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Old 02-12-2016, 09:34 PM
purplehullpeas purplehullpeas is offline
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We have used mcmurries alot over the years alwayse been happy with he results. I have used other hatcheries as well have no complaints.

I was excited to try them but unfortunately they were due to external events killed..

One thing I have been thinking on that's also a problem is hawks (now a pair bald eagles)

Can't shoot em like coons or foxes so I've been wracking my brain how to set up a 1/8-1/4 acre pen that is cost effectively set up to prevent dive bombing from birds of prey that won't kill them yes won't allow easy acess to birds.

I'm thinking mayve posts with a grid of thin cable and some StreAmersham that move in wind but I don't know
I bought a 50ft x 100ft bird net off of ebay for around $120. I used it to cover a 40ft x 60 ft pen and so far haven't lost any to hawks, owls or eagles. That use to be a huge problem for me.
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Old 02-12-2016, 09:52 PM
purplehullpeas purplehullpeas is offline
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After being told by my wife not to bring any more animals to the farm that need to be fed, I ordered 45 birds from Ideal Poultry, back in October. I didn't lose as many as I expected. I've got 31 pullets, 2 roosters and a half a dozen mean thug guineas. That little gang of thugs started abusing the pullets so I kicked them out of the pen. They are free to go where ever they want, but spend all day circling the pen trying to get back into the chicken pen.
Meanwhile, my 31 pullets, some Buff Orpingtons, Barred Rocks and Rhode Island Reds, should start laying next month, so I don't think I'll be starting any more this year, unless some varmint gets in my pen.
And I do still feed and water the Guineas. They roost on top of the pen, an so far nothing has dared mess with them. I call them "Hells Angels".
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Old 02-13-2016, 07:20 PM
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Just got 50 chicks from Ideal Poultry, I ordered the surprise special. They made the trip from texas just fine. Have also ordered from Murray Mcmurray in the past. Will probably pick up more from TSC and the feed store when thiers come in along with a cpl batches of cornish x.
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Old 02-14-2016, 12:20 PM
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I love chickens and most livestock, and have practiced animal husbandry all my life. The topic of getting chicks every year is a great topic. I hope that the purchasing of chicks isn't like, "where does meat come from", & "where does milk come from", question? And most children of today can certainly tell you, the grocery store. I am confident that every prepper/homesteader, no matter how small or large considers the process of raising your own or at least understands the theory? The purchasing of fertile eggs to hatch your own and where these fertile eggs can be found, no matter the breed of TSHTF. Just something to think about when them baby chicks arrive.
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Old 02-14-2016, 08:15 PM
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Being that I have four roosters and 19 hens, I won't be buying any chicks this Spring.

Three of my roosters are mixed breed bantams. 2 mixed breed bantam hens, 1 silver-laced duckwing bantam hen, 1 Speckled Sussex rooster, 3 Buffs, 1 Golden Comet, 2 White Rocks, 6 Black Giants, 2 Black Sex links, and some red hybrids make up the rest.

This year I am going to take the bantam eggs away when the banties go broody and place some of the larger eggs fertilized by the Speckled Sussex rooster with normal size hens. Don't need anymore bantams and my egg-layers are getting old and need fresh replacements.

No telling what will arise from this mix but all of the hen-raised chickens born on the property are still alive, successfully evade the wildlife, and are cagier than the purebred hatchery chicks. They seem to be more self-sufficient too.

Some of the store bought chickens have perished over the past few years, mostly to unknown ailments. Only roosters have fallen to hawks here but I did have two particularly stupid Speckled Sussex hens get stung to death by Yellow Jackets.

I like the Speckled Sussex rooster but had no use for the hens since they were stupid compared to the rest of my chickens. Probably had a bad pair here since I've heard good things about the breed elsewhere.

I raise the chickens for eggs, fertilizer, pest control, and the general enjoyment of having them around. My great-grandfather would probably laugh at me since he had a chicken farm in GA many years ago and he would have culled the non-producing hens by now.

Anyone else produce their own chicks?
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Old 02-14-2016, 08:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S610 View Post
Having said that my bantam hens DO want chicks and are already starting to get broody (I may break down and buy them a couple of chicks to raise).
S610, have you ever given a broody hen a pair of chicks to raise? If so, how did that work out?
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Old 02-14-2016, 08:35 PM
S610 S610 is offline
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Originally Posted by BullDogBoy View Post
S610, have you ever given a broody hen a pair of chicks to raise? If so, how did that work out?
Yeah, did that twice last year. If you want to try it let the hen be broody (sitting on dud eggs) for a good three weeks so her biological clock is ready for chicks. Then get very young chicks (1 or 2 days old) and slip them under the broody at night. You don't want her to see the chicks when you give them to her, but if she feels them moving under her all night and finds them in the morning that triggers her mothering instincts and sort of mimics hatching eggs.

