Author Topic: Raising Chickens and Poultry  (Read 90057 times)  

Offline Annalog

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Re: Raising Chickens and Poultry
« Reply #25 on: January 07, 2010, 03:14:33 pm »
OK, Miss Annalog, thank you for the explanation you gave Miss Meredith who is liable to ask most anything about most everything... ;) but we love her anyway.  Now I have two questions.  One is on topic and the other is simply curiosity.  First of all, we never had a 'chicken moat' that I remember.  What is that?  Secondly, if you had no broadcast, cable or satellite channels at your house, then what do you watch on your television?  It always scares me to think that there are people out there without televisions.... :o :o :D :D
Answer to on topic question:
Similar to how a regular moat (wide ditch fortification often filled with water) surrounds a castle or town to provide a deterrent to people that would attack what is inside the moat, a chicken moat is a fenced area that surrounds a garden (usually vegetable) to provide a deterrent, in the form of chickens, to insects that would attack the garden. Essentially, it is a wide path fenced on both sides around the garden; the outside fence keeps the chickens from getting out (or predators from getting in) and the inner fence keeps the chickens out of the garden. The chickens get more room to run around and have more area for hunting insects. (EDIT: Also, similar to some regular moats, the moat can be empty or the gates can be opened and the area "flooded" with chickens.  ;D)

Answer to other question:
Don't be scared; we have a television (actually two but only use one). ;D We watch DVDs and video tapes. We also use the television for video games (Wii and original Nintendo). DH  watches television more than I do, mostly because I have an hour commute in each direction and I attend yoga classes after work twice a week. I normally read or use the computer instead of watching television.

We used to have satellite service. We are out of range of broadcast TV without a very large antenna. The noise when the wind blew through the antenna was fairly loud. When we got satellite service, we took down the antenna. When DH realized that he was spending too much time watching TV, he decided to cancel the satellite service. Since I rarely watched TV, this was not a problem for me. He still spends almost as much time watching TV.  ::) I sometimes watch a movie or old show (such as The Good Life/Good Neighbors) with him. I also spend one night a week with my mom. She tapes "Dancing with the Stars" and we watch that together.

On topic part of answer to second question:
It is highly likely that one of the roosters we keep will be named "Lenin" after the rooster belonging to the Goods. (About seven minutes in to this section of the second episode: <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Df87aAs2kRs" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Df87aAs2kRs</a>)
Some incarnations of the coop design have involved making the coop look a bit like the ones in "Chicken Run" with a 17 painted on the side. "Rocky" might be a good name for the other rooster, possibly the Barred Plymouth Rock although that is a different breed (Rhode Island Red) than the "Rocky" in the movie. (EDIT: On the other hand, a New Hampshire rooster looks a bit like a RI and could be named "Rocky" and the Barred Rock rooster could be named "Lenin" instead.) One of the old satellite dishes will be attached to the chicken coop with a heavy wire running to ground to serve as a lightning rod.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2010, 09:24:09 am by Annalog »

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    Offline Anju No. 469

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    Re: Raising Chickens and Poultry
    « Reply #26 on: January 07, 2010, 04:28:44 pm »
    Oh the roosters come and the roosters go, and they are handsome looking critters - just NOT at 4:30 IN THE MORNING  ;)
    Dona
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    Offline Annalog

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    Re: Raising Chickens and Poultry
    « Reply #27 on: January 07, 2010, 04:56:52 pm »
    I'm fine with the chickens, just forget the roosters!  We always manage to have one across the street that wakes up east coast time!
    Oh the roosters come and the roosters go, and they are handsome looking critters - just NOT at 4:30 IN THE MORNING  ;)
    Thanks for reminding me to check again with the neighbors across the street. While we checked with our neighbors before deciding to keep chickens and roosters, I had forgotten that the neighbors across the street are new ones.

