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crimsonlonghorn

Raising Chickens

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The most frequent question our realtor is fielding for our house is, "Do the chickens convey?"

For the record, yes they do, if you want them.  We culled our flock last fall in preparation for moving, so we only have five birds left; just enough to keep the family breakfast plates full.

When we move, though, I'm planning on running a flock of 35-40 birds along with a couple of goats.

We organized "Brazos Valley Pulletpalooza" for six years -- a tour of the backyard chicken coops of the Brazos Valley. You'd be amazed how anti-home-agriculture aggyland is. They hate hobbyist chicken raising; with a passion. It's truly bizarre.

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8 hours ago, NeverMarryAStripper said:

They prefer animals they can fornicate with

An aggy coined the term "dying queevies" when while fucking his yardbird, he wrung its neck as he got his nut. Don't put nothin' past aggy.

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So how does this urban chicken coop thing work when you want to have a vacation?  Do you put up a bunch of chickens in the freezer or do you have to have someone come chicken sit for you?  Can just put out a bunch of extra feed and let them fend for themselves?  Inquiring minds want to know.

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19 hours ago, davidg said:

So how does this urban chicken coop thing work when you want to have a vacation?  Do you put up a bunch of chickens in the freezer or do you have to have someone come chicken sit for you?  Can just put out a bunch of extra feed and let them fend for themselves?  Inquiring minds want to know.

Sort of depend on how long you'll be gone.  For a few days to a week you might be able to leave them alone but you'll need a large volume or auto-waterer and you can probably leave enough food provided nothing else can get to it and the chickens can't screw it up somehow.  I have neighbors that are usually tickled pink to come take care of them.  They keep any eggs laid of course.

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20 hours ago, davidg said:

So how does this urban chicken coop thing work when you want to have a vacation?  Do you put up a bunch of chickens in the freezer or do you have to have someone come chicken sit for you?  Can just put out a bunch of extra feed and let them fend for themselves?  Inquiring minds want to know.

We have a hired hand who does odd jobs around the farm. He will feed and water the chickens as well, but not very enthusiastically. 

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All of our leghorns are laying now and we are getting 10-12 eggs a day. One of them is laying blue eggs but I can't figure out which one it is. The brown layers are about 6 weeks younger, so I expect them to start laying sometime next month. 

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Also, in the humor department, I was at tractor supply a couple of weeks ago and they had several different breeds of chicks for sale. I had room in the brooder box so I picked up 13 white leghorn chicks. Turns out I got 12 white leghorn chicks and what I think is a Cornish Rock. He (she?) will be dinner sometime around Memorial Day, I think. It's funny because he waddles around and tries to bunch up with the other chicks as if he's the same size. I was calling him Baby Huey for obvious reasons but my boys latched on to calling him "Big Sexy" and now that's what his name will be until we decide put him on the smoker in a few weeks. This is actually good because I'm intending to eventually keep a perpetual coop of meat chickens running nine months out of the year so now I have a better idea what to expect. Not only is this dude taller and wider, he is DENSE. Like picking up a bowling ball. Now I understand the whole "commercial broiler" concept. 

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My sister and BIL had lots of chickens when they were both living. At their first slaughter, my sister chopped the head off one, and it jumped up underneath her skirt and ran (flopped and jumped would be more accurate) around like a chicken with it’s head cut off. My BIL describes the scene as looking like something from Texas Chainsaw Massacre, with all the blood and screaming.   

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Posted (edited)

Yeah, you have to restrain them or they will jump and run around for a few minutes until they bleed out. 

Killing cones are the best way to do it. If the cone is deep enough and the chicken's legs are on top, the most they'll do is shudder violently at the very end. Being upside down tends to calm them down as well, because of all the blood rushing to their head, and it makes a quick slit across the throat that much more effective because all the blood is already in the right place. A bleach bottle with the ends cut off works great. 

I'm sure your sister and BIL figured that out after for subsequent slaughters. 

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On a related note, I have a surprise Buff Orpington rooster who is about to visit the killing cone soon unless I can find a new home for him. He's handsome and full of personality but I don't want him messing with my hens in the same coop who are about a month away from starting to lay. Free to a good home LOL

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Edited by crimsonlonghorn

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On 3/5/2019 at 4:06 PM, NeverMarryAStripper said:

They prefer animals they can fornicate with

Larry Flint lost his virginity to a chicken, allegedly. Don't ask me how that is even possible but I know the internet wouldn't lie to me.

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On 3/23/2019 at 2:12 PM, Pato del Muerto said:

Wife got the urge to start this back up, so now I have a little coop to assemble with 3-4 chicks soon to follow.  

And just bought 2 Delaware and 2 sapphire gem pullets. 

They had brahmas there, which are massive (14 lb hens) but they were unsexed and I don’t want and can’t have roosters. 

