Author Topic: Raising Chickens and Poultry  (Read 90058 times)  

Offline Annalog

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Re: Raising Chickens and Poultry
« Reply #50 on: January 11, 2010, 08:13:18 pm »
Rasputina and any others who have kept a variety of chickens or poultry, did the various sizes get along OK as chicks? I am thinking of ordering 6 bantam chicks with 19 larger chicks. Should I be concerned about the bantam chicks surviving with the others? Should I order another larger breed, such as ameraucanas, instead of bantams?

Rasputina, you mentioned having chickens, geese, ducks, guinea fowl, and turkeys. Were these all together or separated?

Thanks,
Anna

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    Offline Carol Hanrahan

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    Re: Raising Chickens and Poultry
    « Reply #51 on: January 11, 2010, 08:24:20 pm »
    I wonder if a dog would scare the gophers away?  Do you have a dog? 

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    Offline ak rain

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    Re: Raising Chickens and Poultry
    « Reply #52 on: January 11, 2010, 08:31:04 pm »
    horned lizards are getting rare keep looking for them. Roadrunners were introduced to me as Paisanos (countrymen) I still like that name.
    sylvia
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    Offline Annalog

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    Re: Raising Chickens and Poultry
    « Reply #53 on: January 11, 2010, 08:58:16 pm »
    I wonder if a dog would scare the gophers away?  Do you have a dog? 
    We do not have a dog. In order for a dog to scare them away, it would need to go into the burrows. We do have two cats but we keep them inside.

    Since we do not have a fence or wall around our property yet, we cannot keep a dog or cat outside as they would either get hit by a car or could become coyote food.

    Offline Annalog

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    Re: Raising Chickens and Poultry
    « Reply #54 on: January 11, 2010, 09:17:28 pm »
    horned lizards are getting rare keep looking for them. Roadrunners were introduced to me as Paisanos (countrymen) I still like that name.
    sylvia
    We do not see the horned lizards often but during the spring and summer I see fresh horned lizard scat daily from two different lizards (one much larger than the other). ;D We are happy to keep the large ant hills if only to keep the horned lizards fed and happy.

    When I was digging in the garden in 2002 to bury a wire cage, a  previous gopher deterrent attempt before I tried partially raised beds, I took these photos.

    I was in a large hole (4'x8' that was about 3 feet deep) when I took the photos of this horned lizard. The lizard let me go into the house, come back with a camera, get back into the hole, and then take photos for about 10-15 minutes. It was an amazing experience.

    It seemed as if the lizard wanted me to get various poses!

    This lizard stood his ground!

    The photos are as taken by the digital camera. The effects are only due to shooting the picture into the sun.

    The following is from the same year but a different day. I almost missed seeing this tarantula on a pile of dirt. We do not kill tarantulas as they are a beneficial and long-lived spider. These spiders reach maturity at around 8-10 years. The males usually live about 10 years and the females about 20. I do not know which this is, but we kept seeing what appeared to be the same tarantula for about 10 years. We found a dead tarantula 2 years ago. :'( I have not seen one on our acre since.  :(


    EDIT for on-topic content: Desire to protect various lizards has influenced fencing choices. Not only do we want to protect the chickens from various predators and pests but we want to protect the lizards from the chickens.  ;D In addition, loose bird netting will not be used anywhere most lizards or snakes have access as we do not want the reptiles trapped in the netting.  :( The lizards have it tough enough evading the roadrunners; we do not want to add to their difficulties.
    « Last Edit: January 12, 2010, 09:12:35 am by Annalog »

    Offline Annalog

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    Re: Raising Chickens and Poultry
    « Reply #55 on: January 12, 2010, 09:52:22 am »
    ... Roadrunners were introduced to me as Paisanos (countrymen) I still like that name.
    sylvia
    Sylvia, I had not heard that name for roadrunners. It is a good name.

