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Anyone here keep chickens?

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posted on Jan, 21 2015 @ 09:59 AM
a reply to: OpinionatedB

If new hens are introduced to established flocks, the rooster (or "king" dog...whatever) will often kill them and the hens will cannibalize them. It's a dominance thing.

It doesn't matter if it is 4 chickens or 1000. You introduce roosters to that flock where a rooster is already "king" and you are going to have fights. (unless, like I mentioned before, they are bannies. They don't seem to fight near as much and are much less aggressive.)

It's the presence of the other roosters that will cause "the king" to injure others. There is very little (if any) "damage" done when the rooster is "doing his deed" (which generally takes all of about 5

many had a bald spot on their backs from him..

Possibly. If what I stated above is the case (essentially, competing flocks)....
Otherwise, more often than not, that is a sign that the chickens are molting, not damage done by a rooster.

Though, I've had hens get old (and act sickly) only to find the rooster killing them. I tend to believe they know which ones are sick or could become sick and they target and kill those hens for the sake of keeping infections out of the entire flock. I've seen it happen time and time again.

And to whoever said "maybe there's a trick" to having hens lay eggs without roosters....No, there isn't. A rooster is NOT required for a hen to produce and lay an egg. He simply fertilizes the egg. They WILL lay eggs without a rooster but those eggs will NOT make chicks....

posted on Jan, 21 2015 @ 02:28 PM
a reply to: Jakal26

I always had mixed flocks, many roosters and many hens, but the dominate one was definitely dominate. Perhaps you are correct in what you say then, because what I never did was only have all hens and only one rooster because I was raising a reasonably large amount of chickens every year, an average of 200 a year.

posted on Jan, 21 2015 @ 02:35 PM
a reply to: Jakal26

Oyster shell is also good. Try some sometime, it used not to be fairly cheap, I think I used to spend somewhere around 7 dollars for a 50lb. bag.

posted on Jan, 21 2015 @ 03:55 PM
I keep chickens.

I keep them in a large, walk-in pen/coop, about 6' high, 14' long, and about 6' wide.
I keep 7 chickens. All are hens, Rhode Island Reds.
I get about 2 and a half dozen eggs each week.

(we have a household of 5, but I still give away eggs to friends often)

We don't have to clean it often, we use the method mentioned above in another post (laying down more layers of sawdust). We do strip it occasionally though, to maintain cleanliness, and we clean off the top of the nesting boxes each week.

Some tricks to less maintenance/good results:

1) Make large feeders. I used 6" PVC pipe, with 45 degree elbows at the bottom (capped on the tops with a screw on cap), about 3' high, and I keep two of them in there. Holds chicken feed (which I get in 50lb bags for about $12).

2) Have a large water container. I use a 5 gallon container, so I don't have to fill it as often.

3) Check in the am, middle of the day, then early evening for eggs (once they are laying). Sometimes, if the eggs sit in there a while, the hens will peck a few of them, ruining them.

4) The term "pullets" = baby hens. If you don't want any roosters. Isn't always full-proof though, so if you get a rooster accidentally, consider your options. (if you don't want one. Personally, I keep chickens for eggs, then eventual meat when no longer laying, so I'd either give him away, trade him out, etc.).

5) I have some nails along the top of my pen/coop, that are there and spaced to hold up a long tarp, in case we're expecting a bad storm. I don't want my gals to get soaked if there's a really hard rain, and I also build up an area of sawdust in the center to give them some dry ground. I also have perch sticks in there for them too.

6) Scraps are great (especially left over eggs), but I also get a bag of mealworms each week to put in with their feed, or just as a treat.

7) I used quarter of an inch hardware cloth (metal mesh) for the walls. Keeps any would-be predators out. Chicken wire is ok for holding them, but isn't so hot against predators.

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