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Thread: Chickens

  1. #1
    Senior Member Woodster's Avatar
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    Chickens

    We are going to be moving to a new home in about a year, and I'm seriously thinking about raising a few chickens for eggs. We'll be in the county, so they'll be permissible. Has anyone done this, and other than having fresh eggs (bonus) is it worth the time/expense? Other than knowing about a few different breeds, I know nothing about the care and upkeep of said hens! When I was a kid, my grandparents had a neighbor whose chicken laid multi-colored eggs - the Aracauna (sp?)or Americana. Thanks for any personal input!

  2. #2
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    I don't know that it is cost effective to have several chickens for the fresh eggs but it probably would be fun (and a lot of work)

  3. #3
    Super Member Crqltr's Avatar
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    Not sure about how hard it is..mom had chickens and enjoyed the eggs and such. But it has to have heat and don't forget time away from home is limited unless you have very good friends.

  4. #4
    Super Member Annaquilts's Avatar
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    Yes to both posts above. That said having chickens is way easier then having milk goats, which we do. Another point is chickens seem to bring a lot of flies and their poo is mushy. They will also get at everything in your yard. You also do not need a rooster in order for them to lay eggs. This is nice to know because rooters can be mean and loud. I really like keeping chickens, both for eggs and meat.
    Anna Quilts

  5. #5
    Junior Member MDQuilter's Avatar
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    If you're going to have a few chickens, it's really not that cost effective unless you plan to sell the eggs, so you would need more than a few chickens. Each chicken will lay an egg a day (depends on age and type of chicken though) and not all year round. Our chickens (ISA browns) laid in the spring through the fall and only after their first year. They are fun to raise and not all that hard. Get a good coop and, preferably, a fenced in area for 'free-ranging' and you're good to go. There are other issues involved, but it's really not bad at all. Ours were hand raised, so they were comfortable with us and when we sat outside or walked around, they would follow us around. I'm using past tense because a fox (or something) got into our coop a few months back...sad time. My daughter still isn't over it. But we plan on starting again in the spring.
    ~Kala

  6. #6
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    If you want to raise chickens, go for it. If you only want them for the eggs, think twice. Eggs are not that expensive and by the time you make a coop, buy the birds and equipment it might not be cost effective.

  7. #7
    Super Member buslady's Avatar
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    My DD decided to raise chickens. Started out for food. One batch of 40, then a second batch was joined by 6 hens. Which turned out to be 5 hens and a rooster. LOL The meat is delicious, and after 6 months they are getting eggs. They free range through the day, then go in the pens at night. When they started laying, they were all over the place, so DSIL built boxes for them in the hen house. The kids love them, and DD and SIL do, too. They did get into the garden and ate 2 cabbage plants, and one day DD was looking for a rouge bird when SIL pointed above her head. The Chicken was sitting on the top of the door she was standing in!! All she thought was, "thank goodness it didn't poop". I was talking to her on the phone the other day. She was sitting on the steps in the garage, and one of her chickens came up and sat on her shoulder. I was amazed they would get that friendly! Dirty little creatures they are! We raised them one time and had one that just wouldn't be caught. I am sure he knew what was in store for him. He would corner me in the house and not let me out. Mean little thing pecked at your legs. I called a neighbor and asked him to come kill it for me. He wouldn't do it, but DH finally did after he chased our daughter all the way to the neighbors pecking at the back of her legs. Have fun. Do it cause you want to, I don't think you will find it cost effective. They eat more than you might think.
    Onalee Rose
    "There comes a time in your life, when you walk away from all the drama and people who create it. You surround yourself with people who make you laugh. Forget the bad, and focus on the good. Love the people who treat you right, pray for the ones who don't. Life is too short to be anything but happy. Falling down is a part of life, getting back up is living."

  8. #8
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    I like having a few chickens around..3or 4. You will need a fenced in,over-the- top wired outside pen...preferably with 18. Inches of chicken wire flat on the ground,outside the edge of the pen..to prevent varments from digging in. The wire over the top should keep the hawks and raccoons out. You will need a home for the chickens with nesting boxes and a roost inside. You can't beat the flavor of really fresh eggs. In the country,you'll likely have a septic tank. My chickens eat all the fruit or vegetable scraps( they don't like orange peels). They eat all my weeds a,corn cobs etc.
    I put straw under neath the roosts where most of the poop lands...then have some kid clean the chicken house 2 wice a year,putting all the stuff in a pile to compost. I pay a kid $ 100 an hour...it takes 20 minutes! The roosters are abusive,so I eat them. The hens are very fun to have as farm pets. PM me more more info

  9. #9
    Super Member Kitsie's Avatar
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    I love my hens! No, probably not cost effective but those eggs with the deep yellow yolks - soooo good! Not very expensive really. I have between 2 and 4 at any given time and a bag of layer feed lasts me more than a month. Mine have the run of the backyard during the day so get to eat lots of weeds, bugs, worms and what-have-you. Flies are NOT a problem even tho I live on a horse farm. I love the look of the brown eggs and wouldn't want to be without my chooks.

