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

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  #41  
Old 11-14-2012, 9:08 AM
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those are some awesome chicken homes, I refuse to call them coupes. It feels like I am belittling them. I might just have to look into having some of my own, I love chickens, they are really cool.
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  #42  
Old 11-14-2012, 9:20 AM
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man u guys are serious with your chicken coops!
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  #43  
Old 11-14-2012, 9:31 AM
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I refuse to call them coupes. It feels like I am belittling them.
It would be a smart bird to know the difference, smart enough to spell coop, perhaps. It means much less to them than you.

Nice setup, dubious.
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  #44  
Old 11-14-2012, 1:17 PM
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Originally Posted by paul0660 View Post
It would be a smart bird to know the difference, smart enough to spell coop, perhaps. It means much less to them than you.

Nice setup, dubious.
Wow, you got me. That hurt so much.
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  #45  
Old 11-14-2012, 1:24 PM
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Wow, you got me. That hurt so much.
Funny thing is, I know that is why you come here.......but not for your funky spelling.

I count you as a friend, Curley. Don't tear up.
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  #46  
Old 11-14-2012, 4:30 PM
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Very nice setup OP.
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  #47  
Old 11-14-2012, 4:33 PM
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No Roster?
Those chickens aren't on the Roster.
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  #48  
Old 11-14-2012, 5:43 PM
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Default Coyote!

The chickens got a serious scare this morning.

I got up and let them out of the coop (into the run, not free range yet) this morning around 6:15AM.
About 15 minutes later I was in the back of the house when I heard a s***load of chicken noise & commotion. I hustled into the laundry room where I can see the pen through the window and there was a dark tan creature trotting along the fence line in the back. It disappeared up into the trees before I could get a good look but based on the size & color it had to be a coyote.

The girls were TOTALLY freaked out. Most of them went back into the coop but a few were hiding underneath.
I found a whole bunch of white feathers outside the cage on the opposite wall from where the 'yote was. I assume that one of the girls probably flew into the side of the cage at high speed in her attempt to get away.

Anyway, everyone is unharmed but they sure were freaked out and skittish all morning.

It's the first predator sighting I've had since the chickens were installed nearly 2 weeks ago.
It's a sure bet that 'yote will be back again now that it knows there's chickens here. It may want to eat chicken but If I can catch it around here again it's gonna get a taste of 22LR instead.

On a happy note, I dug up a bunch of dandelions that were growing in the back yard and tossed them into the coop this evening and the girls went totally wild for them.
They chased each other around trying to steal dandelion from each other and when the feeding frenzy was over they ate them all, including the roots. They were very happy about the dandelions.

So I've been a chicken rancher for 12 days now and the chickens & I are all still alive. Wheee..!





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  #49  
Old 11-14-2012, 5:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Dubious_Beans View Post
The chickens got a serious scare this morning.

I got up and let them out of the coop (into the run, not free range yet) this morning around 6:15AM.
About 15 minutes later I was in the back of the house when I heard a s***load of chicken noise & commotion. I hustled into the laundry room where I can see the pen through the window and there was a dark tan creature trotting along the fence line in the back. It disappeared up into the trees before I could get a good look but based on the size & color it had to be a coyote.
[/img]
That's why farmers had a rifle behind the kitchen door
Everything eats chicken.Have you see what a weasel can do to a roomful of chicks?

Last edited by thomashoward; 11-15-2012 at 7:31 AM..
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  #50  
Old 11-14-2012, 7:45 PM
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That's why farmers had a rifle behind the kitchen door
Yup. And I'll be better prepared next time.

It's been a while since I've seen a coyote on the property and I figured the first predators to find the chickens would be either raccoons or bobcat, both of which I see fairly regularly. It's one of the joys of rural property. We have an amazing assortment of predators here.

One of my neighbors was just telling me about when she used to have chickens a few years ago. (everyone around here USED to have chickens until something ate them)
Apparently her husband caught a skunk in the coop one night. It sprayed him a good one (in confined quarters) and he ended up killing it with a pitchfork. Now doesn't THAT sound like good fun for all.

I think our location & high predator load is going to make keeping chickens an interesting adventure.
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  #51  
Old 11-14-2012, 8:56 PM
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Neat thread...I've got a 1/3 acre...time to start planning...
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  #52  
Old 11-15-2012, 6:03 AM
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I do enjoy this thread. Looking forward to seeing your new coyote rug in the future
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  #53  
Old 11-15-2012, 6:22 AM
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Sounds like your chicken coop will double as bait for your predator shooting gallery...nice bonus.
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  #54  
Old 11-15-2012, 6:43 AM
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plant a row of alfalfa, clover, wheat, flax etc. they like grass clippings too.
just wait to you start getting into raising game birds, pheasants, quail, turkeys etc.
throw some rabbits into the mix too. oh then the guinea fowl, peacocks man it never ends.
(i have seen chickens eat mice, they remind me of little dinosaurs).
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  #55  
Old 11-15-2012, 6:55 AM
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We've had chickens for a while too....
Built this coop for them from scraps around the ranch. The whole ranch is fenced, so they pretty much free range the entire 3.5ac as they please.

