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Socrates & R.R. Book - PERMACULTURE, and methods for gathering food and water => Animal Husbandry => Topic started by: Yowbarb on January 30, 2011, 08:25:42 AM

Title: Chickens
Post by: Yowbarb on January 30, 2011, 08:25:42 AM
Survival Blogspot http://www.survivalblog.com/

Realistically Raising Chickens for Meat in a Survival Situation, by B.R.Permalink

As both an organic, pastured chicken farmer and someone very interested in preparing for any possible future disruption in the food chain, I have given much thought to what it would take to keep my flock going if everything went to heck in a hand basket.

 Eggs or Meat?
 Over the past several generations, chickens have been selectively bred to either grow fast and put on lots of meat quickly or crank out eggs like a Pez dispenser. The problem with this specialization of breeds is that it has created fragile, problem prone chickens. The modern breeds require high octane specialized feed and even then suffer from leg crippling problems and deformities. Also problematic is the fact that modern meat birds can no longer mate naturally and must be artificially inseminated to reproduce. This is not a good scenario if you are trying provide your family with a sustainable source of fresh meat when you can no longer swing by the grocery store for some plastic-wrapped boneless, skinless chicken breasts.


Ready, Set, Go To have any hope of realistically raising chickens for meat or eggs in a survival situation there are several factors that must be addressed. Don’t even hope to be able to do any of this after everything goes to heck – you must get started and you must start now.

 Survival Breeds
 The single most critical factor in your success at putting fresh chicken on the table is the careful selection of breed. You must have a thrifty dual-purpose flock established before everything comes grinding to a halt. This can be three birds in your backyard or thirty birds on half an acre but whatever you do, do it today! Look for birds that can lay eggs but that are also meaty enough to justify the effort of plucking and processing when they are “spent” which is generally at two years old. If you live in colder climates, the heavily feathered Orpingtons are a great breed. In warmer climates, we prefer their heat loving cousins the Australorps. If you are looking online, look for heavy breed brown egg layers. There are many good books written on different chicken breeds and many hatcheries can point you in the right direction if you ask the right questions. Start with “What’s a good, hardy dual purpose breed that does well in (insert your climate here).

Supplemental Feed
 The breed you choose should be aggressive foragers but not aggressive birds. Meaning, they will actively spend their day scratching for bugs and seeds but will not try to attack your children when they collect the eggs. Most heritage breed chickens have retained the ability to shift for much of their own food but if you plan on getting many eggs out of them and keeping them meaty, you will have to supplement their diet. The more you can move them to new grass, the less you will have to provide extra feed. Luckily chickens are omnivores and as such will eat almost anything you give them. Any scraps of leftover food especially bits of meat will provide their protein needs. If you catch rabbits, game, mice or rats you can take off the bulk of the meat to feed your family and throw the rest to the chickens. They will pick the bones clean and then you can feed the rest to your pigs or guard dogs. Since you are probably planning to grow your own wheat, barley, corn etc.; set aside a small plot to feed to the chickens or make friends with a local wheat/corn farmer. Once everything crashes and burns, you’ll be able to trade darn near anything for a fresh, whole chicken. As with all of your animals, your chickens will need fresh clean water on a daily basis. Make sure during the summer they never run dry or the stress will negatively impact their health.

 No Heat Lamp? No Problem
 When everything is working as it should and all is right with the world, you would phone up a hatchery and have them ship some day-old chicks right to your front door. Pop the little peepers under a heat lamp and you are on your way to some tasty eggs and meat. What happens when the hatchery doesn’t answer the call, the phone doesn’t work or the post office doesn’t deliver anymore? How will you get more chicks? The answer is, if you have carefully selected the right breed, and have followed the suggestions so far, you can sit back and let nature take it’s course! Any chicken worth it’s keep will go “broody” meaning she will sit on her eggs until they hatch and then care for the baby chicks. As long as you don’t eat your breeding stock, this will continue to provide nearly unlimited replacements for the chickens that you use for meat. [JWR Adds: As I've mentioned in the blog once before: If your breed of chickens isn't broody, then you can buy a few broody "foster moms" of another breed. Bantam hens are famous for their broodiness.] Although you don’t need roosters to get eggs, you will need some to get more chicks. I recommend getting roosters from at least two or three different hatcheries – that way you can ensure the genetic diversity of your flock if this becomes a long term situation.

 Protect Your Flock
 Everyone will want your chickens – including hawks, owls, coyotes and raccoons. Unless you live next to a pharmaceutical company and have unlimited access to antibiotics and poultry meds, don’t plan on keeping your flock indoors all the time. Chickens don’t do well in confinement and will peck at each other out of boredom and become sickly. You can build a shelter for them or buy one of the ready-made chicken houses but either way, they will need a safe place to roost at night. We keep the coyotes and raccoons at bay by surrounding the chickens with portable electric fencing that runs off a deep cycle battery with a solar panel. You can assign one of your kids to watch the chickens during the day and keep the hawks away – what else are they going to do if the Xbox doesn’t work anymore? Make sure the chicken house is closed up tight each night or owls will literally walk in and start demolishing your flock. Have enough chickens so that if you lose one or two before you find out who the new predator is – snake? skunk? opossum? – it won’t be the end of your family’s meat source.

 Processing
 So now you have raised some chickens, you’ve gotten eggs out of them and they are slowing down production – time for chicken and dumplings. You need minimal equipment to get your bird into an edible form. A rope and sharp knife is all it takes. Flip your bird upside down, tie the feet to something so your hands are free and slit the jugular right behind the jaw bone on each side. While the bird is still warm, pull all the feathers off – cut off the head and feet. Make a slit just above the vent (anus) making sure not to cut into the viscera. Pull out the innards and rinse the bird inside and out. You can see some great videos of this being done on youtube.com – type in “chicken processing” – forget the fancy equipment – it won’t work without some serious power and you don’t need it for a couple chickens a week anyway. It’s not hard at all to process a chicken but you might want to try it a couple times before you have to do it on an empty belly and your hungry kids staring you down. As a fun family project, make a homemade solar oven and see if you can cook up a nice casserole for dinner without using any energy at all.

 Cautions
 With proper care, sunshine, bugs to eat and grass to nibble on, your hardy dual purpose breeds should have zero health problems and will be a joy to raise and maintain. However, if you ever see one of your birds behaving strangely, off on it’s own, making strange noises, having breathing problems, swollen eyes or any other unusual signs, cull it immediately. Don’t wait to see if it will get “better” remove it from the flock and kill it. Feed it to the pigs and check your flock constantly so that you can catch any other chickens behaving strangely and cull them immediately as well. Don’t take a chance on an illness wiping out your whole flock – healthy birds can fight off most diseases. The ones that can’t don’t need to be part of your breeding stock.

Why Chickens?
 On our farm, we raise many animals – pigs, chickens, turkeys, cows, goats, rabbits, ducks, dogs and cats but in a true survival emergency the chicken will be our go-to source of meat and barter. They are easier to process than rabbits, reproduce faster than cows, grow out sooner than turkeys and are simpler to raise than pigs. They are small and kid friendly but provide critical sources of protein and fats. The right breed in the right conditions will have few health problems and will reliably produce offspring with no intervention on your part. Starting a small backyard flock today could be one of the most important steps that you can take toward survival when TEOTWAWKI arrives.

Useful Books:
Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens by Gail Damerow
Chicken Coops: 45 Building Plans for Housing Your Flock by Judy Pangman
Keeping Chickens: The Essential Guide by Jeremy Hobson and Celia Lewis
The Joy of Keeping Chickens: The Ultimate Guide to Raising Poultry for Fun or Profit (The Joy of Series) (part of the 'Joy of' Series) by Jennifer Megyesi and Geoff Hansen
Chickens: Tending A Small-Scale Flock For Pleasure And Profit (Hobby Farm) by Sue Weaver

Hatcheries:
http://www.ideal-poultry.com
http://www.strombergschickens.com
http://www.sandgpoultry.com
http://cacklehatchery.com
http://www.moyerschicks.com/
http://www.mcmurrayhatchery.com


Title: Re: Chickens
Post by: Yowbarb on January 30, 2011, 09:10:54 PM
I've thought of keeping chickens too.

I have been thinking a lot about it lately,
Best of luck,
Yowbarb
Title: Re: Chickens
Post by: Yowbarb on August 18, 2011, 11:09:59 PM
http://www.ehow.com/how_8129450_transport-chickens-over-long-distances.html

How to transport chickens over long distances
Title: Re: Chickens
Post by: Yowbarb on August 19, 2011, 12:22:02 AM
Chicken Resources on the Web

http://www.ithaca.edu/staff/jhenderson/chooks/chlinks.html
Title: Re: Chickens
Post by: augonit on August 19, 2011, 06:58:52 AM
Does anyone know how you could convince a zoned community to allow you to have chickens?
Title: Re: Chickens
Post by: chaunska on August 19, 2011, 07:53:36 AM
Try this.... register you kids in 4-H and name the chickens.    Hope this helps.
Title: Re: Chickens
Post by: chaunska on August 19, 2011, 07:55:27 AM
Try this.... register you kids in 4-H and name the chickens.    Hope this helps.
Also, you don't need a rooster to have eggs.   Roosters will start crowing at 3am.   So if you don't have a rooster, people will be friendlier about it.
Title: Re: Chickens
Post by: augonit on August 19, 2011, 08:02:38 AM
What if I don't have kids?  Will just naming the chickens be enough?
Title: Re: Chickens
Post by: Yowbarb on August 19, 2011, 09:02:37 AM
What if I don't have kids?  Will just naming the chickens be enough?

Like Chaunska suggested, it may be all right if they are quiet little fertile hens.
(I feel the neighbors would have to be pretty bad nosy snoops to complain.) Do you have a fenced yard?
Transplant some bushes around for cover...
If you know anyone who does landscaping or gardening?  Those men
sometimes have surplus of little trees and bushes and some go in the trash...
Let us know if that works...
Good Luck,  :)
Yowbarb




Title: Re: Chickens
Post by: errrv on August 19, 2011, 09:59:19 AM
Check your local laws. I'm my town, you can have 6 chickens in city limits. Lots of folks have chickens & goats for milk & eggs. Most people don't know about it.
Erv
Title: Re: Chickens
Post by: augonit on August 19, 2011, 04:02:41 PM
What if I don't have kids?  Will just naming the chickens be enough?

Like Chaunska suggested, it may be all right if they are quiet little fertile hens.
(I feel the neighbors would have to be pretty bad nosy snoops to complain.) Do you have a fenced yard?
Transplant some bushes around for cover...
If you know anyone who does landscaping or gardening?  Those men
sometimes have surplus of little trees and bushes and some go in the trash...
Let us know if that works...
Good Luck,  :)
Yowbarb

I don't have a fence, I am beside a nursing home and I think they might be upset.  I was only planning on maybe 6 chickens, no rooster, just for eggs.  I'd also like to have bees, but again, I think the nursing home might freak out about that.

I guess I'm just expecting people to be jerks just because they can be.  So I was wanting to keep everyone happy.
Title: Re: Chickens
Post by: enlightenme on August 19, 2011, 04:46:51 PM
Maybe you could donate some eggs and honey to the nursing home??
Title: Re: Chickens
Post by: augonit on August 19, 2011, 04:57:02 PM
Can't do that because of the federal regulations they have to follow.  It would have been a nice thing though.
Title: Re: Chickens
Post by: errrv on August 20, 2011, 06:27:59 AM
Well as far as the nursing home, older people are used to having chickens around. During WWII everybody had chickens & a garden.
You can build a 4x4 cage or 6x6 cage of chicken wire on top of a 2x4 frame with no bottom, and move it throughout your yard (once a day) and the chickens not only eat up the bugs, but also fertilize your grass each day.
My cousin does this... Has the prettiest grass you've ever seen.
Chickens don't get out either. Just put them back in the roost at night.
Erv
Title: Re: Chickens
Post by: Yowbarb on August 20, 2011, 12:47:50 PM
What if I don't have kids?  Will just naming the chickens be enough?

