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Karma Monkey
Sep 6, 2005

I MAKE BAD POSTING DECISIONS

Dr Scoofles posted:

I'm starting to think this place needs a barnyard subforum.

That would be awesome. I want to see a dairy goat megathread.

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WrathofKhan
Jun 4, 2011


Dr Scoofles: Whatever, broodys are totally awesome. :P

And yes, a barnyard subforum would rock the awesome.

The Mother Road
Feb 24, 2011


Hello all,
We started a chicken flock just over a year ago, and it has been a great success,
After a lot of worrying and hand wringing the chicks grew up fine and healthy.
My children were fascinated by the whole process, and even got their first official
"birds and the bees" lesson (i hope) when the rooster started "man humping" the hens (the kids came up with that phrase).
The flock consists of Wyandotte, Americauna, welsummer, and an egyptian rooster.
We may not get the best production from this mix but the color variation looks fantastic all nestled in the boxes. We get two shades of brown, blue, green, and pink. My wife's co-workers fight over who gets our surplus!
I do have a question for the OP, or anyone else that has kept chickens.
The birds obviously went into a molting phase during the winter, but now in June a few of them still have bald patches mostly on the lower back area. I have examined them up close and see no sign of insects, could the rooster be causing this?
The hens don't seem to squabble or pick on each other much, though I have seen them pecking each other occasionally. The rooster seems to do a good job of breaking up any fighting amongst the hens.
I feed them a complete organic crumble mix plus raw veggie scraps ect (no meat or greasy/salty stuff). They also free range full time on about 3 acres so I don't think overcrowding or boredom is the issue.
Overall the whole experience has been great, after the initial set up they are really low maintenance, and not much of a hassle to keep. The noises they make are very soothing and relaxing for me, and even the coop maintenance has turned out to be a nice relaxing chore!

Like others have said the egg quality is top notch, be warned you will be ruined for commercially produced eggs after you have eaten these.
One last question on predators, does anyone know if the western red tailed hawk is capable of taking a chicken?
I also wanted to chime in on cold weather, we got up to -25 degree temps this winter and it did not faze them a bit, not one speck of frostbite. Just keep the wet poop cleaned out of the coop, and keep the wind off of them and they will do fine.

Dr Scoofles
Dec 6, 2004



GrauFrau posted:

That would be awesome. I want to see a dairy goat megathread.

Now that is something I've been considering for a while, also keeping pigs (like only 2 of them, not commercially) is something I'm interested in learning about and knowing this place there are bound to be experts out there.

Plus, I noticed in the hobbies subforum a beekeeping thread which would fit in better to some kind of self sufficiency/barnyard subforum. Is this the kind of thing I should be taking to the questions and queries subforum? I'm a bit hesitant as it's sometimes a bit of a shooting gallery in there. OK, /derail

Jenny of Oldstones
Jul 24, 2002

Queen of dragonflies

Beliskner posted:

You guys talking about keeping roosters...I always assumed that if you had a rooster you kept it apart from the hens most of the time? And only let him in with them when it was time to make some more chickens.

Do you just eat the fertilized chicken eggs like regular ones? One time I cracked a store-bought egg and a freakin 1/4 inch fetus fell out with blood vessels all running through the yolk and gently caress that sneaky ninja rooster.

I guess if the egg is super fresh or refrigerated immediately you can't even tell the difference, or what?
My husband and I just had a conversation about your question last night. I don't know if it was ever answered (though the rooster one was addressed).

Most mass egg producers keep roosters away and there's no chance of fertilization of the eggs, but if there is, the eggs are safe to eat I think as long as no bacteria is there (also eggs with blood in them aren't necessarily fertilized, but could be just have retained blood from a broken blood vessel during formation of the egg).

People can tell the fertilized and non-fertilized eggs apart by candling.

Anyway, this is a cool thread, and kind of addicting to read. I guess at some point, if we ever have land we would possibly want to raise chickens. A barnyard subforum would be awesome!

WrathofKhan
Jun 4, 2011


Mother Road: That sounds like it could be the result of overmating, especially because of the location. The problem might be that you have too few hens, especially if your rooster is really vigorous. They also make 'hen saddles', which is what it sounds like, a piece of fabric that protects the hen's back.

