Chickens

Signed-In Members Don't See This Ad
Signed-In Members Don't See This Ad
Joined
Dec 22, 2017
Messages
722
Location
Wolf Creek Montana
I had chickens for several years, Rhode Island Reds. Nice big brown eggs and they were very friendly. I did keep them in a large coop however. Had a Rooster named Ricky. He was mean and like to defend the coop space and many times would "fly" at me with his spurs raised. Stopped that one night be hitting him across the coop with a pan. The only suggestion I have is stay away from roosters. They can be mean and depending where you live they can be annoying to neighbors when they crow. Ricky crowed all day long but we lived in a very rural area. But...you can't beat fresh eggs off your spread. There is a big differene from store bought.
 

edicehouse

Member
Joined
Jun 8, 2011
Messages
3,468
Location
Suffolk, VA
I had chickens for several years, Rhode Island Reds. Nice big brown eggs and they were very friendly. I did keep them in a large coop however. Had a Rooster named Ricky. He was mean and like to defend the coop space and many times would "fly" at me with his spurs raised. Stopped that one night be hitting him across the coop with a pan. The only suggestion I have is stay away from roosters. They can be mean and depending where you live they can be annoying to neighbors when they crow. Ricky crowed all day long but we lived in a very rural area. But...you can't beat fresh eggs off your spread. There is a big differene from store bought.
Gee way to try and talk me out of it. I am looking at only 3 or 4 chickens, wouldn't be many eggs though I am willing to bet.
 
Joined
Dec 22, 2017
Messages
722
Location
Wolf Creek Montana
Gee way to try and talk me out of it. I am looking at only 3 or 4 chickens, wouldn't be many eggs though I am willing to bet.
Easy way to not get chickens. Make sure you get a couple of roosters, let them age and make sure your wife feeds them and cleans the coop. If the crowing doesn't do the trick, the roosters will. Oh, and another thing, coops draw mice and other unwanted creatures. So if she doesn't like mice or rats or possums and a snake or two then you're kinda on your own with this one. And if you don't feed them a calcium product like crushed Oyster shells, the hens will eat the eggs so you won't get any egss anyway. Like I said in my post, I only had them for several years, took me that long to figure out I didn't want chickens anymore.
 

MRDucks2

Member
Joined
Jul 17, 2017
Messages
1,687
Location
Franklin, IN
Well, I’m 180 degrees opposite of Tom on this one. I think I first got chickens around ‘96 and have had them as often as possible ever since.

Keep in mind, I am a born and bred country boy/backwoods redneck. I can tell you that if you end up with too many roosters, they really aren’t that good for ballistics testing. Not enough mass.

With only 3 or 4 bought locally it is pretty easy to end up with all hens. I always recommend you get rid of any roosters early, they aren’t needed for eggs. Few folks listen.

In my efforts to get only hens over the years I have ended up 15-20 roosters and only 2 wear gentle enough to have around. Good news is that if I put the roosters out of the pen, they will eventually disappear.

If a rooster attacks a grand baby, it’s a death sentence. Otherwise, my roosters have killed snakes, mice, etc.

Hens are a hoot and I love eggs. 3-4 hens will produce 12-24 eggs per week. Often the highest producers are not best “pets”. The neatest looking and most tame hens aren’t the highest producers.

For some years now, we have favored McMurray Hatcheries Fancy Layer Special which gets us a mix of Polish, Cochins and other cool looking birds.

Looking to add some Marans to our current flock to get a dark brown egg and some Aracunas or other true blue egg layers.

Chickens are entertains, give you something back and yes, a little work.


Sent from my iPhone using Penturners.org mobile app
 

lyonsacc

Member
Joined
Aug 31, 2012
Messages
1,575
Location
Cincinnati, OH
We've had backyard chickens for about 8 years or so.
I'd stay away from roosters as they aren't needed for eggs.
After about 3 years the egg production decreases - we take them to a local petting zoo place at that point.
They are in a coop that is about 10 by 14, but we let them out into our fenced back yard during the day. Kind of a pain to open them up each morning and close them up at night. Also - the backyard has chicken poop, so we have certain shoes that we only use in the back.
Not all breeds are the same.
Every now and then we forget to close them up. Once or so a year something makes a meal out of one (we have coyotes in our area).
Plymouth Rock's have a good personality and watch over things
Australops are good egg layers
Araucana/Ameraucana's lay the blue eggs and seem to be pretty mellow
Jersey Giants are large are gentle
Wyandottes are good layers with a good personality
Orpingtons are our favorite. Very friendly personalities.