    Offline Annalog

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    Re: Raising Chickens and Poultry
    « Reply #56 on: January 13, 2010, 09:01:33 am »
    It has been years since I first looked into keeping chickens. I need to check into current information so I thought I would make a list of Web sites for reference. These are what I found from a quick search. I will add comments and sites as I have time to check them out or get feedback.
    « Last Edit: January 14, 2010, 02:57:07 pm by Annalog »

    Offline Carol Hanrahan

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    Re: Raising Chickens and Poultry
    « Reply #57 on: January 13, 2010, 12:05:42 pm »
    Annalog, I was thinking of you this morning as I was fixing some eggs for breakfast for my son and myself.  Ok, it was almost lunch - he's a college student, still on break, and tends to sleep rather late.  But I'm enjoying having him home.
    So I was wondering how long it will be before you are cracking your own eggs for breakfast!  Won't that be so fun! :D

    Carol Hanrahan

    Offline Annalog

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    Re: Raising Chickens and Poultry
    « Reply #58 on: January 13, 2010, 12:41:43 pm »
    It will be fun. Good question. We hope to finish moving the shed this weekend. Then I need to clean the shed, add insulation, build a brooder, and order the chicks. I read somewhere that March is a good time to start chicks as then they mature as the days are still long. Chicks are supposed to take about 5 months until they are mature enough to start laying eggs. So, assuming I can get the coop and brooder built in time, DH and I should be eating the first eggs from our chickens in July.

    EDIT: If the weather stays nice here, we might finish the coop earlier so we could have eggs in June. The breeds of chickens I am ordering are supposed to mature moderately early or very early.

    EDIT: I will definitely order the chicks after insulating the shed and starting the brooder but probably before finishing the brooder.  ;D
    « Last Edit: January 13, 2010, 12:49:10 pm by Annalog »

    Offline Carol Hanrahan

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    Re: Raising Chickens and Poultry
    « Reply #59 on: January 16, 2010, 09:30:15 pm »
    Annalog - update!  Update!  Any progress????

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    Offline Annalog

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    Re: Raising Chickens and Poultry
    « Reply #60 on: January 17, 2010, 09:06:02 am »
    Carol, I hope to have a great update to post later today. Yesterday I finished site preparation for the shed/coop. I assembled 4' and 3' wide sections of hardware cloth (welded wire screen) to make a 10'x15' mat to keep rodents out from under the coop. If the shed does not finish moving today, it is NOT because I did not get the site preparation done in time. ;D Plan for today: rotate the shed nearly 90 degrees while moving it to line up with the final destination and then move it about 20 feet to final location. I will post pictures later today. Hopefully the shed will be in place to turn into a coop. ;)

    Offline Betsy the Quilter

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    Re: Raising Chickens and Poultry
    « Reply #61 on: January 17, 2010, 09:19:47 am »
    This is the first time I visited this thread.  I found it unexpectedly fascinating.  Now I'm hooked.  Better than a PBS series!

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    Offline Annalog

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    Re: Raising Chickens and Poultry
    « Reply #62 on: January 17, 2010, 05:18:03 pm »
    Betsy, thanks for the compliment! Now that I have to keep this thread going for my KB friends I cannot let anything stop me from getting chickens this year!

    Offline Annalog

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    Re: Raising Chickens and Poultry
    « Reply #63 on: January 17, 2010, 07:06:31 pm »
    Current weather reports are that a winter storm is moving in and should arrive in a couple days. It has been overcast and fairly cool for the past few days. However the weather stayed nice for this weekend. This was great for us as we needed the ground to stay dry in order to move the shed. :)


    Yesterday DH laid out 4"X4"x8' Trex with the goal of sliding the shed to turn it nearly 90 degrees and line the shed up with the final location. (These Trex pieces are several years old. We have used these for several purposes so far. Eventually these will be the base of a greenhouse.)


    Because of the problems we have had with various types of rodents, I want to make it very difficult, if not impossible, for rodents to get under or into the chicken coop. Therefore I want to completely cover the bottom of the coop with 1/2 inch hardware cloth (welded wire screen). The widest I can purchase this material is 4 feet wide. The shed is 8 feet wide and I need some extra to attach to the sides of the shed base. The picture on the left shows two 4' sections 15 feet long. The roll in the background is the remainder of a 100' roll. The picture on the right shows the finished 10'x15' mat where a 3 foot wide section has been added.


    The picture on the left shows a 3 inch wide section folded up along one edge. The picture on the right shows the result of adding second piece with a section folded down, interlocking the two, and then flattening to make a seam (four layers thick).


    To keep the mat from shifting, I put the 12" pavers on top of the leading and trailing edges.


    The tires on the ride-on mower needed air. However the threads on an adjustment bolt on the air compressor were stripped. (DH said it was the regulator that had the stripped threads.) DH sent me to Ace Hardware to get the next larger size bolt, tap, and appropriate drill bit. While I was gone, he moved the shed part way by lifting and sliding it using a digging bar as a lever. This chewed up the edge of the supporting 4"x4"s. Fortunately, about this time, our helpful neighbor with the tractor came over and offered to use his tractor to pull the shed the rest of the way around the turn.