Pyrotoad
Oct 24, 2010



Illegal Hen

I used to have a bunch of Mille Fleur - three hens and one cockerel. The hens never did much but the cockerel was awesome; he used to hop up onto my shoulders and for some reason, he loved crowing at midnight Whoever it was that said chickens were mini-raptors is right; I once found them happily chowing down on a very unlucky slow worm.

He got taken by a sparrowhawk one day, and his flock was nabbed by a fox a few weeks later. Turns out there was a den of foxes just across the road from my house

Mille Fleur are a type of bantam I believe, and my girls used to give very small but tasty eggs with almost white shells. I guess if you wanted a smaller bird they'd be a good choice.

THOSE FEET FEATHERS OH MY GOD

Chido
Dec 7, 2003

Butterflies fluttering on my face!



My three pullets are mutts and my cockerel is a standard light brahma. He's already the size of a "normal" chicken, and I'm a bit worried about how my girls will handle him when he hits puberty , but seeing how the two bigger girls chest bump with him and he walks away, I'm not worry that much about them. The smaller one, Rusty, seems to be a bantam mix, and he is very "aggressive" with her, probably because she' been sick with a yeast infection. She is very fast, though, so she gets out of the way when he decides to peck her, although that doesn't happen too often now and the for go happily eating bugs and grass in the backyard.

Zeta Taskforce
Jun 27, 2002



Very cool thread. Iím in Boston, and its my understanding that chickens are still illegal here, although they are fine across the river in Cambridge. My sisterís coworker lives in Cambridge and has a small flock, and they really enjoy it.

There is a push to legalize chickens in Boston too. Itís inevitable that there are still chickens here though, but Iím not willing to be the owner of one of these renegade flocks. If it ever becomes legal, I would be very interested. I have a moderately sized back yard and a garage that is about 18 feet by 12 feet. I would probably give them a corner and cut a hole in one of the walls so they have access to the outdoors.

How dangerous are birds of prey in cities? Are there still hawks and falcons patrolling the skies that are a danger? I personally have not seen any, but there have been occasional reports of them making nests around parks or in high rises and eating pigeons. Not sure how much of a risk, or how common they are. Also, how hard is it to balance out chickens with a lawn to the point where they eat the grass to where it doesnít need to be mowed but not to the point where they destroy the lawn?

Dr Scoofles
Dec 6, 2004



Zeta Taskforce posted:

Very cool thread. Iím in Boston, and its my understanding that chickens are still illegal here, although they are fine across the river in Cambridge. My sisterís coworker lives in Cambridge and has a small flock, and they really enjoy it.

Why are chickens illegal? If you don't have a rooster they are not that noisy (unless you really piss them off) - apart from noise trouble I can't think of any real reason to ban em.

Oh, and whilst I'm thinking about my poultry wishlist, along with bantams I'm pretty keen on getting a few Indian running ducks too. Just look at them, and duck eggs make amazing cakes.

Any duck keepers?

Zeta Taskforce
Jun 27, 2002



Dr Scoofles posted:

Why are chickens illegal? If you don't have a rooster they are not that noisy (unless you really piss them off) - apart from noise trouble I can't think of any real reason to ban em.

Oh, and whilst I'm thinking about my poultry wishlist, along with bantams I'm pretty keen on getting a few Indian running ducks too. Just look at them, and duck eggs make amazing cakes.

Any duck keepers?

quote:

All residential zones in Boston forbid "auxilliary keeping of animals", which includes poultry and other livestock.

http://home.centurytel.net/thecityc...hickenlaws.html

I donít know how strictly it is enforced

WrathofKhan
Jun 4, 2011


Zeta Taskforce: The main problem that I've run into with my chickens is that while they like grass, it isn't really their most favorite thing ever, so they tend to try to trash everything else and then move onto the grass. I haven't tried it myself, but the best way to use chickens for lawn control is to get a movable pen, whats usually called a 'chicken tractor'.

Zeta Taskforce
Jun 27, 2002



WrathofKhan posted:

Zeta Taskforce: The main problem that I've run into with my chickens is that while they like grass, it isn't really their most favorite thing ever, so they tend to try to trash everything else and then move onto the grass. I haven't tried it myself, but the best way to use chickens for lawn control is to get a movable pen, whats usually called a 'chicken tractor'.

When you say everything else, you mean the clover, dandelions, weeds, and all the stuff in a lawn besides grass? One of those portable things would be so cool though. Say that I had planted a cover crop in part of my garden like field peas, sounds like they would be able to plow through that and fertilize it at the same time. Nature does such cool things when different species are able to interact.

