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Survival and Preparations Long and short term survival and 'prepping'.

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  #121  
Old 09-14-2012, 9:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Sanderhawk View Post
How cool open the gate I thought they were all following you for some chow.
There is nothing they love more than getting outside to scavenge for bugs and greens.
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  #122  
Old 09-15-2012, 9:26 PM
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We're getting on the average about 33-36 eggs a day.

Was planning on reducing flock size down to 12-14 through the winter, and we have been butchering, but we also have started incubating eggs to keep the chicken numbers steady at a number we want on hand at all times, which we're thinking closer to 30 than the 40 we peaked with a few months ago.

we have two coops that are easy to clean and don't stink. They're raised up and have wire mesh floors (except in the laying boxes. We cover the wire mesh in straw, then rake it out into a whell barrow when it needs to be changed. The chicken manure covered straw gets spread out around the yard (not on lawn), but back around the fruit trees and other areas that we plan to plant in the next year or two.
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  #123  
Old 09-19-2012, 1:25 PM
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Default one important Chicken factor for those wanting to try.....

you can't have just one chicken or they will always be searching for the flock and unhappy and lonely.

You need at least two.
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  #124  
Old 09-19-2012, 6:33 PM
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you can't have just one chicken or they will always be searching for the flock and unhappy and lonely.

You need at least two.
Make that three just in case one of them dies.
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  #125  
Old 09-23-2012, 6:43 AM
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I figure if I can get a small coop built I would get half dozen or so and give it a try.
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  #126  
Old 09-23-2012, 2:41 PM
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Well I missed last weeks update, I've been extremely busy with work and trying to can and freeze all the extra vegi's from our garden, but here is a photo update for week 11! The chickens are all happy and healthy and growing quickly.
9/23/12
Chickens in foreground are the meat birds.



Last edited by toyotaguy; 09-23-2012 at 2:51 PM..
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  #127  
Old 09-23-2012, 4:40 PM
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That's a bunch of fine looking chickens you got there!
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  #128  
Old 09-23-2012, 4:42 PM
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Ahh, I'm so jealous of you folks who already have a bunch of chickens!
But I've finally been getting my chicken coop built, and should be ready for birds by the end of the year...

I built mine up off the ground because we have lots of varmints and rats around here, and also because the ground is steep so at least one side needed to be up on "stilts" anyway.
It's 4' x 8', plus the nesting box that sticks off the right hand side. It's tall enough to stand up in so I can get inside easily for cleaning & such.
I scavenged the old windows and a door out of an old shed. My neighbor gave me all the nice tongue & groove siding for free (score!), and the green and brown paint were leftover from other projects...



The coop is nearly done, but I still have to fence in a run for them and we have ALL kinds of predators here so it needs to be very secure.
I'll be starting with hens only just for egg production, but chickens for meat could happen also someday...
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  #129  
Old 09-23-2012, 4:53 PM
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Looks good, chickens are a lot of fun to raise. Good luck!
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  #130  
Old 09-23-2012, 7:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toyotaguy View Post
Looks good, chickens are a lot of fun to raise. Good luck!

Thanks! I'm looking forward to the chicken experience.
My mom has a friend who has chickens so I've become rather addicted to good fresh eggs. They really are superior and I'm looking forward to "growing my own".

I'd love to raise chickens for meat, but the wife is too sentimental and would have a big problem with the killing & eating of an animal she's met and fed and... well, you know...
I'll take it one step at a time. Hens for eggs she's happy with. I'll work on the meat aspect as we go along...
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  #131  
Old 09-23-2012, 7:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Dubious_Beans View Post
Thanks! I'm looking forward to the chicken experience.
My mom has a friend who has chickens so I've become rather addicted to good fresh eggs. They really are superior and I'm looking forward to "growing my own".

I'd love to raise chickens for meat, but the wife is too sentimental and would have a big problem with the killing & eating of an animal she's met and fed and... well, you know...
I'll take it one step at a time. Hens for eggs she's happy with. I'll work on the meat aspect as we go along...
If you want to do meat birds, start with cornish-x, they barely resemble chickens and arent cute by the time they get to slaughter weight.
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  #132  
Old 09-23-2012, 8:24 PM
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Originally Posted by toyotaguy View Post
If you want to do meat birds, start with cornish-x, they barely resemble chickens and arent cute by the time they get to slaughter weight.
Thanks for the tip!

Errrr.. what do you mean when you say "aren't cute" and "barely resemble chickens"?
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  #133  
Old 10-03-2012, 4:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Dubious_Beans View Post
Thanks for the tip!

Errrr.. what do you mean when you say "aren't cute" and "barely resemble chickens"?
Cornish-X are a mix of chicken breeds that are grown only for meat, they grow extremely fast and get extremely big, they are typically slaughtered at 6-8 Weeks old, we did ours at 9 weeks and ended up with 7-9lb Chickens. Because they grow so big so fast they are kind of ugly and they are extremely lazy. They are not good pets as they will die by the time they reach 3-4 months because their bodies outgrow their internal organs.
Post # 63 in this thread has a picture of what our Cornish-X looked like at 9 weeks old before we slaughtered them. Post #116 has a video of what 9 week old heritage chickens look like, size wise and behavior, they are much smaller, but they act like chickens are and quite lively.