Like Chaunska suggested, it may be all right if they are quiet little fertile hens.
(I feel the neighbors would have to be pretty bad nosy snoops to complain.) Do you have a fenced yard?
Transplant some bushes around for cover...
If you know anyone who does landscaping or gardening?  Those men
sometimes have surplus of little trees and bushes and some go in the trash...
Let us know if that works...
Good Luck,  :)
Yowbarb

I don't have a fence, I am beside a nursing home and I think they might be upset.  I was only planning on maybe 6 chickens, no rooster, just for eggs.  I'd also like to have bees, but again, I think the nursing home might freak out about that.

I guess I'm just expecting people to be jerks just because they can be.  So I was wanting to keep everyone happy.


I can see you are up against something...
Question: Do you have any space on either side of your house? Is that fenced? Perhaps a few chickens could be tucked in there, on one side of the house, with a fence at either end...Some overhead shelter for part of it.
Good Luck,
YB

(http://www.craftster.org/forum/imagecache/cacheimg.php?purpose=scroller&topicid=340757&thumbsize=90&Thumb=http://photos-a.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc1/hs184.snc1/6128_1180690314090_1133152527_558131_2836909_n.jpg)

IMAGE: Playhouse chicken coop
Title: Re: Chickens
Post by: chaunska on August 20, 2011, 04:39:31 PM
First off, if you can figure out a way to have the chickens, you must also be respectful of your neighbors by putting up a fence or somehow containing the chickens.  Chickens can fly over a fence if their wings aren't clipped.   As a matter of fact, chickens can fly just as well as pheasants.   They will crap all over the place if left to roam....sidewalks, roofs, cars that are under them when the roost, etc.   So, containment is respectful.   Also, clip their wings if you don't want them up in trees and roofs at night.   They will hide their eggs if they are allowed.   We have had chickens most of my life, so I speak from experience.   Also, consider the breed of chicken you want.   Rhode Island Reds lay nice large brown eggs, but they are also the most cannibalistic of the chicken breeds.   I like Buff Orpingtons.   They are sweet and lay good brown eggs.    As far as beekeeping, find a local beekeeping organization and go to several meetings and try to work with a beekeeper.  Beekeeping requires some experience and this is a good place to start.   We have bees too.   You have to be careful and mindfull of their attitudes because they can become africanized.   When that starts, you need to replace the queen.  We have had to do this a few times in the last 10 yrs or so in some of our hives.
Title: Re: Chickens
Post by: denasfarm on August 20, 2011, 07:00:20 PM
We have had chickens for years and years. If you want to pull them off as pets buy a Cutsie breed like Silkies, Frizzles, or Sizzles (They all lay eggs). Dont keep a rooster unless you want to hatch chicks and if you do keep one you can keep it quiet by putting him in a dark place until a decent hour  7,8 9am... My boys (Oh 7 or so assorted breeds) Start crowing around 5am. If they crow earlier or at night you better run out the door and see whats going on, somethings after them!!!
Pine shavings changed frequently keeps the odor away. (Cedar is toxic)
Keep all feed up to prevent rodents. Some of my birds have been with us for 8 years and yes they still lay daily!

This is a Silkie Roo...This breed has hairlike Fluff instead of feathers...and They cant fly!! Mine are pet quality Silkies. Show Quality birds of this breed cannot see for the fluff.
(http://i136.photobucket.com/albums/q177/innerlightacademy/Midi11.jpg)

Lavendar Silkie Hens
(http://i136.photobucket.com/albums/q177/innerlightacademy/SANY7716.jpg)
Title: Re: Chickens
Post by: denasfarm on August 20, 2011, 07:06:45 PM
Check your local laws. I'm my town, you can have 6 chickens in city limits. Lots of folks have chickens & goats for milk & eggs. Most people don't know about it.
Erv

This is the other thing! Dont ask permission and Dont tell anyone what you are planning on doing! At one point we lived in an upscale neighborhood. 4 houses down from the country club and I had 30 chickens (Silkies) Hidden behind the garage! They cant Fly over a standard fence and only a few close freinds knew about them! Later we moved and had over 300 birds but thats another story!

Now Guineas, Turkeys, Geese and even Quail are LOUD.
Title: Re: Chickens
Post by: Yowbarb on August 20, 2011, 07:19:47 PM
Check your local laws. I'm my town, you can have 6 chickens in city limits. Lots of folks have chickens & goats for milk & eggs. Most people don't know about it.
Erv

This is the other thing! Dont ask permission and Dont tell anyone what you are planning on doing! At one point we lived in an upscale neighborhood. 4 houses down from the country club and I had 30 chickens (Silkies) Hidden behind the garage! They cant Fly over a standard fence and only a few close freinds knew about them! Later we moved and had over 300 birds but thats another story!

Now Guineas, Turkeys, Geese and even Quail are LOUD.

Great ideas. I feel this is doable, quite possibly even in a situation like a nursing home or hospital next door -
as long as she has fertile hens and no roosters. At least no roosters for that location. In the future, yes.
Good tip on trying to keep roosters quiet, though.
Thanks Deanasfarm!  ;)
Yowbarb
Title: Re: Chickens
Post by: Yowbarb on December 21, 2011, 09:53:36 AM
We have had chickens for years and years. If you want to pull them off as pets buy a Cutsie breed like Silkies, Frizzles, or Sizzles (They all lay eggs). Dont keep a rooster unless you want to hatch chicks and if you do keep one you can keep it quiet by putting him in a dark place until a decent hour  7,8 9am... My boys (Oh 7 or so assorted breeds) Start crowing around 5am. If they crow earlier or at night you better run out the door and see whats going on, somethings after them!!!
Pine shavings changed frequently keeps the odor away. (Cedar is toxic)
Keep all feed up to prevent rodents. Some of my birds have been with us for 8 years and yes they still lay daily!

This is a Silkie Roo...This breed has hairlike Fluff instead of feathers...and They cant fly!! Mine are pet quality Silkies. Show Quality birds of this breed cannot see for the fluff.
(http://i136.photobucket.com/albums/q177/innerlightacademy/Midi11.jpg)

Lavendar Silkie Hens
(http://i136.photobucket.com/albums/q177/innerlightacademy/SANY7716.jpg)

Denasfarm I just renamed one Topic,  "Keeping your pets and domestic animals safe during cataclysms"
Started by Yowbarb « 1 2 3 »  Link: http://planetxtownhall.com/index.php?topic=2970.0

The latest posts are some of my ideas about how to quickly get the chickens and other domestic creatures
into an underground shelter fast...in case of emergency.

I figure you have already thought about how to do these things... Just had some ideas, so I
posted them,

All The Best,
Yowbarb

Title: Re: Chickens
Post by: BuddhaKitty on December 21, 2011, 11:28:41 AM
Thanks for the advice on chickens!  I don't have room to keep any now, but will think of getting chicks sometime in the future (probably to transport with me).
Title: Re: Chickens
Post by: Yowbarb on December 22, 2011, 12:14:08 PM
Thanks for the advice on chickens!  I don't have room to keep any now, but will think of getting chicks sometime in the future (probably to transport with me).

I know what you mean, even with a yard it would be tough to get chickens started now.
I like your idea of transporting some chicks.
Let us know if that involves some care and preparation. (I am not an expert but want to learn too.)
All The Best,
Yowbarb
Title: Re: Chickens
Post by: steedy on January 05, 2012, 03:31:21 PM
I liked the playhouse turned into a chicken coop!  That was cute.  I've thought of keeping a few chickens.  I guess I'll have to ask what the regulations are in my area.
Title: Re: Chickens
Post by: steedy on April 04, 2012, 07:01:57 AM
I'm thinking about it too.  I don't know how I'll get around the zoning though!  Personally, I think they'll just have to deal with it!  (I'm such a rebel)  ;)
Title: Re: Chickens
Post by: steedy on April 04, 2012, 08:32:19 AM
I've heard that too about naming chickens, then they are considered pets, not Sunday dinner.
Title: Re: Chickens
Post by: Yowbarb on April 04, 2012, 08:33:39 AM
I'm thinking about it too.  I don't know how I'll get around the zoning though!  Personally, I think they'll just have to deal with it!  (I'm such a rebel)  ;)

I suppose, nothing ventured, nothing gained...I wish you luck.  ;)
One of my main concerns would be how to quickly grab them all up and safely transport to the bugout location....
The only solution I can come up with (and it is a solution to several problems) is to plug someone into the land when it is purchased. A trustworthy person who will be part of the survival group when it goes into the underground or domes. The person who is staying on the land would set up pens and shelters and then receive the domestic animals and pets, being responsible for them. Also responsible for survival of the live plants, trees in pots and all... which would have to be shuttled into a secured, partly buried shipping container shelter, in the event of high winds, fire etc. One idea I had was if there can only be one container the domestic animals, pets and plants could share the space...would have to have some partitions...Perhaps it could have a door adjoining the human shelter... which could also be connected up to an underground food and supply room. Anyway the point is, the chickens and other valuable creatures will need to be safeguarded ....
Yowbarb
Title: Re: Chickens
Post by: steedy on April 04, 2012, 09:10:27 AM
I thought I would name them things like, Ginger, Prissy, stuff like that so it looks like they are really just pets.  BTW, I sent an email a few minutes ago asking about the zoning for chickens and bee hives too.  We'll see what hoops I'll have to jump through in a few days I guess.
Title: Re: Chickens
Post by: Yowbarb on April 04, 2012, 11:03:31 AM
I thought I would name them things like, Ginger, Prissy, stuff like that so it looks like they are really just pets.  BTW, I sent an email a few minutes ago asking about the zoning for chickens and bee hives too.  We'll see what hoops I'll have to jump through in a few days I guess.

That's good maybe you can post what you find...just a general idea. Probably different in each area.
Title: Re: Chickens
Post by: steedy on April 05, 2012, 07:46:16 AM
I would think it would be different in each area.  I'm banking on since we are in a semi-rural area, and there are working farms within a mile or two of me, that that would be OK enough for me and a few chickens.
Title: Re: Chickens
Post by: Yowbarb on April 05, 2012, 10:19:31 AM
I would think it would be different in each area.  I'm banking on since we are in a semi-rural area, and there are working farms within a mile or two of me, that that would be OK enough for me and a few chickens.

I think you will luck out on that.
Just from my own experience, whenever we have lived in semi rural surroundings we always have pens and chickens nearby, walking distance...
Title: Re: Chickens
Post by: R.R. Book on March 16, 2017, 12:41:10 PM
Hi all,

We began keeping chickens as a home school project years ago when my children were young, and have had a number of years to improve our methods.  Regarding how to feed them in the after-time:
Once it's safe to pasture them again, there may be an abundance of bio-degradation insects, such as beetles, as well as other small creatures for them to eat.  But what to do during the pole-shift confinement period and winter?

1. We intensively studied poultry nutrition and make all our own feed, rather than relying upon the local feed store for factory-made scratch.  However, that means we still have to come up with the raw materials, either from what we grow, what we store, or what we can obtain nearby.  Obtaining in the after-times is the largest unknown, even if we live among farm people.  So the two of three variables that we can control are what we grow and what we store.  What we can grow is likely to take a battering from the incoming debris field that we are beginning to traverse, but we still must try our hardest to do this anyway, because it is one variable that we at least have some control over.  The third variable, what we store, needs to be extended to cover the largest possible stretch of time that we can manage. 

2. We need to get creative about storage space, unless one is fortunate enough to have one or more large barns (which are not guaranteed to remain standing in the after-time).  For example, when I have an old chest freezer die on me, I never discard it, as it is the perfect place to store sacks of raw feed grains away from rodents, insects, moisture, etc.  Metal trash cans with lids are good storage places if they are placed on a wooden plank to prevent wicking moisture from a concrete floor.  Plastic buckets with tight lids, such as the largest kind we use for human storage food, can also store animal feed.  The same oxygen absorbers can be used as for human food storage.  Outdoors, hay can be stored under a deck, etc., especially if it is wrapped in plastic sheeting or contractor-size trash bags and stacked on old asphalt shingles on the ground, or on pallets / skids, with maybe a tarp tied down over the whole thing.

3.  What stores well?  One of the key components of our feed, which is vitamin and mineral impregnated black oil sunflower seed, does Not store well, so more creativity is needed.  Bulk oats in large sacks have a better storage life due to the vitamin E content of oats.    When storing large bulk feed sacks, though, they should be cycled through a working chest freezer for 72 hours to kill insect eggs.  If planning to breed your poultry in the after-times, which is necessary if depending upon them well into the future, then finer feed will be needed for the babies, so either plan to grind your own or store the finer cut instant oats.

