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Backyard Chickens with pics

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posted on Nov, 26 2012 @ 12:12 PM
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You don't need a whole lot of room to raise chickens. We actually kept them on an enclosed porch while they were young before the coop was made. They are really fun to have, and do a lot of silly things. Chicks cost about $3 each, and although coops can be expensive, people are always selling used ones or you can just build one yourself. Ours is privacy fence on three sides, and open on the side facing our house so we can watch them. Chicken wire was purchased at Lowes, and although we used zipties to connect them together the chickenwire comes wrapped in a wire that you can snip and use the same as zip ties. I dug a one foot trench around the perimeter and buried chicken wire underneath to prevent animals from digging in. The ceiling is a green netting found in the same section at Lowes, which was draped over and stapled, with some ties connecting. Hawks are the number one predator of chickens (in cities) so a roof is necessary. It also kept our cat out and no other predators have gotten in yet.





The house was built using an already put together small fence. I cemented six posts into the ground and a few boards, then laid a section of fence, leaving a foot space underneath for shade. The walls were also fence sections, and although it didn't fit perfectly I nailed some boards to fill the gaps. The roof is three sheets of metal roofing, not very expensive, nailed into the fence posts. The gate opens a whole section for easy cleanout, and there is a ramp with steps leading to an opening they can go in. All in all the coop cost us about 500 dollars, that's a rough estimate, but now that we have it we only have to buy chicks and feed.

The chickens like beams to sit on, so we have multiple beams coming off the house and inside the house. Hay is good food for them and it covers up the smell, and they huddle in it while its cold or to lay eggs. There is also a baby pool filled with sand because they eat sand and tiny pebbles to help with digestion.



They say you need a box for them to lay eggs in, but we have multiple boxes but they just lay in the open or in the house.



It takes about five months before they start laying eggs but when they do they lay about every other day. In about a month and a half, I got about 50 eggs with only three chickens. The yolks are slightly darker than store bought, and are tastier. We aren't planning to butcher them, but if society collapses, well sorry...


Some breeds are a bit more aggressive than others, this light feathered one is always hen pecking me. The black one and red ones are more laid back, at least ours are that way. You shouldn't get roosters for backyard chickens, only hens. They make a lot of noise when they lay eggs, the "egg song", but they usually only do that between 10 am and early afternoon. We haven't gotten any complaints yet, and it's not even as loud as a barking dog which no one seems to care about. And at night time, they don't make a peep, so no worries there.

Backyard chickens are a great way of being self sufficient while still living in an urban environment. I haven't needed to buy eggs since they started laying, and I hope I never have to!




posted on Nov, 26 2012 @ 12:19 PM
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reply to post by filosophia
 

Omg, this looks like a chicken-KZ.



posted on Nov, 26 2012 @ 12:23 PM
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Do you neighbours ever complain? I dont know what they would complain about, but you never know..



posted on Nov, 26 2012 @ 12:29 PM
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Originally posted by MDDoxs
Do you neighbours ever complain? I dont know what they would complain about, but you never know..



So far, no, they haven't complained. the hens aren't too loud, just some noises during the day while laying eggs. They don't make a peep at night, and hay covers up the smell.



posted on Nov, 26 2012 @ 12:30 PM
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Make sure you bribe your neighbours with eggs so they don't complain.


We live rural, and plan on chickens and turkeys, but chicken wire isn't strong enough to keep out the coyotes. We have to get heavier gauge wire, buried into the ground, and completely covered on top.

The coyotes up here - I saw one the other day that looked as big as a small wolf. It was at least 80 lbs.



posted on Nov, 26 2012 @ 12:30 PM
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Originally posted by MDDoxs
Do you neighbours ever complain? I dont know what they would complain about, but you never know..