    We have coyotes and hawks around but even tho my wire is only 36" tall and not buried in the ground I've had no losses. Probably just lucky. Neighbors do cover their pens.
    Last edited by Kitsie; 08-23-2013 at 08:19 AM.
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  10. #10
    Super Member orangeroom's Avatar
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    Hi, dh has chickens. I've heard about others who have them too. They can be as time consuming as you let them be. Dh spends a lot of time and money on his birds. He's built two mobile coops; one on running gear and the other on a trailer. Both can be hooked up to the hitch and moved with the van. The running gear one can be moved by 2 strong people if desired. That way the hens get fresh green grassy area every week. If you want to pick his brain, pm me and I'll get you in touch with him. Good luck!
    Go forth and sew!

  11. #11
    Super Member Annaquilts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IreneAdler View Post
    The roosters are abusive,so I eat them.
    We'd raise them from a mixed batch of chicks and as soon as one started crowing he became dinner.
    Anna Quilts

  12. #12
    Super Member Kimkankwilt's Avatar
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    OH my gosh are you lucky!!! I lived outside of the city for 13 years and we had chickens and I love, love, love fresh eggs. They're soooo much better. But, just be sure to candle each egg before cracking em in a dish. One time, it was a chicken that wasn't quite ready to hatch and that was yucky!! (You'll only do that once, and then you will candle every single egg...unless you have no roosters). Also, don't expect white eggs. They'll be brown, green, blue, speckled...but white eggs come from chickens that are given hormones...at least that's what I was told.

    Have fun!!! and baby chicks really are cute at Easter time....
    Dream as if you'll live forever. Live as if you'll die today.

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  13. #13
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    I was surprised to see this topic when I logged on. My husband recently decided he'd like a few chickens again so he could have fresh eggs. He takes care of them and although it isn't very time consuming, it would definitely be cheaper to buy eggs. Having said that though, if you read, the very fresh eggs are far more nutritious than those from the store.

    If you go to the McMurray website, and maybe even request a catalog, you can read all about the various types of chickens so you can get the one suited for you. We got ones that do well in cold climates since we have very cold winters. He also bought the book, Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens, which is said is excellent and supposed to be the best book on the subject.

    We got our chickens through the mail from McMurray. We got the minimum order of 15 and all arrived safe and well. Good luck!

  14. #14
    Super Member Tink's Mom's Avatar
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    One of our neighbors is raising chickens. Their coop is located less than 60 feet from my bedroom window....let's just say that I know when one of them is laying an egg, because the hen announces it LOUDLY. This usually happens at around 5:30 to 6:30 am.
    I like these neighbors and don't want to cause problems...but I'm not sure it is legal for these chicken in the city. It isn't the nicest way to wake up in the morning...but, I've had worse.
    Tink's Mom (My name is really Susie)

  15. #15
    Super Member ube quilting's Avatar
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    Raising some chickens for eggs is not the only benefit from them. They are very peaceful and calming. Keep them clean and flies should be little problem. A good sturdy coop for their protection, including a covered top (hawks). They also like shade. They will keep bugs and weed seeds low in your garden if you keep one.

    They are a most pleasant and agreeable creature to have around the house.

    Create little covered areas around the yard so they have nearby cover to run to in case any overhead threats come looking for lunch. That's what I did. Even after the girls got to old to lay they remained an integral part of our landscape. Well worth a few handfuls of corn.
    Have fun, do some research and most of all enjoy them.
    peace

    EDIT: I forgot to say, if you have never eaten a fresh laid or one that is organic, you will never forget how good they are. They don't come close to anything you buy in the stores today which can hardly be called eggs anymore.

    MM MMM good!
    Last edited by ube quilting; 08-23-2013 at 12:55 PM.
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  16. #16
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    White eggs come from a specific variety of hen,,,,nothing to do with potions given the chickens.
    Life may not be the party we planned for,but while we are here we should dance!

  17. #17
    Super Member Lisa_wanna_b_quilter's Avatar
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    Fresh eggs are wonderful. Chicken poo on the porch isn't. Fresh, organic chicken meat is wonderful. Wringing necks isn't. It's a trade off. Lucky for me my neighbor has more eggs than she can use and gives them to me!

  18. #18
    Super Member gale's Avatar
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    We have chickens just because we wanted to have them and also for the eggs. I used to raise chickens in my former life (about 20 yrs ago) so I knew what we were getting into. DH's mom always had chickens when he was little.

    The fresh eggs are much better than store bought eggs. We rarely sell them-only when we get a lot. We give them away to family and we use them ourselves.

    Our chickens are in a coop and enclosed pen, and we just feed them once a week or so (the feeder holds a lot) and make sure they have water every day. Collect the eggs daily and every day I throw them some grass or marked down produce or peels from when we use produce. Tomatoes from the garden that get half eaten by bugs go to the chickens. Also, during and after harvest, we throw corn that spilled when dh was filling the grain bins, and in the summer he saves the wheat that gathers in the bottom of the grain trailer.

