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Old 03-17-2008, 11:19 PM   #11
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Several of our neighbors have chickens. We've thought about getting some chickens, plus a pig or two, but haven't acted on it.

One thing nobody's mentioned yet, is coyotes. Every now and then, I'll hear a shotgun blast come from behind the house. Our neighbor is defending his chicken coop from the coyotes.

Do you sleep lightly? If so, whenever the chicken start squawking and making a racket at night, it's usually best to go out into the dark packing heat.
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Old 03-17-2008, 11:50 PM   #12
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Would love to get a few but where we live now it is a no-no. No farm animals, period.

When we retire are moving to a more rural area than we are in now and are definitely going to have some critters.
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Old 03-18-2008, 11:26 AM   #13
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Now I'm really interested in getting chickens. If anybody wants to post a pic of their coop, I'd be grateful. I have some questions. Do you lock the chickens in the coop at night? I mean, is there a door? Does anybody know if raccoons eat chickens?
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Old 03-18-2008, 11:32 AM   #14
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Oh I would love to have some Chickens! We had them at my home growing up, now I live in the city and its completely out of the question! When I was home my father had a coop of course for them with their nesting boxes and heat etc etc but during the day and at their choosing they could have the run of the place. One of my best memories as a child!
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Old 03-18-2008, 11:53 AM   #15
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I usually have about 25 hens. They are the easiest livestock I have ever kept. I have a big metal self-feeder than holds about 25 pounds of laying pellets that I fill about twice a week, and a big rubber water bucket.

I can leave for 3 or 4 days without worrying about them.

Roosters are noisy and unnecessary, unless you are planning on hatching chicks. (Which is fun.) If you let your girls roam the yard, a rooster will kind of keep them together, and may defend them against dogs. With varying degrees of success.

Free roaming chickens are hard on gardens and landscaping in general. I keep mine in a big run, about 30 x 30. Once in a while, if I am outside, I let them out, but they can tear up a flower bed in no time at all. They do take care of all my kitchen scraps and all the waste from the garden.

I also collect leaves in the fall, all I can get, and dump them in the pen. By spring, I have lots and lots of lovely rich compost. The leaves also keep the pen from turning into mud.

When you go to buy chicks, be sure to get pullets--if you buy "straight run" you will have about 50/50 hens and roosters, and NOBODY will want the extra roosters. You will either have to keep them or eat them, and you may not be up to "murder".

Here is a website that will help you: G8350 Small Flock Series: Managing a Family Chicken Flock, MU Extension

If you have any questions, pm me.
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Old 03-18-2008, 11:56 AM   #16
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they make Great pets too!

I used to have a Fighting cock that I rescued, it was going to be killed because it lost a fight (how mean is that!), so I said I`d have it, I had no where to keep or anything, But it had a corner of my Old Lab for it`s food and poo-poos, and the rest of the time it spent on my lap fast asleep with it`s head tucked under my waist coat.
the rest of the time it would stand on my shoulder no matter where I went!
and the few times it Did spend on the ground was either asleep in front of the fire or following me around, never once tried to fly off either?
although I`m not Entirely sure it Could fly for some reason or another.

I`m assuming a Hen(s) would be very similar.
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Old 03-18-2008, 12:26 PM   #17
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I did not handle my hens much at all because I did not want pets, but I find that one has taken a liking to me and will hop up into the nestbox as I am gathering eggs to be rubbed. She is always in front of the others wanting to be pet before I give them all scraps. She's pretty cool. I may have to change her name from Stew to something more appropriate

Yes, FM.... raccoons not only eat chicken, they will reach through the fencing and when the chicken comes over, which they do, yank its head off for fun. Lock them up at night for sure. I close mine in their coop when they have gone in to roost at night, or sucker them in earlier than that with treats if I want to lock them up early for some reason. And if they free range, which I don't let mine do, you have all kinds of predators to worry about including hawks. Most people that free range expect a loss or two.... and expect some misplaced eggs, too.

Aren't they cute?



All growed up





Home sweet home



Droppings pit with perch above.




I have my coop set up so I can clean it out thoroughly without ever going inside. Most of the poop happens when they perch, so I have a pit I can open a door to and clean out if that's the only thing I want to clean. It keeps the majority of their droppings in one spot, too.
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Old 03-18-2008, 12:34 PM   #18
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Pacanis, those are the cutest little chicks! Which one is Stew? Your coop is wonderful. Better than some apartments I lived in when I first got married! Did you build it or buy it? Thanks for the info about raccoons - I suspected as much. I know they kill kittens. So I would need to set up a 2 layer fence. I'm very familiar with how far they can reach through bars. I have used a live trap many times and they can do some real damage even after they have been trapped just by reaching through. Anyway, bravo on your set-up. No wonder your eggs are so yummy - your chickens are spoiled!
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Old 03-18-2008, 12:35 PM   #19
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That coop looks nicer than my boys' rooms!!
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Old 03-18-2008, 12:50 PM   #20
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Which one is Stew? The one that stops laying eggs first
One of the Buffs is the friendly one. Two look pretty similar, so I couldn't pick her out of a lineup until she came over.
Yes, I built the coop. Like I said, earlier, it was a year of thinking and research before I took the plunge, so I had incorporated a lot of good ideas.

You may not realize this, but there's a forum on the internet for chickens, too! Whoda thunk?

BackYardChickens Forum
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