This is not to say that Cornish-X aren't a good choice as meat birds, they are a great choice if you want a large bird very quickly. But they have their disadvantages which I laid out in the first post of this thread.
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  #134  
Old 10-03-2012, 5:07 PM
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10/3/12 12 Weeks old Last Saturday. The chickens are coming along nicely, many of them are now larger than my adult hens, we are planning to slaughter some of them within the next week, so we will see how all of this turns out. They arent nearly as big as the CornishX were but we werent expecting them to be, we are hoping for 3-4lb hanging weight( gutting and cleaned).

Here is a good size Comparison between 4 of the 5 breeds that we are trying out, all of them are the same age, 12 weeks old.
From left to right, White Wyandottes, Dark Cornish, Silver Gray Dorking, White Rock

100_4390 by toyotaguy1987, on Flickr

100_4389 by toyotaguy1987, on Flickr

Last edited by toyotaguy; 10-03-2012 at 5:36 PM..
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  #135  
Old 10-03-2012, 8:04 PM
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Ahh, man, you're making me so jealous. I want chickens so bad.!

My coop is nearly done and I spent this evening setting the first 4 fence posts for the run. What could be more fun than digging post holes and mixing concrete by hand.

I have to build a maximum security coop & run because we have every known predator except bears, sharks, and honey badgers.
The raccoons worry me most. They are smart, dexterous, & treacherous little bastards is what they are.. and with nothing better to do on a moonlit night than figure out how to eat chickens.

Thanks for posting all the photos! Very inspirational!
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  #136  
Old 10-03-2012, 8:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Dubious_Beans View Post
Ahh, man, you're making me so jealous. I want chickens so bad.!

My coop is nearly done and I spent this evening setting the first 4 fence posts for the run. What could be more fun than digging post holes and mixing concrete by hand.

I have to build a maximum security coop & run because we have every known predator except bears, sharks, and honey badgers.
The raccoons worry me most. They are smart, dexterous, & treacherous little bastards is what they are.. and with nothing better to do on a moonlit night than figure out how to eat chickens.

Thanks for posting all the photos! Very inspirational!
A 22 rifle with subsonic ammo is great for pesky predators, and very quiet.
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  #137  
Old 10-03-2012, 8:40 PM
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Originally Posted by toyotaguy View Post
A 22 rifle with subsonic ammo is great for pesky predators, and very quiet.
I'm not worried about quiet.
It's rural, gunshots are a daily occurrence, and the neighbors here are good at MYOB unless they think you might need help.

The problem is that there is an endless supply of raccoons here and I can't keep a 24/7 watch.
22LR is the second line of defense. Good fencing is the first.
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  #138  
Old 10-03-2012, 8:45 PM
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I did about 100 chickens back in high school days, 15 years ago. Winter was rough, lost a few due to extreme frost in Sac but most lived. I just bought the high end corn feed with fish guts, it was like crack to them. It was nothing much too it, treat them like a stupid dog.

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  #139  
Old 10-03-2012, 8:56 PM
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I'm not worried about quiet.
It's rural, gunshots are a daily occurrence, and the neighbors here are good at MYOB unless they think you might need help.

The problem is that there is an endless supply of raccoons here and I can't keep a 24/7 watch.
22LR is the second line of defense. Good fencing is the first.
Maybe an electric fence if you start having problems, We have had issues in the past with raccoon and skunks both, but the two things that have pretty much eliminated that for us have been locking up the chickens at night inside of their hen house which is predator proof(unless a bear wants in, not much you can do about that). When the predators get no reward for their effort it seems to deter them, number 2 is my dog is off the leash and outside till at least 9pm every night and she keeps all of the critters at bay for the most part.
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  #140  
Old 10-04-2012, 3:28 PM
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how do you guys prevent a predator from digging under the fence in order to access the chickens?
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  #141  
Old 10-04-2012, 4:25 PM
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^ Put chicken wire/fencing about a foot into the ground...
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  #142  
Old 10-04-2012, 4:40 PM
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mine are just about full size, they are making noisy girls. no eggs yet, but they are about 5 months old now.
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  #143  
Old 10-04-2012, 6:13 PM
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Originally Posted by The Original Godfather View Post
^ Put chicken wire/fencing about a foot into the ground...
Yes, this is what I'm going to do.

I just finished setting the last 2 fence posts for the run on my coop.
I'm tired now. Using a post hole shovel sucks.
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  #144  
Old 10-04-2012, 6:16 PM
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Originally Posted by toyotaguy View Post
Maybe an electric fence if you start having problems
Yes, this good idea I've already though of!

I already have a decent fence charger and a spool of wire, just need to get another sack of insulators.

