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Old 07-07-2020, 12:26 AM
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Paravani Paravani is online now
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Apparently, all of suburban America has discovered CHICKENS in this pandemic/ economic crisis.

Well, chickens have been on my bucket list for some time, so now seemed as good a time as any.

One of the breeders who has sold me some eggs and chickens has been giving me good advice, but I don't believe I can ever have too much good advice.

So... Who here has chickens? How many, what breeds, and why? (Pets? Meat? Eggs?)

If you had to do it all over again, what would you do or not do differently?
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Old 07-07-2020, 06:05 PM
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Yes, I have chickens. How many? Well...4 roosters - 2 Cochin (son-in-law brought them home), 1 Buff Orpington/Silver Laced Wyandotte cross, 1 Barred Rock.

On the hens, have 2 Speckled Sussex, 2 Ameracaunas, 2 Rhode Island Reds, 7 Barred Rocks, 3 Silver-Laced Wyandotte, several Buff Orpingtons, and several Buff Orpington/Ameracauna crosses (I call them "Buffacaunas" There are also about a dozen or more chicks who are a mix of the above, as well as several that are crosses between the Speckled Sussex and Ameracaunas and the Buff Orpington/Barred Rock Rooster I lost a few weeks ago.

Warning, "Chicken Math" IS a "thing"! LOL

I also have turkeys - Royal Palms, Bourbon Reds, and about a dozen (with more eggs in the incubator) that are one or the other, or a cross between the two.

The chickens I keep mainly for eggs, but also for meat (that's why I like the Heritage breeds).

The turkeys are for meat. The purebreds I use as my breeding stock (although I HAVE eaten a couple from the original ones) and the crossbred offspring are being raised for meat.

I currently have them split into a couple of different 8x10 coops, with 10x20 runs, but I need to get about 3-4 more coop/run setups built.
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Old 07-07-2020, 06:58 PM
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LOL!

Yes, Chicken Math is DEFINITELY a thing!

And as in all things math-related, clearly I took the advanced course...

I started raising chickens about a month ago. That's when my first eggs went into my first incubator.

A week later, I picked up some eggs from a breeder in the next state, and she gave me some chicks.

My first eggs hatched last week -- not many, and a couple of the new chicks died. Then my next batch of chicks hatched this week, about a dozen out of a possible three dozen.

I bought two more incubators and confessed to my husband that more eggs are on the way...

So... I now have 2 Bresse chicks, 16 Barbezieux chicks from 1 day old to 4 weeks old, 6 Crevecoeur chicks, and three Light Sussex chicks.

All 27 chicks and chickens are in boxes and bins in my bedroom, separated by size. 3 are so big they need to go out soon. 4 are big enough to go with them. Another 6 are still small... And 14 are in the "little dudes" box, so I can keep a sharp eye on them and avoid any near-disasters like the one that almost killed the whole lot of then last night.
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Old 07-07-2020, 07:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Paravani View Post
LOL!

Yes, Chicken Math is DEFINITELY a thing!

And as in all things math-related, clearly I took the advanced course...

I started raising chickens about a month ago. That's when my first eggs went into my first incubator.

A week later, I picked up some eggs from a breeder in the next state, and she gave me some chicks.

My first eggs hatched last week -- not many, and a couple of the new chicks died. Then my next batch of chicks hatched this week, about a dozen out of a possible three dozen.

I bought two more incubators and confessed to my husband that more eggs are on the way...

So... I now have 2 Bresse chicks, 16 Barbezieux chicks from 1 day old to 4 weeks old, 6 Crevecoeur chicks, and three Light Sussex chicks.

All 27 chicks and chickens are in boxes and bins in my bedroom, separated by size. 3 are so big they need to go out soon. 4 are big enough to go with them. Another 6 are still small... And 14 are in the "little dudes" box, so I can keep a sharp eye on them and avoid any near-disasters like the one that almost killed the whole lot of then last night.
VERY common to have eggs that are not fertile, or die somewhere during incubation, not survive the hatch, or die shortly afterward.

I started with one incubator, and now have 5 - 3 forced air, with egg turners, and 2 "still air" that I use as hatchers...eggs that are "pipping", or getting near to, based on the date (I write the dates they go into the incubator on the big end, in pencil). After they've spent a day or two in the "hatcher", the chicks go out to the brooder box (a large rubbermade-type tote, with chopped straw as bedding, a heat lamp at one end, and food and water at the other end. After they're feathered out, they go out to the coop with the rest of the chickens. (I start them out in a dog kennel in the coop with food and water, and after a couple of days, open the door so they can come and go. Have had NO issues of the older birds pecking at the youngsters - in fact, they tend to "adopt" them.

