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Posted: 5/24/2008 1:45:34 PM EST
[Last Edit: 6/5/2008 6:05:21 PM EST by leoismydog]
Well Today is my fist day of being a proud chicken father. We went to a "local" ( about an hour drive) chicken swap today and Brought home some babies.
We Got
7 Rhode Island Reds
4 Buff Orpingtons
4 Americanas Or the easter egg chicken, she's going to love the differant colored eggs
9 Guineas Great Bug control.

They will be a great source of eggs/meat as a SHTF food back up also. They will be able to free range so feed costs will be limited.
Any body else got chickens, would love any tips from you, have the coop i have to build also if you have suggestions.
When i get the camera charged i will post pic's of the little buggers.

ARFCOM STYLE
These are the little guys, now there not so little. They can almost get out of there now. They will move to the large brooder as soon as the fence is around the coop.


Outside temp pen for the big guys, they dont need heat anymore

Another closer

Night time Brooder for the larger chicks


Basic Framing of the coop


Floors in, Wire the poop falls through.

Close up floor


My helpers


Coops construction is finished now will post more pics when the fence is in place. I should be putting them in the coop/run sunday (i Hope)
The Coop will house all the chickens and the guineas, there's nest boxes and access from outside the fence.The to get to the eggs waters and, feeder without having to go inside the pen area. This has been a learning experiance. Every one that ask me why, i just tell them for Shi*s and Giggles, and ask them if they like Eggs. They dont need to know this is part of my long term preps, or that im even preping. I also tell them about there bug eating habits that will be of great use, less chemicals. So who's got dibs on the second batch of eggs, and the BBQ wings.

Link Posted: 5/24/2008 2:00:02 PM EST
Chickens are great...

That said, I lost 6 Hens and our Rooster this morning to a hungry Fox... I am not really bent about the laying hens but we did lose our pet Rooster.

Curiosity might have killed the cat, but greed killed the fox. No4 shot tumbled him when he tried to get back in the pen for No 8.

I got Dwarf goats to keep a larger critter near my chickens.. Most of the hens were killed in the goat pen. Guess who is going to the freezer now?

I am now down to 2 laying hens and 2 10 week chicks. McMurry was listing only males were available for pretty much the rest of the year. Off I go looking for new birds.
Link Posted: 5/24/2008 2:09:10 PM EST
RIR's can be rather mean, just FYI

they need a LOT of water for their size, do NOT let them run out of water.
We currently have about 116 chickens on the property. 50 of them are meat birds (raised soley for meat), they'll be gone in about 2 more weeks. (5lbs in 7 weeks, insane)

Easter Eggers are pretty birds, lay good eggs.
Lots of ventilation on the coop
do a search, there are a couple of chicken threads recently.

Link Posted: 5/24/2008 2:10:01 PM EST
Oh, Buff Orphingtons are great birds. calm, pretty, big,
Link Posted: 5/24/2008 2:16:14 PM EST
If you have kids,--Don't name or make a pet out of something you plan to eat
Link Posted: 5/24/2008 2:26:18 PM EST
[Last Edit: 5/24/2008 2:27:01 PM EST by leoismydog]
That sucks about the fox,,, Be watchful af McMurry's i have heard of a few problems from them recently, Check out the backyardchickens.com
I heard the RIR can get fiesty, and thanks for the extra water part. I plan to have a self filling waterer connected to a 55 gal drup filled with rain water from coops roof.
And no Kids judt me and Momma, right now, but still no names, she gets attached easly.

The meat birds are they the cornish X ???
Link Posted: 5/24/2008 4:00:20 PM EST
[Last Edit: 5/24/2008 4:01:39 PM EST by Cacinok]
we have 3 layers and 10 six week old chicks. we have another 10 chicks on the way and 7 or 8 guineas coming as well. unless you like doing an egg hunt every day, get some roost boxes up for the chickens to lay in. our older chickens wander around the house throughout the day hunting bugs and end up back in our goats loafing shed at night where they sleep. the three we have are a lot smarter than some bantams we used to have. a couple of the bantams kept flying into our dog yard.

we only feed the older chickens during the winter months.
Link Posted: 5/24/2008 4:31:03 PM EST
I'm going to my friends house tomorrow. He has chickens and horses. I'm going to take a lot of notes...a lot of pictures too.
Link Posted: 5/24/2008 4:54:50 PM EST
[Last Edit: 5/24/2008 4:57:06 PM EST by HistoryGradStudent]
I have about seven barred rocks and 13 red stars. I tried buying the red stars through mcMurray but the delay was too much so I ended up buying them through Cackel Hatchery....the were in good shape. I actually ordered 25 egg laying chicks but they sent 26 birds, one extra as a bouns...same breed too! I split them up between a myself and a friend...if not mistaken they were cheaper than McMurray.

I love those RedStar hens...they are so friendly, you can pet them like a dog when they are feeding at some grain you put down on the ground. I will eventually thin the herd to red stars only! I have two chicken tractors I keep them in, but early in the morining before I go to work I unlock the pens and let them free range all day, at night they go back into the pen and I simply latch the door....chickens are kinda neat to have around.
I ve heard when the hit egg laying age put a few golf balls into each nest box and that will stimulate them to lay eggs.
Link Posted: 5/24/2008 5:29:56 PM EST
I have 9 RIRs. The 4 I got from another local will make you bleed when grabbing eggs. I use jersey gloves now.
Link Posted: 5/24/2008 5:52:04 PM EST
Anyone buy from Meyer Hatchery?