Enriched white or parboiled rice stores well, but must be thoroughly re-hydrated before giving to poultry, as undercooked rice may swell in their crops.  Dehydrated potato flakes are an option, as are soaked and sprouted whole grains.  Most corn is now GMO in the U.S., so we don't use it at all. 

Protein: Well-soaked and cooked legumes, their own cooked eggs, a partial left-over can of pet food that can't be refrigerated without electricity, dehydrated milk from storage, earth worms, salamanders, etc.

Grit: small stones on the ground, stored oyster shell for females, stored crushed granite

Calcium: dehydrated milk from storage (you see why there's no such thing as too much dry milk), crushed oyster shell in storage, dehydrated spinach from the garden, sea salt, their own egg shells

Sodium: sea salt, iodized table salt, especially in summer.  A lack of salt, when forgotten in the mash, is the only reason that we have ever lost poultry in the summer months.

Potassium: sea salt, cooked potatoes or potato flakes, white beans, squash

Vitamin D for leg strength: if natural sunlight is not available, then consider the oil from a can of tuna or other sea food mixed into their mash, or their own egg yolks, or fortified dry milk

Vitamin A: dehydrated greens, dehydrated carrots, dehydrated tomatoes, mashed or dried sweet potatoes or squash, their own yolks if they are free-ranged at all.  Some vitamin A is in dried milk.  If forage greens are expected to be wiped out by Px for a while, may want to store rabbit pellets, especially if keeping egg-producing land ducks.  Baby chicks don't process carotenes well, so need a non-vegetable source from the list. 

Natural de-wormer: Geobond, which comes in large sacks, is a blend of diatomaceous earth and French clay.  We mix a fat pinch (using all fingers and thumb of one hand) into the mash once daily and have never had worms in our eggs.

Water: Open bucket method works best in winter, but may be wasteful during the rest of the year if water is scarce.  Other than in wintertime, consider a dripping nipple feeder, at least as a backup for water buckets if things become too rough outdoors to carry water to the flock during the pole shift and traversing the debris field.  Individual hens need to be observed at first to make sure the teat method catches on.  Land ducks need more water changes than hens, as they must have bathing water to clear out their nostrils and moisten their eyes, for which a teat waterer won't work.  Poultry could also be housed in an attached garage or in the cellar during the worst of the passage if sanitation is carefully considered (maybe newspaper or a dropcloth on the floor piled with clean hay, with the litter being bagged for when it is safe to carry and compost outdoors again, as it will be a potential fire hazard).

Iodine (especially in a nuclear winter): a pinch of iodized salt, cranberries, soaked and cooked navy beans, potatoes, a drop of Lugol's in the water trough.

Arginine for egg-producing land ducks (a good type of poultry if you need a quiet flock, and especially quiet males as opposed to roosters): dried milk, forage seeds and nuts (seeds and nuts are not good long-term storage foods though), cooked legumes.

Choline (a B vitamin necessary for healthy nerve transmission and emulsifying fats into the watery blood plasma): their own egg yolks

Phosphorous: Dried milk is the best source, followed by legumes, seeds, nuts.

Trace minerals: sea salt







Title: Re: Chickens
Post by: ilinda on March 16, 2017, 03:50:25 PM
Hi all,

We began keeping chickens as a home school project years ago when my children were young, and have had a number of years to improve our methods.  Regarding how to feed them in the after-time:
Once it's safe to pasture them again, there may be an abundance of bio-degradation insects, such as beetles, as well as other small creatures for them to eat.  But what to do during the pole-shift confinement period and winter?

1. We intensively studied poultry nutrition and make all our own feed, rather than relying upon the local feed store for factory-made scratch.  However, that means we still have to come up with the raw materials, either from what we grow, what we store, or what we can obtain nearby.  Obtaining in the after-times is the largest unknown, even if we live among farm people.  So the two of three variables that we can control are what we grow and what we store.  What we can grow is likely to take a battering from the incoming debris field that we are beginning to traverse, but we still must try our hardest to do this anyway, because it is one variable that we at least have some control over.  The third variable, what we store, needs to be extended to cover the largest possible stretch of time that we can manage. 

2. We need to get creative about storage space, unless one is fortunate enough to have one or more large barns (which are not guaranteed to remain standing in the after-time).  For example, when I have an old chest freezer die on me, I never discard it, as it is the perfect place to store sacks of raw feed grains away from rodents, insects, moisture, etc.  Metal trash cans with lids are good storage places if they are placed on a wooden plank to prevent wicking moisture from a concrete floor.  Plastic buckets with tight lids, such as the largest kind we use for human storage food, can also store animal feed.  The same oxygen absorbers can be used as for human food storage.  Outdoors, hay can be stored under a deck, etc., especially if it is wrapped in plastic sheeting or contractor-size trash bags and stacked on old asphalt shingles on the ground, or on pallets / skids, with maybe a tarp tied down over the whole thing.

3.  What stores well?  One of the key components of our feed, which is vitamin and mineral impregnated black oil sunflower seed, does Not store well, so more creativity is needed.  Bulk oats in large sacks have a better storage life due to the vitamin E content of oats.    When storing large bulk feed sacks, though, they should be cycled through a working chest freezer for 72 hours to kill insect eggs.  If planning to breed your poultry in the after-times, which is necessary if depending upon them well into the future, then finer feed will be needed for the babies, so either plan to grind your own or store the finer cut instant oats.

Enriched white or parboiled rice stores well, but must be thoroughly re-hydrated before giving to poultry, as undercooked rice may swell in their crops.  Dehydrated potato flakes are an option, as are soaked and sprouted whole grains.  Most corn is now GMO in the U.S., so we don't use it at all. 

Protein: Well-soaked and cooked legumes, their own cooked eggs, a partial left-over can of pet food that can't be refrigerated without electricity, dehydrated milk from storage, earth worms, salamanders, etc.

Grit: small stones on the ground, stored oyster shell for females, stored crushed granite

Calcium: dehydrated milk from storage (you see why there's no such thing as too much dry milk), crushed oyster shell in storage, dehydrated spinach from the garden, sea salt, their own egg shells

Sodium: sea salt, iodized table salt, especially in summer.  A lack of salt, when forgotten in the mash, is the only reason that we have ever lost poultry in the summer months.

Potassium: sea salt, cooked potatoes or potato flakes, white beans, squash

Vitamin D for leg strength: if natural sunlight is not available, then consider the oil from a can of tuna or other sea food mixed into their mash, or their own egg yolks, or fortified dry milk

Vitamin A: dehydrated greens, dehydrated carrots, dehydrated tomatoes, mashed or dried sweet potatoes or squash, their own yolks if they are free-ranged at all.  Some vitamin A is in dried milk.  If forage greens are expected to be wiped out by Px for a while, may want to store rabbit pellets, especially if keeping egg-producing land ducks.  Baby chicks don't process carotenes well, so need a non-vegetable source from the list. 

Natural de-wormer: Geobond, which comes in large sacks, is a blend of diatomaceous earth and French clay.  We mix a fat pinch (using all fingers and thumb of one hand) into the mash once daily and have never had worms in our eggs.

Water: Open bucket method works best in winter, but may be wasteful during the rest of the year if water is scarce.  Other than in wintertime, consider a dripping nipple feeder, at least as a backup for water buckets if things become too rough outdoors to carry water to the flock during the pole shift and traversing the debris field.  Individual hens need to be observed at first to make sure the teat method catches on.  Land ducks need more water changes than hens, as they must have bathing water to clear out their nostrils and moisten their eyes, for which a teat waterer won't work.  Poultry could also be housed in an attached garage or in the cellar during the worst of the passage if sanitation is carefully considered (maybe newspaper or a dropcloth on the floor piled with clean hay, with the litter being bagged for when it is safe to carry and compost outdoors again, as it will be a potential fire hazard).

Iodine (especially in a nuclear winter): a pinch of iodized salt, cranberries, soaked and cooked navy beans, potatoes, a drop of Lugol's in the water trough.

Arginine for egg-producing land ducks (a good type of poultry if you need a quiet flock, and especially quiet males as opposed to roosters): dried milk, forage seeds and nuts (seeds and nuts are not good long-term storage foods though), cooked legumes.

Choline (a B vitamin necessary for healthy nerve transmission and emulsifying fats into the watery blood plasma): their own egg yolks

Phosphorous: Dried milk is the best source, followed by legumes, seeds, nuts.

Trace minerals: sea salt
Wow, quite a massive treasure trove here, and thanks for posting.

I'd add that it might be wise if using eggshells as a calcium source, to crush and pulverize them if possible, before feeding back to chickens, as this helps prevent cannibalizing of eggs.  Once they learn to do this, they usually don't stop.

Also, a few years ago I read of a method of long-term storage for fresh, raw eggs, and I cannot now find it.  Was it something like immersion in olive oil?  In lard? 
Title: Re: Chickens
Post by: R.R. Book on March 17, 2017, 10:26:26 AM
Hi Ilinda,

I've heard of waterglass, or sodium silicate, before, but would love to learn other methods if you think of them!
Title: Re: Chickens
Post by: ilinda on March 17, 2017, 04:42:54 PM
Hi Ilinda,

I've heard of waterglass, or sodium silicate, before, but would love to learn other methods if you think of them!
How do you use either of these?  And what exctly is waterglass?  Sodium silicate sounds like "salty sand"!

Do you know of their effectiveness?  And yes, if and when I find that source, I'll post it here.
Title: Re: Chickens
Post by: Yowbarb on March 19, 2017, 03:59:30 AM
Hi Ilinda,

I've heard of waterglass, or sodium silicate, before, but would love to learn other methods if you think of them!

Kind of a long article, but the answers are in there... will post something more concise, soon...

Just part of the data: [1] "Unwashed, fertile homestead eggs seem to store much better than washed, unfertile agribiz eggs. Why? Probably for the simple reason that they're unwashed . . . and not because they're fertile. Hen fruit, as it comes from the chicken, is coated with a light layer of a natural sealing agent called "bloom". And, while a good wash may make a batch of eggs look more attractive, it also removes this natural protective coating . . . leaving the eggs more subject to aging and attack by the air and bacteria in the air."

http://www.motherearthnews.com/real-food/how-to-store-fresh-eggs-zmaz77ndzgoe?pageid=3#PageContent3
Title: Re: Chickens
Post by: ilinda on March 19, 2017, 04:14:27 PM
The place I read about long-term storage of eggs indicated they might be still good after a year or two, possibly more.  It was truly long-term storage for eggs, longer than any we commonly know about.
Title: Re: Chickens
Post by: ilinda on March 19, 2017, 04:23:04 PM
Hi all,

We began keeping chickens as a home school project years ago when my children were young, and have had a number of years to improve our methods.  Regarding how to feed them in the after-time:
Once it's safe to pasture them again, there may be an abundance of bio-degradation insects, such as beetles, as well as other small creatures for them to eat.  But what to do during the pole-shift confinement period and winter?

1. We intensively studied poultry nutrition and make all our own feed, rather than relying upon the local feed store for factory-made scratch.  However, that means we still have to come up with the raw materials, either from what we grow, what we store, or what we can obtain nearby.  Obtaining in the after-times is the largest unknown, even if we live among farm people.  So the two of three variables that we can control are what we grow and what we store.  What we can grow is likely to take a battering from the incoming debris field that we are beginning to traverse, but we still must try our hardest to do this anyway, because it is one variable that we at least have some control over.  The third variable, what we store, needs to be extended to cover the largest possible stretch of time that we can manage. 

2. We need to get creative about storage space, unless one is fortunate enough to have one or more large barns (which are not guaranteed to remain standing in the after-time).  For example, when I have an old chest freezer die on me, I never discard it, as it is the perfect place to store sacks of raw feed grains away from rodents, insects, moisture, etc.  Metal trash cans with lids are good storage places if they are placed on a wooden plank to prevent wicking moisture from a concrete floor.  Plastic buckets with tight lids, such as the largest kind we use for human storage food, can also store animal feed.  The same oxygen absorbers can be used as for human food storage.  Outdoors, hay can be stored under a deck, etc., especially if it is wrapped in plastic sheeting or contractor-size trash bags and stacked on old asphalt shingles on the ground, or on pallets / skids, with maybe a tarp tied down over the whole thing.