Oh, and I ALSO currently have two broody hens sitting on eggs. We'll see if they actually manage to hatch their clutches out this time.
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Old 07-09-2020, 09:00 PM
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Originally Posted by IceFire View Post
Yes, I have chickens. How many? Well...4 roosters - 2 Cochin (son-in-law brought them home), 1 Buff Orpington/Silver Laced Wyandotte cross, 1 Barred Rock.

On the hens, have 2 Speckled Sussex, 2 Ameracaunas, 2 Rhode Island Reds, 7 Barred Rocks, 3 Silver-Laced Wyandotte, several Buff Orpingtons, and several Buff Orpington/Ameracauna crosses (I call them "Buffacaunas" There are also about a dozen or more chicks who are a mix of the above, as well as several that are crosses between the Speckled Sussex and Ameracaunas and the Buff Orpington/Barred Rock Rooster I lost a few weeks ago.

Warning, "Chicken Math" IS a "thing"! LOL

I also have turkeys - Royal Palms, Bourbon Reds, and about a dozen (with more eggs in the incubator) that are one or the other, or a cross between the two.

The chickens I keep mainly for eggs, but also for meat (that's why I like the Heritage breeds).

The turkeys are for meat. The purebreds I use as my breeding stock (although I HAVE eaten a couple from the original ones) and the crossbred offspring are being raised for meat.

I currently have them split into a couple of different 8x10 coops, with 10x20 runs, but I need to get about 3-4 more coop/run setups built.
Just curious....are you in the suburbs (since original posted question was referring to those in the suburbs)....with that many birds I am thinking, quite possibly you are in a more rural area, at least a few acres.

Some day I wish to have laying hens, and perhaps graduate to meat birds, for our own use. But current suburban regulations prohibit having anything other than domestic animals (dogs & cats).
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Old 07-09-2020, 09:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IceFire View Post
Yes, I have chickens. How many? Well...4 roosters - 2 Cochin (son-in-law brought them home), 1 Buff Orpington/Silver Laced Wyandotte cross, 1 Barred Rock.

On the hens, have 2 Speckled Sussex, 2 Ameracaunas, 2 Rhode Island Reds, 7 Barred Rocks, 3 Silver-Laced Wyandotte, several Buff Orpingtons, and several Buff Orpington/Ameracauna crosses (I call them "Buffacaunas" There are also about a dozen or more chicks who are a mix of the above, as well as several that are crosses between the Speckled Sussex and Ameracaunas and the Buff Orpington/Barred Rock Rooster I lost a few weeks ago.

Warning, "Chicken Math" IS a "thing"! LOL

I also have turkeys - Royal Palms, Bourbon Reds, and about a dozen (with more eggs in the incubator) that are one or the other, or a cross between the two.

The chickens I keep mainly for eggs, but also for meat (that's why I like the Heritage breeds).

The turkeys are for meat. The purebreds I use as my breeding stock (although I HAVE eaten a couple from the original ones) and the crossbred offspring are being raised for meat.

I currently have them split into a couple of different 8x10 coops, with 10x20 runs, but I need to get about 3-4 more coop/run setups built.
Just curious....are you in the suburbs (since original posted question was referring to those in the suburbs)....with that many birds I am thinking, quite possibly you are in a more rural area, at least a few acres.

Some day I wish to have laying hens, and perhaps graduate to meat birds, for our own use. But current suburban regulations prohibit having anything other than domestic animals (dogs & cats).
I didn't intend to limit responses only to those who live in the suburbs. In fact, I am very much hoping to hear from members who have kept chickens for eggs and meat now or in the past, no matter where they live.

As for myself, I live in the city, within the city limits of Portland Oregon.

I researched the law a few years ago, and found that ordinary citizens may keep up to three farm animals without any special permits. If you want to keep more than three animals, there is a one-time fee of $30 to have your facilities inspected. The city (wisely) wants to make sure that your animals are being kept in a manner that keeps them healthy, and which does not encourage rats.

So from the beginning I've planned coops that will protect my flock and their feed not only from predators, but also from predations by rats and other vermin. This year I doubt that any inspection services are being offered -- they're just not that essential -- but next year I intend to pass my inspection with flying colors.

