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Thread: bought me a chicken chalet.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    South East US
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    1,195

    Default bought me a chicken chalet.

    So me and my mother split the cost of a prefabbed chicken coop. Local feed and seed will get their first group next week and we are most likely going to pick up some chicks. We are really excited. We are gonna start off with 3 or 4 because of the location. But if things go well we are looking at building a chicken coop at a second location to up our ability. While we are planning on just raising chickens for eggs right now. I would eventually like to raise some chickens for meat. Anyone else doing chickens that would like to weigh in with some hard earned tips?
    Vox Populi!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
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    1,999

    Default

    Be sure to ask if you're getting females at the feedstore.
    I remember as a kid, if I bought a bag of Evergreen Start-gro-lay, I could get 100 free chicks.
    So, I got 3 bags.... 300 chicks.
    I lost about 30 chicks total. Later on, I had approx. 270 young roosters crowing. I let them free range at that time, and my old mama would jump me out cause they were in the garden and flowerbeds digging around.
    I butchered chickens forever it seemed.

    Anyway, after 50 odd years of raising chickens, here's a couple of tips I use.
    In winter, when there is no grass...soak some oat groats (the meat of oats) with water in a barrel.
    Cover the barrel. This stuff will stink after a while. Be careful not to get on clothes, smells bad..most chickens love it, very few don't.
    It's the next best thing to green grass. Good for winter feed supplement with their regular grains.
    Mix small amounts for small flock, don't want the stuff going rancid. It will last a couple weeks in winter.

    I mix all my feed myself...I buy whole deer corn at walmart, milo, sunflower seed, millet, Canadian peas and such at the feed store, and mix it in an
    old concrete mixer, or by hand...and I save a few dollars per year. Then throw the soaked oat groats in the pen separate from the dry feed.

    Whole corn..I never feed cracked corn in feed. I've seen cracked corn give them canker many times.
    Use grit (small gravel) in their pens to help them digest food.
    Oyster shell too, helps with egg strength and promotes laying (and daylight). Just a little in a pan in the corner.
    I don't like to feed the cheaper chicken scratch..but that's my opinion.

    I used to worm my chickens with Lye and water..I quit doing that a few years back.
    Now I use Ivomec. 2 drops in a syringe (no needle) and drop down their gullet. This is for grown chickens.
    Pull them from water for a few hours, dump in the worm med..then no water for 5 or 6 hours...I do this in late winter, so they won't get so dehydrated from hotter weather.

    For roost, I use round material, like big dowel rod...so that way the chickens can curl their feet over the roosting pole. About 1 1/4 or so material.

    For laying chickens and roosters...there is a ball of fat near the butt of fowl, it should be the size of between a dime and nickel..no bigger. If bigger, they are too fat, and won't lay right, and the roosters won't mount as much, and hens won't crouch as much to get mounted. They get sluggish, not active as they should be.
    Eat it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.

  3. #3

    Default

    Absolutely love my chickens, currently one Rooster (Asshole) and 4 hens. Starting small is a smart decision. I have had as many as 25 at one time, and it was overwhelming. I keep them mainly for eggs but have butchered them in the past.

    Tips I can give.
    Don't ever throw out dirty or suspect eggs where the chickens can find them because they will learn to break the shell and eat them.

    If you butcher the chickens after treating them like pets, put them in freezer for a few weeks before you cook them or some members of the family might not want to eat them.

    The only predator I had problems with, was my neighbor"s dog, but he mysteriously disappeared one day. I let my chickens free range for the most part, and close them up at night.

    Good luck, it can become an addictive habit.
    I got Vision, and the rest of the world wears bifocals.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    4,460

    Default

    I sprinkle food grade diatomaceous earth in my chicken coop , and nest boxes. It kills ticks , mites, and other bugs. Also sprinkle it in their food to kill worms.