3.  What stores well?  One of the key components of our feed, which is vitamin and mineral impregnated black oil sunflower seed, does Not store well, so more creativity is needed.  Bulk oats in large sacks have a better storage life due to the vitamin E content of oats.    When storing large bulk feed sacks, though, they should be cycled through a working chest freezer for 72 hours to kill insect eggs.  If planning to breed your poultry in the after-times, which is necessary if depending upon them well into the future, then finer feed will be needed for the babies, so either plan to grind your own or store the finer cut instant oats.

Enriched white or parboiled rice stores well, but must be thoroughly re-hydrated before giving to poultry, as undercooked rice may swell in their crops.  Dehydrated potato flakes are an option, as are soaked and sprouted whole grains.  Most corn is now GMO in the U.S., so we don't use it at all. 

Protein: Well-soaked and cooked legumes, their own cooked eggs, a partial left-over can of pet food that can't be refrigerated without electricity, dehydrated milk from storage, earth worms, salamanders, etc.

Grit: small stones on the ground, stored oyster shell for females, stored crushed granite

Calcium: dehydrated milk from storage (you see why there's no such thing as too much dry milk), crushed oyster shell in storage, dehydrated spinach from the garden, sea salt, their own egg shells

Sodium: sea salt, iodized table salt, especially in summer.  A lack of salt, when forgotten in the mash, is the only reason that we have ever lost poultry in the summer months.

Potassium: sea salt, cooked potatoes or potato flakes, white beans, squash

Vitamin D for leg strength: if natural sunlight is not available, then consider the oil from a can of tuna or other sea food mixed into their mash, or their own egg yolks, or fortified dry milk

Vitamin A: dehydrated greens, dehydrated carrots, dehydrated tomatoes, mashed or dried sweet potatoes or squash, their own yolks if they are free-ranged at all.  Some vitamin A is in dried milk.  If forage greens are expected to be wiped out by Px for a while, may want to store rabbit pellets, especially if keeping egg-producing land ducks.  Baby chicks don't process carotenes well, so need a non-vegetable source from the list. 

Natural de-wormer: Geobond, which comes in large sacks, is a blend of diatomaceous earth and French clay.  We mix a fat pinch (using all fingers and thumb of one hand) into the mash once daily and have never had worms in our eggs.

Water: Open bucket method works best in winter, but may be wasteful during the rest of the year if water is scarce.  Other than in wintertime, consider a dripping nipple feeder, at least as a backup for water buckets if things become too rough outdoors to carry water to the flock during the pole shift and traversing the debris field.  Individual hens need to be observed at first to make sure the teat method catches on.  Land ducks need more water changes than hens, as they must have bathing water to clear out their nostrils and moisten their eyes, for which a teat waterer won't work.  Poultry could also be housed in an attached garage or in the cellar during the worst of the passage if sanitation is carefully considered (maybe newspaper or a dropcloth on the floor piled with clean hay, with the litter being bagged for when it is safe to carry and compost outdoors again, as it will be a potential fire hazard).

Iodine (especially in a nuclear winter): a pinch of iodized salt, cranberries, soaked and cooked navy beans, potatoes, a drop of Lugol's in the water trough.

Arginine for egg-producing land ducks (a good type of poultry if you need a quiet flock, and especially quiet males as opposed to roosters): dried milk, forage seeds and nuts (seeds and nuts are not good long-term storage foods though), cooked legumes.

Choline (a B vitamin necessary for healthy nerve transmission and emulsifying fats into the watery blood plasma): their own egg yolks

Phosphorous: Dried milk is the best source, followed by legumes, seeds, nuts.

Trace minerals: sea salt
Lots of good info. here. 

Author Harvey Ussery wrote in The Small-Scale Poultry Flock that people have contacted him telling him that they raise chickens to get their own feed, and IIRC they do supplement with things they find in Nature such as hickory nuts, walnuts, etc., but that they can be gradually trained so they know if they want to survive, they'll have to forage better, and forage a lot.  Now I'm aware that situation may not be possible in all situations, but it does pay to ponder the breed of chicken before investing, to find a variety that can forage better than the less hardy ones.

Thanks for posting such a lot of poultry information.
Title: Re: Chickens
Post by: Yowbarb on March 19, 2017, 10:44:46 PM
The place I read about long-term storage of eggs indicated they might be still good after a year or two, possibly more.  It was truly long-term storage for eggs, longer than any we commonly know about.

That's the one we need to find. :)
Title: Re: Chickens
Post by: Solani on March 19, 2017, 11:40:14 PM
The place I read about long-term storage of eggs indicated they might be still good after a year or two, possibly more.  It was truly long-term storage for eggs, longer than any we commonly know about.

That's the one we need to find. :)

I have it since we store our eggs in waterglass. I'll post it tomorrow as I was just doing a quick check in here before stumbling to find my lair somewhere... lol
night night
//Solani
Title: Re: Chickens
Post by: Socrates on March 20, 2017, 02:27:37 AM
Okay, never had chickens... but have been paying attention.
One of the things i learned is that chickens are in fact omnivores [not like people consider themselves omnivores, but true natural omnivores, like pigs and rats] and one of the things they do like to eat, contrary as it may seem to most 'city slickers', is carrion.
Rotting flesh is not only a normal part of a chicken diet but it also can lead to larvae that can be fed to the chickens, thereby creating a living source of protein that potentially lasts much longer than a slab of meat might.
Title: Re: Chickens
Post by: Solani on March 20, 2017, 10:12:37 AM
The place I read about long-term storage of eggs indicated they might be still good after a year or two, possibly more.  It was truly long-term storage for eggs, longer than any we commonly know about.

That's the one we need to find. :)

I have it since we store our eggs in waterglass. I'll post it tomorrow as I was just doing a quick check in here before stumbling to find my lair somewhere... lol
night night
//Solani

Water glassing eggs (Water Glass - liquid sodium silicate)
Can be bought from here: https://www.lehmans.com/product/water-glass-liquid-sodium-silicate/animal-care
I know I’ve written this before but for whatever reason, my computer must have “eaten” it... :( So, I’ll write it again!! *grrrrr*

Anywho…
We use this method even though we do have a fridge. It started out as one of Dan’s (my partner) many “science projects”. Same as I have science projects of varying nature, just to see if something works and if I can perfect it somehow.
Last years “harvest” of water glassed eggs turned out way over our expectations. The last egg we cracked open, fried and ATE. (even though I was suspiciously eyeballing that thing which was viciously spitting hot grease at me from the frying pan and more than prepared to spit the potentially lethal THING out at the first hint of EEUUUWEE…) Have to admit that I was pleasantly surprised with the end result, as from what we’ve read from various sources it states that water glassed eggs can successfully be stored for up to 8 – 9 months. Dan had stored a dozen eggs in water glass mixed with distilled water in a large pickle jar and we opened 1 egg per month, looked at it, smelled it, fried it, smelled it again and on to the final test, tasting the darn thing. They were all good, even the one that was alone in the jar come month 12. So yes, it definitely works!

Here is our version of how we do the water glass eggs storage.
Will also write that we have not placed the jars with the eggs anywhere special other than directly on the kitchen floor, right between the fridge and the shelves on the outer wall. But yes, it is a bit cooler there than anywhere else in the kitchen, also not in direct light.

What we’ve found out is that the best eggs to use, are eggs that are NOT fertilized. No roster in the coop in other words… Rooster needs to be removed from the coop, or for your sanity and not having to listen to a crazy rooster LOUDLY complaining about missing his women… put a few hens that will be producing the non-fertilized eggs in a separate coop. It will take about 2 weeks before the eggs are not considered to be fertilized. Dang those roosters must be “potent”! ;)

Once you’ve got a sufficient amount of eggs from these hens, wipe them off lightly with a cloth, just enough to brush off loose debris. Do NOT wash the eggs or let them come in contact with water. Fresh eggs from the chicken coop have a thin protective layer of some sort that helps keep them fresh longer. (Prevents air to leak through the shell)

We use the large gallon pickle jars. Clean jars and dry them. To make the water glass solution for your eggs you will need to have either bought distilled water, or boiled your own water in a nonmetal pot. So far, we prefer buying the distilled water as long as it’s out there to buy and due to varying water quality, I’d go for the store bought distilled water as long as it’s out there to buy…

Carefully place your eggs in the (empty clean) jar. Have read about folks claiming that the eggs should not be touching each other. How you would be able to store multiple eggs in a jar without the eggs touching each other, is a mystery to me and something we’ve proved doesn’t matter whatsoever… Once you’ve got your eggs in the jar. Make a mixture of 1-part water glass and 9 parts distilled water, pour the mixed solution over the eggs in the jar. Make sure you have at least an inch and a half of water glass mixture covering the top eggs. Screw the lid on tight and place the jar with water glassed eggs somewhere, preferably cooler than room temperature and not in direct sunlight. I prefer a shadowy place such as on the floor between our fridge and wall… On the other hand, we do have cold floors so that in itself could be why they’re staying fresh for as long as they have.

When you decide to use the water glassed eggs, lift the jar up on the counter next to the sink. Make sure it’s sitting stable on the counter, open jar, put on rubber or latex glove (this stuff is slimy and very slippery…) carefully remove one egg at a time, if you are planning on using more than one egg. Rinse each one as you take them out of the jar under the tap in cold water to get rid of the slime. Water glass/slime is not poisonous at all but I prefer rinsing them off before using them as it makes it a lot easier to hold on to them when cracking them open…

Crack each egg you are going to use in a separate container and not all of them one after another in the same container you will be using to let’s say, bake a cake or something. All it takes is one bad egg and you’ll have to junk the whole thing. Do the look and smell test, should NOT smell bad, eggs whites should be clear, the yolks do tend to be a bit fragile especially the older they get but still good. Of course if you find a “floater” in the jar, junk it… We haven’t come across any floaters yet but you can find floaters in fresh eggs too, so I’m just waiting to bump into one sooner or later.

By the end of the year, the water glass mixture did become a bit "cloudy" but that seems to be normal and didn't cause any harm to the eggs. Don't use the same water glass mixture when making the next round of water glassed eggs.

This year we have prepared 3 gallon jars of eggs and are planning on finding out if we can push the “best before” date further than a year.

Hope this will be useful

//Solani
Title: Re: Chickens
Post by: ilinda on March 21, 2017, 03:52:55 PM
The place I read about long-term storage of eggs indicated they might be still good after a year or two, possibly more.  It was truly long-term storage for eggs, longer than any we commonly know about.

That's the one we need to find. :)

I have it since we store our eggs in waterglass. I'll post it tomorrow as I was just doing a quick check in here before stumbling to find my lair somewhere... lol
night night
//Solani

Water glassing eggs (Water Glass - liquid sodium silicate)
Can be bought from here: https://www.lehmans.com/product/water-glass-liquid-sodium-silicate/animal-care
I know I’ve written this before but for whatever reason, my computer must have “eaten” it... :( So, I’ll write it again!! *grrrrr*

Anywho…
We use this method even though we do have a fridge. It started out as one of Dan’s (my partner) many “science projects”. Same as I have science projects of varying nature, just to see if something works and if I can perfect it somehow.
Last years “harvest” of water glassed eggs turned out way over our expectations. The last egg we cracked open, fried and ATE. (even though I was suspiciously eyeballing that thing which was viciously spitting hot grease at me from the frying pan and more than prepared to spit the potentially lethal THING out at the first hint of EEUUUWEE…) Have to admit that I was pleasantly surprised with the end result, as from what we’ve read from various sources it states that water glassed eggs can successfully be stored for up to 8 – 9 months. Dan had stored a dozen eggs in water glass mixed with distilled water in a large pickle jar and we opened 1 egg per month, looked at it, smelled it, fried it, smelled it again and on to the final test, tasting the darn thing. They were all good, even the one that was alone in the jar come month 12. So yes, it definitely works!

Here is our version of how we do the water glass eggs storage.
Will also write that we have not placed the jars with the eggs anywhere special other than directly on the kitchen floor, right between the fridge and the shelves on the outer wall. But yes, it is a bit cooler there than anywhere else in the kitchen, also not in direct light.