Of course if she rejects them for some reason be ready to setup a brooder and raise them yourself.

I move the broody and her nest with dud eggs into a corner of the chicken coop, when the chicks arrive I fence off that area so mama and chicks are in their own safe area for the first 2-3 days to help secure the bond between them, after that she raises them with the flock.
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Old 02-14-2016, 09:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BullDogBoy View Post
I raise the chickens for eggs, fertilizer, pest control, and the general enjoyment of having them around. My great-grandfather would probably laugh at me since he had a chicken farm in GA many years ago and he would have culled the non-producing hens by now.

Anyone else produce their own chicks?
Last spring I let one of the Bantam hens hatch out 2 eggs, got two very pretty mixed breed bantams that I adore but of course one is a rooster.

That is why I prefer to buy sexed chicks for them to raise instead of hatching out eggs, it is so difficult to find roosters homes and I don't want to cull any. Unfortunately one of the "sexed" purchased chicks also turned out to be a rooster (full sized heritage Rhode Island Red) so he is penned up separately and advertised for sale as a non-meat bird. When he started to mature he began trying to rape the tiny bantam hens, he is ten times their size and he went after them instead of the standard hens, part of me wonders if he did that because he was raised by a bantam so maybe he is more attracted to them as breeding partners.

Will probably have to divide the pen for the second little banty rooster too so we won't be hatching any more eggs. Having said that I love the little roo, he is even prettier than his purebred daddy.

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Old 02-15-2016, 09:31 AM
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I mistakenly added the wrong hatchery that we now use (we've used several over the years). It was not McMurray, it was Meyer. They are both good but Meyer is hands down our favorite now and who we will be ordering from this week.

https://www.meyerhatchery.com/
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Old 02-16-2016, 08:17 AM
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I am currently building a brood pen to hatch chicks. We have a broody hen and we are going to give her some eggs to sit on. We will be giving her eggs to produce olive egger chicks. We will be getting some Arucauna chicks from the feed store this year to expad our egg colors.
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Old 02-19-2016, 06:07 PM
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Today I bought another 9 chicks...3 Buff Orpingtons, 2 Silver-Laced Wyandottes, 2 Barred Plymouth Rocks (which will bring my total of those breeds up to 4 each, as well as my 4 Rhode Island Reds) and just for variety of egg color, also got 2 Auracanas.

They are currently in a Rubbermaid tote in the bathtub of the second bathroom, with a heat lamp hung from the shower rod. They'll stay there until they're big enough to go outside. Hey, at least I put them in the tote instead of just in the bathtub. I did NOT want to be trying to clean straw out of the tub!
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Old 02-20-2016, 02:34 PM
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One of the chicks that hatched in July turned out to be a cockerel. I had bought 3 eggs and put them under Gertie, our broody Marans. She hatched 2 eggs, and I was hoping that both were pullets, but this morning I was greeted by some very loud crowing. As I only had 4 chickens, the loss of 1 is disappointing. We aren't supposed to have 'lifestock' where we live, so off we went to my sister's farm in the country, with Pepper crowing the whole way there. I'm now in the process of locating 3 Welsummer hatching eggs, or 2 one-day-old chicks (Wellies can be sexed at 1 day, and 2 is all I want).
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Old 02-21-2016, 09:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IceFire View Post
They are currently in a Rubbermaid tote in the bathtub of the second bathroom, with a heat lamp hung from the shower rod. They'll stay there until they're big enough to go outside. Hey, at least I put them in the tote instead of just in the bathtub. I did NOT want to be trying to clean straw out of the tub!
Definitely don't need to be cleaning out a tub full of livestock debris! The year I did ducks, I let them have the tub in the second bathroom for bathing each evening. It made for messy cleanups.

For store-bought chicks, I use a dog crate with a livestock water tank inside. Crate sides are lined with hardware cloth or cardboard until the chicks are too big to squeeze between the gaps. This allows the dogs and cats to acclimate to the new chicks as well as getting the chicks used to them. This setup is kept in my kitchen until they feather out enough to go outdoors.
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Old 02-25-2016, 07:40 PM
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Opening post has been updated with a new video.

Chicks are getting their tail feathers in are doing great.

However, I have a chick that has developed a limp. It is getting around well but limping.
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Old 02-25-2016, 07:43 PM
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...However, I have a chick that has developed a limp. It is getting around well but limping.
If it lives long enough, it can earn the privilege of becoming soup.

Cull hard, cull often.
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Old 02-25-2016, 08:31 PM
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Originally Posted by BullDogBoy View Post
For store-bought chicks, I use a dog crate with a livestock water tank inside. Crate sides are lined with hardware cloth or cardboard until the chicks are too big to squeeze between the gaps. This allows the dogs and cats to acclimate to the new chicks as well as getting the chicks used to them. This setup is kept in my kitchen until they feather out enough to go outdoors.
I did that with the first chicks (in the kitchen too) but won't ever do that again if I can avoid it. God they are messy!