Dr Scoofles
Dec 6, 2004



Watch out though because sometimes chickens who eat nowt but grass can become crop bound. My chickens love playing on the lawn, but I make sure they spend a good amount of time in a non grassy area too so they hoover up lots of other crap to break up all that stodgy grass.

Dik Hz
Feb 22, 2004

Fun with Science

Zeta Taskforce posted:

How dangerous are birds of prey in cities? Are there still hawks and falcons patrolling the skies that are a danger? I personally have not seen any, but there have been occasional reports of them making nests around parks or in high rises and eating pigeons. Not sure how much of a risk, or how common they are.
The only bird of prey big enough to take down a full size chicken is a great horned owl. Maybe a full grown peregrine could get one, but I doubt it. Bantams are another story. I'd be much more concerned about alley cats than birds of prey for bantams, though.

Zeta Taskforce posted:

Also, how hard is it to balance out chickens with a lawn to the point where they eat the grass to where it doesnít need to be mowed but not to the point where they destroy the lawn?
Impossible. Chickens will pick out the grass roots before they eat the blades.

WrathofKhan
Jun 4, 2011


Zeta Taskforce posted:

When you say everything else, you mean the clover, dandelions, weeds, and all the stuff in a lawn besides grass?

Clover, dandelions, weeds, any flowers you have planted, the vegetable garden, some bushes, any berries or fruit, I mean Everything Else. If you planted peas as a cover crop, the chickens would be more than happy to go in and eat all the leaves, and pods and would probably give the stems a try as well. In my experience they seem to like fresh greens over dry ones, but that may be my birds being picky.

For those who are following the hatching saga, Jean Grey is now sitting on 17 eggs. Five Icelandic (white eggs), Six Ameraucana (blue eggs) and Six Marans (chocolate brown eggs). Two of the Ameraucana eggs are fathered by a Marans rooster, and if they hatch and produce pullets, they will lay a rich olive brown colored egg.

Lyz
May 22, 2007

I AM A GIRL ON WOW GIVE ME ITAMS

So it looks like in the next couple weeks I'll be culling my current herd of egg-eating shitheads, and bringing home some 6 week old Silver-Laced Wyandottes. My question is, is 6 weeks old enough to put in an outdoors coop, or will I have to rig up something indoors for them with a heat lamp (and cat-proofing)?

For reference, here's my current setup:



I would keep them in the coop for probably a good 2-3 months, and then let them roam the yard... the neighbors are cool with trespassing chickens, mostly because the house on the other side of them also has some free range chickens. I always have to do a double take because my neighbor has the exact same mix of breeds too. XD

(If you're wondering why I don't know this already, I got my current herd of chickens when they were already 1+ years old, so not a lot of effort required there. And don't get mad at me for culling them, I've tried everything imaginable to get them to stop eating eggs, but they resist all efforts. I get maybe 2-3 undamaged eggs a week from 4 hens... *sigh*)

its exodus dawg
May 26, 2011

by T. Finn


Lyz posted:


(If you're wondering why I don't know this already, I got my current herd of chickens when they were already 1+ years old, so not a lot of effort required there. And don't get mad at me for culling them, I've tried everything imaginable to get them to stop eating eggs, but they resist all efforts. I get maybe 2-3 undamaged eggs a week from 4 hens... *sigh*)


You could always adopt them out rather than kill them.

Chido
Dec 7, 2003

Butterflies fluttering on my face!



Lyz posted:

So it looks like in the next couple weeks I'll be culling my current herd of egg-eating shitheads, and bringing home some 6 week old Silver-Laced Wyandottes. My question is, is 6 weeks old enough to put in an outdoors coop, or will I have to rig up something indoors for them with a heat lamp (and cat-proofing)?

For reference, here's my current setup:



I would keep them in the coop for probably a good 2-3 months, and then let them roam the yard... the neighbors are cool with trespassing chickens, mostly because the house on the other side of them also has some free range chickens. I always have to do a double take because my neighbor has the exact same mix of breeds too. XD

(If you're wondering why I don't know this already, I got my current herd of chickens when they were already 1+ years old, so not a lot of effort required there. And don't get mad at me for culling them, I've tried everything imaginable to get them to stop eating eggs, but they resist all efforts. I get maybe 2-3 undamaged eggs a week from 4 hens... *sigh*)

I think you can't let the chicks outside all day and night until they are completely feathered so they can regulate their temperature.