Chicken Coop
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  #56  
Old 11-15-2012, 7:54 AM
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Can't see any of the pictures in the OP's post...

Some cities (ours at least) allow chickens but specifically forbid roosters for that very reason - pissing off people trying to sleep.

Of course, if things ever get bad a rooster would instantly become worth its weight in gold...

Last edited by kb58; 11-15-2012 at 8:04 AM..
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  #57  
Old 11-15-2012, 1:08 PM
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Shoot the yote and let the chickens feed on it.
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  #58  
Old 11-15-2012, 5:09 PM
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Originally Posted by mrkubota View Post
We've had chickens for a while too....
Built this coop for them from scraps around the ranch.

Chicken Coop
Nice job!
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  #59  
Old 11-15-2012, 5:13 PM
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Originally Posted by SMOKEYMOUNTAIN View Post
Shoot the yote and let the chickens feed on it.

THAT would be funny!
If I kill the 'yote I will definitely serve some up for the chickens.

You know how it is with chickens... once they get a taste for coyote no dog will be safe around here when the hens are free ranging.
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  #60  
Old 11-15-2012, 7:17 PM
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Don't be shy on what you feed your chickens.
We feed em all kinds of things from grass clippings to table scraps to bugs & lizards we are able to get our hands on.
I gave em a large alligator lizard the other day & they chased each other around for 10 minutes till they pulled it apart enough to swallow it.

In the winter we will sometimes give em a treat of warm oatmeal to feast upon. Use your imagination.

Here is a chart of foods they can & cannot have.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/ch...kyard-chickens
scroll down for the do not feed list.
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  #61  
Old 11-24-2012, 5:07 PM
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Well, it's been 3 weeks (and 1 day) since I acquired my first chickens. What strange & crazy creatures they are!

It will probably be another month or more before we get our first egg and they start earning their keep, but it's been a whole lot of fun to watch them run around and chase each other and fight over a worm or cricket or piece of pasta. And the soft little noises they make when they are foraging and having a good time is rather pleasant & soothing. So far they've been quite entertaining to have around.

The last few days we have let them out to "free range" for a while in the afternoon. They've been good so far. Haven't strayed too far, gotten in trouble, or been eaten by critters yet...

They seem to be having a great time inspecting & learning about their new home. I know they are finding all kinds of bugs and stuff buried in the leaves & duff around here. It would be chicken heaven if it weren't for all the predators. I'm sure we'll lose a few, but...















Very much enjoying the chicken experience so far. Would recommend it to a friend...

Last edited by Dubious_Beans; 11-24-2012 at 5:10 PM..
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  #62  
Old 11-24-2012, 5:47 PM
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And thanks EM2 for the list of acceptable chicken treats. Already found & bookmarked that one.!

Oh, and that's a SMALL alligator lizard you got there. We get 'em WAY bigger than that around here. But I hadn't thought of catching them and feeding to chickens. That does sound like good fun for all Thanks for that tip.
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  #63  
Old 11-24-2012, 6:33 PM
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Every couple of months I go around turning over rocks looking for these guys.
The chickens love em.

Jerusalem cricket
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  #64  
Old 11-24-2012, 8:21 PM
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...i have seen chickens eat mice, they remind me of little dinosaurs.
Feathered velociraptors. Seriously.
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  #65  
Old 11-25-2012, 6:11 AM
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Quote:
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Every couple of months I go around turning over rocks looking for these guys.
The chickens love em.

Jerusalem cricket
I have found a few of these around where I live these things get huge.
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Old 11-25-2012, 9:03 AM
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In the spring we sometimes get outbreaks of small frogs which I toss in with the chickens for some extra protien.
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"The 'Spray and Pray' system advances triumphantly in law enforcement. In a recent case in a southwestern city...a police officer, when threatened with a handgun, emptied his 15 shot pistol at his would-be assailant, achieving two peripheral hits. The citizen was charged with brandishing a firearm, but the cop was not charged with anything, lousy shooting not being a diciplinary offense."
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  #67  
Old 11-25-2012, 12:37 PM
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Looks good all you guys........... I tended to a flock when I worked at Vector Control. We had sentinel flocks all over the county to detect West Nile Virus and I had to take blood samples from them weekly and collect their eggs. Every time I would visit the cage there would be 30+ eggs there. When I get my new home soon I hope to up and running with a garden and some animals myself.
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Old 12-06-2012, 5:27 PM
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Looks good all you guys........... I tended to a flock when I worked at Vector Control. We had sentinel flocks all over the county to detect West Nile Virus and I had to take blood samples from them weekly and collect their eggs. Every time I would visit the cage there would be 30+ eggs there. When I get my new home soon I hope to up and running with a garden and some animals myself.
do you have any tips on how to avoid fowl from contracting west nile virus from other birds?
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Old 12-07-2012, 7:48 AM
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Great job!!
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Old 12-07-2012, 8:47 AM
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Alright... I need to do this in a free state. Talking to the lady tonight...

Thanks for making me want more than my day-to-day life!