I'll put a strand or 2 about half way up the fence where the chickens won't likely contact it, but anything trying to climb the fence gets a big surprise.
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  #145  
Old 10-04-2012, 10:04 PM
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^ Put chicken wire/fencing about a foot into the ground...
Looks like u guys got it all figured out. Pretty smart.
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  #146  
Old 10-07-2012, 6:14 PM
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I just love this photo, with all of the green and the nice chicken coop and the pond & cattails and all the multi-colored chickens. It's a very nice bit of backyard!

So what's the covering over the chicken run? Is that more of the 4" x 2" welded wire or something else?

Still trying to figure out how to "roof" my run.

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  #147  
Old 10-07-2012, 8:26 PM
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,
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Originally Posted by Dubious_Beans View Post
I just love this photo, with all of the green and the nice chicken coop and the pond & cattails and all the multi-colored chickens. It's a very nice bit of backyard!

So what's the covering over the chicken run? Is that more of the 4" x 2" welded wire or something else?

Still trying to figure out how to "roof" my run.

.
Thanks, the wire over our run is 6x6 squares, its there to keep the ravens out and the chickens in, we used to have big problems with ravens stealing all of our eggs. We can get a lot of snow in the winter, up to 3ft at a time, so wire with smaller holes would just collapse, as it is we have to knock the snow off the wire we have at least twice a day during severe storms. Our wire does not keep predators out.
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  #148  
Old 10-09-2012, 11:41 AM
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10/9/12 13 Weeks, We had planned to butcher a few this week but it looks like we are too busy, so hopefully we will do 5-10 next week and wait another 2 weeks to do the rest.

100_4394 by toyotaguy1987, on Flickr

100_4396 by toyotaguy1987, on Flickr

Last edited by toyotaguy; 10-09-2012 at 11:45 AM..
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  #149  
Old 10-09-2012, 2:07 PM
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wow, they grew nicely! looking forward to the butchering updates. how are you planning to preserving the chickens you don't eat?
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  #150  
Old 10-09-2012, 6:18 PM
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A We have a large chest freezer and a couple fridge/freezer combos, so after butchering they will be aged in the fridge for a few days then frozen to enjoy through the winter.
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  #151  
Old 10-10-2012, 7:35 PM
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toyotaguy,
Your chicken photos have been very inspirational. Thanks!

I got off my butt this evening and spent a couple of hours working on the fencing for my coop. I got a good bit of trench dug for the "underground fence" to keep predators from digging under.
I've got wire buried good & deep around the first 20 feet of fence.
Only about 80 feet to go.
But the raccoons are gonna need dynamite or a good backhoe to tunnel under MY fence.!

Thanks for the reply on the "ceiling" wire on your run. We don't get snow here (well, maybe 1/4 " occasionally) so I guess I don't need to worry about THAT problem!
I'll probably end up covering my entire run with the 2" x 4" welded wire fencing. Damned Raccoons are costing me a bundle in time & $$ for "high security" fencing. I'll probably add electric fence also as additional deterant...

Thanks for the motivational photos. Your beautiful flock of chickens is definitely egging me on....


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  #152  
Old 10-10-2012, 8:57 PM
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I appreciate the feedback!
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  #153  
Old 10-10-2012, 10:50 PM
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  #154  
Old 10-18-2012, 3:47 PM
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Update pic, should be another month before eggs

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  #155  
Old 10-18-2012, 7:05 PM
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Darklyte, Thanks for posting a photo of your good lookin' chickens.!

I've got my coop mostly done and the above ground fencing is done except for the ceiling, but I still have a lot of shovel work to do to finish the "underground fence" around the run.
I'm digging a trench and burying fence wire 10"-12" deep around the perimeter to keep the raccoons and predators from digging under. I've got 55 feet done with 52 feet to go and I'm sick to death of it already.
I think need some more motivation...

C'mon, you and toyotaguy need to post more photos of your coop and chickens to keep me motivated and moving forward on this project!
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  #156  
Old 10-20-2012, 7:20 AM
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So did you get around to butchering any of your chickens yet? I read where you said you will let them age in your freezer. Do you have to do that or can you butcher them and eat them right when your done processing them? I always thought you could eat them right away. Just curious
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  #157  
Old 10-20-2012, 7:40 AM
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d'aww so cute! and delicious!
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  #158  
Old 10-21-2012, 10:57 AM
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So did you get around to butchering any of your chickens yet? I read where you said you will let them age in your freezer. Do you have to do that or can you butcher them and eat them right when your done processing them? I always thought you could eat them right away. Just curious
We haven't butchered them yet, we have been too busy getting ready for winter, we plan to start butchering this week. By aging them the meat becomes more tender and tastier. Aging is not required, you can butcher them and cook them before they even cool if you wanted to.
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  #159  
Old 10-21-2012, 5:12 PM
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10/21/12 15 weeks old Today
A silver gray Dorking and a Dark Cornish

100_4407 by toyotaguy1987, on Flickr


100_4403 by toyotaguy1987, on Flickr

2 White Wyandottes Which appear to be the biggest and fastest growing breed of the bunch.

100_4399 by toyotaguy1987, on Flickr
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  #160  
Old 10-21-2012, 5:40 PM
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I bet your yard is just about bug free with all those chickens
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