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who has chickens

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Re: who has chickens

Post  boffer on 7/10/2012, 7:25 pm

@RoOsTeR wrote:Most hens tend to get a little "chatty" when they lay an egg. They all have to chime in in excitement Razz

Owning chickens was new to us, and we couldn't believe how egg laying noises are exactly like the old cartoons that showed chickens working on an assembly line, or something similar, and making the same noise!

When we hear a hen laying, we say: 'It sounds like somebody's working hard making our breakfast.'

Laying eggs is the noisiest my hens get. Their 'oh boy, food' noises are quiet and cute.
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Re: who has chickens

Post  Lavender Debs on 7/10/2012, 7:57 pm

This is my chicken tractor.

Since we acquired 4 hens two years ago we have been sticking to 4x8 SFG's. The tractor fits inside the gardens. This was inexpensive as far as chicken pens or tractors go. At first only the top opened but it is easier for the nuggets to get in and out since Ray modified the front to open up to form a ramp. It also made the tractor less sturdy when we move it. It does take two of us to move it from garden to garden. I am sad to admit that it is neither pretty or cute. Ray made it from stuff we had on hand. The frame is 1x2 (I think it is called strapping???). The shade-roost area is just a blue tarp. What we call chick wire is stapled to the frame. The ramp has wire mesh that we had left-over from making the floors of rabbit hutches (the girls did not want to walk on the chick wire).

The nuggets eat up the grubs, bugs, weeds and stalks of old vegetables. Usually I toss in a bin of nice wormy compost. They do a wonderful job of working it into the MM. They also add their own magic ingredient. It looks beautiful when they are done.

The picture is for Tomato Tuesday but beyond the tomato plant you can see the corn that is growing in the SFG the chickens prepped for me.

Humm, I do not have a current pic of the chicken house, better go take one.
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Re: who has chickens

Post  Triciasgarden on 7/10/2012, 8:06 pm

I think the trick to having "nice" chickens is to hold them plenty when they are young and continue it! I have four Rhode Island Reds and got them a few months apart, two and two. The first two we held a lot more than the second two and there is a difference in how they respond to us. They lay about 5 eggs apiece per week so we usually get three eggs per day. The eggs are different shades of brown and are extra extra large almost always. Our male (unfixed) poodle "likes" one of them too much!

Sometimes when one of the girls is all by herself she starts calling to the others because she doesn't want to be alone! They have amazing eyesight when they see a bug!

Our city said yes to five chickens per house. People used the economy as a way to get them to agree! All of these coops are great! Lavender Debs your coop works! It doesn't have to be fancy!
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Re: who has chickens

Post  boffer on 7/10/2012, 8:37 pm

Things I wish I would have know ahead of time about chickens.

They poop a lot. I mean a real lot. Poopy scooping like you would after a dog doesn't work so well; I tried. I move the tractor when I'm mowing, and between mowing some of it up, and the weather breaking it down, it only takes about a week to disappear into the grass. That part's OK, but did you know most all dogs like to eat chicken poop?

I expected the poop to fertilize the grass, but I can't tell any difference between where they've been and haven't been.

I use wood shavings for nesting boxes and inside the coop. The chicken litter takes forever to break down, even with the addition of grass, blood meal, and veggie scraps. I'm thinking about trying straw to see if it will break down faster.

Chickens supposedly scratch; mine dig holes worse than my dog digging for moles. If you're into having a perfect yard, you might consider a permanent coop, or rotate it from box to box like Deb does.

Knowing what I know now, I still would have gotten chickens. I don't seem to have a predator problem, so I may park the tractor permanently where they can have a fenced in area all to themselves.

My chicken tractor and playground, all on wheels. I can move it by myself...if it's downhill! I've had to use the real tractor a couple times to move it when the ground was soft.

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Re: who has chickens

Post  Triciasgarden on 7/10/2012, 9:01 pm

@boffer wrote:Things I wish I would have know ahead of time about chickens.

They poop a lot. I mean a real lot. Poopy scooping like you would after a dog doesn't work so well; I tried. I move the tractor when I'm mowing, and between mowing some of it up, and the weather breaking it down, it only takes about a week to disappear into the grass. That part's OK, but did you know most all dogs like to eat chicken poop?

I expected the poop to fertilize the grass, but I can't tell any difference between where they've been and haven't been.

I use wood shavings for nesting boxes and inside the coop. The chicken litter takes forever to break down, even with the addition of grass, blood meal, and veggie scraps. I'm thinking about trying straw to see if it will break down faster.

Chickens supposedly scratch; mine dig holes worse than my dog digging for moles. If you're into having a perfect yard, you might consider a permanent coop, or rotate it from box to box like Deb does.

Knowing what I know now, I still would have gotten chickens. I don't seem to have a predator problem, so I may park the tractor permanently where they can have a fenced in area all to themselves.

My chicken tractor and playground, all on wheels. I can move it by myself...if it's downhill! I've had to use the real tractor a couple times to move it when the ground was soft.


My ladies are free-range right now because my DH is in the middle of taking their very old coop and chicken run apart to change them some, along with a few other projects he has going on. Boy I agree with you about the holes they dig! They dig like this: scratch scratch (with one foot), scratch scratch (with the other) and then dip their head down to see if they found something good! Then they do it again, lol. I would get my chickens again in a minute also!

They have several places they hide and lay their eggs. It seems like they haven't been laying much lately or they have found a new hiding place. I will have to go a searching!
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Re: who has chickens

Post  Lavender Debs on 7/10/2012, 9:56 pm

It did not take long to make this but it was forever to get it on you tube!

