and if so, what are you doing?


Avian flu is normally past to your flock by wild birds or new arrivals. I have been hatching out my own recently but if in the future i decide to add some more grown hens i will place them in our broody coop for a week or two just to be safe.

I don’t worry too much about wild birds because our small yard is protected by our 3 cats


Although a couple of weeks ago a huge flock of migrating Starlings decided to descend on our neighbour’s elderberry tree (which overhangs my garden) so I ushered my chickens back into their run and kept them in for a couple of days. Probably overkill, but best to be safe.

I try to limit the amount of chemicals i use and rely on natural solutions as much as possible... My girls get a weekly treat of chopped Rosemary and Garlic added to their feed as well as the occasional apple cider vinegar (mixed into there water) as a tonic.

Peace



posted on Sep, 22 2011 @ 04:41 PM
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reply to post by katfish
 





I bought some fertile eggs from ebay, and one hatched, but he/she is not a sturdy thing.


I have been contemplating getting some eggs from ebay but a few people have warned me off... It sounds like you didn’t have a great hatch rate from ebay... Have you got eggs from ebay before? and if so, is the hatch rate poor? or was the experience you mentioned a one off?

Sorry for all the questions


Peace



posted on Sep, 22 2011 @ 07:39 PM
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I don't have any chickens but my rooster has 8 hens.
We worked out a trade,
I take him food he acts like he found it, and disperses to the hens and then he allows us to
harvest eggs from his flock.



posted on Sep, 23 2011 @ 11:58 AM
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reply to post by Muckster
 

This is my first ebay egg buy. I wanted bantam Ameraucanas, and I wanted my gals to hatch them.

I got 6 eggs well-packaged. Put them under the girls along with 3 of their own.

18 days and 21 days-one of their own hatched. Sturdy and smart bantam Silkie/Cochin crosses
23 days, one of the ebay eggs hatched. She needed more time to recover from hatching so I put her under a good broody hen for a day. She is doing ok now and eating.

Please note it is Autumn here, so hatch rates are down. I would def buy from Ebay again in the Spring, for the ability to get new breeds. For insurance, I will keep hatching my own eggs as well.



posted on Sep, 28 2011 @ 03:26 PM
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My mom has a thing for keeping chickens, she was born in a little farming community in eastern Europe so she is always either planting things in her little garden, or pulling things up, and the usually playing with dirt that gardening people do. Its kind of annoying thing to do, but she can basically grow anything anywhere, even in the concrete jungle she has tomato plants, and all kinds of things on the side of the driveway.

Anyways were we are is more of a city type area and there is no room or space for keeping chickens. But either way she had some years ago when we lived in a different place with more room, and she even bought one a year ago that we had to get rid of because there really is no room in the backyard to keep anything, plus the neighbors were staring funny at us.


But ya if you have the space, and can keep them separate and in there own little area to avoid and better clean all the little droppings that they do, then chickens have some good benefits in there upkeep and are well worth keeping a few around. Though I would not let them get used to coming and going in anyplace that you are going to walk or do any working in, because chickens are pooping machines, so keep them in places were you would need to fertilize things and they also make good bug pest removers if you let them in your garden once in a while when they are hungry and in pecking mode they will peck at all the bugs around till its bug free.

Ah man all this talk of chickens on this thread....Well it's making me hungry, and the only chickens around here now, are in the local KFC.



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