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  1. #41
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    Jul. 13, 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by Megaladon View Post
    Well, if you are anything like me, you become emotionally invested and then proceed to worry about them like crazy.
    This is one of my concerns



  2. #42
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    Jul. 13, 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bacardi1 View Post
    To the OP. It's idiotic to make a decision on whether or not to have chickens based on responses on an internet board. If you're interested - DO SOME RESEARCH - online or via books (most libraries have a good selection), then make a decision as to whether or not you're up to the task of keeping them.
    "Idiotic" is a bit harsh, but what I really object to is following it up with the command "READ." Apart from the insulting implication - you are too dumb to think of reading unless it's suggested - the comment in my specific case increases the sum total of irony in the universe to dangerous levels.


    4 members found this post helpful.

  3. #43
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    Jan. 14, 2003
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    Massachusetts
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    5,701

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    Quote Originally Posted by harnessphoto View Post
    We lock our chickens up at night and haven't lost one to a predator in nearly two years.
    That might depend on where you live.

    I live up against an animal sanctuary in a rural area with a lot of woods. I've seen hawks, fox, possums, racoons, rabbits, deer in the road in front of my house, coyote, fisher cats and even a moose once in my back yard. We have a lot of wildlife up close and personal. We have bears living in the cemetery down the street and I'm pretty sure it was a bear that destroyed my 3 bird feeders in the backyard. And large cats have been seen in the area. I've seen a fox trot out into the yard, take the neighbors chicken and go trotting off in the middle of the day. They say that if you have chickens and lock them up tight at night, if the animals have to they will start coming in the daytime.

    So cross your fingers. Either you do not live in an area with a lot of predatory critters or you have really good luck if you are letting them out during the day!



  4. #44
    Join Date
    Feb. 28, 2006
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    The rocky part of KY
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    Quote Originally Posted by sketcher View Post
    . . . They say that if you have chickens and lock them up tight at night, if the animals have to they will start coming in the daytime.
    . . .
    Yes, even though we don't live anywhere near a sanctuary we are way out in the country and we have let out 10 chix in the AM and had only 9 return - sometimes they are busy brooding and other times we hunt around and find the *pouf* of feathers. Only one occasion have we had one get away from a predator and been sure of it - at dawn on a Sunday I heard a muffled clucking traveling past our bedroom window and suddenly had this terrible fear - we both bolted out of bed in our jammies and I darned near stepped on the roo, who was hunkered down in the grass in some strange place - his beautiful tail feathers were mostly gone and we found them in clumps heading off towards the neighbors' yard - they of the unconfined dogs . . . it's tough. We had the hen and her chicks confined specially and whatever it was tore the hardware cloth free of its fasteners, got in there and we had two little broken necks and one fluttering and mortally wounded, with big mama clucking like mad and adding to the mess, I was so mad and so sad at the same time . . .
    Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
    Incredible Invisible



  5. #45
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    Feb. 28, 2006
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    The rocky part of KY
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    And then you have to start deciding whether the skunks and the raccoons and the possums and snakes get to live . . . or die. Just not fun.
    Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
    Incredible Invisible


    1 members found this post helpful.

  6. #46
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    Dec. 19, 2012
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    518

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    As someone who has never had a free-range egg, can you guys explain what is different about it? How does it taste compared to the regular cheap eggs at the grocery store? City gal here, sorry guys.



  7. #47
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    Jun. 17, 2007
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    347

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    TBPONY, hmmmm, well there is no such thing as a free range egg (although the visual is very funny of an egg rolling along the back paddock). However, a free range chicken is a chicken that is allowed to roam free of a fenced area for a certain amount of time each day. That chicken eats bugs, veggies and other good stuff and will then lay an egg (usually in its coop) that tastes superior to store bought eggs.



  8. #48
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    Mar. 10, 2007
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    Montana
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    An egg from a chicken that is wandering around at will is very rich, very dark yolked. Sometimes they're almost too rich-I have a fried egg on toast for breakfast every single day and sometimes the yolks are TOO rich!

    I've had the same 13 chickens for about four years now-they free range most of the time but we do lock them up when we can catch them in the coop at night. I have a LGD but he can't get to where the chickens roost. something tried to grab my white duck this year but only injured her but mostly I have had NO predator problems in years, literally years. I live in extreme NW MT and last winter several dogs were killed by wolves within a mile of my house. Mountain lions, weasels, skunks, coons, wolves, coyotes, all a daily part of life here but my chickens are doing just fine. lock them up at night and let your dog bark sometimes and you'll be fine.

    If you want. some people just don't like chickens and if that's the case they're easy to give away. Some people think they won't like them and then realize how much personality they have and enjoy the eggs and find out they have a farmer gene and really enjoy them. Nothing ventured...



  9. #49
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    Dec. 31, 2009
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    Area 51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bacardi1 View Post



    Where did you hear that nonsense? Perhaps that's true if your chickens live out 24/7, but certainly not a fact for everyone. My last two girls lived to be 12 & 15 years old. (But then, I was really into taking care of them properly. Go figure.)
    I've read this in a book too, Storey's Guide, I believe. I think it's a pretty accurate ratio to go by considering my dog took half of my flock.
    I LOVE my Chickens!