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Re: who has chickens

Post  westx on 7/10/2012, 10:27 pm

Boffer be careful using straw for nest because the hollows of the straw makes a good home for lice and mites to set up a nice home.

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Re: who has chickens

Post  boffer on 7/11/2012, 12:00 am

Thanks for that. My birds have been bug free so far.
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Re: who has chickens

Post  Turan on 7/11/2012, 11:14 am

My chickens prefer straw for their nests. I use old hay for litter in the coop. No bugs yet. Probably depends on the climate.

The mildest mannered hens we ever raised were Buff Orpingtons. They also love to go broody and raise chicks. However they are good layers but not great. The primarily egg layer breeds are all more nervous and usually good flyers. We like the Americanas a lot for their lots of green eggs and they live a long time. Ours live to be 12 or so...

All our chickens are much wilder now that my daughter is away to college. For years she had been singing them to sleep at night... they would line up at the living room window to watch her practice her flute.

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Re: who has chickens

Post  RoOsTeR on 7/24/2012, 7:49 pm

My wife found some new chicks running around in one of the coops this morning:


Proud papa on the bottom:



One of the momma's



Another one of the momma's


The ladies have hatched 4 so far. I noticed about 30 more eggs being sat on though... I have a sneaky suspicion #1 son NOT collecting eggs properly in the evenings thinking

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Re: who has chickens

Post  happycamper on 7/24/2012, 8:02 pm

They are adorable!
"I have a sneaky suspicion #1 son NOT collecting eggs properly" Do you mark the eggs that you are going to let hatch? I can't have more than 10 birds (I have 8 now) so I mark the eggs if they are going to brood, collect the rest of the eggs and substitute golf balls. I know it may sound funny but it has worked well for years.
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Re: who has chickens

Post  RoOsTeR on 7/24/2012, 8:33 pm

Yeah, all our breeding stock is color coded and numbered. When we ARE hatching eggs, they are labeled and dated. We typically start hatching in late January, early February, NOT July Shocked All eggs are supposed to be collected every evening...something leads me to believe that hasn't in the NORTH coop Razz

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Re: who has chickens

Post  Turan on 7/25/2012, 12:15 am

NIce to see, even if unplanned Laughing
Maybe that broody hen was good at protecting her nest? I remember being quite scared of a broody hen as a kid.

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Re: who has chickens

Post  RoOsTeR on 7/25/2012, 7:34 am

@Turan wrote:NIce to see, even if unplanned Laughing
Maybe that broody hen was good at protecting her nest? I remember being quite scared of a broody hen as a kid.

I think it's called 10 year old boy'itus Razz

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who has chickens

Post  Frenchbean on 7/25/2012, 7:38 am

I would dearly love to have 2 chickens but the council say no Evil or Very Mad No But Rooster if I could have them I'd be coming to you for the coop?tractor its wonderful Like a Star @ heaven Living in England councils say no to everything!

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Re: who has chickens

Post  Turan on 7/25/2012, 10:59 am

@RoOsTeR wrote:
@Turan wrote:NIce to see, even if unplanned Laughing
Maybe that broody hen was good at protecting her nest? I remember being quite scared of a broody hen as a kid.

I think it's called 10 year old boy'itus Razz

Ahhh, yes, i have heard of that. Isn't it related to 'I forgot'itis?

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Re: who has chickens

Post  Kelejan on 7/25/2012, 11:47 am

If we are finally allowed to have chickens where I live, roosters would be banned.
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Re: who has chickens

Post  RoOsTeR on 7/25/2012, 6:59 pm

@Kelejan wrote:If we are finally allowed to have chickens where I live, roosters would be banned.

Blasphemy! Razz

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Re: who has chickens

Post  NorthWoodsFever on 7/25/2012, 8:21 pm

Lavender Debs - GREAT video, loved it! And I love the idea of the "sqaure foot chicken tractor" What a Face
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Re: who has chickens

Post  Kelejan on 7/26/2012, 11:50 am

@RoOsTeR wrote:
@Kelejan wrote:If we are finally allowed to have chickens where I live, roosters would be banned.

Blasphemy! Razz
Please don't take it personally, Rooster. It is roosters, not Roosters. Very Happy
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Re: who has chickens

Post  southern gardener on 9/13/2013, 1:38 am

We got 5 laying hens and a really nice coop a couple of days ago! They laid 3 eggs on the way home!  lol. We are building a compost bin inside of the chicken pen, in a attempt to simulate the Back to Eden method, and get some good eggs and compost! Here is a pic of the girls going through the compost, and LOVING their dirt bath.  I forgot how much fun chickens are!!



Here is their new coop

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Re: who has chickens

Post  sanderson on 9/13/2013, 3:00 am

Who has chickens? Southern Gardener has chickens. Beauties.
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Re: who has chickens

Post  FamilyGardening on 9/13/2013, 7:57 am

aww great looking girls SG Very Happy so happy for you!

we are hoping to do the same soon Very Happy looking forward to working composters that give eggs!!

happy gardening
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Re: who has chickens

Post  Triciasgarden on 9/13/2013, 10:19 am

Yay, those are beautiful girls!  Congratulations on your eggs!  Since they are in a new home, they may "lay off" laying eggs for a few days because of the change unless they were moved during the night.  At least that is what I read somewhere.
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Re: who has chickens

Post  Triciasgarden on 9/13/2013, 10:22 am

Oh I forgot to add, I have one chicken left.  She thought she was the queen and made sure the pecking order was kept.  That is probably why she is still around.  She even pecked me in the back of he leg several times.  She is much nicer now that it is just her.
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