If having the chickens is allowed by the city I don't think there's much neighbors can say. Most cities don't allow them though.. at least metro-area cities like suburbs and whatnot.



posted on Nov, 26 2012 @ 12:32 PM
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I'm sure you've stumbled upon it, but just in case, check out
www.backyardchickens.com

It's a great site with plenty of information and pages and pages of pictures of people's coops, which is my favorite. I've spent hours looking at those coops.



posted on Nov, 26 2012 @ 12:35 PM
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Originally posted by bacci0909
I'm sure you've stumbled upon it, but just in case, check out
www.backyardchickens.com

It's a great site with plenty of information and pages and pages of pictures of people's coops, which is my favorite. I've spent hours looking at those coops.


The coop was hard work but it was kind of fun. I don't have much carpentry experience but it's not rocket science. We decided not to go the Kate plus 8 route where they just have professionals do it, no fun in that.



posted on Nov, 26 2012 @ 12:46 PM
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Now this is a really really dumb question but its coming from a city girl so I hope you will forgive me.

How can a flock of hens be laying eggs without a rooster?

Tired of Control Freaks



posted on Nov, 26 2012 @ 12:57 PM
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Chickens are awsome. I want some, but even though we live in a semi-rural city ?(that's why we moved here), the city says that 2 is the limit! Funny how in Dallas you can have as many as you want. And the neighborhood assn says I can't have any. I say screw 'em, I'm doing it anyway. They'll never know. And besides that, there's like a thousand ducks in our neighborhood walking around all over the place (we have a small lake) and nobody complains about the ducks, and in fact think they're cute and add character to the place.

I already have a garden (spagatti squash, butternut squash, tomotoes, romain lettuce, asparagus, broccoli and beets) and am expanding that. I have solar power too. Chickens and water collection system is the next logical step for me.


And to answer the city girls question: You have periods without a guy, right? Same principle... But with a rooster the egg can come out fertilized and make a chick.



posted on Nov, 26 2012 @ 01:00 PM
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Originally posted by TiredofControlFreaks
Now this is a really really dumb question but its coming from a city girl so I hope you will forgive me.

How can a flock of hens be laying eggs without a rooster?

Tired of Control Freaks


It's okay, plenty of people have the same question. In fact my know-it-all family assured me it was impossible without a rooster, this was before they started laying, so I had no argument, but now I proved them wrong.

The answer: hens produce eggs, just as all females produce eggs, roosters/males inseminate/fertlize the eggs to produce baby chicks. No roosters, no babies, so the eggs are edible.



posted on Nov, 26 2012 @ 01:04 PM
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right on!! nice setup ..congratulations!!

wish I could have backyard chickens too!!!! maybe one day


enjoy your fresh eggs!!



posted on Nov, 26 2012 @ 01:24 PM
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reply to post by filosophia
 


Thanks for the answer (and for not laughing)

But if the hens are laying non-fertilized eggs, isn't the yolk part of the egg actually a chick fetus? Does this mean that non-fertilized eggs have no yolks?

Tired of Control Freaks



posted on Nov, 26 2012 @ 01:30 PM
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Originally posted by filosophia

Originally posted by TiredofControlFreaks
Now this is a really really dumb question but its coming from a city girl so I hope you will forgive me.

How can a flock of hens be laying eggs without a rooster?

Tired of Control Freaks


It's okay, plenty of people have the same question. In fact my know-it-all family assured me it was impossible without a rooster, this was before they started laying, so I had no argument, but now I proved them wrong.

The answer: hens produce eggs, just as all females produce eggs, roosters/males inseminate/fertlize the eggs to produce baby chicks. No roosters, no babies, so the eggs are edible.


Even if the eggs are fertile, they are still edible. Sure the seed of life may have been implanted in them, but until they are incubated by the hens (sitting on the nest constantly, and are hard to get off ) they are perfectly fine.
It takes 21 days for chickens to hatch, but if you collect your eggs daily you will never have a problem.
edit on 26/11/12 by jamesthegreat because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 26 2012 @ 01:37 PM
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Originally posted by TiredofControlFreaks
reply to post by filosophia
 


Thanks for the answer (and for not laughing)

But if the hens are laying non-fertilized eggs, isn't the yolk part of the egg actually a chick fetus? Does this mean that non-fertilized eggs have no yolks?