Their prices are better than McMurray and McMurray seems to be only shipping males anytime soon....

I looked at the hatchery listed above but they didn't seem to have any Ameraucanas. Our pet rooster was one and he was pretty laid back so I would like to get another.

To the above poster about being cut.. I had a hen nip my toe when I was collecting eggs in flip flops.. Only time I ever have been touched by them. I am guessing she thought it was some food or a rodent..
Link Posted: 5/24/2008 6:11:27 PM EST
I've got a 12x12 coup with 8 laying boxes and a 3 tier roost, 20x40 range. 26 hens in all, with that a 20x40 run, and need little food, one scoop of mash and one of cracked corn every other day. Just have a something the critters can't get in and your golden. I've got top wire over my run because of falcons like to snatch the little ones.

cruzer
Link Posted: 5/24/2008 8:14:56 PM EST

Originally Posted By spccruzer:
I've got a 12x12 coup with 8 laying boxes and a 3 tier roost, 20x40 range. 26 hens in all, with that a 20x40 run, and need little food, one scoop of mash and one of cracked corn every other day. Just have a something the critters can't get in and your golden. I've got top wire over my run because of falcons like to snatch the little ones.

cruzer

what do you mean by run vs range? i thought a run was a covered area and range was free? so how is the range 20x40 or is that a fenced in yard they dont leave??? Thanks
Link Posted: 5/24/2008 8:42:22 PM EST
I like the idea of raising your own food. However with chickens I would worry about the Avian Flu. It seems that the only ones really getting it right now in Asian and such are those who deal with their own poultry. Am I off base here?
Link Posted: 5/25/2008 3:06:33 AM EST
Asian's live with their birds (in the house), I mean, duh, simply not going to happen here. (well, maybe the barrios of L.A., but typically no)

We've ordered from meyer once, they were fine. In fact, that's where we got the meat birds. We've probably ordered probably 250 birds from McMurray and maybe 2 have been males (supposed to be females), that's damn good. The only gaurantee 90%.
Meyer we got 50 meat birds (doesn't matter) and 5 real rare birds (raising for someone else to 7 weeks) and 1 of those 5 is a male. (opps)

Yes, the meat birds are Cornish X. At 5 weeks old they all weigh 4lbs plus !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I've never seen anything eat so much in all my life. You actually have to pull the food at night or they will overeat and outgrow their bones!!!

Speckled Sussex are probably the prettiest of the birds we have. Black (and red) sex links are just egg laying machines, truly amazing.
Link Posted: 5/25/2008 3:09:05 AM EST

Originally Posted By HistoryGradStudent:

I ve heard when the hit egg laying age put a few golf balls into each nest box and that will stimulate them to lay eggs.


yeah, this works, it makes them lay eggs in the nest boxes. (instead of on the ground)

We had one chicken who early on wasn't getting the whole nest box thing and kept laying on the ground. One day, after plowing snow for a couple hours (job), I go back to the house and start collecting eggs, all the chickens are in the coop because it's cold outside and they want to see what treats I'm bringing them and bam, I step on the egg. smush.

that chicken has never laid on the ground since. (none of them has). Guess that was an eye opener for the chickens.
Link Posted: 5/25/2008 4:34:45 AM EST
Unless confined to their run, my girls would lay everywhere except the nest boxes. My Beagle was eating approximately 8 eggs a day. I think the whole cholestrol will kill you thing is crap now. I was enjoying the absolute bug free spring/summer so I figured it was worth it as we gave away the extra eggs. I was down to collecting 2 a day. Almost a year later, he is still searching the yard for eggs.. silly dog.. I wouldn't try it at home folks.. his gas would clear out the house. I was amazed that something so horrible could come from something so small. Yes to the parents out there, it was worse that any diaper I have ever changed.


ok, back on topic.. I will give Meyer a call and see what they have available.
Link Posted: 6/5/2008 6:07:26 PM EST
Added Pics
Link Posted: 6/6/2008 6:57:23 AM EST

Originally Posted By Longboat:
Anyone buy from Meyer Hatchery?

Their prices are better than McMurray and McMurray seems to be only shipping males anytime soon....

I looked at the hatchery listed above but they didn't seem to have any Ameraucanas. Our pet rooster was one and he was pretty laid back so I would like to get another.

To the above poster about being cut.. I had a hen nip my toe when I was collecting eggs in flip flops.. Only time I ever have been touched by them. I am guessing she thought it was some food or a rodent..


Just placed an order with them for 11 buff orpingtons and 25 meat birds. Family members have been pleased with Meyer as well.

Something was in my coop at 3:30 this am. Lots of cackling and I saw a chicken run from the coop across the yard. I saw another one as I was leaving for work at 4:30.

I'll see how many are actually alive when I get home. I think the rooster is dead.
Link Posted: 6/6/2008 7:19:40 AM EST
How much room would you need to let a dozen or so feed themselves?I've been thinking about getting some but I'm an absolute rookie when it comes to this stuff. A buddy of mine told me to keep a rooster around for the hens,he said it makes them lay eggs more/better.Anyone else heard this?Thanks guys.
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