Discussion in 'General Survival and Preparedness' started by Tango3, May 21, 2010.
Care to share some of your experiences? ( breed etc) Egglayers or meat producers??
I'm shocked that we have no chickin' raisin' monkeys.
We don't? Where's Monkeyman, he used to if not still. I think the former OGM does or has.
My mother has been raising chickens for over a decade. She likes Rhode Island Reds for eggs. They are rather fat-bottomed but lay eggs like crazy. A big part of it is having happy, well-fed chickens.
I am partial to Buff Orphingtons. The are a dual purpose bird. You will average an egg a day per hen 80 percent of the time. You will also often have one or more hen who is really broody and can be a little cantankerous when it comes to collecting eggs. That is a good thing. Isolate her, give her a clutch of 6 to 8 eggs and let her hatch them out. Keep you flock varied in age. It makes it easier to introduce the new ones to the flock, and over time you can rotate them like canned goods to keep your flock healthy and productive. Spare roosters I butcher early on at 4 to 6 months of age. Poor egg layers anytime. Old hens at 4 or 5 years. Leg bands color coded yearly make it easier.
I raise Rhode Island Reds the lay extra large brown eggs, I started with seven hens and was getting on average 6-7 eggs per day. In winter when there's less light (gets dark at 1630hrs) I put a 40watt bulb in the coop to extend the light for them thus keeping them laying. Before that production dropped to 3-4 eggs per day.
Leg horns (white eggs)are also a good laying breed, they'll breed as much if not more than a Rhode Island. Roosters are a pain in the butt, if you have a free ranging flock then they do protect them otherwise if your close to or in the city then hens only and they can make alot of noise if some animal or critter comes around. Plus my hens like to come out squaking and clucking around after they lay.
Roosters if you can have them kill them off at 4-6months if you don't they get old enough then get to fighting... and ohhh boy what a mess that can make.
Hey thanks guys its all helpfull
do neighbors complain? Do they (chickens)create a noise or smell problem?
if you have close neighbors, talk to them first, the hens will make some noise, and more as the last poster said right after laying an egg. roosters are generally not good for good neighbor relations. If you are in town, most will allow a limited number of hens and no roosters. If in town at least have someone else you trust who lives on the other side of town check the regulations for you (why lead codes enforcement to your front door). provide a gift of eggs every now and then to your closest neighbors and you should be okay.
I blanking hate chickens! We had them in San Diego. Rhode Island Reds, Cornish, Jungle Fowl and Granite(?) ones. And we had the same in Idaho and I blanking hated them. Plus, my dad would microwave an eggs in a plastic tv dinner tray. It was so gross. I also hated eggs for a very long time. Blank you, CHICKENS!
I have more than I should,Rhode islands,Americaunas,and others.I keep them at my uncles place just in case(TSHTF)as I live in an apartment,prefer town living,
Buff Orpingtons here too. Great layers, big brown eggs. Big birds, too - lots of meat on them. Mine roam free whenever I'm going to be around until nitefall, and I supplement that with layer mix and scratch. They ARE noisy when laying, and right after. It's reminiscent of the noise you hear when some Hollywood airhead manages to reproduce, and the novelty of laying an egg never seems to wear off.
Chickens eat most plant matter and any bugs that are about. They really love grasshoppers. In my ideal setup (not complete yet, but in the works) the chickens will have a fenced run that encircles the entire garden. That would be a very effective (and natural) way to control garden pests. I would then let them into the garden after everything was harvested so they could clean up and fertilize a bit, and I suspect they'd eat a lot of insect eggs that way, too.
I've also planted an area with corn, millet (the little round seed in bird seed and chicken scratch) and the wild amaranth that grows around here. You don't need to weed it, as chickens will eat the dried weeds in the winter. They can forage in there after the garden is cleaned up, and that should feed them for much of the winter. It's just like chicken scratch, but THEY have to harvest it!
Another cheap and clever way way to feed chickens is with sprouts. I sprouted red wheat last winter, and they gobbled it up. That's a good nutritional supplement when there's nothing fresh to be had, and wheat is cheap, easy to store and easy to sprout.
