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crimsonlonghorn

Raising Chickens

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Posted (edited)

Anybody else here raise chickens? My wife got a few back in the fall and now it has become something I really like. The rationale is to moves the coops around to fertilize the pecan grove and mulch the used bedding for our vegetable garden and then eventually end up with fresh organic eggs to sell to all the mommies in our neighborhood. I'm thinking about doing a quarterly coop of meat birds, too. 

We started with 14 straight run white leghorns free to a good home from the Fort Bend County Fair. Two of those died rather quickly, but 12 of them grew up to where we knew we had 8 roosters (cockerels) and only four females (pullets). So yesterday we had our first cull and slaughtered all the roosters and replaced them with more WLH pullets. That coop is now all female and much more quiet. 

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In the meantime we started another coop of brown layers and and just this week I acquired some Cinnamon Queen chicks to fill the third coop that I'm building next weekend. 

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Chickens%20-%20Cinnamon%20Brooder.JPG

 

200px-Von_Miller_(Broncos).JPG

Not a hobby I thought I'd like, but I do. 

Edited by crimsonlonghorn

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My ol man raises chickens, I believe their brahmins or such, big breed. He let's them out all day and when the sun sets they make their way back to the coop and he shuts the door. Some issues he has had were a few hawks try to pick'em off and the occasional raccoon trying to sneak in the coop under the chicken wire. We just ran the chicken wire under ground and about 4" and then bent it to run parallel with the ground for another 12" or so. Makes it impossible for critters to dig into the coop.

Best thing about free chicken is no bugs...none. Damn thing eat ticks, chiggers, nats,months, junbugs you name it.

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Father in law has chickens. The kids like to go see them, will probably chase them around when they get older. He has to replace them fairly often due to predators, but he keeps a 10/22 handy for that. Fresh eggs are nice if you don't mind putting in the work. We will probably get some when our house sells and we get some acreage. 

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Always wanted to do a chicken coop in the backyard but it's not legal here even though we're right on the edge of the city.  Shit, we have farms less than a half mile from us

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Yeah I have seven. I had ten, but it turns out my golden retriever likes chicken.....

Once they're big enough that you don't need a heat lamp, they're pretty maintenance free. And fresh eggs rock

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Anybody else here raise chickens? My wife got a few back in the fall and now it has become something I really like. The rationale is to moves the coops around to fertilize the pecan grove and mulch the used bedding for our vegetable garden and then eventually end up with fresh organic eggs to sell to all the mommies in our neighborhood. I'm thinking about doing a quarterly coop of meat birds, too. 
We started with 14 straight run white leghorns free to a good home from the Fort Bend County Fair. Two of those died rather quickly, but 12 of them grew up to where we knew we had 8 roosters (cockerels) and only four females (pullets).


So the county fair carny asked your wife to hold his cock and pullet and the rest is history?

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Here's our setup.  It was our first go-round with chickens, but my wife and kids absolutely love it.  For the most part, ours stay put, and they head back to the coop after dusk.  Really low maintenance.  The coop is varmint-tight.  Buried metal flashing 12" below grade to keep critters from digging under.  Our only real threat is something during the day while they browse or if we forget to close the door to the coop.  

We started with a dozen pullets and two straight-run ducks this spring.  The ten chickens and two ducks came from Callahan's, and they were great.  We lost one chick to pasty butt early on.  The other two chickens we got from Triple S Feed here in Dripping.  They were in the pullet cage, but seeing that we ended up with two roosters, they were obviously straight run.  They were our two favorites (Brahma and blue laced red wyandotte), but we had to give them away.  No roosters allowed in our neighborhood.  Kept both ducks though we ended up with one hen and one drake.  My lab got two more chickens (one buff orpington, one maran).  So, we're down to seven chickens and two ducks.  Duck eggs are awesome, BTW.  

