Author Topic: Chickens  (Read 2192 times)

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Offline icrcc

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Chickens
« on: June 14, 2013, 09:17:37 AM »
There is a really good article on chickens at Backwoods Home Magazine. This is one of the best articles I have read with lots of heartfelt, practical advice.

Here is the link:
http://www.backwoodshome.com/articles2/clay109.html
It may never happen. Best to be prepared just in case.

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Re: Chickens
« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2013, 11:13:31 PM »
I read the article yesterday and today I see a dead chicken under my trailer. My first thought is my cat somehow took my neighbors chicken and killed it. I went to the neighbors house to see if and how the chicken was stolen. Once I got there it was obvious it was not our cat. The nesting spot of the coop was ripped off by a predator but since the rains have been heavy, not a track was to be seen. My guess is a coyote. Wiped out 6 birds. This is a lesson for me as well...dont buy or build a poorly built coop. A photo of the same coop can be seen here.


Offline icrcc

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Re: Chickens
« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2013, 11:48:48 PM »
Never underestimate the strength and ingenuity of predators. When I moved to my current location I lost a few ducks over time to racoons and martens. It was easy to take countermeasures and strengthen the shed where they sleep against racoons.  Martens were a different mater they would chew through double walls. These were strengthened with very fine strong wire mesh. Then they would chew through the roof or the floor. I ended up with a metal reinforced 8x10 shed. What a faraday cage!

Eventually I bit the bullet and built a duck fortress.  10 x 12 concrete block walls, cement floor, steel roof, steel door and commercial double pane windows. When the chickens arrived they moved into the old shed which was reinforced even more. I have never lost a duck or a chicken to a predator at night since.

They are still vulnerable during the day in the run and I occasionally loose a duck. Culprits have been racoons, martens, lynx, bobcats and once a neighborhood dog.
It may never happen. Best to be prepared just in case.

http://www.preparingforthefuture.org/index.php
http://ontariopreparedness.com/

Offline NObshere

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Re: Chickens
« Reply #3 on: June 16, 2013, 08:51:03 PM »
Weasels and skunks are nasty little culprits as well. Bought a mini stud donkey and nothing gets bothered any longer, except when he brays at things that go bump at 2 am.
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Offline NObshere

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Re: Chickens
« Reply #4 on: June 22, 2013, 09:14:53 PM »
Back to chickens. My top three choices for a breed would be:

1. Orpington ( buffs,blacks,whites...) a nice docile animal which is a good dual purpose breed ( meat brown eggs)

2.wyandottes, they are very hardy and will lay eggs at -25c with the right amount of light,again good dual purpose, brown egg layer

3. Americauna are a tough customer I experienced a high survival rate with them, medium sized dual purpose lays a variety of coloured eggs green, blue,pink and have a lower cholesterol count (eggs) they are also good mothers and will hatch and protect their young quite fiercely.

I don,t like commercial breeds because of problems with poor genetics
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Re: Chickens
« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2013, 06:25:11 PM »
Thank you nobshere and others,

I may try to find some of the wyandottes you mentioned. Thank you for sharing your advice.

For those who are unaware of this great resource: if you don't find livestock on kijiji, try here  :) http://albertachickensetc.punbb-hosting.com/viewforum.php?id=39

I would love to share some pics.. how do I insert them? when I click on the 'insert image' button it just shows [/img] this

thank you,
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Offline grandma

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Re: Chickens
« Reply #6 on: August 27, 2013, 10:56:38 AM »
This time with hens (had feed-store Comets and a couple dozen Meat Kings when my children were young), I decide to go with a heritage breed that layed dark eggs, and after much searching and reading, I decided on Welsummers.  Fast forward 2 years (ok, not so fast), DH had a secure (yes, more research showed me to build with hardware cloth, not chicken wire) coop for our 3 girls, who until then were in a brooder box in the garage.  The girls were happy and so were we.

This spring we sold one of the girls and got 2 Black Australorp chicks.  As they grew, it became apparent that one was a cockerel, so he went to a friend.  So, we are back to 3 hens, and mostly get 2 eggs each day.  This is enough for DH and I, and unless I have baking to do, leaves a few for my mother.

Ameraucanas (note the spelling...the true breed is not called Americanas, but hatcheries often call them Easter Eggers or Americanas, a combination of Ameraucana and another breed) lay pretty eggs, as do Auracanas, another breed.

If you are looking for heritage breeds, try to find a local breeder of what you are looking for.  They can provide help with the breed and with chickens in general. 
« Last Edit: August 27, 2013, 10:58:00 AM by grandma »
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