King Skinny Pimp
Oct 24, 2004

by T. Finn


its exodus dawg posted:

You could always adopt them out rather than kill them.

Adopting doesn't end with dinner on the table.

Fluffy Bunnies
Jan 9, 2009

We'll roll on with our heads held high.
Our conscience in the gutter,
Our dreams up in the sky.




its exodus dawg posted:

You could always adopt them out rather than kill them.

If the person is eating them or feeding them to pets or something, I don't really see a big problem with it. There's not many places or people that are going to keep hens that eat their own eggs just for fun pets until the end of their natural life.

Chicken wire question: Does it have to be chicken wire/fencing? Or can it be the really small-spaced mesh? The stuff that's solid metal, not the crap that's like flexible and plastic-y.

Alterian
Jan 28, 2003



Fluffy Bunnies posted:

If the person is eating them or feeding them to pets or something, I don't really see a big problem with it. There's not many places or people that are going to keep hens that eat their own eggs just for fun pets until the end of their natural life.

Chicken wire question: Does it have to be chicken wire/fencing? Or can it be the really small-spaced mesh? The stuff that's solid metal, not the crap that's like flexible and plastic-y.

Don't get chicken wire, get hardware cloth. Its usually sold right next to the chicken wire.

meriruka
Apr 13, 2007



Dik Hz posted:

The only bird of prey big enough to take down a full size chicken is a great horned owl. Maybe a full grown peregrine could get one, but I doubt it. Bantams are another story. I'd be much more concerned about alley cats than birds of prey for bantams, though.



I had a young hawk kill two full size chickens by piercing their necks.
My biggest predator is other people's dogs, despite the fact I'm out in the country with hawks, owls, cats, coyotes, weasels, fox, possums, etc.

silicone thrills
Jan 9, 2008





Dik Hz posted:

The only bird of prey big enough to take down a full size chicken is a great horned owl. Maybe a full grown peregrine could get one, but I doubt it. Bantams are another story. I'd be much more concerned about alley cats than birds of prey for bantams, though.


My coworker lives in S Seattle area and swears that he's had hawks take 3 of his full grown chickens. He said he had them out in the afternoon for a bit of run around time, he would turn around and tend to his garden and then here a squak and then just a few feathers left over.

Raccoons are his biggest problem though.

Jenny of Oldstones
Jul 24, 2002

Queen of dragonflies

meriruka posted:

I had a young hawk kill two full size chickens by piercing their necks.
My biggest predator is other people's dogs, despite the fact I'm out in the country with hawks, owls, cats, coyotes, weasels, fox, possums, etc.
Seems that would be our problem too, including bears. I guess bears like chicken feed too.

Let Them Eat Cake
Jul 2, 2007

* Cake Not Included


How to pluck a chicken? Put up a kill cone, a scalding pot (something to hold boiling water), and make one of these:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jMGZ...feature=related

You can take a bird from clucking and making GBS threads to cleaned and in the oven in under ten minutes even if you're a newbie. A whizbang plucker is the difference between keeping a few roasters and being able to scale up to hundreds if you have the land.

Tig: I'm north of Seattle. Predators up here from most to least problems are: racoons (if you see one shoot it!), neighborhood dogs (gently caress people that don't keep them secure), hawks, golden eagles, and owls. Depending on your area you may have predators of the two legged variety, so always lock your coops at night!

edit: this video shows kill cones and more plucker hilarity http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_OMO...feature=related

Let Them Eat Cake fucked around with this message at 21:49 on Jun 16, 2011

silicone thrills
Jan 9, 2008





Let Them Eat Cake posted:

How to pluck a chicken? Put up a kill cone, a scalding pot (something to hold boiling water), and make one of these:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jMGZ...feature=related

You can take a bird from clucking and making GBS threads to cleaned and in the oven in under ten minutes even if you're a newbie. A whizbang plucker is the difference between keeping a few roasters and being able to scale up to hundreds if you have the land.