Other than the ducks, we still have two salmon faverolles, one Jersey giant, one maran, one buff orpington, and two americanas).  it's interesting to watch their personalities.  Some are passive.  Others aggressive.  Heck, the buff orpington will jump in your lap if you feed her dried mealworms.  We'll be getting 6-8 more this spring.  The eggs are so damn good.  Hard to go back to store bought after having fresh eggs in the backyard.

IMG-4956.jpg

IMG-7995.jpg

IMG-0778.jpg

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My folks did guineas for years. Got tired of losing them to bobcats, owls, and hawks. Tried domestic turkeys, twice with similar results.

919c246a422dac03aad870eaa0a8d916.jpg

Now the coop is a deer/rabbit free vegetable garden.

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Throw a couple of ducks in there too. Especially if you have room to install a small water feature. 

We had several different kinds of chickens at one point. I forget all of them. The barred rock was pretty and a good layer. The lavender Orpingtons were more of a gray, really. 

The black sex links were the largest and also the biggest bullies to the others. 

Tried to stick with breeds that lay 250 or more eggs per year. 

Dog ate one. Had one die from leg mites. That was the only pain with them, having to put Vaseline on the legs of all the rest to suffocate any mites on them. 

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7 hours ago, Spaulding Smails said:

Here's our setup.  It was our first go-round with chickens, but my wife and kids absolutely love it.  For the most part, ours stay put, and they head back to the coop after dusk.  Really low maintenance.  The coop is varmint-tight.  Buried metal flashing 12" below grade to keep critters from digging under.  Our only real threat is something during the day while they browse or if we forget to close the door to the coop.  

We started with a dozen pullets and two straight-run ducks this spring.  The ten chickens and two ducks came from Callahan's, and they were great.  We lost one chick to pasty butt early on.  The other two chickens we got from Triple S Feed here in Dripping.  They were in the pullet cage, but seeing that we ended up with two roosters, they were obviously straight run.  They were our two favorites (Brahma and blue laced red wyandotte), but we had to give them away.  No roosters allowed in our neighborhood.  Kept both ducks though we ended up with one hen and one drake.  My lab got two more chickens (one buff orpington, one maran).  So, we're down to seven chickens and two ducks.  Duck eggs are awesome, BTW.  

Other than the ducks, we still have two salmon faverolles, one Jersey giant, one maran, one buff orpington, and two americanas).  it's interesting to watch their personalities.  Some are passive.  Others aggressive.  Heck, the buff orpington will jump in your lap if you feed her dried mealworms.  We'll be getting 6-8 more this spring.  The eggs are so damn good.  Hard to go back to store bought after having fresh eggs in the backyard.

IMG-4956.jpg

IMG-7995.jpg

IMG-0778.jpg

That is a nice setup. Love the lights. 

Where do the dark brown eggs come from? I have five black copper marans - 2 cockerels and 3 pullets - and I think I'm going to try to get them to hatch a couple of clutches first (or incubate them myself) to get more of the James Bond eggs later. Then I guess I'm going to let the BCM roosters free range outside of the tractors.

 

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8 hours ago, BottleRocket said:

 


So the county fair carny asked your wife to hold his cock and pullet and the rest is history?

 

He was from the ag office, but yeah. Very persuasive. 

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1 hour ago, crimsonlonghorn said:

That is a nice setup. Love the lights. 

Where do the dark brown eggs come from? I have five black copper marans - 2 cockerels and 3 pullets - and I think I'm going to try to get them to hatch a couple of clutches first (or incubate them myself) to get more of the James Bond eggs later. Then I guess I'm going to let the BCM roosters free range outside of the tractors.

 

I believe the dark brown egg is from the maran.  I'll have to check with my son.  He's the one that checks for eggs and seems to know who's laying what and where.  She seems to be our most consistent layer.  The americanas were slow to lay, but I love the blue eggs.  

Those lights were some cheap battery-powered LED lights.  Three strands at like $15/ea.  Perfect ambiance.  They have a little remote, so when you walk out to the coop at night, you just take the remote with you from the house and hit it as you're walking up.  Makes counting chickens much easier.

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all female coop, you say?