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Old 12-07-2012, 4:50 PM
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It's been 5 weeks today since the chickens came here to roost.

They've been allowed to go out and free range for a few hours most afternoons and they really love that.
It's been a lot of fun to watch them flap around the yard chasing each other.

So far nobody has been eaten by coyotes or hawks... (knock wood) I hope that trend continues for a long time.

We've got quite a few remains of ancient fences around here for the chickens to hang out on and be decorative, which they do pretty well.



Still waiting for our first egg. Maybe before the first of the year if we're lucky. Or maybe not until spring. The hens belong to some kind of union I think, and even though I feed and house them I have no control over when they go to work...
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Old 01-04-2013, 7:42 PM
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Updates on your chickens please!
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  #73  
Old 01-04-2013, 8:19 PM
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just started on mine last week. nothing special really simple. still have some work to do on it.
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Old 01-04-2013, 8:45 PM
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Nice setup! I've had my very mixed flock for about 6 months now, first hen just started producing about 4 weeks ago. From what everyone had told me about her breed (Cochin) she would be a poor producer.. but so far shes been laying 5-6 eggs a week consistently. With 7 more shortly behind her, I'm going to be swamped with eggs very soon!

Any idea how old your hens were when you got them? From the pictures I'd venture a guess of maybe 3-4 months now? You might be getting some eggs pretty soon here.
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Old 01-04-2013, 8:49 PM
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Well, we've had the hens for 2+ months now and they have certainly been a very interesting addition to our lives. I've come to the conclusion that chicken brains are mostly insane.

They've been allowed to free range around the yard almost every afternoon, usually from around noon until about 5PM when they all go home. So far we haven't had any "bad" incidents with predators, but I have seen our local hawk go over a couple of times and I've seen the chickens give the alarm and either freeze motionless or run for cover a few times. But so far so good...

I love the fact that at 5PM everybody just runs for the coop and goes to bed with no prompting or chasing to make them go in. They just do it automatically every night which is very easy to deal with. If I need them to go in during the day I just step into the run with a handful of chicken scratch or almost any kind of leftovers from the kitchen and call "HEY, chick, chick, CHICKENS!" and everybody comes running/flying at full speed. It's very easy to gather them back home when needed.

They are great little garbage disposals and happy to eat leftover veggies, pasta, rice, tortilla chips, and especially MEAT! They frickin' love meat! A little chunk of leftover beef or a bit of ham sends them into a frenzy!

So far chickens are fun and reasonably easy to deal with. No eggs yet because I got 4 month old pullets right before winter, but once they get started 10 hens should produce more eggs than our family and friends can eat.
All the ladies are old enough to lay eggs now, but since their laying cycle is controlled by the length of daylight and we are still at the shortest days of the year they are not very inclined to start laying now.
But I think it's about time for the girls to get to work so I've built up a LED panel for inside the coop and put it on a timer to wake them up a few minutes earlier every morning until their "daylight" hours are long enough to prompt them into laying.
I've been willing to let them slack off for a while cuz' it's winter, but they've had a free ride for a while now and I think it's time to start producing some eggs. Hopefully with some additional lighting I can get them to start laying by the end of January. We'll see how that goes...

I'm a little dismayed to find out how well they can fly! I've seen them fly 100 feet of more horizontally and gain 15 feet of elevation. Chickens on the roof is becoming a common feature. I'd be tempted to clip their wings but with our vast assortment of predators I think it's best to leave them intact and able to fly when needed.

Chickens being good:




Chickens being bad:




I will definitely post when we get our first egg!


.
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  #76  
Old 01-04-2013, 9:20 PM
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Nice, they sure look like they are having a good time.

I got my chickens at 1 day old.
You are missing out on watching them grow up when you buy em a few months old.
We had em in our kitchen for two weeks but by that time they could fly short distances and hop out of the container so I moved them out to their barn.
They grow real fast and in a couple of days you can see their wings really take shape and form real feathers.
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  #77  
Old 01-07-2013, 6:54 PM
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I am still getting about 2-3 eggs still a day even in this upper 30-40*F weather.
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  #78  
Old 01-07-2013, 7:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Darklyte27 View Post
I am still getting about 2-3 eggs still a day even in this upper 30-40*F weather.
That's great!
Refresh my memory on how many hens you've got..?
Do you add any supplemental lighting to your coop, or just running "natural daylight"?
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Old 01-07-2013, 7:36 PM
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Originally Posted by EM2 View Post
I got my chickens at 1 day old.
You are missing out on watching them grow up when you buy em a few months old.
We had em in our kitchen for two weeks but by that time they could fly short distances and hop out of the container so I moved them out to their barn.
They grow real fast and in a couple of days you can see their wings really take shape and form real feathers.
I considered getting day old chicks, but the timing was wrong to get them at our local feed store and I wasn't sure I wanted to deal with young chicks at the time.
Perhaps another time we'll have a go at getting chicks.
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Old 01-07-2013, 7:39 PM
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We have 16 hens (12) of which are over two years old and the other (6) are about 8 months old.
We are getting about 7-8 eggs a day right now.
They slow down some as they get older.
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