Tig: I'm north of Seattle. Predators up here from most to least problems are: racoons (if you see one shoot it!), neighborhood dogs (gently caress people that don't keep them secure), hawks, golden eagles, and owls. Depending on your area you may have predators of the two legged variety, so always lock your coops at night!

edit: this video shows kill cones and more plucker hilarity http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_OMO...feature=related

I'm in North Seattle too. Part of the reason I haven't gotten chickens is I would need a tight loving coop because people around my neighborhood must feed the raccoons. They are bold as poo poo and will walk right up to me during the day when i'm gardening. 20 blocks north of northgate mall.

Let Them Eat Cake
Jul 2, 2007

* Cake Not Included


You can still keep chooks with racoons around. You just have to build an all-in-one coop where they never can get out. You also must make sure the racoons can't dig under or reach through.

My first batch of chickens would free-range during the day and be in a coop at night. Two of the walls had chicken wire walls. The coons would come at night and beat on one side. When the chickens would run to the other side and reach their heads through the wire to get as far away as they could another coon would reach down and break their necks one by one. When the chickens were dead they'd all go and pull as many parts through the wire as they could and then take their haul home.

Lesson learned? Use hardware cloth that is so small the chickens can't get anything at all through it (fingertip sized holes or smaller).

Your neighbors are bastards for feeding the racoons. Those things will seriously gently caress a person up if they get cornered and can carry all sorts of diseases and parasites. They kill cats and even medium sized dogs with ease. They will murder a small child if they have the chance just because they don't give a poo poo, and as you're reaching down to protect the child they'll reach up and bite you in the dick and give you dick rabies before padding off to your back yard to gently caress your rottweiler in the rear end. They are the urban versions of honey badgers ... they aren't squirrels, people!

Lyz
May 22, 2007

I AM A GIRL ON WOW GIVE ME ITAMS

Let Them Eat Cake posted:

How to pluck a chicken? Put up a kill cone, a scalding pot (something to hold boiling water), and make one of these:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jMGZ...feature=related

You can take a bird from clucking and making GBS threads to cleaned and in the oven in under ten minutes even if you're a newbie. A whizbang plucker is the difference between keeping a few roasters and being able to scale up to hundreds if you have the land.

Oh man, I feel so bad for laughing at that video, but it's just so outrageous. Yet effective!

For the record, I won't be killing them and eating them myself - I don't have the heart (although those cones make it look really easy, it's almost tempting), and my husband won't eat any meat with bones in it (so picky).

So my husband's coworker will hook me up with a nice little Brazilian lady in the next town over, who buys hens from him at $3 a piece. Her family gets fed, and I have room for new chickens! My husband should be able to whip up something simple to keep them in for a few weeks, although how he'll feel about them staying in the mud porch... hahaha, we'll see. Should be an interesting discussion. My cats will definitely think it's the best thing ever.

And yeah, gently caress raccoons. I had to deal with a family of them back when I kept geese up in Maine, and I burned through so much grain because they were eating it all. Eventually we started live-trapping them and taking them a good 10 miles away and across a river... the mother raccoon was so big she messed up the cage and that wire was not flimsy. We missed one though, and I think it bred more raccoons, and eventually they started stealing the eggs too.

Down here in Mass, the chicken's main predators are the hawk (which I've seen divebomb my chickens once, and carried off one of my neighbor's chickens), a fisher cat, and something that left big nasty paw prints all over my coop one winter night, but couldn't get in. I've been pretty lucky so far and haven't lost any chickens, but I suppose it helps that my coop was basically covered in two feet of snow all winter.

WrathofKhan
Jun 4, 2011


Even if you don't make a plucker, its really easy to pluck by hand, and it isn't that much of a pain if you're only killing one or two at a time.

Chido
Dec 7, 2003

Butterflies fluttering on my face!



I decided to let my possible bantam mix pullet Rusty sleep outsie in the coop again. she has had a yeast infection in her mouth and crop for awhile now, and my light brahma Roostroyer decided to peck her rather hard when eating from their feeder, and at dusk, when they are scrambling to sleep inside the coop. I thought it was because she was looking sick, but she's doing much better now and he doesn't chase her as much.

However, I'm a bit concerned. All my chickens are about 2 1/2 months old, is it possible that my rooster will keep pecking at her, bullying her to use another term, even though none of the other two pullets attack her, and rusty always runs away and avoids him? If he doesn't chase her but only pecks at her during feeding time and randomly when she's laying down taking a sun bath, should I worry he might hurt her seriously?