 

they're probably dying for you to bring in one of these bad boys

 

Ayam-Cemani-Chicken1-830x790.jpg

 

 

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16 hours ago, Spaulding Smails said:

Here's our setup.  It was our first go-round with chickens, but my wife and kids absolutely love it.  For the most part, ours stay put, and they head back to the coop after dusk.  Really low maintenance.  The coop is varmint-tight.  Buried metal flashing 12" below grade to keep critters from digging under.  Our only real threat is something during the day while they browse or if we forget to close the door to the coop.  

We started with a dozen pullets and two straight-run ducks this spring.  The ten chickens and two ducks came from Callahan's, and they were great.  We lost one chick to pasty butt early on.  The other two chickens we got from Triple S Feed here in Dripping.  They were in the pullet cage, but seeing that we ended up with two roosters, they were obviously straight run.  They were our two favorites (Brahma and blue laced red wyandotte), but we had to give them away.  No roosters allowed in our neighborhood.  Kept both ducks though we ended up with one hen and one drake.  My lab got two more chickens (one buff orpington, one maran).  So, we're down to seven chickens and two ducks.  Duck eggs are awesome, BTW.  

Other than the ducks, we still have two salmon faverolles, one Jersey giant, one maran, one buff orpington, and two americanas).  it's interesting to watch their personalities.  Some are passive.  Others aggressive.  Heck, the buff orpington will jump in your lap if you feed her dried mealworms.  We'll be getting 6-8 more this spring.  The eggs are so damn good.  Hard to go back to store bought after having fresh eggs in the backyard.

IMG-4956.jpg

IMG-7995.jpg

IMG-0778.jpg

I love that setup. Did you build the Coop yourself? I'm wanting to do something like that this spring. 

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1 hour ago, Jameslaw121 said:

I love that setup. Did you build the Coop yourself? I'm wanting to do something like that this spring. 

I did build it myself.  And I thought I could get it done in one weekend.  WRONG.  Three weekends later and several trips to the hardware store, and I finally finished.  I spent about double what I was planning too.  It was actually a lot of fun, though.  I did access panels in the back so you don't need to go into the coop to get the eggs.  All cedar with a screw-down galvanized metal roof.  Should be good to go for many moons.

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Here are some pics from the "convent" this morning. That coop is so much quieter the past couple of days now with just the girls and no roosters in there making a ruckus. 

CHICKENS%20-%20convent%201.JPG

CHICKENS%20-%20convent%202.JPG

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Posted (edited)
38 minutes ago, Spaulding Smails said:

@crimsonlonghorn I like that setup.  Especially if you're moving it around.  How much does it weigh?

Thanks. It works well for my first ever chicken tractor, but I definitely could have done some things better.

Not sure and not that heavy when rolling, but I didn't originally design it with wheels so I have to put the rollers (PVC pipe) underneath when I move it each day. It is indeed too heavy to just drag. Once it's on the rollers it's OK, but I'm getting tired of lifting it up each morning to put the rollers underneath. 

My other tractor is store bought and has jack up wheels and is much easier to move.

The one I'm building this weekend will be a copy of the store bought and will have the same jack up wheels and I'm going to figure out a way to do the same for this old A-Frame, too. 

I also going to add another roost and nesting boxes above the plywood coop party and cover the back with another door to get to them. 

Edited by crimsonlonghorn

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Just want to say threads like these are awesome. Grandparents had a goat and some chickens but they were not in shit like this. This stuff is cool as hell to me

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We have 3 hens in our small coop in East Dallas (Lakewood).  One Ameracauna, one Black Copper Marans, and one (supposedly) Wheaten Marans.  Originally had a red one that turned out to be a rooster, so we traded him for the Wheaten.  I think it must be a different breed, though, because her eggs are much lighter shade than the BCM (more like a Rhode Island Red egg).  Will try to post some pics of the coop.