What we’ve found out is that the best eggs to use, are eggs that are NOT fertilized. No roster in the coop in other words… Rooster needs to be removed from the coop, or for your sanity and not having to listen to a crazy rooster LOUDLY complaining about missing his women… put a few hens that will be producing the non-fertilized eggs in a separate coop. It will take about 2 weeks before the eggs are not considered to be fertilized. Dang those roosters must be “potent”! ;)

Once you’ve got a sufficient amount of eggs from these hens, wipe them off lightly with a cloth, just enough to brush off loose debris. Do NOT wash the eggs or let them come in contact with water. Fresh eggs from the chicken coop have a thin protective layer of some sort that helps keep them fresh longer. (Prevents air to leak through the shell)

We use the large gallon pickle jars. Clean jars and dry them. To make the water glass solution for your eggs you will need to have either bought distilled water, or boiled your own water in a nonmetal pot. So far, we prefer buying the distilled water as long as it’s out there to buy and due to varying water quality, I’d go for the store bought distilled water as long as it’s out there to buy…

Carefully place your eggs in the (empty clean) jar. Have read about folks claiming that the eggs should not be touching each other. How you would be able to store multiple eggs in a jar without the eggs touching each other, is a mystery to me and something we’ve proved doesn’t matter whatsoever… Once you’ve got your eggs in the jar. Make a mixture of 1-part water glass and 9 parts distilled water, pour the mixed solution over the eggs in the jar. Make sure you have at least an inch and a half of water glass mixture covering the top eggs. Screw the lid on tight and place the jar with water glassed eggs somewhere, preferably cooler than room temperature and not in direct sunlight. I prefer a shadowy place such as on the floor between our fridge and wall… On the other hand, we do have cold floors so that in itself could be why they’re staying fresh for as long as they have.

When you decide to use the water glassed eggs, lift the jar up on the counter next to the sink. Make sure it’s sitting stable on the counter, open jar, put on rubber or latex glove (this stuff is slimy and very slippery…) carefully remove one egg at a time, if you are planning on using more than one egg. Rinse each one as you take them out of the jar under the tap in cold water to get rid of the slime. Water glass/slime is not poisonous at all but I prefer rinsing them off before using them as it makes it a lot easier to hold on to them when cracking them open…

Crack each egg you are going to use in a separate container and not all of them one after another in the same container you will be using to let’s say, bake a cake or something. All it takes is one bad egg and you’ll have to junk the whole thing. Do the look and smell test, should NOT smell bad, eggs whites should be clear, the yolks do tend to be a bit fragile especially the older they get but still good. Of course if you find a “floater” in the jar, junk it… We haven’t come across any floaters yet but you can find floaters in fresh eggs too, so I’m just waiting to bump into one sooner or later.

By the end of the year, the water glass mixture did become a bit "cloudy" but that seems to be normal and didn't cause any harm to the eggs. Don't use the same water glass mixture when making the next round of water glassed eggs.

This year we have prepared 3 gallon jars of eggs and are planning on finding out if we can push the “best before” date further than a year.

Hope this will be useful

//Solani
Solani, thanks so much for posting this, as it looks like exactly what I've been looking for.  Now getting anxious to try my first experimental batch.

Also, I wonder if anyone has ever tried this on eggs that are already hard-boiled?  Still, this is really helpful info. for those of us who think we might be without electricity or any means to keep eggs cold, and worse, no means to obtain eggs for a while.
Title: Re: Chickens
Post by: Solani on March 21, 2017, 09:31:19 PM
Solani, thanks so much for posting this, as it looks like exactly what I've been looking for.  Now getting anxious to try my first experimental batch.

Also, I wonder if anyone has ever tried this on eggs that are already hard-boiled?  Still, this is really helpful info. for those of us who think we might be without electricity or any means to keep eggs cold, and worse, no means to obtain eggs for a while.

Hmmm... Haven't thought about doing it with already hard-boiled eggs. Not sure how that would work. I'm guessing one would have to leave the shells on the eggs. Will have to try it out. Could also try pressure canning hard-boiled peeled egg's. I know you can pickle eggs but I totally detest the taste of pickled eggs!! *uurrk* I like most everything else that is pickled but eggs... Guess I gotta draw the line somewhere! ;D

Found an old (very old) book in one of Dan's book-boxes that had a bunch of both recipes and food storage ways from the olden days. That's where he got the water glassing eggs method from.

I am however going to try dehydrating eggs. Found an interesting article about that a few weeks ago. Might as well give that a try since I'm up to my eyeballs in canning meats, veggies, rendered beef-fat, pemmican and sealing dry goods in mylar bags. Had to leave all my preps back with my kids in Sweden when I came over here, so I've had to start from scratch again. Dan's a prepper-minded man but... He really never understood the idea of rotating his food stash... *sigh*
//Solani
Title: Re: Chickens
Post by: Yowbarb on March 21, 2017, 11:29:36 PM
Solani, thanks so much for posting this, as it looks like exactly what I've been looking for.  Now getting anxious to try my first experimental batch.

Also, I wonder if anyone has ever tried this on eggs that are already hard-boiled?  Still, this is really helpful info. for those of us who think we might be without electricity or any means to keep eggs cold, and worse, no means to obtain eggs for a while.

Hmmm... Haven't thought about doing it with already hard-boiled eggs. Not sure how that would work. I'm guessing one would have to leave the shells on the eggs. Will have to try it out. Could also try pressure canning hard-boiled peeled egg's. I know you can pickle eggs but I totally detest the taste of pickled eggs!! *uurrk* I like most everything else that is pickled but eggs... Guess I gotta draw the line somewhere! ;D

Found an old (very old) book in one of Dan's book-boxes that had a bunch of both recipes and food storage ways from the olden days. That's where he got the water glassing eggs method from.

I am however going to try dehydrating eggs. Found an interesting article about that a few weeks ago. Might as well give that a try since I'm up to my eyeballs in canning meats, veggies, rendered beef-fat, pemmican and sealing dry goods in mylar bags. Had to leave all my preps back with my kids in Sweden when I came over here, so I've had to start from scratch again. Dan's a prepper-minded man but... He really never understood the idea of rotating his food stash... *sigh*
//Solani

Solani, if you can locate that old book again, anything you would like to post about keeping food cool, this is one place and this is another:

Topic: Keeping food cool
http://planetxtownhall.com/index.php?topic=5070.msg71314#msg71314

:)
- Barb Townsend
Title: Re: Chickens
Post by: Solani on March 22, 2017, 05:20:30 AM

Solani, if you can locate that old book again, anything you would like to post about keeping food cool, this is one place and this is another:

Topic: Keeping food cool
http://planetxtownhall.com/index.php?topic=5070.msg71314#msg71314

:)
- Barb Townsend

Yupp, will do!  ;)
Title: Re: Chickens
Post by: Yowbarb 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/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.
Title: Re: Chickens
Post by: Yowbarb on March 30, 2017, 02:47:05 PM
VARIOUS BLOGS, SITES, PAGES ON CHICKENS - just a few to start

http://www.motherearthnews.com/homesteading-and-livestock/raising-free-range-chickens-zmaz84jazloeck?pageid=3#PageContent3

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/hen-hideout

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/chicken-tractors-mobile-chicken-coop-designs

Title: Re: Chickens
Post by: R.R. Book 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:
Title: Re: Chickens
Post by: ilinda 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.
Title: Re: Chickens
Post by: Socrates 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...).
Title: Re: Chickens
Post by: R.R. Book 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
Title: Re: Chickens
Post by: R.R. Book on June 24, 2017, 07:23:15 AM
The clean-up crew never fails to show up on time:
Title: Re: Chickens
Post by: Jimfarmer 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.
Title: Re: Chickens
Post by: R.R. Book 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 :)
Title: Re: Chickens
Post by: Yowbarb 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! :)
Title: Re: Chickens
Post by: Yowbarb 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.
Title: Re: Chickens
Post by: ilinda 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.
Title: processing
Post by: Socrates on August 08, 2017, 11:23:17 AM
Joel Salatin's processing demonstration (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-CM2E-5rkhA) [larger scale].
How to humanely process your chicken without losing all kinds of bits.
Title: Re: Chickens without a fence with a guard dog
Post by: Socrates on August 15, 2017, 09:51:51 AM
In this vid (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7KW8mPDqIzk) 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.
Title: Re: Chickens
Post by: R.R. Book 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:
Title: Re: Chickens
Post by: ilinda on September 19, 2017, 05:26:09 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:
Aren't they lovely?  I feel so protective when I see animals like that, just want to pick them up and chat with them, eye-to-eye, you know. :-D))
Title: Re: Chickens
Post by: R.R. Book on September 19, 2017, 07:14:21 PM
I think you are so meant to have a flock of them Ilinda!  Bet they'd follow you around like puppies! :)

(https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSbJYOK6WVaNbIUmdzBQUHySklC8e9aCOodrufwz36yNJ-bRFUvCQ)
Title: Re: Chickens
Post by: R.R. Book on September 20, 2017, 04:43:49 PM
Ilinda, I did a little checking on whether chickens and goats get along together, and found this:

(http://i941.photobucket.com/albums/ad255/mlamun/Goat/chickenngoat.jpg)

(https://i.pinimg.com/236x/09/7f/ef/097fefb7f7ada03b587efdb90b131870--pygmy-goats-video.jpg)

(https://www.communitychickens.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/100_4749.jpg)

(http://www.nannygoatsinpanties.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/goat-chicken-skinner-550x392.jpg)

(https://i.ytimg.com/vi/lex_nsq7NuA/maxresdefault.jpg)

(https://i.pinimg.com/236x/d5/27/69/d52769b176981e0238ce07ba4ed72ce8--hens-night-front-yards.jpg)

(https://i.pinimg.com/736x/a5/f6/c5/a5f6c5c39842228821a6411fbcbf2647--pigmy-goats-mini-goats.jpg)

(http://68.media.tumblr.com/ba176ee78f6e60044419eafc8f1881c5/tumblr_inline_olfrofhDi41txk78z_500.jpg)

(http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-IGRDXPWIkEs/Vcf2loZ3PXI/AAAAAAAAA6E/xEaW0rdy3ws/s1600/goat_chick_spring_495472517.jpg)

(https://image.jimcdn.com/app/cms/image/transf/none/path/sde7a907c1f80ff5a/image/i5c30c0dcbd1d6c66/version/1459195555/image.jpg)

(https://schoonoverfarm.files.wordpress.com/2015/03/gertie-and-hen-in-sun.jpg)




Title: Re: Chickens & goats
Post by: Socrates on September 21, 2017, 05:12:31 AM
i love chickens ánd goats because they're so stupid... They're so stupid they're adorable.
Contrarily, there are animals i kinda respect. But they're just not as funny...
 :D
Title: Re: Chickens
Post by: R.R. Book on September 21, 2017, 07:03:39 AM
It's true...

Mine do goofy things like pressing their faces up against the glass patio door to peek inside, and walking presumptuously right into the house and up the stairs to the 2nd floor if the door is open a crack for the cats to go out. 

A young hen that we allowed out to graze too soon left home for the summer to live in the woods (we tried in vain to catch her and she would just laugh at us), and then came back one day and sat in my lap on the porch swing and chattered with me non-stop, as if sharing her adventures.

Another one hops up on a gate and rubbernecks her head back and forth with each pass of the reel mower when we are cutting the grass.

One of them likes to swallow toads in a single bite.

And yet another one sees things in the woods by daytime that are not visible, at least not visible to me, and then runs for shelter all shaken up.

Entire clusters of them will nest by day beneath a car and refuse to budge until the engine is started.

Often we find that they've dug potholes scattered all the way down a path, one for each hen to nap in.

The eldest one forces the youngest (adult) ones to sleep under her wings at night, and if they try to leave, will put them right back. :)
Title: Re: Chickens
Post by: Jimfarmer on September 21, 2017, 10:17:59 AM
Quote
i love chickens ánd goats because they're so stupid..

An incident:  I was in Fiji visiting a rural family, sitting outside.  Chickens milling around and pecking at an overturned half coconut shell (outside side up, this way: ^).  A Myrna bird swooped down and deftly flicked the coconut shell over (this way: v), exposing the inside side where the white lining would be.  The chickens then came running to it, but it was empty.

