Chickens

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by TheyCall MeBruce, Feb 26, 2012.


  1. I was thinking of getting a few chickens for breeding/eggs. I look was looking at a few different web sites, trying to get some ideas on what will be needed to do so. Also if it would be cost efficient. Anyone have some good pointers or maybe a good place I can start looking?
     
  2. BTPost

    BTPost Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    Goggle "Chicken Tractor" and have a few acres to move it around.....
     
  3. TnAndy

    TnAndy Senior Member Founding Member

    Back Yard Chicken Forum


    But let me clue you in on "cost efficient" if by that you mean raise it cheaper than you can buy it......for the most part, you can't.

    You simply can't beat 'factory farms' on raising most things in the way of critters or the garden ( there are a few exceptions, yes, but for the MOST part......).....they can do things on volume you simply can't in the back yard.

    But cost is NOT the only reason you want to raise critters, or grow a garden.

    There are these:

    1. You can raise BETTER food. Your meat isn't laced with growth hormones and antibiotics, unless you buy feed that contains them. Your produce isn't sprayed with every chemical known to man.

    2. The LEARNING experience of raising food is something you simply can't get out of a book, and IF the SHTF, every single bit of knowledge and experience would be priceless.....the self satisfaction of even in a non-SHTF world of be self sustainable to some degree is worth a lot.

    3. Along with raising food comes the skill of preserving food. Learning to can, dry, salt, root cellar, etc, what you've grown. Again, re-learning the knowledge that was common in years past, and is now lost to many. Another valuable skill in a post SHTF world.
     
  4. strunk

    strunk Monkey+

    backyardchickens.com

    I live within city limits on something well less than an acre of land. A chicken tractor wouldn't work for me. My hens lay plentifully (I think I got 50 eggs out of 8 hens last week). They are in a stationary run with a coop. They get all of my kitchen scraps, except the leeks, which they don't seem to care for. They also get commercial layer pellets and fresh straw.

    To save space, I have an elevated coop which extends the surface area of the run under the coop.
     
  5. I figured it wouldn't be 100% cost efficient but considering what I'm spending now it would run about the same. I plain to breed them for food and eggs. Besides... my son will loved to have a few interesting critters around that he can feed the lizards and other bugs he catches ^^
     
  6. strunk

    strunk Monkey+

    It's certainly been cost effective for me.

    The neighbors that I give eggs to have been happy to loan me tools that weren't worth purchasing and weren't readily available for rent, but that otherwise helped me through other projects. Said neighbors also look the other way now if my chickens are a bit too boastfully loud after laying an egg.
     
    TheyCall MeBruce and chelloveck like this.
  7. Honestly never thought of it that way, but now that you say it that could be a very good benefit for me around here
     
  8. ditch witch

    ditch witch resident bacon hoarder Site Supporter+

    I don't pay any attention to the cost factor. Having been on the inside of commercial egg batteries I have no interest in eating anything that comes out of them. My girls run loose around the back yard in the winter, and they do a fantastic job of digging up the garden area and picking all the unwanted seeds out of it. Once the garden and grapevines get busy, then they go into a full time coop. I throw them scraps from the garden and whatnot all summer. They're happy and the eggs are far superior to the pale, flat things you get at the store. I did have a chicken tractor but frankly I found it to be a pain in the butt. At first I was worried they'd take to roosting in the trees and eventually go over the fence, but apparently they're all too fat for such shenanigans.

    I plant a few things to supplement their food, such as millet, kale, rape, and mustard greens. Some of the neighbors got interested in them after scoring some free eggs off me, so next month I'm buying 50 chicks and getting them started for a number of my neighbors who all building coops and getting excited about having their own little backyard flocks.
     
