Author Topic: Chickens  (Read 14638 times)

Yowbarb

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Re: Chickens
« Reply #45 on: March 30, 2017, 12:16:28 PM »
I saw a cool thing I posted in the chickens topic years ago.
That previously posted image got lost in some computer problem.  So I  am re-posted something similar.




http://www.clabornfarms.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/chicken-tractor-300x274.jpg

http://www.clabornfarms.com/blog/types-of-chicken-coops/

...
Also will be posting a few links with images and discussions on chickens.

It's a easy-to-move-by-hand wheeled cart, big enough for several free range chicken.
In a survival situation a person can scoop up their free range chickens and eggs and place them into the cages and get them to safety to a shelter...

A person should have a few of these carts to quickly transport animals. That would be in addition to whatever other vehicles. Also if a person was stuck on their ranch temporarily with no ranch truck, they would have the hand pulled rolling carts.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2017, 10:10:01 PM by Yowbarb »

Yowbarb

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R.R. Book

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Re: Chickens
« Reply #47 on: June 10, 2017, 07:33:17 AM »
Have spent a while studying Socrates' link to Paul Wheaton's website, and enjoyed his assessment ( https://permies.com/t/1958/critters/chicken-coops-runs-tractors-paddocks ) of different strategies for dealing with the damage that chickens can quickly do to ground cover.  Of several designs he details strengths and weaknesses, settling upon the 4- paddock method of raising poultry.  We, too, have experienced first-hand the damage that chickens can do, but have found that the benefits outweigh the drawbacks, and have opted against the paddock system.

Here's what feels more natural to us:

1. All life-stages
We keep chickens only for their eggs, and regard them as pets, so do not slaughter.  While grazed red meat might be prized, Wheaton's website says that it makes for tough birds ( https://permies.com/t/15512/critters/slaughter-meat-chickens ).  The flock currently consists of 8 laying hens of different Northern clean-legged breeds, one male duck (drake) and two female ducks (also called hens).  More than half of our 10 females are laying right now, with a few retirees still trying to sit on the nest, and the one male duck is fertilizing duck eggs for whenever we should need to replace hens that die of old age.  Fertilized eggs that are not incubated are still edible.  Most non-factory-farmed laying hens have a life span of around 5 years and do their best laying for the first 3 years; our eldest, nearly 10 years of age, is still a valued member of the flock who earns her place by protecting the youngest hens from being hazed by older ones.  For a homestead of less than 2 acres, we are close to reasonable carrying capacity of the land.  The plan is to gradually allow ducks to replace hens that complete their life cycle, as ducks do not denude the land of ground cover.

2. Least amount of confinement
We practice a hybrid method of poultry management, utilizing both confinement periods and free-ranging.  In the best of weather, confinement is only for the early morning laying and breakfast period, and then gates are opened for the day for grazing.  The critters tend to graze loosely as a group, and when not in the woods are dust and sun bathing.  The ducks sometimes opt to remain in the henyard to swim in a small pond that we built for them.  Grazers wander back inside the gates of their own accord in late afternoon, when their internal clocks tell them it's nearly supper and bedtime.  Hens and ducks, though comfortable together now, have separate houses, allowing the ducks space to mate.  The evening meal is served inside their sleeping quarters, and a final head-count is done every night.   If the day is intermittently stormy or we need to be away, they may be confined to the henyard, and then lunch and snacks are a combination of digging in the compost pile, salad bar raised bed with wide-hole mesh allowing their heads in but not claws, fruit that drops to the ground from shrubs and trees, edible roses and treats that we toss to them.

3. Loose supervision This system leaves us with bare ground in the henyard, but better ground cover elsewhere.    Grazing outside the henyard though, the hens are scarcely interested in clawing up grass and more interested in the larger and livelier menu of bugs that await them under fallen leaves and trail dirt, and among open garden plants.  Crops that they might damage are fenced off, so that in our system, Paul Wheaton's paddock regimen is inverted and it's the plants inside the fences, not the poultry.  The animals are delighted with their freedom, and instinctively know to stay close to home for safety.  We enjoy the good rapport with them that comes from allowing them some self-determination, and have several old chairs, swings and gliders around the property from which to unobtrusively sip coffee and enjoy being among them.  They are often engaged with us in our gardening, taking an active interest in everything that we do, and following us around like puppies. :)

Posting a few pics:
« Last Edit: June 30, 2017, 02:22:33 PM by R.R. Book »

ilinda

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Re: Chickens
« Reply #48 on: June 10, 2017, 06:01:52 PM »
Lovely pics, and very interesting method of chicken/ducks.  I had chickens once years ago and decided one day I'll have them, or ducks, or guineas, again.  Some kind of poultry, for the same reasons as yours:  for the eggs.

