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Thread: The Chicken roost

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    Default The Chicken roost

    Mrs. Scout and I are now the owners of six Rhode Island Red chicks. This is our first foray into "livestock", but we are avid gardeners. Anyone else here raise chickens? Stories, tips, tricks, ideas, all welcome... 🐓
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    Default Re: The Chicken roost

    Congrats! We have Barred Plymouth Rock and Australorp hens. They are in their 3rd laying spring and still produce- though down from their height of one every 26 hours. These are mixed purpose breeds- meat birds and layers- not amazing at either. BUT as heirloom birds, they seem to live a bit longer and are both scrappy foragers when we free-range them.

    My advice once they are old enough to have their own place (I mean other than where you are keeping them warm as chics-) build a sturdy "chicken tractor" before you spend on a dedicated coop/run. Now that I have a nice coop (woods style open air) and run that I built, I use the tractor to slowly introduce new chicks in the spring (not this year for several reasons, least of which is that I want to build a different tractor. .) There are some great books out there that helped me and several forum (mostly back yard chickens dot com) that I enjoy.

    They are more resilient than we tend to think. I have killed or shooed (legally only) many hawk, opossum, racoon and fox and haven't lost a hen in 2 years.

    It's hilarious to see them wobble to the front of the coop whenever I come out of the back door of the house- not for the wife or kids- just me.
    Last edited by bignc; 03-12-2020 at 07:38 PM.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: The Chicken roost

    FOR THE LOVE OF PETE I ALMOST FORGOT.

    Don't use "chicken wire" at least not ONLY in your coop. Racoon don't give 2 craps about chicken wire and will gladly snatch a chicken neck through it. I use field fence and 1/2" hardware cloth. The cloth goes pretty much everywhere in the coop and I use the field fence in the run to keep larger critters out. Mine go in the coop at night.

    Look into the "deep litter" method as well as SAND for inside your coop (some just use on a poop board under the roost and some use in the nesting boxes and some in both and some in the floor too and some in the run!) YMMV and you may have good reason for preferences but don't do one or the other without looking into it. I know better about you but thought I'd say it.

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    Default Re: The Chicken roost

    Sweet! I've had chickens all my life, at least as long as I can remember. Wonderful animals They certainly are impressively resilient as bignc says, definitely don't get enough credit there. But they sorta have to be because almost everything will kill a chicken. Including other chickens....

    Regarding their coop- Fort Knox that shit. Single layers of chicken wire often aren't enough. We use 3. Big rectangle, typical hexagon, small rectangle. Can't be even the slightest crack, mink find their way into EVERYTHING. Should be a foot or two into the ground as well, unless they are completely floored off.

    In Winters, sometimes the tips of their crowns can loose circulation and start to turn black/ die, a little bit of regular vaseline on their combs for the coldest nights (20 or below, or if it's going to be below freezing for days on end) will prevent this. If scarring/ partial tissue death does occur, regular NON pain relief Neosporin works amazingly, apply for as long as necessary.

    Any sign of sickness, separate until you know, might already be too late but worth it because chickens spread their sickness very easily.

    If you have any corvids (Crows, ravens etc..) in your area, feed them as often as you can! They are intelligent enough that they will remember you- and your flock- and will in turn hang around. Why is this good? Because crows will mob any hawk/ falcon that tries to hurt your flock. You help them, they help you. SUPER awesome little interaction with nature and it really does work!

    It's generally good to feed them extra calcium once they are near or start laying. A bag of oyster shells is expensive, but once they start laying you can just keep the egg shells to crush up and re-feed to them in the place of oyster shells. DON'T let them eat their eggs (which they will if it's left there too long)- once they do this they will never stop, so yeah....

    On the egg-front, be prepared to have store-bought eggs ruined, there ain't nothin' like butt-fresh eggs!

    That's about all I got.
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    Default Re: The Chicken roost

    Quote Originally Posted by dotCPF View Post
    If you have any corvids (Crows, ravens etc..) in your area, feed them as often as you can! They are intelligent enough that they will remember you- and your flock- and will in turn hang around. Why is this good? Because crows will mob any hawk/ falcon that tries to hurt your flock. You help them, they help you. SUPER awesome little interaction with nature and it really does work!
    Good point. I learned this from someone who had chickens. The hawks kept coming to kill them. And, its not that great to be killing of hawks for a number of reasons. But they figured out how to get the Ravens to hang around, and the hawks stayed away after that.

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    Default Re: The Chicken roost

    I FORGOT ONE!

    You absolutely should not kill or harm any raptor, especially in the United States. Raptors are federally protected animals, harming or killing one is a federal offense with fines go up to $10,000/ 5 years in prison.

    I think most people here are probably not going to do this, so this isn't necessarily because of users here, but it's very easy to justify killing most predators, but raptors in general are very fragile parts of the ecosystem, and should be protected at all costs. You can apply to relocate or possibly put down raptors, but you must obtain specific permission to do so. I love raptors, used to do falconry, will definitely get back into it when I retie (decades away.... perhaps half a century away......)
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    Default Re: The Chicken roost

    Good info, all! It'll certainly be a new responsibility here, hopefullly rewarding, and one we're looking forward to. So far so good, they're cute little buggers...

    We do have hawks and Bald Eagles here, and I plan on a tractor once they're old enough. One of the reasons we only got six, they're easier to keep mobile. Thanks for the hardware cloth tip, there's plenty of racoons here as well! I looked at the Australorp, the Reds seemed like a good multi-purpose breed as well. Looking forward to watching them grow!
    Last edited by scout24; 03-12-2020 at 07:27 PM.
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    Default Re: The Chicken roost

    Reds are awesome, super friendly in my experience. Hold them a lot when they are young and until they are laying, then they will always come up to you and hop in your lap.