    I have a blog about them-I don't blog about them anymore (they haven't really changed at all since the last time I took pictures) but it shows our chicken coop that dh and I built, and the chickens. We've lost 2 hens since the start so we now have 9 hens and 1 rooster.

    http://lookslikechickenscratch.blogspot.com

  19. #19
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    We had 18 chickens and a rooster, we gave them to a man down the road.Just to expensive to feed and alot of work.Kept us close to home also. We raised them from chicks. We found that by keeping a single light bulb burning in the hen house, they layed year round. Loved the big brown eggs tho, and had lots of double yolks. I do miss all those fresh eggs!

  20. #20
    Junior Member willowwind's Avatar
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    FYI, Chickens carry over 60 different diseases, some of which can be deadly. I'd think twice about getting chickens If I were you. Find a farmer friend to get your eggs from.
    Cathy S/Willowwind

  21. #21
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    We have raised bantam chickens and guinea hens for about 10 years. I have 10 - 15 hens and 3 roosters (all hatched here) and1 guinea hen. We got the guineas because they eat ticks and there was a big Lyme disease scare, but I think that chickens do just as good a job on the ticks. I actually love guinea hens, even the noise that they make. The feathers are beautiful and the eggs are small but really good with very hard shells. Baby guineas are beautiful.

    Keeping a few chickens for eggs is not cost effective especially when you give away the eggs instead of selling them like I do. They are so small that we don't eat the meat. They are nice though, and they all have their little personalities. I have one that likes to sit on my foot.

    I don't have any trouble with flies but I have seen a rat, unfortunately. They must be attracted to the food.

    I he we haven't all put you off. If you are interested. There is a website community called BackyardChickens.com. They have loads of Information, an active message board and classified ads, I got a lot of my chickens from the ads.

  22. #22
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    Do get chickens, they are relatively easy to raise and so much fun, they each have their own personalities. I had the most beautiful rooster, Robbie, and 13 hens, all named of course, but had to give them to a friend after my husbands's heart transplant, with his compromised immune system he would be very susceptible to the viruses in bird feces. I would let my birds free range during the day so the eggs were so rich the yellows were orange and the taste magnificent. The birds picked in the horse paddock so we had very few flies. We had to put a light bulb with a reflective shied in the coop during the winter to keep them from freezing, their combs would get a little frost bite but that grows out. I spoiled ours, I would buy them a slice of watermelon as a treat and a large can of Friskies wet cat food once or twice a week. They loved both and the protein in the cat food made their eggs huge and the shells hard. We would love to have chickens again but DH doc says it isn't worth the risk. Good luck, have fun!

  23. #23
    Super Member amyjo's Avatar
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    I used to raise chickens and sell the eggs. I also raised roosters and sold them as butchered fryers. I also milked cows and sold the cream. As long as you keep the pens cleans and put straw or some other type of bedding in there it doesn't stink, no flies unless you never clean it. I live on a farm and always kept the chickens in the pen, so no poo at the house or in the yard. Those eggs had the light yellow yolk which all my customers wanted because they didn't like the taste of eggs from chickens that ate mustard and a few other choice weeds which went to the egg yolk. I sold many dozens per week, had them yr round --no heat in bldg-they got hot water to drink and mash to eat. There were enough chickens in the bldg that they made their own heat. Just had to pick the eggs more often in the winter so they didn't freeze. Had an egg washer, never candled an egg because I never had roosters with them. I always sold my yr and half old hens to a neighbor and she kept the last ones for about 6 yrs til they died. She got eggs everyday from them yr round.

  24. #24
    Super Member roserips's Avatar
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    We have 2 chickens and call them the girls, Charlotte and Minnie. They range the yard and surrounding areas during the day and at night go in their house. Yes I love their eggs they are the best and provide us with what we need. I send the grandkids out egg hunting when they are over and they have fun hunting where the girls have decided to lay most times in the coop but sometimes in the yard. Don't bother with roosters as they are MEAN that's why they are such good eating! Our girls seem to do just fine in the neighborhood that is full of cats and stray dogs, but we do not clip their wings. That is so they can get away. Get some chickens and enjoy.

  25. #25
    Super Member lawsonmugs's Avatar
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    I have had chickens most of my life. Even growing up in san francisco we had a few. For the last 30+ yrs I have had dozen or so at a time. I get plenty of eggs spring-fall for myself and a few other families.Most lay every other day.sometimes more.I sell fresh eggs when I have extra for $1 a dozen.This helps with feed costs.Since I have a 65 acre farm I let them run free.They keep the bugs down and even eat ticks.They scratch the leaves looking for bugs so that helps keep them fluffed so they are easier to burn in the fall(the leaves)lol.I love watching them. Some people have fish to watch.I have chickens.We have a walk in chicken house and a large pen attached to it. On snowy days or muddy days we just leave them penned up.Otherwise we feed and let them out in the morning. 5 minutes work at the evening just before dark we collect eggs and close them up,another 5 minutes. Not that much work. having a large house and pen makes for alot less cleaning up. I hope you enjoy your chickens and eggs. Mary
    Mary

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