  5. #5

    Default

    I have 10 laying hens and two roos. All Barred Rock. Three of my hens are nesting right now.
    Chickens are easy keepers.
    If you're not going to free range them, make sure they get some greens. If your yard isn't ferilized, feed some of the grass clipping to them. Iv the winter we feed them some alfalfa flakes and they love fresh raw veggie scraps from the garden. I kinda spoil mine and buy them a bag of dried mealy worms. They come running when I shake the bag. I also save the egg shells, dry them out, grind them up and mix it in with their laying mash. I buy 50# bags of whole feed corn from the co-op and crack them myself with a cheap gringer I got off ebay. It has a big hopper for large jobs. I dust their pen with DE twice a year in the Spring and toward the end of Summer.
    If you just want hens, ask for pullets. Those are female chicks
    When they start laying, you will notice your hens will share the nests so if you are going to get 4 pullets, you will only need 2 nest boxes which you can easily build yourself. Build the nest boxes off the ground and atatch a staging ladder for access.
    Hay or straw makes perfect bedding for nest boxes.

    When you bring the chicks home, they will need warmth and light 24/7 for the first 5 weeks. After that, you can harden them to just night time warmth and light. Keep the brooder box that you'll be keeping them in, away from drafts the first 4 weeks and clean the brooder box often or they can get beak rot Which is a fungus.

    Watering.. Baby chicks can drown easily so even though you have a chick waterer, put some marbles in the trough until they are at least a couple weeks old.

    Now, about those chicken chalets. Hummm. I don't like them. Coons can rip through that flimsy wood in nothing flat. I lost a whole flock of 6wk old chicks in one of those. They are nice looking and some are really fancy but unless they are made really solid with hard wood all the way around and some good welded wire mesh, you could be asking for trouble. The one I bought was made of poplur (sp). Just an FYI.
    Last edited by Camouflaged; 02-18-2016 at 12:16 AM.
    Making good people helpless, doesn't make bad people harmless!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
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    1,999

    Default

    My poor old pens have seen their better days, but serve the purpose.
    Cammie is right, a solid pen is best.
    I used heavy rabbit wire on mine instead of chicken wire, and don't use any thin boards. I made some 5x8- 4 ft. tall pens, with wood doors on the ends.
    My nest boxes are hanging up on that end, easy to reach the eggs. Roosting pole is in the middle of the pens.

    I have had 2 possums and one coon to get in those, and they found a weak spot, digging underneath.
    So, I put some scrap 2x16 flat blocks underneath the frame all the way around, that eliminated that problem.

    Dogs is my biggest worry.
    Even tho they can't get in the pen, I had hens flying around, and hurt themselves because a dog was chasing/harassing them on the outside of the pen. A .22lr took care of the dog problem.

    When I let mine free-range all the time, I rarely had one killed by a hawk, but if all the chickens did not come in to their roost at nite, and roost in the trees, you can bet an owl will get them.
    I use a strobe light outside, and aim it above where the chickens in the trees are roosting. It will keep owls at bay, they cannot see.

    I mostly went to Khaki Campbell ducks for egg production.
    I was getting eggs till first week of December, and my ducks have been laying now for 2 weeks. They'll lay 300+ eggs a year each.
    Still have quite a few chickens, like having them around.
    Eat it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Posts
    422

    Default

    ah a chicken chalet do you have a esspresso machine and wine dispenser oh yeah yer guuna need
    a french cook and gourmet garden as well ya know. just kidding i wan to get some hens myself this spring.
    got a few turkeys now i'm raiseing them for feathers.
    Last edited by patriot1; 02-18-2016 at 11:12 AM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    South East US
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    Default

    your darn right they are getting a french maid. only the best for my little ones.
    Vox Populi!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    South East US
    Posts
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    Default

    Thank you for all the input. I will put it to good use.

    We put up to coop the other day. Can't say I am overly impressed by this prepackaged product. Two pieces were broken and we had to make our own. It went together well enough and will serve well for its location. Being closer to the city I don't worry to much about foxes and other predators like that. We also have several dogs that will be in the back yard with them. We are going to have a larger second barrier cage around the coop to allow for a bigger area to move about. We get our first three this Wednesday. We are Pretty eggcited.
    Vox Populi!

  10. #10

    Default

    Did you know that all birds are hatched with all the eggs they will lay in a lifetime?
    Making good people helpless, doesn't make bad people harmless!

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