    Miss sitting with my roo Moe on my front porch!
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    Default Re: The Chicken roost

    Be prepared for lots of flies at your next barbecue.
    Dude next door to my dads raised chickens for a while and man the flies were ridiculous. Once he stopped so did the flies.
    John 3:16

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    Default Re: The Chicken roost

    Be prepared to be stunned at Amazon's selection of chicken-raising products, I move many bags of dried mealworms daily..

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    Default Re: The Chicken roost

    Quote Originally Posted by bykfixer View Post
    Be prepared for lots of flies at your next barbecue.
    Dude next door to my dads raised chickens for a while and man the flies were ridiculous. Once he stopped so did the flies.
    Correlation?


    Quote Originally Posted by StarHalo View Post
    Be prepared to be stunned at Amazon's selection of chicken-raising products, I move many bags of dried mealworms daily..
    Shameless plug.
    The question is no longer - What will they do? It's now - Is there anything they won't do?

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    Default Re: The Chicken roost

    Quote Originally Posted by bykfixer View Post
    Be prepared for lots of flies at your next barbecue.
    Dude next door to my dads raised chickens for a while and man the flies were ridiculous. Once he stopped so did the flies.

    Huh, never experienced this. We keep our coop clean though, could be why.....
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    Default Re: The Chicken roost

    Iíve never had fly problems. Itís the mice that get bad
    Big butnotsomuch-burly

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    Default Re: The Chicken roost

    Quote Originally Posted by Chauncey Gardiner View Post
    Shameless plug.
    100% advertising for the broad chicken-farming populace of a flashlight forum, since we're out of hand sanitizer and toilet paper..

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    Default Re: The Chicken roost

    Quote Originally Posted by StarHalo View Post
    100% advertising for the broad chicken-farming populace of a flashlight forum, since we're out of hand sanitizer and toilet paper..
    Even you guys!? You know it's getting bad when the Big A is out of hand sanitizer and TP. Say is ain't so, Halo. Say it ain't so.
    The question is no longer - What will they do? It's now - Is there anything they won't do?

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    Default Re: The Chicken roost

    We got a heating plate today, to replace the more dangerous heat lamp. Can't be too careful... It's been a fun week, they're cute little boogers. Looking forward to building a chicken tractor and getting them outside. Pic of one of the gals... 😁
    The TK20. Yes, it still rocks- WoodsWalker

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    Flashaholic greenpondmike's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Chicken roost

    My wife and I used to sell eggs and hatch out chickens for people. The two for my posting picture we also hatched. Those were oriental thai's. Ol red just recently passed on (RIP), but runt (the black one) is still living but, she's blind and 10 years old. I can give you some advice on doctoring them, but the best place to get chicken wisdom is the backyard chicken website.

  18. #18

    Default Re: The Chicken roost

    I saw this without my glasses on and thought the title was "chicken roast". Oops
    My brain started processing fried chicken recipes.
    John 3:16

  19. #19
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    Default Re: The Chicken roost

    Maybe we need a cooking/recipe section lol.

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    Default Re: The Chicken roost

    Whoops to that previous post--I see we do have one. Wow, candlepowerforums has everything cept the kitchen sink and I just might find that.
    Scout24, how are your chickens doing? They might be near laying, but if not they will probably start around Febuary or March. I don't think they will start molting in the fall before they are over a year old, but they may start laying a little and then quit and pick back up in the spring. I wish I knew about this thread sooner. When you put them on the ground they need to be on medicated chick starter and then weened off as they get used to what's in the ground or else they could get their digestive system overrun by worms (coccai? or something it's called) and they could die from it.

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    Default Re: The Chicken roost

    Greenpondmike- We've had them outside since April, and have had eggs since late July. I overbuilt a huge tractor we were moving every couple days, but have parked them next to the garden and built an extended run for them. They're a lot of fun to watch, low maintenance, anda very nice addition to the family. We've been averaging 5-6 eggs a day, and I'm waiting for that to slow down and stop as the days get shorter.
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    Default Re: The Chicken roost

    Wow! They got an earlier start on laying than mine did. I got a few chickens (maybe four) back around March of 2010 and I might have gotten one or two eggs from my newhampshire red hen around the fall of that year. I think by the summer of 2012 we had about 138 chickens counting biddies. No eggs in the late summer through Febuary, but then it would pick back up.
    I'm glad to hear that your chickens are doing well. The way they matured so quickly they might start molting this fall.
    On my other post I was just assuming that they were hatched out in March in reference to that picture.
    I like to eat eggs and sell them and I really enjoyed hatching them and mixing breeds. I thought I came up with a new breed by mixing a thai/claret roo with a rir hen. All I got were a couple of gangster roos and I could hear bad to the bone playing in my head when I would let them out to free range. That didn't turn out too well.
    Last edited by greenpondmike; 10-01-2020 at 02:57 PM.

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    Default Re: The Chicken roost

    Greenpondmike- Yikes! That's WAY beyond where I want to be, lol... We're just dipping our toes in at this point, I'll see what Mrs. Scout thinks down the road. We have a couple we're friends with that has chickens, ducks, and geese and it seems like a LOT more work than we do right now. Though hatching your own sounds like fun. Here's my girl's home as of this afternoon...

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  24. #24
    Flashaholic greenpondmike's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Chicken roost

    That is a nice set up right there. Wow, scout24 those chickens are big-- what have you been feeding them?
    Last edited by greenpondmike; 10-01-2020 at 10:12 PM.

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