  9. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    Sew a seed and you'll get a vege patch quilt

    Oh....you subversive witch you!!! Next your neighbours will be looking for long grain rice bargains and browsing through gun catalogues....
     
    ditch witch and tulianr like this.
  10. gejoat

    gejoat Monkey+

    Your State Ag colleges and state ext services have a wealth of information about all different aspects of farming from huge to backyard.
    White leghorn great egg layers not much size for eating.
    Rhode island red, or white rock both are decent egg layers and medium size chickens, general purpose the Rhode island gets a large brown egg;if you get bigger chickens then mostly meat and so so eggs.
    These are just a few lots of different breeds out there, again check the ext service or Ag colleges.
    By the way Guineas which are not chickens are also useful to let you know if anyone comes around and they also eat small snakes.
     
  11. Seacowboys

    Seacowboys Senior Member Founding Member

    I think chickens should be released in the wild through-out the country side and in the cities and fruits and vegetables planted in all the highway medians, wheat and other grains grown everywhere there is a a unutilized piece of government property.
     
    ditch witch, strunk and chelloveck like this.
  12. gejoat

    gejoat Monkey+

    by the way Bannie hens make great mothers super protective very small feisty chicken but very protective, small eggs also make sure they are sitting on your regular chicken eggs and not their own..
     
  13. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    I like your thinking , Sc

    There may be some heavy metal contamination along roads and so forth, but yes, I like your thinking. The higher food chain predators will also like the idea of chicken dinners too lol. ; ) White leghorns would be too much of a gimme for foxes, coyotes, feral cats and dogs, but there are some breeds that might survive as feral chickens.

    I have thought of planting nut and fruit and berry trees and perennial edible shrubs and herbs as food way stations along potential bugout routes to the retreat that I don't have. A mix of trees that bear at different times of the year such that something will be in season most of the time would be sensible.

    Suitable places along rail corridoors might be worthwhile...it will be unlikely that they will see much foot trafffic, and unless someone was observant and savvy, they may not be noticed for what they are. Living food depots for E&Eers.
     
  14. Seacowboys

    Seacowboys Senior Member Founding Member

    I have thought about the possibility of contaminants from highway vehicles and recognize that this is a possibility but do not believe it to be any where near as serious a threat as starvation and physical endangerment from some hungry bastard wanting to cut your throat to steal your McDonald's Happy-meal.
     
  15. That's one thing i need to look up about chickens.... I couldn't tell you which chicken is fried and which is extra crispy. That being said anyone know a good spot to see some pictures of the different types/breeds of chicken? I know what and how to feed em just never got big into the different breeds. I always seen them as drumsticks... I sure wish I would have payed more attention in Ag class :/
     
  16. strunk

    strunk Monkey+

    My Rhode Island Reds are great layers but if I were expanding my flock, I'd have to pick up more Speckled Sussex. They are also good layers, but they are also great with children.
     
  17. TheEconomist

    TheEconomist Creighton Bluejay Site Supporter+

    Something to consider, if you have the space for it an are allowed legally, is having some small live stock to go with those chickens. They can work in wonderful harmony.

    You can feed the Pigmy Goats their feed, and because they dont have great digestive systems they will poop out who feed that the chicken will eat out of the poop. Then you have cleaned manure that you can use to fertalize your garden. By moving your chickens around with a "tractor" (fencing them in from place to place (basically you have one moving pen for the goats and one for the chickens. You move the goats to one place and put the chickens over where the goats were to clean and feed from the goat manure.)

    This saves you money on feed for the chickens as well as double fertalizing your land with Goat and Chicken poop. You also have a wider variety of food to sustain yourself while working economies of scale.

    I learned this while a student at Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania. I was the head of student sustainability as well as other junk. I'm a dork, I know.
     
  18. TnAndy

    TnAndy Senior Member Founding Member

    And the coyotes would multiply like wild, and every one of them would be gone in a short while.

    I'd love to allow my to free range ( my dogs don't bother them ), but the coyotes wear them out.
     
  19. fedorthedog

    fedorthedog Monkey++

    Just like any other drug a free taste to get them hooked
     
  20. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    Please continue eating your McHappy-Meal

    I think the conversation is likely to go this way.....

    "...Well sir...given the choice of how I get my lead poisoning....I think I'll choose the produce from the median strip...you seem to know how to use that gun sir!...please continue eating your McDonalds Happy-meal...." ; )
     
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