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 Post subject: Chickens anybody?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 05, 2014 12:31 pm 
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Tofu Pup
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Is this an apt forum to discuss chickens? I apologize if there is a thread started already for these amazing animals, but I think there should be a place to discuss the trials, tribulations and triumphs of having chickens. They are fun to watch, and some make great gardening companions!

I have a pretty sizeable, free-ranging flock of chickens that help keep slugs and ticks in check in the backyard, as well as provide fertilizer for our garden.

Some of my gals are "spent" white leghorns that were destined for the slaughterhouse, but my partner was able to rescue a bunch and now they are living out their lives in our backyard. I cannot believe they were going to slaughter, because some of them have been laying beautiful, rather large eggs the whole winter.

The recent arctic chill had me worried that we were going to lose some of the older ladies. I was sure to give them extra feed and button up the coop every night, and all birds have survived.

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 Post subject: Re: Chickens anybody?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 05, 2014 6:22 pm 
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Hooray for rescue chickens!

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 Post subject: Re: Chickens anybody?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 06, 2014 9:16 am 
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I think chickens are so adorable. I don't really have a garden at the moment, but I like the idea of keeping chickens that were destined for slaughter.


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 Post subject: Re: Chickens anybody?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 06, 2014 1:12 pm 
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Oh I adore chickens! I'm jealous you have some! Obviously I cannot have any living in NYC but if I had room for them I would have a flock for sure. I sponsored a chicken for years at a local farm sanctuary before upping my contribution to another level. Last year I went to a huge poultry show and I was blown away by the variety and beauty of the chickens and the roosters. Hearing hundreds of birds clucking and crowing away was wild. And I love the quiet clucking hens make. I subscribed to Backyard Poultry mag for a little while as I was curious about how others care for them. Now I mostly watch a flock online to get my chickens fix. It is a wonderful site. Check it out! http://hencam.com/


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 Post subject: Re: Chickens anybody?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 06, 2014 3:25 pm 
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I'd adore some chickens and there's a local battery hen rescue advertising for forever homes for them. I need a garden first!


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 Post subject: Re: Chickens anybody?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 06, 2014 3:39 pm 
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Oh my goodness! Thank you so much chuparosa for post that hencam link - best thing of my day so far.

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 Post subject: Re: Chickens anybody?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 06, 2014 7:13 pm 
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I have feral chickens running around my neighborhood.

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 Post subject: Re: Chickens anybody?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 06, 2014 7:15 pm 
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A Bad Person
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Vantine wrote:
I have feral chickens running around my neighborhood.

The gators and anacondas haven't gotten them all yet?


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 Post subject: Re: Chickens anybody?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 06, 2014 9:07 pm 
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Hoards Peppermint Jo-Jos

Joined: Tue May 07, 2013 7:46 am
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Location: with my dog....on a trail
Hmm, how would one go about adopting some "spent" chickens? I have a large plot of land and a pupper to protect them....

I'd ask my neighbors, as many have flocks, but they were purchased at the local feed store as chicks.


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 Post subject: Re: Chickens anybody?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 06, 2014 9:32 pm 
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Lots of animal shelters have them, but more importantly, they'll at least know of other shelters and sanctuaries you can contact.

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 Post subject: Re: Chickens anybody?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2014 1:05 am 
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Farm sanctuary and Animal Place (in california) have recently done massive spent hen rescues. Some of the hens they even sent to the east coast. I bet they could direct you to local sanctuaries, etc that have hens who need homes.

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 Post subject: Re: Chickens anybody?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2014 2:13 am 
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Vantine wrote:
I have feral chickens running around my neighborhood.


I just spent the last 10 minutes looking at google images of feral chickens. I had no idea this was a thing, and it made me very happy.

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 Post subject: Re: Chickens anybody?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2014 6:15 am 
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brian wrote:
Vantine wrote:
I have feral chickens running around my neighborhood.

The gators and anacondas haven't gotten them all yet?

No but there are coyotes. Also, they need to stop trying to visit Bub the Rottweiler. That is not wise...