    There are other roosters around the neighborhood but they are several houses (acres) away. We will be insulating the coop (walls, roof, and floor) which should help with the sound as well as heat/cold when the chickens are in the coop. In addition, for all but the neighbors on the side of the property where we will be keeping the chickens, there will be an additional building (either the large shed or our house) between the coop and the neighbors. (The ones closest to the chickens have said that they love the sound of crowing roosters and miss it.  :D ) Finally, DH is a light sleeper so I will use "crowing at inappropriate times" as well as "inappropriate aggression" as selection criteria for roosters that will end up at my mom's house.  ;)

    EDIT:
    ... We are out of range of broadcast TV without a very large antenna. The noise when the wind blew through the antenna was fairly loud. When we got satellite service, we took down the antenna. ...
    DH was the one bothered by the wind noise at night. I am sure he will be bothered by roosters that crow when he wants to be sleeping. I am sure that DH will alert me long before the neighbors do if we have a rooster that crows too often or too loudly.  ;D
    « Last Edit: January 07, 2010, 05:05:03 pm by Annalog »

    Offline Anju No. 469

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    Re: Raising Chickens and Poultry
    « Reply #28 on: January 07, 2010, 05:42:38 pm »
    Our roosters and chickens are I guess what you call free-range, in the street, they roost in the trees, they drive the dogs crazy!
    Dona
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    Offline Meredith Sinclair

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    Re: Raising Chickens and Poultry
    « Reply #29 on: January 07, 2010, 06:07:46 pm »
    I am also a bit compulsive and that is why I tend to write long explanations. I almost edited that reply to add that I tried to put the broken pavers where they would not be directly supporting the shed.  ;) (I had to look up the Monk reference as we haven't had broadcast, cable, or satellite channels at our house for 4 or 5 years. The description of him tilting his head made me think of chickens and other birds.  :D)
    Well, yes, Anna I do believe Monk could be compared to a chicken... in more ways than one. You can check him out on YouTube too... well, he used to have some on there, I'm not sure if he still does. ???
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    Offline Annalog

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    Re: Raising Chickens and Poultry
    « Reply #30 on: January 07, 2010, 06:10:20 pm »
    Our roosters and chickens are I guess what you call free-range, in the street, they roost in the trees, they drive the dogs crazy!
    That sounds like more than just free-range. Does anyone own them or are they wild?

    We let the chickens loose during the day when I was a kid but they were always closed into the coop before the sun went down. (If we left them out too close to sunset, a coyote would get one.)

    Offline Annalog

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    Re: Raising Chickens and Poultry
    « Reply #31 on: January 07, 2010, 06:49:34 pm »
    I am also a bit compulsive and that is why I tend to write long explanations. I almost edited that reply to add that I tried to put the broken pavers where they would not be directly supporting the shed.  ;) (I had to look up the Monk reference as we haven't had broadcast, cable, or satellite channels at our house for 4 or 5 years. The description of him tilting his head made me think of chickens and other birds.  :D)
    Well, yes, Anna I do believe Monk could be compared to a chicken... in more ways than one. You can check him out on YouTube too... well, he used to have some on there, I'm not sure if he still does. ???
    I did find the following on YouTube. He did not look too chicken to me. Well maybe like a chicken as chickens are very brave when necessary. ;D
    <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z_Y1juNVT5w" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z_Y1juNVT5w</a>

    Offline Meredith Sinclair

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    Re: Raising Chickens and Poultry
    « Reply #32 on: January 07, 2010, 07:07:42 pm »
    Well, yes, Anna I do believe Monk could be compared to a chicken... in more ways than one. You can check him out on YouTube too... well, he used to have some on there, I'm not sure if he still does. ???
    I did find the following on YouTube. He did not look too chicken to me. Well maybe like a chicken as chickens are very brave when necessary. ;D
    <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z_Y1juNVT5w" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z_Y1juNVT5w</a>
    OK... NOW I MISS MONK! Oh, no... his Final Season is over and all I have left of the time I spent watching him over the years are a few favorite episodes that are 'protected' on my DVR... :'( :'( :'( I am sooo sad now... I LOVE the
    "Monk Under Pressure" YouTube video. ::) I am such a huge OCD geek! ::)
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    Offline Carol Hanrahan