Another case that I read about while I was in Fiji:  One family's goat joined in the neighborhood soccer game, butting the ball around.
Title: Re: Chickens
Post by: R.R. Book on September 21, 2017, 12:03:25 PM
Would love to have seen both of those incidents Jim! :)
Title: Re: Chickens & goats
Post by: ilinda on September 21, 2017, 05:07:55 PM
i love chickens ánd goats because they're so stupid... They're so stupid they're adorable.
Contrarily, there are animals i kinda respect. But they're just not as funny...
 :D
I love them because they're so smart. 
Title: Re: Chickens
Post by: ilinda on September 21, 2017, 05:16:06 PM
Quote
i love chickens ánd goats because they're so stupid..

An incident:  I was in Fiji visiting a rural family, sitting outside.  Chickens milling around and pecking at an overturned half coconut shell (outside side up, this way: ^).  A Myrna bird swooped down and deftly flicked the coconut shell over (this way: v), exposing the inside side where the white lining would be.  The chickens then came running to it, but it was empty.

Another case that I read about while I was in Fiji:  One family's goat joined in the neighborhood soccer game, butting the ball around.
A couple of years ago hubby was working on a fence line, and would periodically move his "stuff" which was a box full of his tools, gloves, water bottle, etc. 

Well, one of the times he picked up and moved everything some yards down the line to the next fence post,  he had unknowingly left the gloves.   A minute or so later, one of our free-range goats, Vinnie, walked up to hubby with the gloves in his mouth, and he dropped them at hubby's feet. 
Title: Re: Chickens
Post by: R.R. Book on September 22, 2017, 05:09:53 AM
That is so amazing - they must be very intelligent creatures!  I'll bet you have lots of good goat anecdotes that you could share Ilinda! :)
Title: Re: 'stupid'...
Post by: Socrates on September 23, 2017, 04:52:47 AM
clearly not as 'stupid' as goats...
But ya gotta love 'm.
I love dogs; maybe because their 'intelligence' is rated as that of 2-year-olds... But what about 'smart' dogs...?
What about any kind of 'smart' animal?

"Nature provides", but what about human nature?
In the end we're all about 'being' as well as intelligence (and when it comes to humans, as well about 'intelligence'.

In the end, though, being human is also about empathy, including empathy toward non-human lifeforms. Intellect and 'intelligence' do not enter into it (then).
Title: Re: Chickens
Post by: ilinda on September 24, 2017, 08:52:17 AM
That is so amazing - they must be very intelligent creatures!  I'll bet you have lots of good goat anecdotes that you could share Ilinda! :)
Checked with hubby and the incident I described had one minor error.  Vinnie the goat brought one glove to hubby, as he had grabbed what he thought was the pair, but left one on the ground which Vinnie saw and brought to him.

And speaking of the so-called stupidity of goats, I have to reminisce about the several articles I've read in ACRES, U.S.A., in which farmers have told about incidents in which livestock of all types, especially the four-footed ones such cows, goats, llama, etc., who have accidentally gotten loose, and have trekked through a field growing GM corn--without eating one bite--and continued on to a farther field growing non-GM crops, where they eat their fill.  They are smart enough to detect something wrong in the GM crops.

I wonder how many humans could sense something is inherently wrong with a given food without reading or hearing about its dangers.
Title: Re: Chickens
Post by: R.R. Book on September 24, 2017, 09:15:37 AM
Wonder if their olfactory sense is responsible for that? 

Title: Re: Chickens
Post by: ilinda on September 25, 2017, 06:16:14 PM
Wonder if their olfactory sense is responsible for that?
Also have wondered which sense(s) allow them to "know".  There's vision, and it's possible their range of light is slightly wider than our range, and perhaps they can see a bit into the ultraviolet, and/or infrared.  Who knows what else they can "see".

And smell.  What if smell is the most important?  Watch grazing/browsing animals, and you'll often see them, when approaching a new tidbit, sniffing, and instantly moving away, or even immediately eating it.  You're probably right that smell is most important.  What if GM crops have an unusual, and even unpleasant smell?  Smell would relate to frequency (such as the sum total of frequencies in a composite for a given crop), and maybe the frequency/smell of GM crops elicit nausea in livestock?

I think maybe they can be fooled if they are hungry, and are fed pellets from a feed store.  Those pellets have been so processed that who knows what they smell like!  Further, who knows what's in them.

I re-read your reply and realize you meant the sense of smell related to the glove retrieval.  In that instance, I think Vinnie knew hubby was using his gloves and he inadvertly left one at the previous spot, so he figured he'd help hubby out.  LOL
Title: Re: "help out"...
Post by: Socrates on September 26, 2017, 12:01:27 AM
god knows empathy is the foundation for all social species, according to Peter Kropotkin's research.
Most species [excepting a few like cats, bears and other loners] are genetically / evolutionarily based on the basic principle that individuals working together can overcome the interests of loners. This applies to packs, groups, herds and hives. We, as humans, function as part of a group [often referred to as clans]. Evolutionarily speaking, we have evolved [psychologically as well as physically] to support one another. We feel a strong urge toward what's fair because of this.

This conditioning / genetics / psychology extends to other species as well. That's why we see a lamb, for instance, and think it's cute rather than see it as easy prey / dinner... [one of the foundational arguments vegetarians bring forth]. Similarly, according to Kropotkin's research, ants of different colonies will offer up food to ants of other colonies if they are hungry.

That a goat should help out someone in trouble / need is in line with such research.
[Of course, the popular / politically correct take on things is that it's a dog-eat-dog world and that everybody's supposedly only out for their own gain and advantage. The actual science [/ research] concerning such matters, however, shows a very different picture.]
Title: Re: "help out"...
Post by: ilinda on September 26, 2017, 04:35:11 PM
god knows empathy is the foundation for all social species, according to Peter Kropotkin's research.
Most species [excepting a few like cats, bears and other loners] are genetically / evolutionarily based on the basic principle that individuals working together can overcome the interests of loners. This applies to packs, groups, herds and hives. We, as humans, function as part of a group [often referred to as clans]. Evolutionarily speaking, we have evolved [psychologically as well as physically] to support one another. We feel a strong urge toward what's fair because of this.

This conditioning / genetics / psychology extends to other species as well. That's why we see a lamb, for instance, and think it's cute rather than see it as easy prey / dinner... [one of the foundational arguments vegetarians bring forth]. Similarly, according to Kropotkin's research, ants of different colonies will offer up food to ants of other colonies if they are hungry.

That a goat should help out someone in trouble / need is in line with such research.
[Of course, the popular / politically correct take on things is that it's a dog-eat-dog world and that everybody's supposedly only out for their own gain and advantage. The actual science [/ research] concerning such matters, however, shows a very different picture.]
And in line with "helping others" is the email I had re-posted on this PXTH some months ago about how honeybees in this beekeeper's property opened up their hives to hornets and/or other insects during a particularly horrific storm, but then ushered them back out of the hive when the worst was over.  It makes sense when you remember what the honeybees have told Jacqueline Freeman, which she recounted in her Song of Increase, and that is the honeybees are here to help humans evolve a bit to become a better species.
Title: Re: Chickens
Post by: Yowbarb on December 10, 2017, 11:01:53 AM
Quote
i love chickens ánd goats because they're so stupid..

An incident:  I was in Fiji visiting a rural family, sitting outside.  Chickens milling around and pecking at an overturned half coconut shell (outside side up, this way: ^).  A Myrna bird swooped down and deftly flicked the coconut shell over (this way: v), exposing the inside side where the white lining would be.  The chickens then came running to it, but it was empty.

Another case that I read about while I was in Fiji:  One family's goat joined in the neighborhood soccer game, butting the ball around.
A couple of years ago hubby was working on a fence line, and would periodically move his "stuff" which was a box full of his tools, gloves, water bottle, etc. 

Well, one of the times he picked up and moved everything some yards down the line to the next fence post,  he had unknowingly left the gloves.   A minute or so later, one of our free-range goats, Vinnie, walked up to hubby with the gloves in his mouth, and he dropped them at hubby's feet.

That's so cool!
I love these stories.
Title: Re: Chickens
Post by: Yowbarb on December 10, 2017, 11:04:52 AM
Just a short little video, additional links, next post. Hope it helps someone:
...
PREDATORS NO MORE!   9:24  43,699 views

https://youtu.be/NvFrafeCTvA

Justin Rhodes
Published on Apr 28, 2016
SUBSCRIBE 210K

Four stunts to keep your chickens out of the mouths of predators. Plus, I list many of the possible predators (including sasquatches). Then it’s off to gaining several days of grazing land in just 30 minutes. (RESOURCES IN DESCRIPTION):
Title: Re: Chickens
Post by: Yowbarb on December 10, 2017, 11:10:19 AM
Yowbarb Note -
This is the person who put up the video, previous post. Here is more info about chickens, farming in general:
...
[ video, PREDATORS NO MORE! about keeping your chickens out of the mouths of predators. ] 

Justin Rhodes
Published on Apr 28, 2016
SUBSCRIBED 210K

Four stunts to keep your chickens out of the mouths of predators. Plus, I list many of the possible predators (including sasquatches). Then it’s off to gaining several days of grazing land in just 30 minutes. (RESOURCES IN DESCRIPTION):

FREE webinar on Raising Chickens (May 1st, 3pm EST): http://bit.ly/1T91PTt

My article, “Ultimate Guide - Getting Started With Chickens” - http://bit.ly/gettingstartedgroupsFB

More info on Guard Geese - http://bit.ly/1VX8LJJ

I use this Premier One Electric Poultry Net - http://amzn.to/1VX8NBa

Mist Water Sprayers (Foggit Nozzles) - http://amzn.to/1ThTKwa

The Beautiful One can ship you our movie, “Permaculture Chickens” -http://bit.ly/1QtCZz0

Love these vlogs? You can support our effort with a small contribution through Patreon: http://bit.ly/1W0ShAF
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Title: Re: Chickens
Post by: R.R. Book on December 10, 2017, 05:10:55 PM
Quote
I list many of the possible predators (including sasquatches)

We were detoured more deeply than usual into a canyon in Amish country recently, due to a bridge being out, and came upon an unusual sight: a whole line of police patrol cars along the road, and a sign posted at the end of the road warning people to be on the alert for Sasquatches.  Am not sure whether the latter was a joke, and perhaps the two incidents were unrelated, but we encountered them simultaneously which at least made it appear to be a single event unfolding.  One almost never encounters even a lone police car in Amish country (let alone several), as the crime rate is very low due in part to remote location and to the farms often being contiguous, unbroken extended family settlements.  As our own home is less remotely located, I would not expect them to appear in the woods around here and present a threat to the poultry. :)

(http://www.strangehistory.net/blog/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/sasquatch-600x775.png)
Title: Re: Chickens
Post by: Yowbarb on December 10, 2017, 07:18:46 PM
 ;D
Title: Re: Chickens
Post by: ilinda on December 11, 2017, 09:03:45 AM
Quote
I list many of the possible predators (including sasquatches)

We were detoured more deeply than usual into a canyon in Amish country recently, due to a bridge being out, and came upon an unusual sight: a whole line of police patrol cars along the road, and a sign posted at the end of the road warning people to be on the alert for Sasquatches.  Am not sure whether the latter was a joke, and perhaps the two incidents were unrelated, but we encountered them simultaneously which at least made it appear to be a single event unfolding.  One almost never encounters even a lone police car in Amish country (let alone several), as the crime rate is very low due in part to remote location and to the farms often being contiguous, unbroken extended family settlements.  As our own home is less remotely located, I would not expect them to appear in the woods around here and present a threat to the poultry. :)

(http://www.strangehistory.net/blog/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/sasquatch-600x775.png)
When we get chickens again next year, if Sasquatch gets one or two, I certainly hope to catch the event on a wildlife cam!
Title: Re: Chickens
Post by: R.R. Book on December 11, 2017, 09:27:05 AM
That would make a priceless post on TH!  :D
Title: Re: Chickens
Post by: Yowbarb on December 13, 2017, 01:44:38 AM
Quote
I list many of the possible predators (including sasquatches)

We were detoured more deeply than usual into a canyon in Amish country recently, due to a bridge being out, and came upon an unusual sight: a whole line of police patrol cars along the road, and a sign posted at the end of the road warning people to be on the alert for Sasquatches.  Am not sure whether the latter was a joke, and perhaps the two incidents were unrelated, but we encountered them simultaneously which at least made it appear to be a single event unfolding.  One almost never encounters even a lone police car in Amish country (let alone several), as the crime rate is very low due in part to remote location and to the farms often being contiguous, unbroken extended family settlements.  As our own home is less remotely located, I would not expect them to appear in the woods around here and present a threat to the poultry. :)

(http://www.strangehistory.net/blog/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/sasquatch-600x775.png)
When we get chickens again next year, if Sasquatch gets one or two, I certainly hope to catch the event on a wildlife cam!

