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Proud Chicken Owners Tribe!

4560 Views 151 Replies 40 Participants Last post by  greenmagick
Hopefully there isn't already one of these but I couldn't find one. This is the place to talk chicken!

I don't have any chickens yet but we plan on getting 2-3 within the month. I know there are a bunch of chicken owners on the board and others that are interested.
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Hello Kitty, We have chickens and I'd love to join your tribe and talk about my experiences. We started about 3 years ago and last year actually added ducks and turkeys to the mix. Right now we have 6 chickens, 2 ducks and 2 turkeys. We are hoping the ducks and turkeys will have offspring, but no signs yet.

We get 5-6 eggs daily from the girls (my hens) and one egg daily from the ducks and one egg sporadically from the turkeys. We are urban homesteaders with 1/3 of an acre and live in a housing neighborhood. The first year we got the chickens, we let them roam free (all 23 of them) and they tore up our yard. Since then, we have made a nice run for them to forage in but to protect my hostas and other precious plants.
Wow! That's so cool! Do you eat the duck and turkey eggs just like chicken eggs? I've never eaten anything but chicken eggs.
Hello! Joining in to talk chickens! We have 8 hennies which we've had for 3 years (or is it 4?). They are laying between 2 and 7 eggs a day. This week I put six fertilized eggs from the neighbors chickens under the broody Buff Orpington. Fingers crossed for baby chicks!

I have heard that duck eggs are very good for making cakes.
Just subbing! I
my hennies!

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I've asked these elsewhere... but what is a good breed to start out with? They'll be for eggs/pets so we'd be in for the long haul with them.

For those w/tractors or knowledge of them, can they be winterized or would we need to build a separate pen for the colder months?
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beemama~ We have a lot of different breeds- here are some thoughts:

Silver Laced Wyandotte: our friendliest hennie- she talks to us!

Buff Orpington: big, friendly bird- great layer- our broodiest bird is a Buffy.

Aracana: just love the blue eggs! they are small and lay small eggs- fewer eggs, too.

We have tried different arrangements for the hennies. Our tractor made of wood with a metal roof was too heavy to move as often as needed. Dh made one out of pvc pipe and plastic poultry netting which is easier to move, but a big wind picks it up like a big kite.

In cold winter areas, you would have to make them a cozy winter house. I always avoid heat lamps because of fear of fires. Our winters in Western Oregon are pretty mild. Dh madethis hen house out of pallets and hay bales. It worked wonderfully, but it would have to be rebuilt every year.
dag, we have a tribe? cool.

2 silkies (inc a roo that may be crowing himself out of a home if he doesn't learn to service my hens properly & give me some chicks), buff & white cochin banties (they are like the size of softballs- too cute), rir, 2 gold comets, 1 australorp, a phoenix that is my love- she is like a pheasant, sleeps in the neighbor's cedar tree (!), comes when she's called, & is the sweetest tamest little thing. if i was starting over (and in the country) i'd have a whole flock of her & let them free-range. she flies well enough to kep away from predators (so far- unlike my cali white, god rest her soul
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That's a great idea for the winter months, that would work in our situation. We could put it between our garage & deck so that would be a little added insulation, too. Now I'm just wondering what we'd do w/all of the hay & pallets every spring.

My dh is going to make an a-frame tractor similar to one of these which I thought would be nice to move around our 1/2 acre in town. We're thinking about getting 3-4 hens.

Silver Laced Wyandotte: our friendliest hennie- she talks to us!
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I won't get my chickens until next month, just trying to learn a lot before they get here. We had to order a minimum of 25 White Rocks from TSC, we also will be getting some turkeys. We will be giving some to a co-worker to raise too. We have a good land base to build on, so now we have to decide on coop design.
my advice is start building now, finesse the design later. they grow much faster than you'd imagine & TRUST ME, you don't want to have a bin/trough full of larger chicks brooding longer than necessary.
Did you all start with chicks or full grown chickens? Just curious.
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We started about a year ago with 4 grown mixed breed hens, a few years old, except one who is many many years old (8?). Then last summer/fall we got 6 more grown birds, including our rooster. One of those birds dies in December. We get 3 eggs on a good day, and we're frustrated cuz we still have to but 2 dozen eggs a week, and sometimes we still run out. We've decided to build them a big fenced in run instead of free ranging so that they won't be able to hide eggs on us, as we suspect they do, and to regain our well-fertilized lawn so the kids have a clean place to play (they are 15 mos and 3.5 years).
TigerTail~ ohh, the Phoenix looks like a real beauty!

Beemama~ that's a beautiful tractor- looks easier to move than ours. As to what to do with the hay bales- well, the chickens are slowly pecking them apart. We'll spread them in some to-be-garden areas if we need to. The pallets you could just stack and use in the fall.

P & A~ I am in awe of your families egg consumption!
Wish I could get you some of ours. Maybe you could share some ways you use your eggs- recipes?

We got our hens as wee babies from the local feed store. They were sexed so we got all hens.

My eggs ate two of the fertilized eggs. Bummer. I put a stone egg into the nest which might teach them not to peck the eggs.
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I hope you don't mind me crashing your tribe.
I found out that my city allows up to 30 chickens on lots smaller than an acre, so I'm seriously thinking about having a (small!) flock of my own. I do have one question: How do you pick which breed(s) you want? I have a few ideas about what features I want (medium-small size, brown eggs, etc), but I have no idea how to narrow it down (books, websites, etc).
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When I get a chance to take a few good pictures of our girls I will post them. We have three hens which we got a week ago. I guess they are "teenagers" for lack of a better word. LOL Not laying yet, and still have a lot of growing to do, but no longer downy.
We have a Red sexlink, a Road Island Red, and a black australorp.
Dh built the best little hen house, which had a pen on the bottom and a roosting place on top. We just let the girls run around the yard, although right now they stay near the hen house and in the shade of the trees.
They are such a hoot to watch. I saw them taking dust baths today. It was so cool. I wish I had had the camera, but I knew if I got up they would stop. So I just watched.
I weeded the garden and tossed them the weeds... holy smokes, they went nuts. Flinging the weeds and scratching all over. And they talk to each other.
It is so sweet.
Our tamest one is the Road Island Red. She lets the kids hold her. The other two run around like chickens.

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Hee, hee! I have been trying for years to convince dh to get chickens (and goats, but that is another thread altogether). We live in a suburban area, and have been adviced against it because of some of the diseases, and the threat of bird flu arriving here. Can anyone shed light on this for me? I would love, love, love to hatch them in my classroom, then bring them home.
Danielle... I'm on a half acre about an hour outside of NYC. I just found out I could keep chickens (including roosters) and just pay $5/each to license having them. I can't fathom having so many birds on my lot!

I'm in the "studyin' before going any further" portion of this tribe. How many years do hennies live?? Hoping it might be more than 5!

Any good books that you experienced ladies refer to often? Any insight on how to feed them well? We can't let them roam completely free--I have to pen them. So I'm concerned about relying on the grass, but don't want to feed them inorganic or processed crap! kwim?
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