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I was surprise to find my first Black Copper Maran eggs out in one of my coops this morning. They are kind of small compared to the white leghorn eggs but that's just because these are the hens' first eggs. They will grow. The dark chocolate color is pretty cool. They may or may not be fertilized but we'll eat them anyway. 

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Posted (edited)

Lost several chickens in the Sugar Land flood last night, including the broiler I was about to slaughter for Memorial Day BBQ and my one blue egg layer. Kind of a sad day, honestly. Drowning seems like an awful experience. 

10 inches of rain hit the farm and the water rose and any birds that fell into the water weren't able to get back into the coop. The ones that died all sank like a stone. I had a coop of ~30 eight week old chicks temporarily penned in with some 10 week old Leghorns. It appears that the older ones didn't let the younger ones into the coop last night during the storm and all the babies drowned on the ground. The older ones were all high and dry on their perch this morning. 

I was able to rescue most of my layers (33 out of 40) and bring them to the high ground around the barn. They are going free range for the next few days until the water gets low enough to get back to their coops. I hope. 

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Edited by crimsonlonghorn

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Posted (edited)

We had seven hens and two ducks to start the year.  My wife wanted some exotic chickens, so we ordered pullets online.  Minimum order was 15, and we somehow ended up with 17.  We've lost two so far.  Both had janky legs.  Not sure if it was genetic, or if they got stepped on, or what.  We gave them each a shot at survival by quarantining them, but neither showed much hope, so we put them down.

Our original plan was to raise them a bit, then give half away to friends, but now I think we may try to keep them all.  We have a big enough coop, but probably need to modify it some with more roosting spots.  These Polish chickens may be my favorite.  

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Edited by Spaulding Smails

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There were some polish at the place we bought our pullets this year but they were straight run and I didn’t want to take the chance on getting a male. 

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Just found this thread...here's the coop I built about 5 years ago. And a shot of our 3 new chicks in the brooder. There's an Orpington, a Rhode Island Red and a Barnevelder in there that will join our Easter Eggers soon. We've probably had 10 or 12 birds over the years, but my 2 Easter Eggers have been with us all 5 years. Still solid layers too.

That food bucket in the first pic has a neck added on the side. Probably the best thing I ever did. Pretty much eliminated all food waste. Highly recommend.ba377a3af00666cb4289c4f302b836db.jpg7db1b721c7f81a9802c93a10c1b1d012.jpg

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This motherfucker waited until we were on vacation last week before he (and possibly others) started wreaking havoc on all four of my tractors. My poor father ln law had offered to feed and water the birds while we were gone and ended up having to deal with the aftermath every morning while I was in Utah. We're still not entirely sure how he kept getting in, but my FIL's extra fortifications stopped him for a few nights until I could get back home and put out traps. He is so tiny, I guess he was able to squeeze into some gaps we thought were secure.

Lost 10 birds total in ~4 nights, including all three of my remaining barred rocks and one of my favorite leghorn roosters (who appears to have died valiantly protecting his girls). 

My 12 year old asked to dispatch this one and am going to let him later today if he has the stomach. Going to leave the traps out for a few more nights because there could be more. 

 

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21 minutes ago, Pato del Muerto said:

10 birds in 4 days I’d say he’s not the only one. 

Yeah, as typical, only the young, stupid one got caught.   Buy a cheap game cam or home security cam and set it up near your tractor.  Might be suprised at what you see.

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On 8/21/2019 at 10:20 AM, crimsonlonghorn said:

12 year old couldn't bring himself to do it but I sure could. Fucker tried to bite the muzzle of my gun when I stuck it into the trap. 

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Murder each and every one of them with extreme prejudice.  I hate them for different reasons (deer corn stealing little turds).

Late last season I was lazy and left the cage on the spinner open that evening and came back that next AM to hunt (last hunt of the extended doe/spike season).  Juvenile crawled up and was camped out in the cage eating corn.  Deer came and went (no takers) so I walked down to shoo him off and close the cage.  Except he won't budge.  Threw a few rocks.  Nothing.  Poked him with a stick.  He just went nuts.  Hissing and biting.  This continues for some time.  I'm getting frustrated at this point and a little pissed.  I usually carry a sidearm in the field; this time it happens to be my old faithful 1911.  So I push barrel through the mesh, he bites down, trigger pulled......the cavitation on that little shit was something to behold.  Worth the time/effort wiping off chunks and coon' juice from the spinner (making sure wasn't clogged).  He ballooned up, then almost turned inside out.  

This, but with fur

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Went out this morning to my traps and this was all I caught:

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All the other traps were missing their bait. Half were spring half were still open. 

I'm going to go get a few of these this afternoon, I have heard that they work really well if all you want to do is detain it until it can be killed. 

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23 minutes ago, crimsonlonghorn said:

Went out this morning to my traps and this was all I caught:

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All the other traps were missing their bait. Half were spring half were still open. 

I'm going to go get a few of these this afternoon, I have heard that they work really well if all you want to do is detain it until it can be killed. 