The chicken house appears to be neatly tucked under a deck.  Perfect use of space.  Thanks for posting.

Socrates

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Re: Chickens
« Reply #49 on: June 12, 2017, 04:04:30 AM »
Would be good place for a hive, as well (as long as you don't have guineas or scobies near it that would eat the bees...).
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R.R. Book

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Re: Chickens
« Reply #50 on: June 12, 2017, 04:51:59 AM »
I didn't know that guineas and muscovies liked to eat bees!  I've heard that skunks do, as well. :-X

R.R. Book

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Re: Chickens
« Reply #51 on: June 24, 2017, 07:23:15 AM »
The clean-up crew never fails to show up on time:

Jimfarmer

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Re: Chickens
« Reply #52 on: June 24, 2017, 09:28:48 AM »
Quote
Fertilized eggs that are not incubated are still edible.

In fact, they are best for putting the empty shells in the boiling water for your tea or coffee.  Extract of fertilized egg shell membrane is an expensive supplement.

R.R. Book

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Re: Chickens
« Reply #53 on: June 24, 2017, 09:49:14 AM »
I never heard of that before Jim!  Will do some homework on it - thank you very much for the information :)

Yowbarb

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Re: Chickens
« Reply #54 on: June 24, 2017, 11:19:54 AM »
Would be good place for a hive, as well (as long as you don't have guineas or scobies near it that would eat the bees...).

I always learn something new with you guys! :)

Yowbarb

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Re: Chickens
« Reply #55 on: June 24, 2017, 11:38:50 AM »
Quote
Fertilized eggs that are not incubated are still edible.

In fact, they are best for putting the empty shells in the boiling water for your tea or coffee.  Extract of fertilized egg shell membrane is an expensive supplement.

Jim, thanks so much for the reminder on this! I make the coffee in a big coffee maker but I could still put the shells in the coffee... or soak them in a pot of boiling water...  Drink the water...
I've intended to try this ever since you first posted about it. Years ago!
You do know a whole lot, I appreciate that. :)
- Barb T.

ilinda

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Re: Chickens
« Reply #56 on: June 24, 2017, 04:59:24 PM »
Quote
Fertilized eggs that are not incubated are still edible.

In fact, they are best for putting the empty shells in the boiling water for your tea or coffee.  Extract of fertilized egg shell membrane is an expensive supplement.

Jim, thanks so much for the reminder on this! I make the coffee in a big coffee maker but I could still put the shells in the coffee... or soak them in a pot of boiling water...  Drink the water...
I've intended to try this ever since you first posted about it. Years ago!
You do know a whole lot, I appreciate that. :)
- Barb T.
Never heard of the fertilized egg shell membrane being an expensive supplement! 

On a related note, farmer friend (the one who sells us potatoes, etc.) told me one time during a chicken discussion, that she'd rather eat fertilized eggs than the "best organic" unfertilized eggs in the world.   She said she learned that when she was quite young, that fertile eggs are far better and more nutritious than infertile eggs.  Makes sense when you think that a fertile egg has everything it needs for a new life, whereas the infertile egg, once laid, will never have more than the hen's contribution.

Socrates

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processing
« Reply #57 on: August 08, 2017, 11:23:17 AM »
Joel Salatin's processing demonstration [larger scale].
How to humanely process your chicken without losing all kinds of bits.
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Socrates

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Re: Chickens without a fence with a guard dog
« Reply #58 on: August 15, 2017, 09:51:51 AM »
In this vid this farmer explains her system of a trailer with food and water on it under which her chickens stay at night; no fence, no nothin' else.

Her food is a basic addition to pasture content but nothing complicated or overthought. She says that if you can train a dog to watch the chickens at night, this is just about all you need.
Didn't get where any eggs get laid... Maybe these chickens are just for slaughter.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2017, 11:24:29 PM by Socrates »
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R.R. Book

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Re: Chickens
« Reply #59 on: September 18, 2017, 02:41:06 PM »
One of our elderly Rhode Island Reds died this summer, and old Clementine, who is nearly a decade old, may not be around much longer, so I was persuaded to adopt 3 little Plymouth Barred Rock sisters, who are not yet of laying age.  I missed getting a shot of all three of them together on the duck-yard gate earlier, but here they are on a chair.

They have only been home a few weeks, and are not yet permitted to leave and graze with the "grownups".  It's nearly time for them to be tucked into bed, and they are waiting on their supper:
« Last Edit: September 18, 2017, 02:52:04 PM by R.R. Book »