Bonus picture: my steamed buns cooling down under a small lemon tree (ignore Rusty's purple stains on her face, it's part of of her treatment).

smitz
Nov 5, 2003



If you want to get into meat birds, a great source I found is your local city's chicken owners yahoo email list. The austin one has about 1 email per week about "one of my ladies turned out to be a dude and is starting to crow, does anyone want a rooster ". I'll usually reply and say "if you can't find anyone to adopt it, I'll take it, give it a few happy weeks with my ladies, and then butcher it.". I've gotten about 15 young roosters so far in about 2 years, and there could have been many more but I'm lazy.

edit: you can make your DIY plucker out of a spraypaint lid, drill some holes into it, thread some rubber bungee cord through the holes, and mount the whole thing on a drill in a vice. While it spins in place, just hold the bird against it, works almost as well as a tub / rubber finger plucker.

remote control carnivore
May 6, 2009


So my friend is moving out of state to go to grad school, and I'm moving into her farmhouse in August. She's taking her hens with her (along with my current egg supply ), but there is the existing coop, which she said I was free to repopulate.

Would it be worth it go ahead and get some hens at the end of summer, or would I be better off waiting until spring? FWIW I'm single, but my friends and relatives want sweet sweet farm eggs (3 families x about a dozen eggs a week per family).

e: also bring on the dairy goat thread, I'd really be into that.

ChloroformSeduction
Sep 3, 2006

THERE'S NO CURE FOR BEING A CUNT, SO PLEASE KEEP REMINDING ME TO SHUT THE FUCK UP

This is super exciting - I was thinking of checking about a BYC thread, since I couldn't find one in A/T or the pet forum. I grew up with chickens on a ranch/acreage, had talked some stable friends into getting some (that I was doing most of the maintenance on, since I didn't have the space), and now finally have a yard to keep my own. My current set up is the Eglu, since my sister had an extra one (because of renos and other things, she went off chickens for a little while), and I'm going to be upgrading to the Eglu Cube this summer. Because I'm in an urban environment, they suit my set up much better than a traditional coop, though if we moved out of the city, I would probably build something.

My neighbours here were a little doubtful at first, I think. But so far, the chickens don't bother them at all, and they seem to spend some time watching them since they keep me up to date on flock dynamics.

My current chickens are quite young, at about the 8 week mark. Two Ameraucanas (though I have my doubts, and are probably easter eggers), one Welsummer and a Gold Laced Polish. One of the Ameraucanas is a rooster, as it turns out so I'll be bringing him back and getting another pullet. I am getting two more next month, a Mille Fleur and a Blue-Laced Red Wyandotte.

GrauFrau posted:

What are some of the breeds and their differences?

Generally, you have some breeds that are meant for laying, some for meat, some that are dual-purpose, and then ones that tend to be all-around useless (silkies... I'm sure there's a reason for them, but I can't find it.) For the average BYC person, the chicken are going to be a cross between egg producer and pet, so you want some that are good at both. For example, Leghorns, as others have mentioned, can be quite dickish even though they're some of the best for egg production, so if you have kids that want to interact a lot with the chickens, they might not be your best choice.

ZoneManagement posted:

How do they react around cats? I'd guess the majority of cats would be too small to go after a full grown chicken, but my cats enjoy just about every small prey that enter my yard. And aren't birds of prey an issue?

I've never seen a full-grown, healthy chicken taken down by a cat, but they do hold a certain fascination for them. My cats' favourite windows are now the ones that overlook the run, and the cats of my immediate neighbors will just sit on the grass and observe. I've no doubt that they've tried to take the odd swipe through the wire, but I haven't actually seen it.

Metamucil posted:

Don't they fly? I would think that a large part of the appeal of suburban chickens is that they can be contained by a fence. If that didn't matter, I'm pretty sure everyone would be raising something more awesome, like peafowl.
Uh, assuming that you've never been around peafowl? Especially during mating season? Awful, awful animals. If I had a huge farm, I might like one or two just for fun, but they're incredibly loud, and can be really territorial. I work in a park where they had some resident ones left over from a zoo. One of the peacocks got into the office one night right before we left, wandered into a conference room and somehow got locked in for the night. The next morning was the sr managers meeting at 7 am, and... well. The peafowl were relocated within the week.

As far as the flying, most of the heavier breeds are pretty much groundbound when they're fully grown. They can sort of glide a bit, especially when they're younger and lighter, so you can clip one of their wings until they get heavier to keep them from getting out of the yard when they free-range.