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    Re: Raising Chickens and Poultry
    « Reply #33 on: January 08, 2010, 02:36:41 pm »
    Annalog - That is such a neat idea of having the moat!  Now do the chickens really keep the pests out of the garden?  In theory it sounds great, does it really work?  I like the idea of them having a big run.
    My aunt keeps hers in a fenced in yard.  Once a fox got in and killed almost everyone of her chickens - and would have if she had not arrived home in time to scare him away from finishing them off.  She told me that foxes will kill all the chickens, even though they can only carry one off at a time.   :-\

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    Offline Annalog

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    Re: Raising Chickens and Poultry
    « Reply #34 on: January 08, 2010, 03:50:55 pm »
    Annalog - That is such a neat idea of having the moat!  Now do the chickens really keep the pests out of the garden?  In theory it sounds great, does it really work?  I like the idea of them having a big run.

    My aunt keeps hers in a fenced in yard.  Once a fox got in and killed almost everyone of her chickens - and would have if she had not arrived home in time to scare him away from finishing them off.  She told me that foxes will kill all the chickens, even though they can only carry one off at a time.  :-\
    Carol, I do not know if it will really work for keeping pests out of the garden or not. (Certainly not until the garden is surrounded.  ;D) I suspect that it will reduce the number of pests in the garden but not eliminate them. On the other hand, it will certainly provide more area for the chickens to range and more opportunity for them to eat various insects.

    Part of what has delayed us getting chickens after DH finally agreed I could keep them has been ensuring that they will be as protected as possible from predators, rodents, and other hazards. I don't think we have foxes in the area but we do have cats, dogs, coyotes, javalina, skunks, hawks, owls, and snakes. A chicken-killing dog will also kill as many chickens as possible. The coop and pen will be surrounded on all sides, including top and bottom, with welded wire or metal with maximum opening of .5 inch.

    The chicken moat, however, will not be quite as secure but it will be more secure than a fenced yard open to the sky. There will be welded wire fencing on both sides but the openings will be larger. The plan is to use the welded wire fencing with the closer spacing at the bottom to keep out rabbits, to cover the sides with bird netting or chicken wire over the welded wire fencing to keep out wild birds, and to cover the top with shade cloth or other material over welded wire. The top covering is to hopefully prevent wild bird droppings from falling where the chickens will have access in addition to providing much needed summer shade.

    EDIT: Compulsive paranoia in overprotection of chickens -- Is that a sign of OCD? (Obsessive Chicken Defense)  ;D
    « Last Edit: January 08, 2010, 05:10:44 pm by Annalog »

    Offline Anju No. 469

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    Re: Raising Chickens and Poultry
    « Reply #35 on: January 09, 2010, 06:22:58 am »
    That sounds like more than just free-range. Does anyone own them or are they wild?

    We let the chickens loose during the day when I was a kid but they were always closed into the coop before the sun went down. (If we left them out too close to sunset, a coyote would get one.)

    They are owned by the house across the street, they do feed them, but that's all I am aware of.  Sometimes some disappear but I don't know if that is from the street dogs that roam at night, or if they actually eat them, or other critters around like the free meal.  They did have ducks, but the next door neighbor has taken them over and even tho they are out all day, at night they put them up.  Also sometimes cars roaring down the street will make the flock smaller.

    I have always been a city girl so this has been quite a watching experience for me  ::)
    Dona
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    Offline Brendan Carroll

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    Re: Raising Chickens and Poultry
    « Reply #36 on: January 09, 2010, 08:07:49 am »
    That sounds like more than just free-range. Does anyone own them or are they wild?

