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  1. #41
    Join Date
    Mar. 11, 2007
    Location
    Montana
    Posts
    5,525

    Default

    People WAAAYY over think chickens.

    When you first get them that stock tank will work fine; clear bulb will work fine though red is better, a tin foil pie pan will work fine for feeding them (after you eat the pie that came in it) and a 99 cent mason jar plastic waterer or two will work fine for watering them. When they're big enough to throw their shavings in their water put the water on a brick or stray chunk of wood. When they outgrow the tub put them in the room with the light hanging from the ceiling at an appropriate height. They quickly wean down to just a regular light and then move on with their chicken lives. We have had ours free ranging it or locked up, depending on circumstances. Mostly they're free-ranging and we rarely have predator losses. And that's in 17 years of living in very rural Montana with anywhere from 10-40 chickens. We try to let them out when we're home to keep an eye on them, we try to lock the coop at night when they've gone to bed, easy and done. I've had chickens in 8 by 10 coops built out of pallets and professional chicken houses and an old outhouse. I've never had a skunk or coon go past the pan of chicken pellets or misc late afternoon eggs to kill a chicken. I've never had a chicken taken off the roost, never found a dead one in the coop. Not saying it can't happen but I just lock them up most nights and keep an eye out when they're loose during the day and they do fine. I have chickens that are 10 years old out there right now!

    It's really not that complicated...


    4 members found this post helpful.

  2. #42
    Join Date
    Jun. 23, 2003
    Location
    Berryville, VA
    Posts
    445

    Default

    THANK you. That's just about how I do my chickens in Northern VA.

    --Yvonne

    Quote Originally Posted by cowboymom View Post
    People WAAAYY over think chickens.

    When you first get them that stock tank will work fine; clear bulb will work fine though red is better, a tin foil pie pan will work fine for feeding them (after you eat the pie that came in it) and a 99 cent mason jar plastic waterer or two will work fine for watering them. When they're big enough to throw their shavings in their water put the water on a brick or stray chunk of wood. When they outgrow the tub put them in the room with the light hanging from the ceiling at an appropriate height. They quickly wean down to just a regular light and then move on with their chicken lives. We have had ours free ranging it or locked up, depending on circumstances. Mostly they're free-ranging and we rarely have predator losses. And that's in 17 years of living in very rural Montana with anywhere from 10-40 chickens. We try to let them out when we're home to keep an eye on them, we try to lock the coop at night when they've gone to bed, easy and done. I've had chickens in 8 by 10 coops built out of pallets and professional chicken houses and an old outhouse. I've never had a skunk or coon go past the pan of chicken pellets or misc late afternoon eggs to kill a chicken. I've never had a chicken taken off the roost, never found a dead one in the coop. Not saying it can't happen but I just lock them up most nights and keep an eye out when they're loose during the day and they do fine. I have chickens that are 10 years old out there right now!

    It's really not that complicated...
    Yvonne Lucas
    Red Moon Farm
    redmoonfarm.com


    "Practice doesn't make perfect. PERFECT practice makes perfect." - Jim Wofford

    "Some days you're the dog, some days the hydrant." - Jim Wofford


    1 members found this post helpful.

  3. #43
    Join Date
    Feb. 8, 2006
    Location
    NE OK
    Posts
    608

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Alagirl View Post
    but I guess she could get quail to roam?
    Guineas. Yes, they are big, but pretty self sufficent. give them a place to roost at first, keep a bag of feed by the back door, and once they are grown you'll just need to fling them feed once a day. the rest of the time they will roam being tick and flea control. If you get chicks, keep them in a big footlocker sized plastic bin in the garage or kitchen with a heat lamp and food and water until they are big enough to flap their way out of the bin, them put them outside in the roosting spot, and you are pretty much done. Chickens are not much harder though. mine lived in a big dog house inside a dog run, and all I did was let them out in the morning, grab the eggs, throw some treat type food, and close the gate a night after they all roosted. Less than 5 minutes a day actual chore time once they went outside and never had to buy flea control for the three dogs.
    If you don't want the eggs you could feed them to dogs.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  4. #44
    Join Date
    Aug. 15, 2009
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    1,979

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    I have a coop, but mine only go in to lay. I used to shut them up at night, but they started breaking free, so I am just letting them be. They free range our 7 acres, I toss them some BOSS and layer mix once a day and keep water out (they share with the dogs). That's it here. Yes, there will be some losses, but I have two that we got as newly hatched chicks two years ago. I'd rather than roam free and live a shorter time than be confined and live a decade.



  5. #45
    Join Date
    Feb. 6, 2007
    Location
    Maryland USA
    Posts
    1,563

    Default

    This has not started out too well. Collected my box of chickens from the post office, to find one strong one on top of 26 dead ones.

    I assume that's reasonably uncommon, or the hatchery would go broke, so I'll get a replacement delivery and hope for better luck.

    From the tracking it looks like they took a long route to get here and I think a third cold night finished them off.



  6. #46
    Join Date
    Sep. 5, 2011
    Posts
    2,966

    Default

    Awwww - that's a shame. And yes, it is relatively uncommon. But this is pretty early for chick shipping (even though most hatcheries do start shipping in Feb.) without heat packs.



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