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I ordered Chickens!

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I ordered Chickens!

Post  Aub on 2/20/2011, 11:07 pm

My babies will be here on March 9th!! I ordered 2 Silkies, 2 Silver Laced Wyandottes, and 2 Buff Orpingtons. I'm so excited!! hyper
I haven't put the coop together yet but we'll get to that pretty soon.

Aub

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Re: I ordered Chickens!

Post  miinva on 2/20/2011, 11:10 pm

Congratulations! We're getting chickens this year too, but from a local person who raises them to sell as chicks or pullets. Which did you get? We're going with pullets first, just a few, and if my 9-year-old enjoys them and helps with their care, we might get a small flock of a rare breed.

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Re: I ordered Chickens!

Post  Aub on 2/20/2011, 11:14 pm

The ones I'm getting are babies fresh out of the egg. They ship them when they are just 1 day old!

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Re: I ordered Chickens!

Post  miinva on 2/20/2011, 11:17 pm

We recently watched an episode of Dirty Jobs that was about sexing chicks (I think at McMurray?). We're being lazy and going with pullets so we don't have to wait as long for eggs.

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Re: I ordered Chickens!

Post  Aub on 2/20/2011, 11:28 pm

I saw that Dirty Jobs! Mike Rowe wants to be my boyfriend (don't tell my husband).
I got mine from MyPetChicken.com. The minimum number is only 6 chicks. McMurry is 25! I'm sure I don't need that many chicks.

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Re: I ordered Chickens!

Post  middlemamma on 2/21/2011, 12:10 am

I am so not brave enough to do chickens...they seem so complicated to care for, especially here in my colder climate. I just don't even have a clue where to start. Embarassed We would have to build a coop and heat in the winter and would they run away? LOL See?? City girls.... Rolling Eyes

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Re: I ordered Chickens!

Post  duhh on 2/21/2011, 1:36 am

I would so love to have chickens, but my city doesn't allow them. Sad I should have looked into that when I moved last year. A few miles down the road and I would just have to have my neighbors sign off on them.
Good luck!

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Re: I ordered Chickens!

Post  Old Hippie on 2/21/2011, 1:45 am

@Aub wrote:I saw that Dirty Jobs! Mike Rowe wants to be my boyfriend (don't tell my husband).
I got mine from MyPetChicken.com. The minimum number is only 6 chicks. McMurry is 25! I'm sure I don't need that many chicks.

Mike and I have had a 'thing going on' for quite some time now. Wink My Dh thinks it is pretty funny.

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RE: I ordered Chickens!

Post  Goosegirl on 2/21/2011, 7:31 am

@miinva wrote:We recently watched an episode of Dirty Jobs that was about sexing chicks (I think at McMurray?). We're being lazy and going with pullets so we don't have to wait as long for eggs.

Done this as a job before (different species, as avatar implies) - of course when my sister saw this episode she HAD to let me know that her whole office got a kick out of imagining me doing this! But the little fuzzballs are just so CUTE!

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Re: I ordered Chickens!

Post  CarolynPhillips on 2/21/2011, 8:45 am

I don't have chickens, I have 14 guineas. Guineas never tear up the garden like chickens do and the guineas eat the pesky garden bugs like squash bugs and Japanese beetles.

congrats on your chicks.

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Re: I ordered Chickens!

Post  miinva on 2/21/2011, 6:35 pm

I'd love to hear more about your guineas! We got 9 of them once and they didn't last three months Sad They're a walking food group in these parts. How do you keep them home? I know they're wonderful for eating ticks. I considered getting ducks instead of chickens because ducks don't scratch either, but my son has his heart set on chickens.

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Re: I ordered Chickens!

Post  quiltbea on 2/21/2011, 6:54 pm

I'm so green with jealousy.
I wanted to get chickens, but my son, who owns the house and over 6 acres doesn't want them. I just live in his in-law apt in the daylight basement. I may pay rent, but he has the last say-so on things. His wife goes along with me because she'd love to have the extra eggs without the work. I love it here and enjoy the country and my gardens, but I wanted something more than just my flowers, dwarf fruit trees, and veggie beds.