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21 hours ago, Zepol87 said:

Just want to say threads like these are awesome. Grandparents had a goat and some chickens but they were not in shit like this. This stuff is cool as hell to me

was going to post the same thing.  the cow thread on the old site was fucking awesome

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^ For some odd reason, the new one is in this site’s version of Bellmont. I asked immamac to move it here. 

 

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4 hours ago, DDD Dad said:

Here are some pics right after I had finished building it last spring. 90f54bb0082d3700ad8d13b8f64b0873.jpg1edbd37990f2baed7170646de537acfd.jpg

Dude.  That is very nice.  You went all out.  R panel roof and masonry flatwork?  Seriously.  Nice job.

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Posted (edited)
12 hours ago, Spaulding Smails said:

Dude.  That is very nice.  You went all out.  R panel roof and masonry flatwork?  Seriously.  Nice job.

Thanks.  Not sure if you're referring to the flagstone for the masonry flatwork.  I just bought some flagstone at Lowes and set it down over the hardware cloth to protect from intruders.  I got the roof from a local roofing company for like $60.   It was from a piece they weren't going to be able to use.  The floor of the run is just construction sand.  There is a masonry foundation; just 6 CBS blocks buried under the corners and center of the longer span.  The vertical supports are secured with big lag bolts.  Did not use any concrete though.

3 hours ago, crimsonlonghorn said:

That is really nice, especially for just three birds. Do some chicken math and get some more!

Thanks.  Based on everything I read I think 4 or more might be pushing things.  The actual coop area (enclosed) is only 4x4.  Since that picture was taken we put up a temporary fence at the back line of our house running to the fence along our property line (to the left of the coop in the picture), which gives the chickens a ton of room to hang out during the day.  Plus they can go up the steps to the terrace area near behind the coop towards the front of the house, so they basically have the entire side yard to the left of the house.  

The sod I laid didn't last long so I've since put down mulch and more flagstones to walk on in that area.

Edited by DDD Dad

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I had a small flock at my previous home of 5 dual-purpose hens.   My wife blamed the fly problem on the chicken poop so we gave them to my dad.  Fly problem remained.  I told her it probably had more to do with the trash pickup in the city switching from twice per week to once a week.  We then moved to a 1 acre property and decided we had enough space to try it again.  I have a mixed flock of 14 at the moment.  I really love having chickens, I just hate that they're obsessed with my porch, flowerbeds and pool cool deck.  They shit all over it and scratch out the flowerbed mulch when they have almost an acre to forage.  Don't have pictures of my coop but it was based on these Anna White plans.  I changed the size to a 12 x 6 ft footprint.    I also built an attached covered pen on the pop door side that is 30'x12'.   The eggs are excellent.

Edited by Teamdirtyleg
cant fix the long link text. but it's fine.

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I built our coop.  We currently have 4 birds.  Raised 6 from chicks, but 5 died.  Wife bought 3 fully grown to replace.  I hate them, but the eggs are good.

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Here are some pics right after I had finished building it last spring. 90f54bb0082d3700ad8d13b8f64b0873.jpg1edbd37990f2baed7170646de537acfd.jpg


That coop looks comfortable enough for a grown human man to sleep inside of, if a grown human man ever wanted/ had to do such a thing.

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1 minute ago, Horn21 said:

 


That coop looks comfortable enough for a grown human man to sleep inside of, if a grown human man ever wanted/ had to do such a thing.

 

Like when that grown human failed to obey she who must be obeyed? Or when one of his asshole friends needs a place to crash during TX/OU weekend?

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27 minutes ago, DDD Dad said:

Like when that grown human failed to obey she who must be obeyed? Or when one of his asshole friends needs a place to crash during TX/OU weekend?

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you all have some nice coup setups. Mine is straight redneck East Texas style but its damn large. 40x12 and nothing is square. Didn't use a pencil to mark a cut line just used the eye and a chainsaw. Had to use a ratchet on it to pull it in to hammer beams to posts. took 3 months, 3k in supplies and lots of cursing and beer to get it finished. 