Chickens are one of the most self sufficient producing animals, and every survivalist should have a flock. Add in a few goats and you're in pretty good shape. The combo gives you eggs, two kinds of meat and milk - which works great for barter as well as feeding the family.
Hey - pick on someone your own size!
I'm stuck in a gated community where the HOA forbids "exotic" animals. Which sucks, as I'd love to give chickens a go. Getting the eggs and having some pest control would be real nice. Maybe, someday, I'll get a place a bit further from town where this would be possible.
Any suggestions about covert chicken raising (and I also have no basement)?
This response may upset a few folks here, but here goes. .... You live by choice in a gated community. Obvious this is no rural shack we are talking about. You knew there was a HOA before you purchased, and were given a chance to read the rules. I got no sympathy for you, nor will I give any further advice on how to beat the system. Work within the system to try to get the HOA rules changed or move. Your neighbors have some rights also. How will you feel if your closest neighbor on the side that the prevailing wind comes from decided to securely fence his back yard and raise pigs?
Everybody knows that they are not making any more land, so we have to be aware of our surroundings when purchasing land with or without a house on it. Down here we have developers buying up farm land, in some cases right next door to a large dairy cow operation, zoned agricultural. They throw up 30 to 50 houses, and all of a sudden the new home owners are shocked when the wind blows the wrong way for them and all they can smell is cow poop. It doesn't matter to them that the dairy operation and farm was family owned and operated for the past 75 years.
I guess my point is who was there first and what were the rules when you got there? Did you even bother to check....?
No need to be such a hard-ass. I'm not seeking any sympathy, I was just explaining facts. When I bought the house, prepping wasn't on my radar screen, and I didn't bother to check into the HOA rules that much...and I know and respect that my neighbors also have rights.
By the way "covert" chicken raising means, by definition, "undetectable." So if I could do it, the neighbors wouldn't be affected. I was just seeking advice, which is part of what this forum is supposed to be about.
Sorry for the cold reality check. In this case you are looking for answers where there seems to be none with garantees that it will work forever. Even now cooperative neighbors can occasionally be someone who you have cross words with, and then they might lay a dime on ya to the authorities. I would suggest you befriend someone who lives close, but where it is legal to have chickens. Someone who does not have chickens at this time and might be a little tight on cash. Seems like there is a lot of that going around. If it seems they are well established and in it for the long haul, you might suggest a proposition beneficial to both of your families. Establish the chicken raising operation on their property. You fund the majority of the costs to set it up and get the chicks or fully grown layers. Building a good coop isn't that hard or expensive. Share the care and feeding if necessary, and share the eggs and meat. Should work for both families. Good luck. Again, sorry for the hard nosed reply.
I know where tac's coming from HOA's have gained an awful reputation as becoming little fiefdoms run by busybodys who had their lunch money stolen in school..( couldn't abide one myself).
Wow, I don't know if there is such a thing as a "stealth" chicken! They are all pretty noisy, even without a rooster. The hens squawk pretty loud on their own before, during, and after they lay. I wouldn't doubt that you could contain the smell created by two or three chickens if you continuously kept after them.
Apology more than accepted - who among us hasn't written something, sent it out and then regretted doing that? Good advice concerning an alternate location for the chickens - and now that you raised the issue, I know someone with a small rural property and some goats, rabbits, chickens, etc. Thanks for the advice.
Gunbunny, the "stealth" chicken question really had more to do with how to keep these non-mute animals from being detected - e.g. soundproofing coops, dealing with the smell, etc. If it ain't possible, it ain't possible, but I won't know without asking.
Just the thought of a stealth chicken was funny, 'tis all.
I guess you could keep them in small separate crates (they will peck eachother to death if they are cramped together for too long) and feed them individually. There you could keep them in your garage or basement.
You would have to clean the cages/coops every day and dispose of the waste rather quickly. I don't know if your HOA (probably not) allows for a composter, but that would be a good way to go. If not, put the straw and waste in the garbage and double bag it.
Happy chickens produce more eggs, so you surely will lose some potential by keeping them cooped up and sedentary. They will lay reguardless of a rooster being there or not. Fertalized eggs are supposedly better and healthier for you.
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