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A whole lot of access and privilege goes into being sanctimonious pricks J-Dub
Dessert is currently a big bowl of sanctimonious, passive aggressive vegan enduced boak. Fezza
You people are way less funny than Pandacookie. Sucks to be you.-interrobang?!


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 Post subject: Re: Chickens anybody?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2014 10:02 am 
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Hoards Peppermint Jo-Jos

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Location: with my dog....on a trail
Thanks Mars and Cournopita :)


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 Post subject: Re: Chickens anybody?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2014 3:36 pm 
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chuparosa wrote:
Oh I adore chickens! I'm jealous you have some! Obviously I cannot have any living in NYC but if I had room for them I would have a flock for sure. I sponsored a chicken for years at a local farm sanctuary before upping my contribution to another level. Last year I went to a huge poultry show and I was blown away by the variety and beauty of the chickens and the roosters. Hearing hundreds of birds clucking and crowing away was wild. And I love the quiet clucking hens make. I subscribed to Backyard Poultry mag for a little while as I was curious about how others care for them. Now I mostly watch a flock online to get my chickens fix. It is a wonderful site. Check it out! http://hencam.com/

I clicked on the hencam and it was showing a bare, empty pen. I looked at another window for a moment, then went I looked back a hen was coming down the ramp out of the henhouse! And then another one appeared! And then a third! And then two more!

Yeah, I love chickens. I live near some now and I went and visited them this afternoon.


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 Post subject: Re: Chickens anybody?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 08, 2014 6:48 am 
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Saggy Butt
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My Mum used to keep rescue chickens, and I've been considering it too, recently. I used to have an Aylesbury duck when I was little, they're also awesome and so beautiful. I don't think my neighbours would be too pleased if I started keeping animals outside, though.


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 Post subject: Re: Chickens anybody?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 08, 2014 2:12 pm 
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Drinks Wild Tofurkey
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Location: SF Bay area
Bird Nerd wrote:
Is this an apt forum to discuss chickens? I apologize if there is a thread started already for these amazing animals, but I think there should be a place to discuss the trials, tribulations and triumphs of having chickens. They are fun to watch, and some make great gardening companions!

I have a pretty sizeable, free-ranging flock of chickens that help keep slugs and ticks in check in the backyard, as well as provide fertilizer for our garden.

Some of my gals are "spent" white leghorns that were destined for the slaughterhouse, but my partner was able to rescue a bunch and now they are living out their lives in our backyard. I cannot believe they were going to slaughter, because some of them have been laying beautiful, rather large eggs the whole winter.

The recent arctic chill had me worried that we were going to lose some of the older ladies. I was sure to give them extra feed and button up the coop every night, and all birds have survived.

So when you say free range, you mean they are roaming around without cover, right? How do you deal with flying predators, like hawks? I'd like to have chickens that can roam about my yard but I'm worried about predation and that the hens might jump the fence.

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 Post subject: Re: Chickens anybody?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 08, 2014 4:05 pm 
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The park in the city where I live here in the Netherlands has a ton of wild chickens. I walked through in December and saw nearly 200 just chilling. And it's a small park! Here's a pic of a few I found while googling: http://a1.img.mobypicture.com/ed3b59ce4 ... 6_view.jpg


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 Post subject: Re: Chickens anybody?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 08, 2014 4:19 pm 
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Wow! I'm loving all the free roaming chickens.

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 Post subject: Re: Chickens anybody?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2014 3:49 pm 
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Should Write a Goddam Book Already

Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2010 6:08 pm
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couroupita wrote:
Bird Nerd wrote:
Is this an apt forum to discuss chickens? I apologize if there is a thread started already for these amazing animals, but I think there should be a place to discuss the trials, tribulations and triumphs of having chickens. They are fun to watch, and some make great gardening companions!

I have a pretty sizeable, free-ranging flock of chickens that help keep slugs and ticks in check in the backyard, as well as provide fertilizer for our garden.

Some of my gals are "spent" white leghorns that were destined for the slaughterhouse, but my partner was able to rescue a bunch and now they are living out their lives in our backyard. I cannot believe they were going to slaughter, because some of them have been laying beautiful, rather large eggs the whole winter.

