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Chickens

Travel Forums Off Topic Chickens

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1. Posted by Peter (Admin 5789 posts) 6y

Is there anyone else on here keeping chickens?

I just got three 10 week old Silver Grey Dorkings for my birthday, been building a coop out of old pallets for a few months now. Kind of crude, but does the job Many renovations still necessary i think.

The fence I created for the run is too short though I think (~1m). Worried that they will just fly over it or foxes will just jump in. Planning to cover the whole thing with shadecloth / netting. I'll upload some photos of the chooks soon

2. Posted by Sam I Am (Admin 5588 posts) 6y

Hands down the best off topic thread ever started :) I had this one pegged as spam the moment I saw the subject pop up...

As you know I was in the chicken business some years ago (20 at least I guess....). I don't think the run I had was much higher, but we did have the fencing go all the way over the top. 1 m is easy for them to fly over (assuming you haven't clipped their wing feathers, which I think we might have done). If you are fencing downward, and foxes are a problem, you should dig out at least 30 cm and have the fencing run that much under ground as well. Otherwise digging in is easy. And beware of that infamous 'red ass disease' that struck our poor chickens.... that was the end of that business venture

3. Posted by Peter (Admin 5789 posts) 6y

Funny you should mention the red-ass disease. Was uhm'ing and ah'ing about giving them the worming medication (not very "organic" after all). I'm guessing those chickens we had probably got worms. Anyway, I decided I'll go ahead and do it. Screw it, I'd take toxic medicine if I had a decent chance of getting worms!!

The fence is definitely too low with their unclipped wings. Tried it out this evening for an hour or so and one of the bolder ones did manage to fly up onto the fence. I've put up a shadecloth, but it doesn't quite cover the whole area. Will add some netting over the rest on the weekend. Foxes are a bit of a worry, but I figure I'll keep them locked in their coop at night (it's 30cm or so off the ground and all bordered up).

4. Posted by beerman (Respected Member 1631 posts) 6y

Oh, I just hate these spam posts, especially when replying to them....

We had 5 chickens some time back....kept us in eggs, and they never got worms to my knowledge. Nonetheless, the worming meds will likely wash out of their systems in no time.

Old pallets? Tsk tsk tsk....there are so many more ways to build a coop. Check Here for design help. Personally, I like the tractor model -
put the little buggers to work eating bugs, like they would as free rangers. Oh, and a little tip for dealing with the foxes: Mark your territory. Seriously. You are a much larger predator (in their minds), and if they smell your scent around the perimeter of your property, they're likely to stay away. You'll have to do this every week, so if the neighbors can see you whipping out willie, you can always pee in a jar (inside) and pour it around the property. First thing in the morning is best - strongest "aroma", as it were. Keeps deer away too. And some neighbors.....

5. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 6y

Quoting beerman

Oh, I just hate these spam posts, especially when replying to them....

We had 5 chickens some time back....kept us in eggs, and they never got worms to my knowledge. Nonetheless, the worming meds will likely wash out of their systems in no time.

Old pallets? Tsk tsk tsk....there are so many more ways to build a coop. Check Here for design help. Personally, I like the tractor model -
put the little buggers to work eating bugs, like they would as free rangers. Oh, and a little tip for dealing with the foxes: Mark your territory. Seriously. You are a much larger predator (in their minds), and if they smell your scent around the perimeter of your property, they're likely to stay away. You'll have to do this every week, so if the neighbors can see you whipping out willie, you can always pee in a jar (inside) and pour it around the property. First thing in the morning is best - strongest "aroma", as it were. Keeps deer away too. And some neighbors.....

Nope - our chickens were pretty worm-free. And, the eggs were delicious. I recommend a portable coop to go along with their stationary one also. They love eating bugs and grubs and crawly things. By allowing them a more versatile diet (not just cracked corn), they will be healthier, have better immune systems, and honestly less prone to worm infestation. I agree with the initial worming though, just as a precaution. The meds should have cleared their systems by the time they are of egg-laying age. (Unless the chicken sexer got things wrong and you have 3 roosters... You do not want that! Roosters will battle each other if there are not enough hens in the group. Those spurs can do enormous damage. They also shed the spurs regularly.) We had 3 hens and 2 roosters which kept peace in the coop kingdom. Having one rooster also keeps the hens laying eggs for more years than without one around.

Our neighbors raise chickens, turkeys and the occasional ducks. They use this type of enclosure (just the wire cage part) during the day and return everybody back to their regular enclosure at night. Our predators are fox, coyotes, raccoons, hawks and owls.

Definitely sink your fencing as fox do know how to dig very well and a chicken dinner is worth the effort. Also keep their stationary coop clean by changing their bedding material regularly. It will cut down on disease and parasites. The used bedding is great composting material too. Just don't put fresh chicken poop on your vegetable garden. The manure is high in nitrogen (it's a "hot" manure) and prone to burning the small plants. Used bedding needs to break down for about 3-4 months. We'd start one pile over summer, let it sit over winter then use it the following spring in the garden. While we used pile one, we'd start pile 2 for the next year.

"Red-ass disease" sounds like you had a problem with coccidiosis. It's a protozoan parasite rather than an intestinal worm. It can wipe out a complete colony very quickly.

Aren't you glad you asked about chickens?!

[ Edit: Edited on 28-Jan-2010, at 06:38 by Isadora ]

6. Posted by magykal1 (Travel Guru 2026 posts) 6y

Ah - my family kept a v. small selection of rare breed bantams. They were very lively, beautiful and full of personality but they weren't terribly interested in egg-laying.

Not much room for chickens in Central London, and a bit of a commitment.

7. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 6y

Quoting magykal1

Ah - my family kept a v. small selection of rare breed bantams. They were very lively, beautiful and full of personality but they weren't terribly interested in egg-laying.

That's too bad. You missed out on some wonderful breakfasts. :(

I want a whole gaggle of Aracaunas - they lay the "Easter eggs" (white, brown, blue and green) naturally.

8. Posted by Peter (Admin 5789 posts) 6y

Excellent information :) When choosing the chickens I was choosing between the dorkings and aracaunas. Decided on the silver grey dorkings, because they are supposedly a bit nicer around kids, etc. Plus, I quite like the look of them.

The tractor coops are not bad, but they seem a bit small to me for their main enclosure. My "run" right now is about 3x4 m in size. And I've got another spot right next to it I also plan to use. The plan is for them to run around one area for a few months, then swap them over to the other one while I grow some plants in the one they have just fertilized for me. Then when they get back into that one, they will have some nice food to munch on as well :) I'm also going to keep fruit trees in these enclosures, so that they get looked after by the chickens (and yes, I'll guard the roots!) . Actually, we got these chickens as much for their fertilizing and weeding capabilities as we did for the eggs. I might make a tractor for them to use when I want them to fertilize some of my other veggie beds actually. Should keep them moving about.

My fences are buried for probably 10cm (in some areas it's like solid rock!), but I'm thinking that might not be enough. What do you think of digging out a wide area around the fence and laying down chicken wire about 10cm down. I've heard this could frustrate the foxes when they attempt to get in and they don't think of backing up a little and trying again.

Love the "marking the territory" plan too

9. Posted by bex76 (Moderator 3711 posts) 6y

My friends got 2 chickens this week! I hope I'm going to get some free eggs

10. Posted by PunkerGirl (Budding Member 4 posts) 6y

Is this serious or not? Can't tell! LOL!