    We then jacked up the shed, pulled the Trex out, put cement blocks underneath the shed. We slid logs under the shed and on top of the blocks. This raised the shed high enough so that it could be pulled onto logs on the paved area. Meanwhile, our neighbor drove his tractor back to his property and then backed up as close a possible to where the chicken coop will be. (EDIT: The tractor cannot be seen in the photo. It is on the far side of the mesquite tree that is behind the large shed.) The picture on the left shows the shed ready to move. The straps that went around the shed were attached to a chain that was attached to the back blade of the tractor. The picture on the right shows the blocks and one log left behind after pulling the shed forward.


    The picture on the left shows the shed, still up on the logs, after disconnecting the tractor and the strap. We sent our helpful neighbor home with promises of butterscotch brownies (blondies). (I delivered those a few hours ago.  ;D) The shed is only slightly crooked but was moved farther than I had wanted. "A Block Too Far" might be a good name for the movie. :D


    I ran around taking photos while DH took a break.


    This area will get an 8'x13' chain link dog kennel converted to a chicken pen. There was planned to be just enough room to walk between the back of the pen and the mesquite tree. (The front of the chicken coop cannot be farther forward than where I put the pavers or it would be in the way if we ever have to access the septic leach line.)


    DH finished his soda so our break was over.  ;D We rolled the shed forward about a foot. It was easy to push as the area is very level.  ;D DH lifted the front of the shed with the lever and I pulled out the front log. The shed slid back a couple inches when DH set it down. That will just have to be OK. :D DH lifted the back of the shed while I pulled out the rest of the logs. DH set the shed down without getting hurt.  ;D


    The Chicken Coop has landed!


    Look Ma! One hand! --- Boy this shed is heavy! (DH posed for photos.  ;))


    We can finally open the door of the shed. It has not been possible for a while as the shed has not been sitting level. It may have been easier to move if it had been empty!


    DH practicing for the caber toss! Putting the logs back into the front fence. How many more logs are there?

    Next on my agenda: Empty, clean, insulate, remodel, paint coop.
    « Last Edit: January 20, 2010, 10:28:38 am by Annalog »

    Offline Carol Hanrahan

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    Re: Raising Chickens and Poultry
    « Reply #64 on: January 17, 2010, 07:26:56 pm »
    Annalog - So Impressive!  Great pictures!  I think those chickens are going to have a palatial abode!
    I esp. loved "The chicken coop Has Landed"!  I see dark clouds in the sky though.  We are getting the first of these rains right now in So. Cal.  Is this the storm you will be getting?  Good thing it all got moved before it gets soggy - well, does it get soggy in the desert?
    And now you can add "Origami hardware cloth specialist" to your resume!

    Carol Hanrahan

    Offline Annalog

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    Re: Raising Chickens and Poultry
    « Reply #65 on: January 17, 2010, 07:36:42 pm »
    Carol, Thanks! Yes, we often see our storms come from So. Cal. It does get soggy in the desert if the rain has time to soak in before it runs off. Usually the winter storms soak in and the summer storms run off. The soil we have on our acre has very few rocks and is almost half clay. When it is wet, we can become several inches taller walking across the yard due to the accumulation of mud on our shoes.

    I have found that it is fairly easy to fold hardward cloth as long as I am wearing good gloves!

    Offline ak rain

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    Re: Raising Chickens and Poultry
    « Reply #66 on: January 17, 2010, 08:09:39 pm »
    you are so making me miss home. I live in Alaska right now but I grew up outside Barstow CA. on the mojave desert. sometimes not often but sumetimes i miss that bright sun.
    sylvia
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    Offline Annalog

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    Re: Raising Chickens and Poultry
    « Reply #67 on: January 17, 2010, 08:41:25 pm »
    Sylvia, I grew up in the desert and did not really understand until I was an adult how dark winters were in the north. It was not until I was sent on business trips to Sweden in the winter that I found out how it would be possible to see day only during lunch and sometimes not see the sun for weeks. However I did get to see more snow than I had ever seen before. ;D

    I did appreciate it that the sun came out a few times today, twice while I was taking pictures.