If you have a few OEG Bantams already have them raise new chicks! Even a tiny broody can cover 3-4 full sized chicks when they are small (if they grow too fast to fit under her but still need heat at night heating pad can work).

No cleanup, no fussing with heat lamps, no separate grow out pens, no integrating with the flock worries, the chicks develop much faster and it is really fun to watch a broody raise babies. For folks that like the sound of this, pick up a couple of game pullets, they are full size and make the best mothers.
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Old 02-26-2016, 11:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WitchWay View Post
I mistakenly added the wrong hatchery that we now use (we've used several over the years). It was not McMurray, it was Meyer. They are both good but Meyer is hands down our favorite now and who we will be ordering from this week.

https://www.meyerhatchery.com/
Thank you for that link to Meyers hatchery. I've been looking for Dorkings which are a duel purpose bird and they had them!!! I was limited to 10 pullet chicks and I bought one roo too.

http://www.livestockconservancy.org/...ternal/dorking

Breed Facts

Status:
Threatened

Use:
Eggs, Meat

Egg Color:
White

Egg Size:
Medium to Large

Market Weight:
6 - 8 lbs

Temperament:
Likes to range

Characteristics:
Winter layer, good forager, famous for flavor



Quote:
The Dorking chicken is an ancient breed first developed as a landrace in the area of Kent, Sussex, and Surrey counties in England. This area was famous for producing poultry of the highest quality for the table; the five-toed Dorking having been the most sought after of these chickens. It is the town of Dorking, once called Darking, for which the breed was named. As a table fowl, the Dorking chicken has few peers and no superlatives. The flesh is tender and delicate. The chickens are well fleshed in the choicest sections: breast, merrythought (wishbone area), and wings. Early Dorking chicken breeders so valued the breed that it was only with great difficulty that any live chickens could be obtained at any price. At one time it was rumored that the town of Dorking had a law against selling the chickens alive.




I ended up spending WAY too much money at Meyer hatchery because they had some really interesting chickens.

I also got the Barnevelders which too are a great duel purpose breed.
https://www.meyerhatchery.com/produc...5w?prodID=BNVS

Quote:
The double-laced partridge pattern of the rare breed Barnvelder is truly a sight to behold. This showy bird is a beautiful bronze on iridescent greenish-black lacing on reddish-brown colored feathers. Developed in the town of Barneveld, Holland and known to be good layers of dark brown eggs. Very rare in the United States which makes them quite desirable and highly sought after. They are slow to mature but make a good dual purpose breed. Average mature weight: Roosters 7 lbs., Hens 6 lbs.


Then I broke down and bought some Crème Legbars too and I plan to breed them to my Welsummers rooster and get some Olive Eggers.

Here's the eggs of the Crème Legbars

Quote:
Vibrant, sky blue to pastel green eggs are just one desirable trait about this striking beauty.


Last but not least I ordered some Salmon Faverolles. Another duel purpose.



I'm changing up my strategy a little and going for duel purpose birds so I can sell some eggs, eat some eggs, yet still have a good meat bird. I plan to process the older ones and any roos born too.

I'm also hoping to hatch out chicks in the fall and raise them through the winter to sell as young layers in the spring when there's a HUGE demand for chicks and layers.

I'll definitely be keeping a handful of Buff Orpingtons (My all time favorite chicken) and Golden Laced Wyandottes which are outstanding sitters and layers to help me with my plans.

Anyway, those are some of my chicken plans for 2016.
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Old 02-27-2016, 12:00 AM
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15 Australorps (black) ordered from efowl.com for Spring delivery
We still have 15 Dominiques from last year that are foraging machines
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Old 02-27-2016, 11:18 AM
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Mogli, you had yourself a big time with Meyer Hatchery, LOL! The Dorkings are now on my list as well as the Creme Legbars. Those eggs are stunning.

We scored for free a really nice incubator yesterday from a guy my husband works with so I'll be hatching eggs as well as ordering chicks.
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Old 02-27-2016, 03:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WitchWay View Post
Mogli, you had yourself a big time with Meyer Hatchery, LOL! The Dorkings are now on my list as well as the Creme Legbars. Those eggs are stunning.

We scored for free a really nice incubator yesterday from a guy my husband works with so I'll be hatching eggs as well as ordering chicks.
I know. Lol I'm a serious chicken addict. I think Meyers still has 4 Dorkings pullets left if you hurry.

I think I already said it but I plan to do some experimenting with the Crème Legbars. I'm shooting for the dark olive eggs. I'll put some of them with my Welsummer rooster and see what happens.

Huge congrats on the incubator. I'm going to have to buy one or else when one of my Buffs start sitting I'll trade her eggs.
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