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They do work.  We've used them in the past.  Full the little tube with corn, they stick their little paw in and it clamps/snaps down.  Just anchor them down and they'll flail around and make a racket.  I'd also keep using the havahart traps - maybe try a different bait that won't attract cats (or do, feral cats are a hot mess) such as corn or peanut butter.  

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My daughters school incubated eggs years ago. She called my wife at work and asked if she could keep hers if it hatched.....

We usually keep around 10 hens and get more eggs than we can possibly eat. We always get sexed chicks and try not to have two of the same breed. Needless to say we have many different egg colors and all the hens have names (so no chance of eating them).

Super easy to take care of, they run free in the backyard and put themselves to bed in their coops at night. The first couple of years I’d close them up at night and let them out in the morning, but we’re in the middle of a neighborhood with a privacy fence, the only one that was killed was due to the numerous hawks around here.

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3 hours ago, BabaYaga said:

They do work.  We've used them in the past.  Full the little tube with corn, they stick their little paw in and it clamps/snaps down.  Just anchor them down and they'll flail around and make a racket.  I'd also keep using the havahart traps - maybe try a different bait that won't attract cats (or do, feral cats are a hot mess) such as corn or peanut butter.  

I’m good with the barn cat.  Let her (him) go right after I took the pic. 

Filled the tubes with dry cat food and marshmallows. Supposedly that attracts coons quite well  

 

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Holy shit. Those things worked. Put out 6 traps and caught 4 last night. Dispatched them all before 7:30 this morning. Going to do it again tonight and put up the game cams this time. 

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I ran a trapline every winter in high school and the first couple of years of college and I caught a lot of raccoons, foxes and coyotes.  I have to say I don't think I've ever seen a trap anchored with a bike lock.

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1 minute ago, crimsonlonghorn said:

I caught them didn't I? 😄

(and they were way cheaper at Home Depot than chain and padlocks)

baling wire (or rebar tie wire if you have to buy it)

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My daughters school incubated eggs years ago. She called my wife at work and asked if she could keep hers if it hatched.....

We usually keep around 10 hens and get more eggs than we can possibly eat. We always get sexed chicks and try not to have two of the same breed. Needless to say we have many different egg colors and all the hens have names (so no chance of eating them).

Super easy to take care of, they run free in the backyard and put themselves to bed in their coops at night. The first couple of years I’d close them up at night and let them out in the morning, but we’re in the middle of a neighborhood with a privacy fence, the only one that was killed was due to the numerous hawks around here.

3e5e748101bee809c66cee5122510f9e.jpg

Go Gators!

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Killed another one this morning. That makes 11 in a week.

One of my tractors yesterday had a pretty obvious spot with bent wire and chewed wood that was an obvious (failed) attempt at a break-in the night before. I shored that spot up quite a bit after finding it.  

Man, I hate these fuckers. 

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On 8/23/2019 at 3:09 PM, crimsonlonghorn said:

I caught them didn't I? 😄

(and they were way cheaper at Home Depot than chain and padlocks)

Did you? Clearly you need to set up some sort of electrocutioning trap and document it all for us.

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When I was growing up we had several hundred Angora goats. We had a Great Pyrenees to watch over the goats, but did not train her to be around chickens. She got into the pen and killed 30 in one night. 

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When I was growing up we had several hundred Angora goats. We had a Great Pyrenees to watch over the goats, but did not train her to be around chickens. She got into the pen and killed 30 in one night. 

I need to find one of those, my hens haven’t laid for over a month. Yes they were molting, but I want to take the hit and start over.

Unfortunately my wife has named each and every one so my hands are tied.

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34 minutes ago, Flg8rfan said:


I need to find one of those, my hens haven’t laid for over a month. Yes they were molting, but I want to take the hit and start over.

Unfortunately my wife has named each and every one so my hands are tied.

Back in July I was getting close to 3 dz eggs per day. Today I only had 15 total. Lots of molting going on out there!

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My experience has been that hens lay far fewer eggs when the days get shorter and the weather turns colder. YRMV

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We’re on month 2 of no eggs, Florida heat. They are just ungrateful bitches to me at this point.

Half of them (depending on their breed, all mixed) used to run up to be petted. Now they run up in case I have food (outside of their feed on the coop), and then act like I’m the asshole.

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3 hours ago, Flg8rfan said:


I need to find one of those, my hens haven’t laid for over a month. Yes they were molting, but I want to take the hit and start over.

Unfortunately my wife has named each and every one so my hands are tied.

How many did she name "dinner" or "lunch"? You should make her kill one for pulling that bullshit. 

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That pyr took a chicken a couple of years ago. We only found the head and wings. I’ve worked with him a lot, trying to get him to think of the hens as his flock since he doesn’t have one. 
 

these are a new group of 4 we got this spring. Max has been great with them, but he doesn’t go out back unsupervised when the hens are out. 

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