Tired of Control Freaks


The yolk of an egg is what feeds the embryo. If it is not fertilised then all an egg is, is a shell, albumen (the white) and the yolk with no baby chicken. If the egg was fertilised, there would be a small embryo in there which would eventually develop into a chick which would consume the yolk.
edit on 26-11-2012 by fiftyfifty because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 26 2012 @ 01:38 PM
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Originally posted by TiredofControlFreaks
reply to post by filosophia
 


Thanks for the answer (and for not laughing)

But if the hens are laying non-fertilized eggs, isn't the yolk part of the egg actually a chick fetus? Does this mean that non-fertilized eggs have no yolks?

Tired of Control Freaks


Yes the yolk is the fetus, but unfertilised. It is still present in unfertilised eggs. The white albumen is the food for the chicken embryo as it is growing in the eggs.

When you are storing the eggs in your refridgerator, always store them with the blunt end of the egg up. There is a small air sack in the egg which helps the egg breathe and keep fresher for longer.



posted on Nov, 26 2012 @ 01:40 PM
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Originally posted by fiftyfifty

Originally posted by TiredofControlFreaks
reply to post by filosophia
 


Thanks for the answer (and for not laughing)

But if the hens are laying non-fertilized eggs, isn't the yolk part of the egg actually a chick fetus? Does this mean that non-fertilized eggs have no yolks?

Tired of Control Freaks


The yolk of an egg is what feeds the embryo. If it is not fertilised then all an egg is, is a shell, albumen (the white) and the yolk with no baby chicken. If the egg was fertilised, there would be a small embryo in there which would eventually develop into a chick and consuming the yolk.


Hate to correct you here, but the yolk is the chicken and the white albumen is the embryo food.

Haven't you ever cracked open a fertilised egg which has started to develop and found blood in the yolk?

I grew up on a farm with a very large amout of chooks, so I have had a bit of experience.
edit on 26/11/12 by jamesthegreat because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 26 2012 @ 01:41 PM
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Originally posted by jamesthegreat

Originally posted by fiftyfifty

Originally posted by TiredofControlFreaks
reply to post by filosophia
 


Thanks for the answer (and for not laughing)

But if the hens are laying non-fertilized eggs, isn't the yolk part of the egg actually a chick fetus? Does this mean that non-fertilized eggs have no yolks?

Tired of Control Freaks


The yolk of an egg is what feeds the embryo. If it is not fertilised then all an egg is, is a shell, albumen (the white) and the yolk with no baby chicken. If the egg was fertilised, there would be a small embryo in there which would eventually develop into a chick and consuming the yolk.


Hate to correct you here, but the yolk is the chicken and the white albumen is the embryo food.


Hmm, I don't think so.




An egg yolk is the central part of a bird egg, which is designed to provide nutrients to a developing chick before it hatches. Yolks are commonly very high in a number of vitamins and minerals, making them an enviable food source for humans as well as many other animals. The vast majority of the eggs that make it to human markets are unfertilized, which means that they are free of any embryos. In most cases, yolks are yellow or orange in color.


Link
edit on 26-11-2012 by fiftyfifty because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 26 2012 @ 01:46 PM
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reply to post by jamesthegreat
 


Sorry to break it to you (pun not intended) but the yolk is not the chicken. When you crack open a fertilised egg, you may find the developing embryo attached to the yolk. The white is the protective fluid as far as I am aware, much like the amniotic fluid in the womb of a mammal.

You may want to brush up on your 'chook' knowledge.
edit on 26-11-2012 by fiftyfifty because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 26 2012 @ 01:46 PM
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What is the recommendation about keeping chickens through the winter? Will they survive in their hen house or would it be necessary to somehow heat the hen house? And your reasoning for not having roosters in the backyard?





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