    We let the chickens loose during the day when I was a kid but they were always closed into the coop before the sun went down. (If we left them out too close to sunset, a coyote would get one.)
    I've been wondering.  If I get a place far enough from busy roads, can I just have a nice chicken coop and a small yard fenced off and just let the chickens roam free (outside the fence) during the day.  Will they come home in the evenings on their own?  I could have a fenced... well-secured top and bottom... for days when I would not be home to let them out and in.  Would this work do you think?

    Offline Annalog

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    Re: Raising Chickens and Poultry
    « Reply #37 on: January 09, 2010, 09:12:13 am »
    I've been wondering.  If I get a place far enough from busy roads, can I just have a nice chicken coop and a small yard fenced off and just let the chickens roam free (outside the fence) during the day.  Will they come home in the evenings on their own?  I could have a fenced... well-secured top and bottom... for days when I would not be home to let them out and in.  Would this work do you think?
    I believe it depends on the neighborhood and the chickens. Our chickens did not range very far and there were enough houses that the coyotes did not come in very often. (Neighborhood dogs were a bigger problem for us when I was a kid. Where I am now, it is the wildlife that is the bigger problem.)

    Chickens will come home to roost if they have already formed the habit of roosting where you want them to be at night. If they form a habit of roosting elsewhere first (such as in trees) then getting them to roost in a coop can be a problem.

    It is definitely possible to keep chickens without the extensive work I am doing. As I mentioned above, I believe I have a case of OCD (Obsessive Chicken Defense). ;D

    Offline Meredith Sinclair

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    Re: Raising Chickens and Poultry
    « Reply #38 on: January 09, 2010, 09:18:56 am »

    It is definitely possible to keep chickens without the extensive work I am doing. As I mentioned above, I believe I have a case of OCD (Obsessive Chicken Defense). ;D
    Hmmmm... that is not the OCD I was talking about Annalog. :D
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    Offline geoffthomas

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    Re: Raising Chickens and Poultry
    « Reply #39 on: January 09, 2010, 09:54:26 am »
    Annalog,
    Side note:
    I must say that I applaud your selection of an episode from the Good Life.
    When we lived in London for three years it was "new" and we loved the Goods.
    We have the entire run on DVD now just because we like it - almost as much as Fawlty Towers.

    sorry to digress.
    Always loved their bits about chickens.


    Just sayin......

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    Offline Annalog

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    Re: Raising Chickens and Poultry
    « Reply #40 on: January 09, 2010, 11:48:02 am »
    Hmmmm... that is not the OCD I was talking about Annalog. :D
    I am compulsive and easily become obsessed with various topics for short periods. :D My daughter used to tell me I had OCD. I would say that since it did not interfere with my life, I could not have a disorder. She would reply, "But Mom, you make everyone around you crazy!"  ::) Now she has a job in the public health field and says, "Mom, I agree that you don't have OCD. When I find out the name that describes what you do have, I will let you know." ;D For now, I can focus on Obsessive Chicken Defense!
    Annalog,
    Side note:
    I must say that I applaud your selection of an episode from the Good Life.
    When we lived in London for three years it was "new" and we loved the Goods.
    We have the entire run on DVD now just because we like it - almost as much as Fawlty Towers.

    sorry to digress.
    Always loved their bits about chickens.

    Just sayin......
    Thanks! We have them on DVD as well. DH and I have enjoyed watching the Goods since we first saw the show on PBS over 30 years ago. I remember the first time we saw the episode "The Early Birds." At that time, DH and I both worked in a toy store. It was December and we had been putting in very long hours. We had difficulty staying awake long enough to eat dinner after work. We laughed hysterically watching that episode; sometimes laughter is better than sleep. ;D

    Back on topic :D: An episode, "Our Speaker Today," with wonderful bits about chickens including a very nice backyard chicken coop model:
    <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fsPC7L3_d-o" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fsPC7L3_d-o</a>
    <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uvh8fj6eIgQ" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uvh8fj6eIgQ</a>
    <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HLrdT3kamsU" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HLrdT3kamsU</a>

    Offline ak rain

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    Re: Raising Chickens and Poultry
    « Reply #41 on: January 09, 2010, 12:47:25 pm »
    both places I have seen with chickens have danger from above - hawks- that go after chickens so watch for that.
    sylvia
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    Offline Annalog

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    Re: Raising Chickens and Poultry
    « Reply #42 on: January 10, 2010, 06:30:19 pm »
    We moved the shed farther than we expected. It now has less than 20 more feet to move.  ;D More pictures below.