Then I found out ducks gave almost as many eggs, if you get the right breed, and can tolerate cold conditions a lot more and don't need such an elaborate set up to survive and are usually quieter. Just a large doghouse would be fine for 3 ducks.

I got tired of his saying "No" but maybe by next year I can talk him into it. Fresh eggs, sentries to waddle the property and eat those pesky bugs and slugs, and not as noisy and less maintenance than chickens. As I get older, I want less maintenance for pets.

We've got the doghouse, a large one big enough to house 3 grown ducks. The chickens would need much larger housing, like a coop and egg-laying boxes. The dogs don't use it and its well insulated and has a floor. I would just have to get 4 sumo wrestlers to carry it down from beside the driveway to my flower garden area near my kitchen door and then put a 4 ft fence around it. That's how big and heavy it is. It'll take at least 4 strong guys to move it.

I'll continue to dream.

Don't forget to post about your chickens, with pictures, when you get them. Since they are pest sentries for your SFG, they deserve recognition on the forum, especially when you catch them getting a slug.

Good luck,

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Re: I ordered Chickens!

Post  CarolynPhillips on 2/21/2011, 9:42 pm

The trick in getting the guineas to stay home is raise them from chicks(forgot the name for young guineas) in a coop. When they are old enough to fend for themselves, turn them loose but keep the coop open and always feed them in the coop area so they may return to the roost in the evening.
Mine love the trees. It doesn't matter if I feed them in the coop. They always roost in the trees or on top of the barn. They will spend an hour trying to get traction on the tin roof just so they can roost at the peek.
Guineas sitting on eggs need protection. Something ate all 30 babies this year just a few days after they hatched.
Guineas mate for life.
It has been hard to separate the pairs and pin them up so they will have their babies in a safe place.
I am thinking about keeping all of them pinned up this year until the hens start sitting. Then turn the rest loose while the hens do their thing all safe and snug in the coop. hmm.
OUr coop is a 20x20 (1/4 of a barn) with a 16x16 running space completely caged in outside the barn.
Last winter, I would feed the guineas in the barn and sit and watch. The field mice would come creeping out and steel a few pieces of corn.
I use to have a pair of peacocks. The male flew across the road one day and got ran over.
His mate died 2 weeks later. I loved my peacocks. Maybe some day I will try again with the peacocks but I will not let them run loose ever again. Peacocks sound funny when they are young. Their voice box sounds like a bike horn when they are maturing. As they get more mature they start sounding like the pretty peacocks you hear at the zoo.

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Re: I ordered Chickens!

Post  miinva on 2/21/2011, 9:50 pm

They're called keets Smile We did that; got chicks, then opened the cage when they were older and fed them in the cage, but there are a LOT of foxes, weasels, raccoons, coyotes, and other predators around here. I don't know what got them, but they disappeared one or two at a time Sad

I read that they'll behave a bit better if you raise them with a well-mannered flock of chickens, so I may try again. I haven't tried peacocks, but I knew a lady who had four of them and I loved to collect their beautiful feathers.

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Re: I ordered Chickens!

Post  camprn on 2/21/2011, 10:05 pm

I used to have chickens. I really liked keeping them. I never replaced them after a fisher cleaned them out one bitter cold January night. pale

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Re: I ordered Chickens!

Post  miinva on 2/21/2011, 11:05 pm

That's what I'm afraid of, my son will be devastated if anything happens to the chickens! My husband is going to have build a fortified structure worthy of a small army invasion Smile

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Re: I ordered Chickens!

Post  Selandra on 2/21/2011, 11:46 pm

@Aub wrote:My babies will be here on March 9th!! I ordered 2 Silkies, 2 Silver Laced Wyandottes, and 2 Buff Orpingtons. I'm so excited!!
I haven't put the coop together yet but we'll get to that pretty soon.

So Jealous!!!!! (insert green with envy emoticon here)

My DH said we'll start turning the small shed into a chicken coop this week



Unfortunatly, he's also very methodical so it will probably be a month before its done

but he is the best DH in the world so I'll just stop being a and work on garden

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Re: I ordered Chickens!