The recent arctic chill had me worried that we were going to lose some of the older ladies. I was sure to give them extra feed and button up the coop every night, and all birds have survived.

So when you say free range, you mean they are roaming around without cover, right? How do you deal with flying predators, like hawks? I'd like to have chickens that can roam about my yard but I'm worried about predation and that the hens might jump the fence.

I forgot about this thread.
Re hawks and other predators: my gran keeps hens and there is an area around the hen house, which they are shut into during prime fox prowling hours (early morning and late evening), or when a farmer is harvesting the nearby field, or when it would be dangerous or inconvenient for them to be loose in the garden. This area is surrounded by chicken-wire fencing supported on thick posts, about 2.5 metres high and buried in the ground to a depth of 1 metre to stop burrowing predators. The lower section is double thickness chicken-wire, with the holes not lined up so foxes cannot get their jaw through a hole to start chewing through it.

There is string or cord criss-crossed above the run from post to post (above human head height so you don't get garrotted!) to deter hawks. They don't like to dive on prey where they think they'll get tangled up.
I think when the hens are free to roam the garden my gran hopes there are enough trees and bushes to give them some camouflage. There has been at least one casualty, but she reckons the risk of a swift death by hawk is worth the extra space for them to enjoy.

If you do decide to get hens I'd definitely make your garden fence hen-proof first and if you're not making the whole garden secure against predators, make a small secure area around the hen house that the hens can be shut into.

Oh, and if you don't want to bother digging your fences into the ground, electrified netting seems to be very effective against foxes. Some people say they can sense the electric current and keep away; they certainly dislike it and don't try to chew it.


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 Post subject: Re: Chickens anybody?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2014 4:56 pm 
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My husbands family raises chickens, though I'm not sure if they are going to get another dozen this spring. His grandparents have been doing it since the 40s and his parents have taken over. I didn't get to spend much time with them. But I wasn't always happy with their chicken raising. Wild animals would sometimes get into the barn and take a chicken away. His dad often set traps for those animals and we all know what happened after. When the chickens were too old to lay eggs, they were sent away...

I think many people who want to raise egg laying hens do not take into account predators and how vulnerable chickens can be. I also don't buy the idea that backyard chickens are humane because I don't consider what my husbands parents did to be humane.

The idea of rescue chickens make me happy though. I don't think I could ever take on the responsibility though.


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 Post subject: Re: Chickens anybody?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2014 1:05 pm 
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Yeah, Kal, it really depends on the people looking after the backyard chickens. I know my gran's hens are pretty humanely kept (they must have enough room to roam as three sides of her garden are unfenced and the chickens never wander out of it. Also they have perches, dust baths and plenty of trees and bushes to shelter from the rain and sun, and a variety of areas to scratch around in, and fallen apples to peck at throughout the autumn and winter months.) But I know other people who have chickens and while I do enjoy their cuteness when I visit I am disappointed by how little space they have to roam around in.


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 Post subject: Re: Chickens anybody?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2014 11:08 am 
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I have two rescue chickens. One is the most amazing silkie batam. Our big grey was being abused almost to death and we couldn't let that happen. She is now really healthy and so pretty.

Ours have a huge coop for night time and the run of the yard during the day. Seriously their coop is more secure than my house. We don't have much problem with flying predators here. But we do have raccoon so the chickens are put in the coop in the evening and let out in the morning. But the coop area is really large and they can be in there in the worst weather without being cramped. Especially since it is just the two of them.

Mine don't really want to leave the security of the yard. They are pretty mellow and love playing with the bunny when he is out in his run. But I understand to have healthy happy chickens I have to put in the work every day.

It is so funny because the big one really wants to be an inside chicken. She comes right to the slider when she is first let out and just waits. And I would let them in... but they poop EVERYWHERE.

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 Post subject: Re: Chickens anybody?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2014 3:50 pm 
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FYI, anyone who is looking to adopt chickens: there's a big rescue going on right now in CA of hens from an egg farm that's going out of business. The adoption fee is $7/hen, or $5/hen if you adopt 10+ and they can be picked up at Animal Place sanctuary (Vacaville, CA). They might be able to offer advice if you're not in the state and would like to help out.

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