Yeah! Seems like they should be caught on those cams. :)
Title: Re: Chickens
Post by: Yowbarb on December 13, 2017, 01:46:50 AM
BTW...on another new topic we could compare ideas on Big Foot.
If I get started, I will forget this is a chickens Topic.
I think a big foot was circling around my trailer in the dead of night, in the woods of WA state.
Whatever it was sounded bipedal.

 ;D

Whatever it was I am glad we had our dog, "Jaws" to protect us.
Title: Re: Chickens
Post by: R.R. Book on December 13, 2017, 04:05:28 AM
Is Jaws kept indoors or outdoors at night?
Title: Re: Chickens
Post by: ilinda on December 13, 2017, 10:29:58 AM
BTW...on another new topic we could compare ideas on Big Foot.
If I get started, I will forget this is a chickens Topic.
I think a big foot was circling around my trailer in the dead of night, in the woods of WA state.
Whatever it was sounded bipedal.

 ;D

Whatever it was I am glad we had our dog, "Jaws" to protect us.
Did you search for footprints the next AM?
Title: Re: Chickens
Post by: Yowbarb on December 14, 2017, 03:34:17 PM
BTW...on another new topic we could compare ideas on Big Foot.
If I get started, I will forget this is a chickens Topic.
I think a big foot was circling around my trailer in the dead of night, in the woods of WA state.
Whatever it was sounded bipedal.

 ;D

Whatever it was I am glad we had our dog, "Jaws" to protect us.
Did you search for footprints the next AM?

I didn't even think about it, partly because it was in a rain forest type area, gravel road under our little trailer.
Title: Re: Chickens
Post by: Yowbarb on December 28, 2017, 05:50:54 PM
A little tidbit from an article (already posted in Coconut Oil Topic.)
...
https://draxe.com/coconut-oil-uses/

15.  Prolong the Freshness of Eggs – You can use coconut oil to seal the pores in an egg shell and prolong the life of the eggs in your refrigerator. Try swiping a small amount of oil over the shells of the eggs and leaving it to penetrate, which will help prevent exposure to oxygen. This method should extend the life of your eggs for 1-2 weeks
Title: Re: Chickens : Eggs
Post by: R.R. Book on May 02, 2018, 05:01:20 PM
Posting a photo of some of the eggs we've gathered this week.  The brown ones are from Northern heritage breed hens (Silver Lace Wyandotte, Rhode Island Red, Plymouth Barred Rock) plus a few hybrids, and the white eggs are from the ducks.

If nest boxes are kept well-stuffed with fresh bedding, there won't be as much of a need to clean the eggs, as cleaning removes the protective shiny cuticle that hens place on the outside of the shells.  However, it's not a difficult task to keep a colander near the sink for eggs awaiting a wash.  I like to scrub mine a bit with a brush and then dip them in leftover dish water once the dishes are done, so eggs are the last things to be dipped.  Since I pre-rinse dishes before washing them, the water remains clean enough to use again, and the few drops of added alcohol help to sanitize everything, including eggs that may have been collected with dirt on them.  Once rinsed, they're clean enough to place on the dish drain rack to dry before being sent the fridge.

We use a rotation system to ensure freshness:  newest eggs that are washed go into a box that holds 2 dozen eggs; eggs that are a few days older go into another box of 24 on top of that one, and eggs that are the oldest go into the bowl to be used first.  During the warm season when hens are laying most heavily, I may periodically scramble a batch of eggs for them in lieu of their mash to keep the rotation system moving, and to supplement their diet.  We don't sell our produce, but do give it away from time to time. 
Title: Re: Chickens
Post by: ilinda on May 02, 2018, 08:48:42 PM
Lovely eggs as part of a lovely story. 
Title: good breeds (for survival purposes)
Post by: Socrates on December 12, 2018, 03:49:05 PM
I need to look more into this topic. I think breeds are essential, for they are genetic INFORMATION that can be lost forever. As 'preppers' we can't go starting a zoo [i wish] so we must choose the best breeds for survival situations.

Anyway, i ran into the Sebright (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m7nrXFwjaxo) and thought it an interesting choice:
- not too big a bird but also not so small that it's very vulnerable
- it can fly a bit; maybe surviving predators better
- eggs are huge compared to it's size
- very hardy breed
- sweet to keep but aggressive toward invaders


Ideas for other great breeds?
Title: Re: Chickens
Post by: R.R. Book on December 12, 2018, 04:40:15 PM
Loved that summertime film.  The little bantam Sebrights were so sweet, and I was surprised at the size of the eggs coming from them.

The lay-rate, he said, was only 80-100 eggs per year.  A typical heritage breed hen will provide maybe triple that number of eggs in her prime years.

But given that the banties probably eat less feed, it could be cost-effective to have more of the Sebrights than you might have kept of larger breeds, perhaps making up for the difference. 

The only negative that I've read about them is that they're difficult to raise from chicks due to their susceptibility to disease / high mortality rate.  Also less cold-hardy in the North, but maybe a good Southern choice?
https://www.thehappychickencoop.com/sebright-chicken/

Thanks so much for sharing about them!  :)
Title: Re: Chickens
Post by: ilinda on December 12, 2018, 05:14:06 PM
That was my first time to see the Sebright and they are truly a beautiful bird, and as the narrator said, people have bred them for their appearance.

A friend ordered Icelandic chickens at the same time I did, but my source sent me a letter very early this spring informing me that mink got into their chickens, and killed many, including most of the Icelandic.

The friend who now has adult Icelandic is not too thrilled with them because they have been too slow to start laying.  But that would be OK with me, as we need tick control first, and eggs later.  Tick control is an absolute must, as this year they were worse than ever.  Even if we only get an occasional egg, it will be fine as long as tick numbers plummet.

The Icelandic is supposedly better at foraging than many other breeds, but if they are confined, one would not notice that ability.

So this next spring when our Icelandic chickens OR guineas of some variety arrive, an update will be posted here, especially about their tick-eating abilities.
Title: Re: Chickens
Post by: R.R. Book on December 12, 2018, 05:19:39 PM
I'm so excited for you, that you're getting hens Ilinda!  They should get along fine with the goats if they share pasture.

I'm guessing you'll become very attached to them and vice versa! :)
Title: Re: Chickens
Post by: R.R. Book on December 12, 2018, 06:27:08 PM
Soc, You had asked for breed ideas.

As far as heritage breeds, I like clean-legged, cold hardy breeds with high lay-rate, brown eggs and body weight under 7# so that smaller members of the flock are in less danger, as we keep a mix of breeds and ages.  Also there's a better feed conversion ratio with medium-sized layers that are very productive, unless you're breeding them for meat.

As far as my favorite goes, nothing outperforms a pure-bred Rhode Island Red.  You can tell a pure strain by the complete absence of white anywhere on the bird, and sometimes she'll have long black tail feathers like the roo.

(https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRMEuGVN_UPbbTqDZeMS2TzzeqbKC_tIjeVgvYocLCTnPdHy6_J)

After them, my second favorites are Australorps, New Hampshire Reds, Dominiques, Welsummers, Plymouths and Wyandottes.
Title: Re: Chickens
Post by: ilinda on December 13, 2018, 04:16:48 PM
Do you notice any reduction in ticks due to the presence of chickens?
Title: Re: Chickens
Post by: R.R. Book on December 13, 2018, 04:25:20 PM
All around the yard near the house, we never pick up ticks.  We only pick them up when going into the brush, such as when picking wild berries.
Title: Re: Chickens
Post by: ilinda on December 14, 2018, 02:06:19 PM
That is the convincer I needed.  Guineas are known for their appetites for ticks, but whether chickens were/are tick eaters seems controversial.  You've just convinced me.
Title: Re: Chickens
Post by: ilinda on December 25, 2018, 06:26:39 AM
That is the convincer I needed.  Guineas are known for their appetites for ticks, but whether chickens were/are tick eaters seems controversial.  You've just convinced me.
Another convincer came in an email last night.  I had asked GuineaFarm.com people about all their beautiful guineas for sale, eggs and keets, and whether guineas eat honeybees and bumblebees.  They replied that the rumor is that they do, but they do not see it.  They said that if absolutely no other insects were available, that they suppose it could happen, but it is definitely not a normal food for guineas.  They do eat ticks and many other bugs that would otherwise eat our gardens, or us.

So, I'm doubly convinced that guineas are coming to this homestead next spring.
Title: Re: Chickens
Post by: Solani on December 25, 2018, 08:55:41 AM
I would really love to have chickens. We have the space for them (and more) Yes, I know it's a pain in the rear to have to go out and deal with them in not so nice (freezing) weather. However, I feel it's been so many years since I've actually had chickens that I need to get up to speed before things go sideways... I'd also like to have rabbits, even though I know I'd definitely have issues when it comes to "harvesting" them. I would have to distance myself from those that I know we'd "eat"...  :'( Back in Sweden when I was younger and we'd have a pig and a steer every summer, we'd always exchange them with our closest neighbors, since all of our kids refused to "eat their buddies" but had no problem with eating the neighbors pigs and steers...  :o Would also love to get a few horses again. Been quite a few years since I had my horses. Same with Dan, he put his last old Belgian Horse down about 7 years ago when she was 34 yrs. old. Not sure I'd want a horse quite as big as a Belgian, even though they mostly are very sweet-natured gentle giants. If I'm going to be riding a horse, I'd rather it wasn't quite that far down to the ground...  :o Getting old and breaking easier you know...  ::) LOL My all time favorite and preferred breed of horse has been the Norwegian Fjord Horse. Stubborn to a fault, yes but, very sturdy, sure-footed, weight-bearing, highly intelligent, "designed" for cold/freezing weather temps and an all round horse. Both for riding as well as harnessed and pulling. Also a breed of horse that I've previously owned and know what makes them tick. Dan knows the Belgians but considering that I'd most likely be the one that would have to step up and take care of/train the horses,  8) I think I'd do better, sticking to the ones that I have previous experience with. Question is, where can I find one or 2 of these Norwegian Fjord horses on this side of the pond?? Have found a few that claim that they are Norwegian Fjord horses but, they look nothing like what I call "the real deal"... No way I could afford importing from Scandinavia but will have to widen my search area... Will be needing at least 2 cows/heifers and a few milk goats. Dan has most of the necessary buildings/barns out here, they just haven't been used for quite a few years...
Anywho... this and more will have to wait, as I do need to get my underground buildings/rooms and root cellar completed first... Priorities, priorities, priorities... I hate priorities! I'm an Aries, I want things NOW... LOL

//Solani
Title: Re: Chickens
Post by: R.R. Book on December 25, 2018, 09:18:13 AM
Solani, I have a feeling that you'd really bond with your hens if you got at least a few.  They can be so sweet, except for the queens who are sometimes downright mean.  If introducing younger generations to an older flock, I've found that as long as they are placed together before the youngsters' combs are mature, somehow the queens are able to "read" that as being non-threatening.

I'm also unable to eat rabbit.  A childhood friend of mine, years ago, went to a great deal of trouble to hunt and cook a rabbit for me, and I was unable even to taste it!  I felt so bad for all the effort that he had put into it.