So - they can make a mess. Some of them are noisy (varies by breed). You will get chicken @%$ on stuff.
It is way cheaper to buy eggs at the grocery store (but they don't taste as good)
 

Timber Ripper

Member
Joined
Dec 28, 2017
Messages
278
Location
Burlington, NJ
We've always kept chickens. High yielding cross linked breads.
One tip I'd like to offer.. Do yourself a favor and construct your housing 16 to 24 inches up off the ground with a 1 inch mesh floor. This will allow their poop to pass through the mesh onto the dirt. And since chickens are constantly scratching the ground, their mess will be scratched into the soil and you'll never have to clean the coop. This has worked for me with 8 hens in 200 sq ft of ground space.
Once a year - usually around early spring, I'll skim off a couple of wheel barrow loads of soil from the coop and swap it with last seasons garden soil. IMG_0815.JPGSITE PICS 016.jpgSITE PICS 017.jpg
 

Gary Beasley

Member
Joined
Sep 18, 2009
Messages
1,058
Location
Marietta, Ga. USA
On a less positive note theres been reports of a large number of salmonella cases from close contact with poultry. They are not pets so you dont want to snuggle with them or let your children play with them. Treat the situation with the respect for sanitation it needs and you should be fine.
 

MRDucks2

Member
Joined
Jul 17, 2017
Messages
1,687
Location
Franklin, IN
On a less positive note theres been reports of a large number of salmonella cases from close contact with poultry. They are not pets so you dont want to snuggle with them or let your children play with them. Treat the situation with the respect for sanitation it needs and you should be fine.
Yeah, you really shouldn’t lick a chicken and you definitely should wash your hands after messing with them. I expect the the increase in reported issues of many kinds go hand in hand with the increased popularity of small flock and backyard chickens... combined with uninformed owners who are also careless.

We keep sanitizer mounted by the chicken pen and everyone knows to use it after the kids and adults play with the chickens. So far, no salmonella issues in 25 years. As noted, sanitation is important. For any pet or livestock, ignorance comes with consequences. There are tons of great sources out there to guide you.


Sent from my iPhone using Penturners.org mobile app
 
Joined
Sep 24, 2006
Messages
7,244
Location
Tellico Plains, Tennessee, USA.
Keep a couple of Guinea hens with your chickens... they lay eggs too and you can't sneak up on them... they'll alert you of varmints sneaking around the hen house.

My grandparents always kept 3-4 Guinea hens with their flock for that very reason... they're more alert than a dog.
 

donstephan

Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2016
Messages
185
Location
Cincinnati Ohio
Through a local 4H program find a family raising chickens and spend a couple hours asking questions and performing daily chicken chores. I enjoyed them thoroughly growing up. I was always told first year hens lay about every other day, and production decreases each year. We would get a dozen chicks every 3 years and put the old ones in the freezer for soup.

If you feed them a mix of "layer mash" and extra cracked corn you will be amazed by the depth of color of the yolks. And I bet you will be very popular with the neighbors.

If in an urban area make sure community rules and regulations allow these "farm animals." I would suggest stout fencing to exclude predators and a shed to protect the chickens from rain and show.
 

KLJ

Member
Joined
Oct 2, 2018
Messages
204
Location
Flat Rock North Carolina
We have had buff orpingtons for several years. They are quiet, good natured and even our rooster doesn't make much noise. Consistently crows at 530 every morning.
They are real broody. Suggestions if possible build your coop big enough for you to walk in without having to bend over to get into it, Also instead of using wood chips on the floor use sand it dries out and you can scoop up just the poop, the sand falls through holes in scoop to be reused, hardly ever needs replacing. It does wonders on the smell compared to having wet, stinking shavings or straw laying around. When I built my fenced in run I dug back about 2 feet ( toward the outside)
and rolled wire on the ground and covered it up to discourage chicken eaters as coons, possums, fox, coyote, skunks, bobcats, and some dogs to name a few we have around from digging in. The rats and mice can be discouraged by not leaving feeders full, you have to feed the daily what they need to eat though.
 