Lyz posted:

So it looks like in the next couple weeks I'll be culling my current herd of egg-eating shitheads, and bringing home some 6 week old Silver-Laced Wyandottes. My question is, is 6 weeks old enough to put in an outdoors coop, or will I have to rig up something indoors for them with a heat lamp (and cat-proofing)?


I really like your set up! Generally, the rule of thumb is 8 weeks, BUT... keep in mind, it's June, soon to be July. Depending on where you are, if it's fairly warm at night, they should be fine. I put mine out early because it was spring, and when I closed the coop at night, they kept it pretty warm with their body temperature and insulation. If you're in a warmer area of the country, you should be fine this time of year.

Karma Monkey
Sep 6, 2005

I MAKE BAD POSTING DECISIONS

Ok, so there are lots of chicken folks here, so I want to ask - what's the deal with very thin, watery egg whites? We get eggs from a friend who keeps chickens and sometimes (1 or 2 per dozen) an egg will have a very watery white and a slight greenish tinge. She said it's from their diet and vitamins she gives them and that the eggs are safe, but I can't bring myself to use them. FWIW, they smell fine. I give them to our dog and he hasn't gotten sick from it. I just wondered why some whites would be so watery when the rest seem normal in the same "batch." I guess all the watery eggs could be from the same hen... I don't know. to me. Am I just being fussy or am I poisoning my dog?

Alterian
Jan 28, 2003



Save me jeebus posted:

So my friend is moving out of state to go to grad school, and I'm moving into her farmhouse in August. She's taking her hens with her (along with my current egg supply ), but there is the existing coop, which she said I was free to repopulate.

Would it be worth it go ahead and get some hens at the end of summer, or would I be better off waiting until spring? FWIW I'm single, but my friends and relatives want sweet sweet farm eggs (3 families x about a dozen eggs a week per family).

e: also bring on the dairy goat thread, I'd really be into that.

Depends on where you live. If it gets cold in the winter, wait until spring.

Chido
Dec 7, 2003

Butterflies fluttering on my face!



I have question about chicken behavior: I've already said my light brahma cockerel picks on my smallest pullet, Rusty. She's recovering from a nasty yeast infection and doesn't act sick anymore, so I'm letting her get in the coop with the other chickens at night, so they start getting used to each other again. I take her back inside a bit before midnight to giver her another dose of medstatin, and then put her in a crate. I don't quite trust leaving her in the coop all night as Roostroyer might try to chase her and peck at her while locked in the coop early in the morning.

My question is about their behavior. Am I overreacting? After a couple of hard pecks and glares, and a bit of slow chasing in the coop (I was watching an ready to push him away from Rusty in case he'd get too rough), they all finally settled down. I went to check them about 20 minutes later, and Rusty was sleeping between Roostroyer and Megatron, my light pullet. Should I worry less that he might get too rough and actually hurt her badly, or should i keep letting them be and just watch them in case it gets serious? They are all about 3 months old, give or take a week in between them, will this behavior settle down as they grow?

WrathofKhan
Jun 4, 2011


Chido: What you're describing sounds like normal chicken politics to me, so as long as she's not getting severely beaten up, it might be a good idea to let them sort things out.

GrauFrau: I've never heard of anything like that, some googling indicates that it could be caused by diet and harmless. It'd freak me out too.

Save me jebus: It depends on how cold it is where you live. I live in the desert, and the girls lay through the winter just fine, especially if they get a little bit of supplemental light. Another option might be to get chicks in August or September, that way you wouldn't be feeding non-productive adult chickens, and they'd be ready to lay in the spring.

Chido
Dec 7, 2003

Butterflies fluttering on my face!



WrathofKhan posted:

Chido: What you're describing sounds like normal chicken politics to me, so as long as she's not getting severely beaten up, it might be a good idea to let them sort things out.

I'm a bit concerned since Rusty is very small. Besides being some days younger than the others, she is probably some bantam mix. Roostroyer is already the size of a regular chicken (oh god all that fluff!) so I'm a bit worried about him pecking her. I'll just keep an eye until I see that he doesn't do anything beyond some harsh peckin on her back here and there.

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WrathofKhan
Jun 4, 2011


Oh, he's pecking on her back! If he's just pecking her back, hat isn't him being mean, thats him putting the moves on her. Again, make sure he isn't being too rough on her, but it sounds pretty normal.

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