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Old 08-03-2013, 08:35 AM
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Last night I let my chicks out in the run the first time. I had to physically move about half of them out. Hopefully today it will be more natural for them.
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Old 08-24-2013, 03:03 PM
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Well the chicks have progressed and are free ranging under strict supervision. They are six weeks old today. I can't wait for the egg production to start. Starting January 1, I will start a new journal. Exploring new avenues of income and various other experiments.

Hopefully feed costs will drop. The feed I bought today was from a local mill. 19% protein...basically corn, bean and vitamin pack. The good news was it is $.19/pound. The next best starter is $.27/pound, so I will take the $.08.
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Old 09-29-2013, 01:39 AM
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Excellent thread . Have not had chickens in a very long time , but headed there soon . I actually liked the banties a lot because they were very easy keepers . Had some ducks for eggs as well . And some goats for meat and milk/cheese . That almost seems like another life time ago , but as I say I am headed back there . Good on Ya !
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Old 10-29-2013, 08:25 PM
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I just added 7 Buckeye hens and a nice looking rooster. They are 5 months old and should start laying any time. I am really excited about this addition. This will be my next breeding project.
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Old 11-01-2013, 03:58 PM
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I put this together fairly quickly and easily. Just need a cookie tin, lamp kit and 40 watt bulb. It costs about six bucks and will keep your chicken waterer from freezing. Easy.

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Old 11-09-2013, 09:09 PM
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Default El Cheapo Airstream coop

Here's a thrifty idea for chicken housing if you have an old junker motorhome or trailer around. They are ideal for wintering over birds because of the insulation.
I traded an old jap bike for this gem with the idea of fixing it up as a guest house until I dug a little deeper. Turned out we were wanting to keep chickens again, needed to build a 30 year coop, so this fit the bill. We ended up saving a lot of time/energy/money by recycling.

This will be our 2nd winter with the birds in this and we keep it a comfortable 40 inside with just a small heater running during the night. During the day they are free range...9 in all.

Enjoy the pics.
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Old 11-13-2013, 06:03 AM
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Very nice. I used a horse trailer for a while. That is quite a step up.
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Old 12-21-2013, 09:04 AM
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rookie questions here, I've really learned a lot from this thread but we want chickens for two reasons, 1. Eggs 2. Meat

Do we need to keep fertilized eggs separate from non federalized eggs in different coops? What happens if we take a fertilized egg and go to cook it up for breakfast I read the yolk is a different color or something? Is it still edible? I don't want to waste a fertilized egg either, so whats the best way to know which eggs are for hatching meat chickens and which eggs are for eating? My guess was to just keep them in separate coops?

Also how long once the chic hatches until it's big enough to eat?

Thanks I know I'm asking a ton of rookie questions any help is appreciated.
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Old 12-21-2013, 04:21 PM
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rookie questions here, I've really learned a lot from this thread but we want chickens for two reasons, 1. Eggs 2. Meat
Don't forget 3. Entertainment!!

They are a hoot to watch. Seriously.

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Do we need to keep fertilized eggs separate from non federalized eggs in different coops? What happens if we take a fertilized egg and go to cook it up for breakfast I read the yolk is a different color or something? Is it still edible? I don't want to waste a fertilized egg either, so whats the best way to know which eggs are for hatching meat chickens and which eggs are for eating? My guess was to just keep them in separate coops?
And 4. Self sustaining food supply.

If you choose to have a rooster (roo) and he's fertile you can wotk towards a self sustaining flock where you enjoy unfertilized eggs from several girls that later go to meat after they start slowing down on egg laying in year two. These are good boilers for soup, chicken and dumplings or chicken and dressing.

Broilers are younger birds that have been fed a good diet to grow quickly. Chicken farms keep the lights o all the time to keep them eating all day and they generally harvest the birds at 8 weeks. I'd figure a more relaxed 10-12 weeks for a hobbyist that doesn't use lights.

Once fertilized you have an embryo, of course. The gestation rate is much faster for chickens, so the embryo goes from a single fertilized cell to one that you can see within a day in warm weather. The eggs eat fine, although I wouldn't care to wait more than one day personally. Pick up eggs frequently and cool them to lessen the growth. Or, just keep separate flocks as you mentioned above.

My Australorps were poor at mothering and the fatality was 100%. Banty's are excellent mothers with nearly a 100% success rate. You can incubate eggs and buy them fertilized so that you don't need a roo if you're lucky to find others near you. Roos can be pesky. My wife does not like them. At all.

Careful though!! Chickens are the gateway animal. You may find yourself having strange thoughts at some point...