Woodchipper

Member
Joined
Mar 15, 2017
Messages
2,530
Location
Cleveland, TN
Are there any restrictions where you live? Be prepared for a lot of ammonia odor. I get my chicken at the grocery or Zacksby's (sic). Eggs come from Aldi's who beats any prices in town. I know of a house that was on the market for over three years. About the time the house was finished, the guy across the road put up three chicken houses.
 

edicehouse

Member
Joined
Jun 8, 2011
Messages
3,468
Location
Suffolk, VA
Are there any restrictions where you live? Be prepared for a lot of ammonia odor. I get my chicken at the grocery or Zacksby's (sic). Eggs come from Aldi's who beats any prices in town. I know of a house that was on the market for over three years. About the time the house was finished, the guy across the road put up three chicken houses.
We are far out in the country surrounded by fields, so that's not an issue.
 

greenacres2

Member
Joined
May 2, 2017
Messages
903
Location
Northwest IN
My wife is disturbed by the sound of coyotes baying near us. So...every time she mentions wanting chickens i remind her that the coyotes will move closer if we add the chickens.
earl
 

MTViper

Member
Joined
Jul 22, 2009
Messages
553
Location
Clyde, Texas
My intro to chickens came when I was in high school. My dad came home one day and told me he'd found me a job (words that struck fear in the hearts of my brothers and I). A friend of his was helping build a chicken house. I'd be doing manual labor. So what, how bad could it be? First thing the next morning, I showed up to a 100 x 50 metal building on a concrete slab. They handed me a shovel and told me to dig a trench around it. Little did I know that would be the best job of the day. Other guys were inside the building assembling wire mesh chicken coops, getting ready for the chickens to arrive.

Just before lunch, the chickens arrived - a full semi load of them in flat cages, 15 per cage. I don't know how many cages there were but the truck was stacked about 6 rows high and 40 feet long. Now my job was to take a cage of chickens into the building, carefully open it and take out one chicken, holding it by the legs. Then with the chicken pointed head up, feet down I was to push it through the trap door in the bottom of the cage, and then add 2 more to the cage because the cage builders were not as quick as the ditch digger. A scared chicken "fertilizes" anything beneath it, including your hand. No running water on site. Was not a pleasant lunch.

On a more positive note, my grandfather always had chickens on the farm. He had a chicken house and a coop fenced with a temporary fence. Every spring he'd take the fence down and roll it up then hook his tractor to the house and drag it to another spot. Then he'd put up the fence, shoo the chickens back into the coop, and scoop up the fertilizer for his garden.

I still hate chickens though.
 

CREID

Member
Joined
Jul 23, 2008
Messages
2,878
Location
Vancouver, wa
My intro to chickens came when I was in high school. My dad came home one day and told me he'd found me a job (words that struck fear in the hearts of my brothers and I). A friend of his was helping build a chicken house. I'd be doing manual labor. So what, how bad could it be? First thing the next morning, I showed up to a 100 x 50 metal building on a concrete slab. They handed me a shovel and told me to dig a trench around it. Little did I know that would be the best job of the day. Other guys were inside the building assembling wire mesh chicken coops, getting ready for the chickens to arrive.

Just before lunch, the chickens arrived - a full semi load of them in flat cages, 15 per cage. I don't know how many cages there were but the truck was stacked about 6 rows high and 40 feet long. Now my job was to take a cage of chickens into the building, carefully open it and take out one chicken, holding it by the legs. Then with the chicken pointed head up, feet down I was to push it through the trap door in the bottom of the cage, and then add 2 more to the cage because the cage builders were not as quick as the ditch digger. A scared chicken "fertilizes" anything beneath it, including your hand. No running water on site. Was not a pleasant lunch.

On a more positive note, my grandfather always had chickens on the farm. He had a chicken house and a coop fenced with a temporary fence. Every spring he'd take the fence down and roll it up then hook his tractor to the house and drag it to another spot. Then he'd put up the fence, shoo the chickens back into the coop, and scoop up the fertilizer for his garden.

I still hate chickens though.
We had chickens when I was little and two roosters. One of those roosters was mean. We had it for Thanksgiving dinner. Or so we thought. We had rooster for Christmas dinner that year too. :)
 

sbwertz

Member
Joined
May 11, 2010
Messages
2,895
Location
Phoenix, AZ
There is nothing like fresh eggs right out from under the hens for breakfast. If you can let them run loose during the day and only pen them at night, they will keep down insects all over the yard. Here in AZ they are the best scorpion control you can get. They LOVE scorpions! We always had a few hens running around the stables where we kept our horses as pest control. And the horses found them very comforting. Only problem is that if they have free run of the property during the day, every day is an "Easter egg hunt" to find where they hid their eggs. Roosters are not a problem out in the country, and they taste great! We used to freezer wrap all the roosters we got in a bunch of chicks. Just give them a few weeks to get up to "fryer size."
 
Top Bottom