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Who's Got Chickens? I'm Thinking Laying Hens

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle, Aug 22, 2009.

  1. JDC1

    JDC1 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2010
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    Loc:
    NE Ohio
    We have 2 welsummer roosters that my 4yo daughter raised from chicks. They still will go after her if she comes up on the hens to fast. They will be going to freezer camp with my first batch of meat birds this spring.

    I think for a family 3 hens would be the perfect number.

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  2. SnapCracklePop

    SnapCracklePop Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2010
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    Loc:
    Southwestern Penna
    I have to make a final decision soon on whether to give up the dog boarding. My license is up for renewal and I won't pass inspection until I redo the floor.

    Now I'm leaning toward keeping the kennel for a couple of years, but doing chickens also, just on a smaller scale to begin with. When I eventually close the kennel, it can go to the birds.

    Question for current chicken-raisers: If I convert part of the kennel to a chicken coop, I would have chickens close to the dogs, but not inside the same structure. Their outdoor run would be adjacent to one of my dog runs. Do chicken lice/mites get on dogs? Would that be a potential problem?

    Thanks,

    Nancy
  3. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    Anderson, Indiana
    My dumb dog likes to get in the coop when I let her. (No issues I see yet) Now I treat for them about every 6 weeks though.
  4. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    Northeastern MA (near Lowell)
    Not an expert on dogs or chickens, but it seems to me that if you are boarding dogs that aren't used to the birds, you might have problems with them upsetting each other - there are dogs that would want to chase / eat / play with the chickens who would be frustrated if not allowed to do so. On the flip side, I'd expect the chickens might be less than happy about being barked at all the time...

    Doesn't sound like an ideal match to my untutored ears...

    Gooserider
  5. timfromohio

    timfromohio Minister of Fire

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    Aug 20, 2007
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    507

    So, I'm finally back to this thread. I did wind up building a "chicken ark" and an attached run. We got 8 hens, 2 each of Barred Plymoth Rock, Buff Orphington, Buff Brahma, and Americauna. They are doing very well. I didn't expect too many eggs over the winter, but we are getting 0-2 on a slow day and 4-6 on a busy day.

    The "ark" I built is open to the ground on the bottom level and then has a ramp up to the "loft" where there are nesting boxes and perches - the hens are pretty crowded up there, but don't seem to mind especially in winter.

    I gave them the run of the garden once we completed fall harvest and they did a good job of cleaning up and depositing fertilizer. I was moving the ark around the yard, but now have them in their winter semi-permanent location by the wood pile.

    Attached Files:

  6. timfromohio

    timfromohio Minister of Fire

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    I'm also reading a great book by Harvey Ussery that I highly recommend to everybody here - he discusses a number of ways to make the chickens "work" for you around the homestead.

    Curently, I have a modified furniture dolly that I stick under one end of the ark (handles on the other end) to move it around. For this year, I think I'm going to buy a landscaping-type cart and mount the entire ark on it and make a ramp from the door down to the run. This will make it alot easier to move the hens around. I'm also marking off "rows" in the back portion of our yard that I will not mow - they will be the width of the runs (I now have multiple runs that I string together) so I can move the ark/runs around in a more organized fashion.

    If I get around to it, I'd like to build a hoop house to extend our gardening year and also act as a good over-wintering place for the hens. Also, I'm seriously considering trying some broilers this year. If not this year, definetly next.
  7. timfromohio

    timfromohio Minister of Fire

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  8. heat seeker

    heat seeker Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    Northern CT
    We have 5 hens left, no rooster. Some died over the years, and were replaced. They fussed at each other for a couple of weeks, until they got the pecking order (literally) straightened out, now they get along fine. We take new hens and put them in a cage in with the others for a week or so, so they get used to each other, then let them out of the cage. They sort themselves out, and we keep an eye out for severe damage, as they will really hurt each other sometimes. We've been lucky, they just fuss and take a peck or two at the next hen and work it out; no serious damage so far. We will be getting a few more this spring, and will follow the same routine.

    We get no eggs in the winter, due to lack of light. We don't run lights in the henhouse, besides the girls are getting kinda old. They are basically pets, and the eggs are a bonus. They are a hoot to watch, especially when we let them outside to play. There are too many predators around here to let them run loose. Our neighbors have tried that, and lost them all twice.
  9. btuser

    btuser Minister of Fire

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    The island of Rhum Boogie
    An old chef told me eggs will last a long long time even at room temperature as long as they're not washed.
  10. SnapCracklePop

    SnapCracklePop Feeling the Heat

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    Loc:
    Southwestern Penna
    Yeah, Gooserider, I've had the same thoughts. The chickens and the dogs would not be able to see each other; they'd be around the corner from each other. But...

    Still thinking this thru.

    Nancy
  11. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    Anderson, Indiana
    First eggs today 10 total! 17 birds

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