    Shed viewed from where it will end up. The shed was turned 180 degrees during the move so that the door is on the far side.


    View from far corner of house. Yucca is blocking view of where shed will end up. Tall (+6 ft.) yellow ferns is 4'x4' planter with asparagus. (I need to cut ferns down before spring.  ;)) Pipes on left will become chicken pen (chain link dog kennel). I did not notice bird (hawk?) in the sky when I took the photo.


    Our neighbor heard us using our ride-on mower when we were trying to move the shed. It took us over an hour to move the shed about 6 feet (downhill away from final location). Our neighbor saw us, came over, and asked us what we were doing. After we told him, he asked if we wanted him to bring over his tractor and help us move the shed. (He is semiretired and restores tractors at home.) With his help we turned and moved the shed to its current position. We were careful to ensure that the tractor did NOT drive over the septic tank.  :o However the shed did roll over septic tank with no problems.  ;)


    The shed did put a dent in the awning downspout; fortunately the awning supports were not affected. One of the many holes that rodents made under the shed. We did not know when we only put pavers under the shed supports that we would have many problems with rodents. The rodents, especially gophers and rats, are why I garden with 1/2 inch hardware cloth, concrete blocks and pavers.
    « Last Edit: March 07, 2013, 09:44:07 pm by Annalog »

    Offline Carol Hanrahan

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    Re: Raising Chickens and Poultry
    « Reply #43 on: January 11, 2010, 07:31:46 am »
    Lotsa progress being made here!

    Carol Hanrahan

    Offline geoffthomas

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    Re: Raising Chickens and Poultry
    « Reply #44 on: January 11, 2010, 08:18:51 am »
    I really appreciate the perspective you have given us of Arizona vegetable gardening.
    My big problem is deer and rabbits and squirrels and chipmunks.  The chipmunks like to eat the crocus bulbs, among other things.
    The rabbits just like to chew on anything green.
    And the squirrels will jump into an enclosure secured from deer and rabbits and burrowing things and chew a tomato without eating it.

    If we get a groundhog in the neighborhood, all is lost.  They eat a lot of everything.  And are not afraid of much. They have to be trapped and "eliminated" or the garden is gone.
    But I never had to deal with gophers and rats - The chipmunks are actually kinda benign compared to them - I suppose?

    Thanks for the pics and info - keep 'em commin'.


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    Offline Anju No. 469

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    Re: Raising Chickens and Poultry
    « Reply #45 on: January 11, 2010, 09:19:43 am »
    I agree - love the pics!
    Dona
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    Offline Annalog

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    Re: Raising Chickens and Poultry
    « Reply #46 on: January 11, 2010, 09:28:15 am »
    The gophers we have are pocket gophers, not the ground squirrels that are sometimes called gophers. (My mom, in Tucson, has problems with ground squirrels.) When I gardened in Tucson, I used to complain about the caliche (cement-like rocks/layers in ground) that required digging out with pick and crowbar. When we looked for property, I was happy to find an acre with no caliche. Little did I know that the absence of caliche would give the gophers and other burrowing rodents rapid underground access to my garden! My first realization came when I went out to the garden to harvest tomatoes and found that all the tomato roots and the bottom couple inches of stem had been eaten while the rest of the tomato plant was left hanging from the supports but with no contact with any remaining roots. Gophers love to eat the roots of almost anything but seem to especially like the roots of fruit trees, vegetables, and anything else I want to plant.  >:( Now that I line all planting areas with 1/2 inch hardware cloth supported by cement blocks, the gophers seem to be stymied.  ;D