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Old 12-21-2013, 07:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PreparingPatriot View Post
rookie questions here, I've really learned a lot from this thread but we want chickens for two reasons, 1. Eggs 2. Meat

Do we need to keep fertilized eggs separate from non federalized eggs in different coops? What happens if we take a fertilized egg and go to cook it up for breakfast I read the yolk is a different color or something? Is it still edible? I don't want to waste a fertilized egg either, so whats the best way to know which eggs are for hatching meat chickens and which eggs are for eating? My guess was to just keep them in separate coops?

Also how long once the chic hatches until it's big enough to eat?

Thanks I know I'm asking a ton of rookie questions any help is appreciated.
Taste wise I love the fertilized best. Just kidding...they taste the same. There is no reason to separate them. A fertilized egg sometimes will have a small blood spot in it. The size to eat kind of depends on you and the type of chicken. The best advice I ever heard was when a rooster starts crowing it is time to eat it. Most homestead breeds will take about 5 months give or take for a 5lb bird. I do mine much earlier. Smaller is okay with me.
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Old 12-21-2013, 07:15 PM
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Careful though!! Chickens are the gateway animal. You may find yourself having strange thoughts at some point...

No doubt. I am thinking about getting goats now.
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Old 12-22-2013, 09:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by REM View Post
Don't forget 3. Entertainment!!

They are a hoot to watch. Seriously.



And 4. Self sustaining food supply.

If you choose to have a rooster (roo) and he's fertile you can wotk towards a self sustaining flock where you enjoy unfertilized eggs from several girls that later go to meat after they start slowing down on egg laying in year two. These are good boilers for soup, chicken and dumplings or chicken and dressing.

Broilers are younger birds that have been fed a good diet to grow quickly. Chicken farms keep the lights o all the time to keep them eating all day and they generally harvest the birds at 8 weeks. I'd figure a more relaxed 10-12 weeks for a hobbyist that doesn't use lights.

Once fertilized you have an embryo, of course. The gestation rate is much faster for chickens, so the embryo goes from a single fertilized cell to one that you can see within a day in warm weather. The eggs eat fine, although I wouldn't care to wait more than one day personally. Pick up eggs frequently and cool them to lessen the growth. Or, just keep separate flocks as you mentioned above.

My Australorps were poor at mothering and the fatality was 100%. Banty's are excellent mothers with nearly a 100% success rate. You can incubate eggs and buy them fertilized so that you don't need a roo if you're lucky to find others near you. Roos can be pesky. My wife does not like them. At all.

Careful though!! Chickens are the gateway animal. You may find yourself having strange thoughts at some point...

thank you, and we plan on having the chicken flock in addition to one milk cow hopefully we can get 2 more calves in about a year to raise for beef. Also plan on a pig to raise for meat.

our entire goal is by this time next year to be well on our way to not NEEDING to buy groceries. A family of 6 we've got a lot of work to do.
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Old 01-04-2014, 09:44 AM
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Great thread!! We have Barred Plymouth Rocks - dual purpose, great layers (my girls lay 1 a day, every day). And yes, like REM said, they're a hoot to watch.
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Old 01-04-2014, 09:45 AM
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Default Barred Plymouth Rocks


Last edited by llz1; 01-04-2014 at 09:48 AM.. Reason: Url issues
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Old 01-04-2014, 11:20 AM
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Deal me back in. I got 18 Rhode Island Reds. It's cold, so I fortified an old dog pen, Hopefully there will be some delicious spring eggs.



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Old 02-10-2014, 07:38 PM
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Here is a quick update.

I am a happy camper. Today I got 20 eggs. I am selling my extra eggs at work and I think the best news is I am breaking even. The extra eggs are feeding all my chickens.

I had separated my buckeyes to start raising chicks, but the weather is so cold I put them all back together to make watering easier.

Now make no mistake I have a lot of money invested to this point, so an overall breakeven is several months away if ever. As my pullets age and the eggs get bigger I will increase my per dozen price. Not crazy but over the current $2/dozen I charge.

I really like my new set up and once the weather turns I promise to provide more photos and video. I still have too many roosters, but I want to make sure I keep the best of the best.

Also for my Back to Eden garden connection. I ran out of bedding this winter for the coop. It was nasty, so I pulled it out and put it on the garden. I was unable to get sawdust from my normal spot due to the weather, so what did I use? My composting wood chips. Now I don't think it is as good as the sawdust, but I fertilize the woodchips on the front side before putting it on the garden. Hopefully the mixture will keep the nitrogen from burning the plants.

If any one is in Southwest Missouri and is interested in Buckeye chicks, come Mid to Late March I should have them monthly. I would give the old SB discount. Thanks for reading.
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