    Offline ak rain

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    Re: Raising Chickens and Poultry
    « Reply #68 on: January 17, 2010, 10:24:33 pm »
    oh the sun and open and stars the desert would be great. the memories come from raising chickens too. I don't think I have seen so much work and detail going into preparations. i sure hope it goes well for you. I can still imagine the heat. as i said you put more clothes  on but only take so much off...
    sylvia
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    Offline Annalog

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    Re: Raising Chickens and Poultry
    « Reply #69 on: January 18, 2010, 06:13:59 am »
    I especially like the combination of wide open valleys surrounded by mountains and hills.

    I easily get overheated and often say the same thing about clothes.  :D

    The work and detail is due to multiple factors.
    • First, I am a compulsive and detail-oriented person. I am also what I call a "lazy perfectionist." I am willing to put work in up front if it means less work later. (No weeding or tripping where there are pavers, better conservation of water, less dust, ...) ;D Also, we are planning on retiring here. I am currently physically up to work now at 55 that I may not be able to do later. (The work and detail related to the chickens is trivial compared to that related to the vegetable garden and future orchard. The chickens will have a place in the future orchard as well.  ::)) (Another example -- What kind of person would use bullets for this answer? As my daughter has said, "Mom, it is not OCD but it is related.")
    • Second, we have had so many problems with gophers, mice, and other rodents that I have nearly become paranoid about them. (Wait, it is not paranoia if the rodents are really out to get me and my stuff. ;D What they did to our water lines resulted in a long delay of both the chickens and the greenhouse, not to mention a long winter with no hot water. We became very good at taking SHORT showers.  :o)
    • Third, DH does not want to deal with chickens but I am sometimes sent on long business trips. Therefore, I have to set up the chicken area so that DH can care for them without too much effort or getting in with the chickens. (DH only likes birds from a distance. It probably does not help that, when we were dating, Little Twerp (the rooster we had at the time) would attack him.  ::)) A additional benefit is that whatever makes it easier for DH will also make it easier as we age :) and fit with my innate lazy streak ;).
    • Fourth, both DH and I want to keep providing habitat and support for the local wildlife and limit our longtime impact on the desert while still enjoying gardening, chickens, model railroading, etc. We love sitting outside and watching the wildlife and the desert. (This may be futile as it seems many of our neighbors take the opposite approach. Our acre is becoming a refuge.) This has affected my choice of materials, location, methods, etc. The structures and garden are clustered where the ground was already disturbed due to prior activities on the land. The house was placed for best solar effect and least impact on fragile plant desert life.
    • Fifth, neither DH nor I want to have to deal with the aftermath of a predator getting at the chickens.
    • Finally, if chickens end up not working out for us, the coop can turn into a potting shed or something else.

    Offline ak rain

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    Re: Raising Chickens and Poultry
    « Reply #70 on: January 18, 2010, 08:04:43 am »
    I would like to see it and it all makes sense to me. I hope the chickens follow the plan
    sylvia
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    Offline Carol Hanrahan

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    Re: Raising Chickens and Poultry
    « Reply #71 on: January 18, 2010, 09:39:27 am »
    Annalog - any rain yet?  We've had it steady now since about 4pm last night.  I'd say it's getting soggy here.

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    Offline Annalog

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    Re: Raising Chickens and Poultry
    « Reply #72 on: January 18, 2010, 10:38:08 am »
    No rain yet. It is overcast and cool, less than 60 degrees F.

    I am hoping that today I can attach the hardware cloth mat to the bottom sides of the shed. I may need to go buy some 1"x2" strips and drywall screws since I think the wood supports under the shed are too old to use staples.
    « Last Edit: January 18, 2010, 10:40:40 am by Annalog »

    Offline Meredith Sinclair

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    Re: Raising Chickens and Poultry
    « Reply #73 on: January 18, 2010, 07:17:38 pm »
    Here is a pic. of what my brother's rooster "Rosey" who scared me to DEATH as a young child. He would spur my tiny legs anytime I went in the backyard! My brother used to scare me with him and let him out to keep me from bothering him and his friends... :-\ :-[
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    Offline Annalog

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    Re: Raising Chickens and Poultry
    « Reply #74 on: January 19, 2010, 06:06:59 am »
    Here is a pic. of what my brother's rooster "Rosey" who scared me to DEATH as a young child. He would spur my tiny legs anytime I went in the backyard! My brother used to scare me with him and let him out to keep me from bothering him and his friends... :-\ :-[
    What a terrible thing for your brother to do, especially if he was showing the rooster that you should be attacked! Aggressive hens are bad enough; aggressive roosters can be very scary.

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