    We do have rabbits and deer in the area. The deer have not bothered us but apparently are a problem for nearby farms. There are often rabbits on our property (usually jackrabbits but sometimes cottontails) but the fencing seems to keep all but the young rabbits out of the garden. We often see one young rabbit watching us while we are working outside during the spring and summer. The rabbits have not been a problem as they seem to prefer the native plants instead of our vegetable garden.  ;D

    EDIT:
    If we get a groundhog in the neighborhood, all is lost.  They eat a lot of everything.  And are not afraid of much. They have to be trapped and "eliminated" or the garden is gone.
    It seems to me that our gophers are similar to a groundhog except that they mostly eat roots. Ours are not afraid of much. When one got into the garden, the garden was destroyed before we could get rid of the gopher. Once DH saw a pair sunning themselves in front of the large shed. They seemed to be laughing at DH. Some neighbors who have tried to poison them have said that they find the poison pushed out of the tunnels. Unfortunately that results in other wildlife, such as quail, eating the poison. I don't like to use poison. However, we did buy some rodent bait sticks that we put in the enclosed crawl space under our house where only very determined burrowing rodents could find it. (We had mice eat several holes in our home water supply during a bad drought a couple years ago and had to replace nearly all of the hot and cold water lines.) The crawl space is now enclosed by a block wall and we have not had any rodents under the house to eat the poison. YEAH!

    I would like to have a King snake or a gopher snake decide to move onto our property. There are certainly enough rodents in the area to keep a snake well fed. While we have seen a few snakes on our property, none have stayed long. I would not want a rattlesnake to move in and those have been seen in the neighborhood.  :o
    « Last Edit: January 11, 2010, 10:08:45 am by Annalog »

    Offline Annalog

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    Re: Raising Chickens and Poultry
    « Reply #47 on: January 11, 2010, 10:15:40 am »
    I really appreciate the perspective you have given us of Arizona vegetable gardening.
    My current Arizona vegetable gardening is in a rural semi-high desert area. When I gardened in an urban area of Tucson, the main problems were dealing with caliche, providing drip irrigation, providing enough shade (growing lettuce on the north side of taller plants), choosing appropriate varieties (cherry and plum tomatoes instead of beefsteak), and growing vegetables during the correct season (cool weather plants in fall instead of spring). That seems much easier when I look back.  ;D

    Offline Carol Hanrahan

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    Re: Raising Chickens and Poultry
    « Reply #48 on: January 11, 2010, 06:59:58 pm »
    Do you have roadrunners?  What do they eat?  Oh, the snakes, I suppose....  I guess every location comes with it's own problems.  Think you got rid of one problem, then something else comes along.
    Don't know how you would encourage the right kind of snake to come live there.

    Carol Hanrahan

    Offline Annalog

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    Re: Raising Chickens and Poultry
    « Reply #49 on: January 11, 2010, 07:57:45 pm »
    Mostly we see the roadrunners eating lizards. According to Wikipedia: "It mainly feeds on insects, small reptiles, rodents, tarantulas, scorpions and small birds, as well as fruit and seeds." We have all of those on our acre. ;D We have a couple fairly large horned lizards that I hope never make a meal for anything else as they eat ants.

    When I was moving and laying the pavers a week ago, DH and I saw a roadrunner hunting on our acre each day.

    We are trying to have a garden and chickens while still encouraging most of the wildlife (including the tarantulas :o). This is probably not the most sensible plan ::) and it is certainly not the easiest.  ;D So far, the only wildlife we do not want around are the gophers, rats, and mice. However, for those rodents, we are only actively trying to prevent adding to their food sources. We do not try to kill them unless they cross the perimeter of our house. Unfortunately trying to remove everything that would support the rodents would also remove everything that supports the quail, roadrunners, lizards, rabbits, etc.

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