My urban property is 1/3 acre, so I can keep a lot of chickens there in a safe and healthy manner before my honey and I have to think about moving to the country.

And if I were willing to get rid of the goats, I could probably keep even more chickens...

😉
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Old 07-13-2020, 05:26 AM
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At the moment I have 3 Isa Brown laying hens, but would like to get 2 or 3 more, something a bit more interesting. Maybe Aracauna with the blue/green eggs, or Wyandotte which can be used for eggs or meat and is also a good broody. In the past I've had up to 50 hens plus some roosters when we had our 5 acre block. They were mostly mixed breeds and included many hens which would go broody and hatch out chicks. I once had a hen which had disappeared and reappeared 3 weeks later with 17 chicks! I loved watching the mother hens with their chicks. The Isa Browns I have now are very friendly, but they never go broody, they are strictly egg laying machines, which is why I'd like to get some hens to be broodies.
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Old 07-14-2020, 12:55 AM
mommahen mommahen is online now
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Lets see we have a doz layers 3 with chicks they are barnyard crosses golden comets, black astorlopes(sp?), RIR, fantail banty mixes my current head roo is a doubl breasted Aracauna, there are 2 younger RIR roos, and someone bless their heart dropped 2 cream colored banty silky roos off so I can get a few more hens next year with the broody gene
We raise as pets and eggs.
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Old 07-16-2020, 11:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vivisky View Post
Just curious....are you in the suburbs (since original posted question was referring to those in the suburbs)....with that many birds I am thinking, quite possibly you are in a more rural area, at least a few acres.

Some day I wish to have laying hens, and perhaps graduate to meat birds, for our own use. But current suburban regulations prohibit having anything other than domestic animals (dogs & cats).
We are currently in a "rural residential" area (minimum lot size is 4 acres), but most here have horses and/or livestock/poultry of some sort.

When I first started keeping chickens, I WAS in town, and was keeping several laying hens before it was technically legal to do so. (other neighbors had chickens too, and the local animal control had a policy that as long as no one complained, they weren't enforcing it.) After educating members of the "silly" council as to the benefits of having chickens, and that many major cities allowed people to have chickens, they quietly changed the ordinance.
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Old 07-24-2020, 12:02 AM
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Oh, I'm so excited tonight that I'm going to have a tough time getting to sleep.

CHICKS ARE HATCHING!

I must have finally got my incubator at the right temperature, because there are baby chicks where there used to be only eggs.

They are right on time, too -- exactly 20 days after I put them in there.

Oh yay!!!! More babies!
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Old 07-24-2020, 01:23 AM
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Enjoy your chicks, Paravani! They are beautiful. Hope you get lots of Hens, rather than roosters.
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Old 07-24-2020, 04:08 AM
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I'm researching what it would take for us to keep laying hens and maybe some broilers in our backyard. Local laws allow it so it's largely a matter of the initial expense, and a coop design that securely keeps out desert predators on all six sides and keeps hens comfortable in triple-digit summer temps.

We'd like Easter Eggers or some other docile laying hens that are heat-tolerate. We would start them as chicks in the house to get them used to handling and also to get the dogs accustomed to them.

It's looking like the Wuhan virus lockdown is going to continue for many more months, possibly years, and chickens and a small garden would reduce the need for us to make trips to the stores.
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Old 07-24-2020, 10:10 AM
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I'm researching what it would take for us to keep laying hens and maybe some broilers in our backyard. Local laws allow it so it's largely a matter of the initial expense, and a coop design that securely keeps out desert predators on all six sides and keeps hens comfortable in triple-digit summer temps.

We'd like Easter Eggers or some other docile laying hens that are heat-tolerate. We would start them as chicks in the house to get them used to handling and also to get the dogs accustomed to them.

It's looking like the Wuhan virus lockdown is going to continue for many more months, possibly years, and chickens and a small garden would reduce the need for us to make trips to the stores.
Smaller breeds do better in the heat. Look into bantam breeds.

Shade is essential. Consider a coop that is simply hardware cloth with a roof over it in the summer, with sides you can add for protection from the cold in winter.

If the coop has hardware cloth anchored to pavement so it cannot be burrowed into or tipped over, I would think that nothing less than a bear could destroy it.
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Old 07-26-2020, 01:23 PM
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We started chickens this last spring as well. 2 Bielefelder, 6 Barred Rocks, all hens. Hubby built me a magnificent henhouse/coop.
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