Would love to see photos of both the Norwegians and Belgians.  I did ride the neighbors' horses, but have mostly ridden a mule here recently, exercising it for a friend who now has Parkinson's Disease and can no longer ride.  However, mule is around 20 years of age and the vet says he can no longer bear weight safely.  I did learn to canter on him though in his better days, as he has such a smooth gait and I wasn't afraid with him.  Have only ever galloped unintentionally!  8)

As far as the difference between riding horses and mules, I found the riding helmet to be absolutely essential with the mule, as he would find incredibly creative ways to try and unseat me (unsuccessfully!).
Title: Re: Chickens
Post by: R.R. Book on December 25, 2018, 11:24:18 AM
Quote
So, I'm doubly convinced that guineas are coming to this homestead next spring.

Ilinda, you might want to consider just one thing prior to selecting them:

Some - but not all - who have purchased them in the past say that as soon as they're allowed out to graze, they fly up into the trees and may or may not come back home, not having the strong homing instinct of more domesticated breeds that have been broken in (not allowed outside a totally enclosed henyard for at least the first few weeks).

I've never heard of clipping the wings of guineas, the way it's so often done for other poultry, but maybe that might be one option.  However, the rationale against clipping the wings of guineas is that flight is their protection from predators.  If you choose that option, it's so easy to do: just set one at a time in your lap, spread a wing, and nip off the long flight feathers beyond the actual wing bone, using a sturdy pair of shears.  The most difficult part is catching them first and convincing them that they're not about to be murdered  :)

Another option to consider is simply giving them an ample fenced yard, contiguous with the coop, with over-head covering, or move them about in a tractor pen.
Title: Re: Chickens
Post by: ilinda on December 26, 2018, 07:31:04 AM
Last night I did order the guineas.  One reason is that years ago, a former neighbor, now deceased, had guineas. She was near 90 years old when she still had them.  They would come over to our place and stand at the windows and "look in" at us, but some say they were just staring at their own reflection.  They did seem pretty close to the glass, and did appear to be staring at us!  (Just like our cat, Amy, would go next door and hop up on a bench and look in her window and stare at her watching TV!)  LOL

Anyway, I remember neighbor Elsie, said that you train your guineas when young to go into their little shed, and you lock them up each night to prevent that tree-roosting.  We had chickens do that years ago, and once they start that, it's nearly impossible to stop.  Anyway, her guineas were entertaining, pretty, good bug eaters, and could be loud at times, as they are said to be excellent "watch dogs".  I want tick control mainly.

Another friend had guineas and she said they all eventually roosted in trees, which makes them fair game for raccoons, which is what happened to the only chicken flock I ever had.  So, before the little guinea keets arrive in May, I'd better get busy building a little guinea shed for them at night.

And, re another post about horses/mules, here's what a neighbor with mules told me more than once.  He has had mules for years, and he said, pointing to the creek and the culvert over it, "I can walk a horse over to the edge and get him to go right over, but I could never do that with a mule, because they are way more intelligent than a horse."

I don't know one way or another about what he said, but thought it was interesting.  Maybe it's sort of like the difference between intelligence of wolves vs. dogs.  Wolves beat dogs in intelligence tests because it has never been bred out of them.  They HAVE to survive in the real world, without bowls of food laid before them daily, and a nice fluffy, warm bed by a fire in the winter, etc., whereas dogs are bred for looks more than anything, although some do try to breed for intelligence.  Still wolves are smarter than dogs.  I just don't know about the mule vs. horse comparison, but thought it's worth passing along.
Title: Re: Chickens
Post by: R.R. Book on December 26, 2018, 07:48:19 AM
That's hilarious Ilinda, that the guineas would press their faces against the glass and peek in at you like that!  It sounds as if you are meant to have them.

Sounds like you have the right plan, to keep them closed in at least for the night. 

(https://c1.staticflickr.com/9/8346/8255852803_729166056d_b.jpg)
Title: Re: Chickens
Post by: R.R. Book on December 30, 2018, 03:48:26 PM
For those opting to restrict poultry flight -

Easy painless flight-feather clipping guide (and that full row of feathers can also be clipped a little shorter than that without cutting into the wing bone.  They do grow back):

(https://www.backyardchickens.com/graphics/wingclipping.gif)
Title: Re: Chickens
Post by: ilinda on December 31, 2018, 07:52:35 PM
When I was ordering the guineas, noticed somewhere in the order form that you can include "pinioning" (sp) for $0.65 each, IIRC.  It didn't sound like much, but I decided against it.  I remember how much fun our neighbor's guineas had "screaming and flying" all over the place!

They appeared to be really enjoying life!
Title: Re: Chickens
Post by: R.R. Book on December 31, 2018, 08:16:51 PM
You can try them unpinioned first, and then change your mind if things get too rowdy! :)
Title: Re: Chickens
Post by: Yowbarb on January 10, 2019, 12:25:31 PM
I would really love to have chickens. We have the space for them (and more) Yes, I know it's a pain in the rear to have to go out and deal with them in not so nice (freezing) weather. However, I feel it's been so many years since I've actually had chickens that I need to get up to speed before things go sideways... I'd also like to have rabbits, even though I know I'd definitely have issues when it comes to "harvesting" them. I would have to distance myself from those that I know we'd "eat"...  :'( Back in Sweden when I was younger and we'd have a pig and a steer every summer, we'd always exchange them with our closest neighbors, since all of our kids refused to "eat their buddies" but had no problem with eating the neighbors pigs and steers...  :o Would also love to get a few horses again. Been quite a few years since I had my horses. Same with Dan, he put his last old Belgian Horse down about 7 years ago when she was 34 yrs. old. Not sure I'd want a horse quite as big as a Belgian, even though they mostly are very sweet-natured gentle giants. If I'm going to be riding a horse, I'd rather it wasn't quite that far down to the ground...  :o Getting old and breaking easier you know...  ::) LOL My all time favorite and preferred breed of horse has been the Norwegian Fjord Horse. Stubborn to a fault, yes but, very sturdy, sure-footed, weight-bearing, highly intelligent, "designed" for cold/freezing weather temps and an all round horse. Both for riding as well as harnessed and pulling. Also a breed of horse that I've previously owned and know what makes them tick. Dan knows the Belgians but considering that I'd most likely be the one that would have to step up and take care of/train the horses,  8) I think I'd do better, sticking to the ones that I have previous experience with. Question is, where can I find one or 2 of these Norwegian Fjord horses on this side of the pond?? Have found a few that claim that they are Norwegian Fjord horses but, they look nothing like what I call "the real deal"... No way I could afford importing from Scandinavia but will have to widen my search area... Will be needing at least 2 cows/heifers and a few milk goats. Dan has most of the necessary buildings/barns out here, they just haven't been used for quite a few years...
Anywho... this and more will have to wait, as I do need to get my underground buildings/rooms and root cellar completed first... Priorities, priorities, priorities... I hate priorities! I'm an Aries, I want things NOW... LOL

//Solani
Hi Solani, I'm just now reading your post. :)
My computer went awol and as ya know, just been back a couple days.
(Hello fellow Aries.)  ;D
My 75th birthday is April the 7th.
That is awesome you have the rural location. You are not too close to a river bed or bank are you? Best to have the home many feet above the riverplain or riverbank...
I have a ton of ideas many of which I've posted over the years... Ideas are great but I also have so much I need to actually get done.
Yes, such a good idea to get the chickens. My idea would be, have healthy hens and enough roosters to keep it all going. Eat mostly the eggs and an occasional chicken for the pot.
Fertile eggs are such good nutrition.
Wishing ya all the best in your preparations.
- Barb T.
Title: Re: Chickens
Post by: Yowbarb on January 10, 2019, 12:28:39 PM
For those opting to restrict poultry flight -

Easy painless flight-feather clipping guide (and that full row of feathers can also be clipped a little shorter than that without cutting into the wing bone.  They do grow back):

(https://www.backyardchickens.com/graphics/wingclipping.gif)

Good data, thks.
Title: Chickens: A good book for winter reading
Post by: R.R. Book on January 14, 2019, 06:10:42 PM
Gardening With Chickens by Lisa Steele is full of good ideas and color photos on how to garden in ways that are compatible with poultry, and how to raise poultry in ways that are compatible with gardening.   

Just a few of the topics included:

*Plants to grow for deep orange egg yolks (far more nutritious than pale yellow yolks)

*Ducks in the garden

*Constructing barriers

*Gardening for poultry immune system and respiratory health

(https://cdn-us-ec.yottaa.net/522783d2ea2e0c1df40000bd/64fd5e204b88013497b60a3ba3fac80a.yottaa.net/v~4b.b59/cdn.lehmans.com/images/large/100012714_large-min.jpg?yocs=17_&yoloc=us)
Title: Re: Chickens
Post by: ilinda on January 16, 2019, 05:56:07 PM
The guineas I ordered won't be here until May, so there's time to learn about them.  For example, they apparently eat less greenery than chickens, or do they?
Does anyone know what to feed the babies for the first few weeks, while they're in their little box with the heat lamp above? 
Title: Re: Chickens
Post by: R.R. Book on January 17, 2019, 06:07:48 AM
All poultry in confinement are "obligate vegetarians," meaning that they'd prefer to chase live protein than eat mashed grains.

This cooperative extension excerpt says that guinea chicks need a quarter protein in their diet, to be reduced down to a normal hen ration after 8 weeks:

Quote
Guineas need a higher protein feed than chickens, but do quite well on regular poultry diets. Keets need a 24% to 26% protein ration as the starter feed. The protein level should be reduced to 18% to 20% for the fifth to eighth weeks. After eight weeks, the keets can be fed a 16% layer mash.

https://articles.extension.org/pages/67816/raising-guinea-fowl

We make a home-made mash that is 1/3 black oil sunflower seeds, 1/3 oats, and 1/3 miscellaneous greens or leftovers.  Then besides grazing outside the pen, they also have access to a compost heap inside the pen with things such as mushy pumpkins, celery leaves, rotting apples from adjacent trees, their own crushed egg shells, garden clippings, etc.

I strongly recommend that poultry owners who are interested in prepping give consideration to bulk storage of oats so there's always a basic component of the mash on hand that contains its own vitamin E content and keeps long-term.  Very good to have on hand in weather that doesn't permit grazing, at the very least.  Most commercially produced mash contains GMO corn, which we don't allow here.

(http://blog.dawog.net/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/guinea_1.JPG)
Title: Re: Chickens
Post by: R.R. Book on January 17, 2019, 06:16:52 AM
I had no idea how many colors guinea fowl come in:

(http://www.breezybirdfarms.com/resources/12809501_786844578127213_4212398748253657345_n.jpg)

http://www.breezybirdfarms.com/guinea-fowl.php
Title: Re: Chickens
Post by: ilinda on January 17, 2019, 02:17:23 PM
Thank you so much for (# 112) the guinea information.  I had been looking and wasn't getting a lot.  This is the best starter I need.  One friend last year said, when I was contemplating chickens, to make sure even when they're still quite small, to give them a little stinging nettle greens every day, presumably for the minerals.  I'm going to see if the guineas will accept it also, as they are similar, and that stinging nettle patch is finally growing, and maybe a bit more than I had anticipated.

And, yes, there are many types/colors of guineas.  I ordered mine from a place in Iowa, "guineafarm.com" is their website, and they do have a lot of variety.  The owners/,managers are the second generation, and they have had experience raising the birds as children on the farm.
Title: Re: Chickens
Post by: R.R. Book on January 17, 2019, 04:44:54 PM
Quote
they have had experience raising the birds as children on the farm.

Such a great experience for children  :)

Nettle tea seems like a good idea.  If it disagrees with them, they can simply pass it up and no harm done.  Reading your post reminded me that comfrey is also a biodynamic accumulator, and would be full of minerals too.

(https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQJhOYWVTt0GbQI7rdDlMFeHbW5KNZkmvnC4vEPOETgcgZ9jBNR)
Title: Re: Chickens
Post by: R.R. Book on April 14, 2019, 04:33:04 PM
I took this photo of my youngest three hens (sisters) last spring:

Title: Re: Chickens
Post by: ilinda on April 14, 2019, 06:56:11 PM
They are beautiful and look like happy girls!
Title: Re: Chickens
Post by: R.R. Book on May 02, 2019, 06:33:48 AM
After being inspired by Solani, I had placed a few tires along the exterior of the fenced sunchoke bed, and filled them with soil in preparation for growing some arctic kiwis along that fence.  It looks like a hen has other plans for one of the tires though... :)

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/40838147403_69f6d5af4b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/25dJbrH)