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I am building a new tractor tomorrow for my latest flock of chicks (13 Cinnamon Queens) who will be ready to leave the brooder next weekend. Hopefully it won't take me all day and all night like the last one I built did. Will be sure to post pictures when I'm done. 

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22 hours ago, DDD Dad said:

Like when that grown human failed to obey she who must be obeyed? Or when one of his asshole friends needs a place to crash during TX/OU weekend?

Or when you smoke too much Jesus OG kush?

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Or when you smoke too much Jesus OG kush?

Or eat a gummy from my upstairs neighbor level five clingon?

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As mentioned before, duck eggs are legit. So if you have the space, get a couple. Plus the duck poop is great fertilizer. My next door neighbor has a kiddie pool that the ducks swim in and if course poop in. She takes that water and pours it in her veggie garden with terrific results.

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1 hour ago, Both Tacos said:

As mentioned before, duck eggs are legit. So if you have the space, get a couple. Plus the duck poop is great fertilizer. My next door neighbor has a kiddie pool that the ducks swim in and if course poop in. She takes that water and pours it in her veggie garden with terrific results.

Damn.  I never thought about that.  We have a kiddie pool, and I just empty it once a week down the back hill.  Never dawned on me to put it in the garden.  Thanks for the idea.

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Two pics from my new tractor I finally finished yesterday and a new flock of 13 cinnamon queens. I don't care for this particular design I tried out. Too heavy. Next one I build in a couple of weeks is will be a modified version of the original A-frame. But, the chicks are now finally out of the brooder and are happy to be in the grass doing chicken things. 

Three flocks down, five more to go to reach my goal capacity on the farm. 

 

Queen%20Coop%20Front%20View%20012219.jpg

Queen%20Coop%20Closeup%20012219.jpg

 

 

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Two pics from my new tractor I finally finished yesterday and a new flock of 13 cinnamon queens. I don't care for this particular design I tried out. Too heavy. Next one I build in a couple of weeks is will be a modified version of the original A-frame. But, the chicks are now finally out of the brooder and are happy to be in the grass doing chicken things. 

Three flocks down, five more to go to reach my goal capacity on the farm. 

 

Queen%20Coop%20Front%20View%20012219.jpg

Queen%20Coop%20Closeup%20012219.jpg

 

 

You might consider changing the chicken wire out with hardware cloth throughout instead of just along the bottom. Raccoons can reach right in and make chicken spaghetti.

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On 1/6/2019 at 8:38 PM, Llano Estacado said:

My folks did guineas for years. Got tired of losing them to bobcats, owls, and hawks. Tried domestic turkeys, twice with similar results.

919c246a422dac03aad870eaa0a8d916.jpg

Now the coop is a deer/rabbit free vegetable garden.

Fuck guineas with the heat of a thousand suns. Peacocks, too. Used to have to deal with flocks of both blocking the road on the bus route in school. They're a menace.

Oh and this...

 

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@RPM I agree.  Guineas and peacocks are fine if you have 10+ acres and they mingle and roost far enough away from your house (and your neighbor's house).  My wife's aunt has both, and they of minimal nuisance.  

My next door neighbor at work, however, has several peacocks.  Fuck them.  They're constantly on our property, roosting on people's cars, etc.  And noisy.

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Got our first egg over the weekend from the leghorns. Kind of a surprise since we weren't expecting them to start laying for another month. 

Egg%201.jpg

 

Also got started on tractor #4 this weekend too. Now that I've figure out how to do the bolt on wheel jacks the right way, the size and weight are less of a limitation.

Tractor%204.jpg

 

I'm going to move my marans into their own tractor and hope they start making baby marans later this summer. 

Pierre%20022519.JPG

 

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On 1/23/2019 at 3:46 AM, RPM said:

Fuck guineas with the heat of a thousand suns

HAHA.  My Aunt has a bunch of them.  Great for yard/bug/tick control.  She raises quarter horses so her little flock is strictly utilitarian.  In addition to her two Blue Lacy's they are a heck of an early detection system.  You can't get with a half mile of her place before all her animals let her know someone is coming.  

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