Post  Jay Bird on 2/22/2011, 10:07 am

Chickens and guineas are fun ,, and not much work depending on your property,, We are ordering another 50 pullets from ideal, I have grown tired of dealing with roosters after hatching from eggs. we have 30 pullets now, 29 guineas, 20 bantams and two roosters

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Re: I ordered Chickens!

Post  ribarr4 on 2/22/2011, 11:42 am

I was amazed at how easy they are to take care of. We have lost many fish as pets, but we spend more time taking care of our cats than we do the chickens. As it relates to square foot gardening you can grow 1 chicken per square foot (that's not in Mel's book), but you have to move the square feet every day. We have four full time chickens and we love to watch them slowly graze across the yard. They are a Buff Orpington, Red Star, Araucana, and Black Australorp. They make great fertilizer. gardening has never been easier since we got the hens.

for anyone interested I wrote a post on our blog about our decision to get chickens here.

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Re: I ordered Chickens!

Post  boffer on 2/22/2011, 11:58 am

The one thing I found to be true is that chickens take less time to tend to than cats or dogs. I haven't integrated my chickens with my SFG other than composting the poop, and goodness, do they ever poop a lot.

A few other forum members have chickens

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t1203-chickens-and-the-sfg
http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t4419-hey-boffer-i-finally-got-my-chicken-tractor
http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t2002p15-the-chickens-have-come-home-to-roost

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Re: I ordered Chickens!

Post  FarmerValerie on 2/22/2011, 12:18 pm

My favorite pet are my guppies, they help out in the kitchen garden, when I change water or clean tanks, they help fertilize, and we have the occasional funeral out there too. I had to separate them though, they were producing faster than I could keep up.

I would like to eventually add chickens and a tractor or two, but alas, the chicken coop (or as my grandson calls it chicken poop) is not yet finished....

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Re: I ordered Chickens!

Post  ribarr4 on 2/22/2011, 2:06 pm

One thing that we did that you may think about when you start building the coop or tractor is that we built our tractor so that it fits perfectly on our 4'x8' beds. Once we are finished with that bed we don't even clean it up. We just drag the tractor on top of the bed and keep them on there for about two weeks. When we take them off it is cleaned up and fertilized. If your interested let me know. I have some pics somewhere, but I will have to dig them up.

We also raise tilapia and catfish and we use their poo to in the garden as well.

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Re: I ordered Chickens!

Post  FarmerValerie on 2/22/2011, 4:24 pm

I did hop on over to your blog and read ALL your articles on chickens, thanks, and I did see your tractor, I have seen a few others that I like too, and when I get ready I'll holler to see if you have another picture or two. I want tractors for my rabbits too (when they too arrive), I have BIG plans, a bad back, and a busy husband.

After reading one of your posts it reminded me that at one point I had considered making a "chicken run" around the garden (basically a double fence), I may try that eventually, but we live in the country, and the neighbors dogs (and let's face it mine too) may have other ideas for my chickens so things have to be in place before getting any livestock that will actually earn it's keep. We do have a coop that is near finished, but other things have been moved ahead of finishing that for now, which is fine with me. I do want a completed coop before tractors, as I said the dogs around here, and some coyotes too, need to be kept out, so my chickens may be put up each night if I get a tractor. We dug 6" deep around what we have done, and filled it with broken glass and tile, so anything trying to get in, won't get far.

I have a spot picked out for a fish pond, but we may go with brim not sure yet. Hubby heard somewhere it's now illegal to raise your own tilapia, at least around here.

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Re: I ordered Chickens!

Post  ribarr4 on 2/22/2011, 8:37 pm

If your just getting them it will be a few weeks before you need a coop outside to put them in. We are lucky here that we don't have to deal with any predators. Even friends in another part of Nashville have to protect their chickens more than I do. like the idea of filling the trench with stuff to discourage invaders.

Good luck,

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Re: I ordered Chickens!

Post  Aub on 2/23/2011, 10:56 am

What about flying? I'm right smack in the center of town and I can't have my chickens getting out of the fence. We have a huge yard that is fenced with a regular chain link fence I think it's 4 foot tall. Will they get out? I've had other birds as pets and I would clip their wings would that help with chickens?

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Re: I ordered Chickens!

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