  10. #50
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    Mar. 12, 2006
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    Ocala
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    Quote Originally Posted by mswillie View Post
    They stink. And if they are free range they range into the neighbors yard shi**ing all over the top of and under said neighbors porch, which, when the temperature gets up much over 75 degrees sets up a stink so bad that the neighbor is forced to close the front of the house.

    And they range into the neighbors garden, pecking and destroying their tomatoes and other veggies. And once in a while you get a rooster instead of a hen which then begins relentless crowing. At 5 AM. When the neighbor, who would like to open her windows on one of those rare beautiful early summer nights would like to sleep in past dawn on a weekend as she rises daily at 5:30 am to go to work the other 5 days a week.

    FTR. I'm the neighbor.
    You know what? Your problem is the neighbor, not the chickens. If they had horses they didnt contain, guess what? They'd be in your yard crapping (BIG) piles of crap, they'd stink and they'd eat your gardens. So the problem here isnt the chickens.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  11. #51
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    May. 21, 2012
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    I don't have chickens currently- but I did love them dearly and really loved their eggs- compared to store bought eggs- and the thought of the lives of the factory hens- I really feel sick to use store bought eggs.. they look anemic and it's not just looks- the nutrition breakdown between factory farm eggs and true free range grass fed poultry is night and day.

    Here is a picture of two of my farm eggs compared to a store bought egg.

    Here is a nutritional chart hosted by Mother Earth News- showing the difference between the nationally accepted egg nutrients- and the TESTED levels in the eggs from pastured flocks of their readers.



  12. #52
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    Mar. 9, 2004
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    Quote Originally Posted by Salar View Post
    But, the enabling side of me would suggest they are the most amusing creatures alive. My favorite saying is "who need television when you have chickens"!!
    We call it chicken TV. One of my favorite things to do is go down to the pen, toss some blueberries and watch the show.

    I really enjoy my chickens, so I'm not doing to dis-enable anyone.
    "You can't blame other people. You can't always say what happened wasn't my fault, and you know what? Even if you have an excuse, shut up. "Bruce Davidson Sr.



  13. #53
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2007
    Location
    TX
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    40,131

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    Just think that some times we are in love with the IDEA of something, but not necessarily with the realities that may involve.

    Who would not love to have some cute, fun chickens to care for, eggs you raise yourself for breakfast, when you can forget that the chicken just ate that one baby mice that it found by the flower pot?

    As far as caring for them, really that should not be a problem.
    We used sand for bedding in their coop and cleaned it out and put fresh once a week, dusting for mites then.

    They would take dust baths in the sand in there and so dust themselves clean.

    We never had a problem with waterers getting dirty, we had the plastic ones with small holes and put that one purple pill in there to keep bugs off.

    We fed a commercial layer chicken feed and put out oyster shell for them to pick on, plus all kinds of kitchen and garden leftovers.

    We kept ours in their coop at night and chicken yard in the daytime and never lost one to predators, although we did trap regularly skunks and coons trying to claw in there.
    Sardines are your friend in those traps.

    We sold our eggs to the local restaurant and the cook reserved them to make pies, said they were the best for that.

    Our shelter gets some people wanting to adopt dogs or cats that have not thought past the IDEA of having a critter around for entertainment, forgot or just don't know that they will take resources of time, energy and money to care for.

    Once they think this thru better, some still want to adopt, a few decide against that.
    BE SURE you want chickens themselves, not just like the IDEA of having some of them pecking around.



  14. #54
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    Mar. 13, 2007
    Location
    Tennessee
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    "Dogs give and give and give. Cats are the gift that keeps on grifting." –Bradley Trevor Greive


    2 members found this post helpful.

  15. #55
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    Dec. 2, 2009
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    They lay eggs in your horse's stalls and then you have eggs all over everywhere because no one wants to eat them anymore

    13 hens are too many for my family, after 4 years!



  16. #56
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    Feb. 9, 2005
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    Upper Midwest
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    Mites? Do they automatically have them? What do you use to "dust" the coop? I haven't seen my chickens show any signs of mites, so that's why I'm asking. They have dug out a nice spot under the horse trailer for dirt baths though.

    I've had 4 hens for a couple months now and they are hilarious. They follow me around like we are in a parade. 2 Rhode Island Reds (Pam and Cheryl), 1 Buff Orphington (she lays the fewest eggs, but is the most pet-like), Lana, and 1 beautiful Brahma, Mallory Archer (there is a theme here). I really want to get an Easter Egger too.They were a year old when I was given them, and I know the breeds were chosen originally for dual purpose and cold hardiness. Think about chicken keeping in the winter as you debate whether or not to get them is my advice.

    They free range all day long. I'm going to be sad when a hawk gets one, but so far so good. They are very happy wandering the farm. I am resigned to what may happen.

    Free range negative is that they poop here and there. I'm going to be fencing them "out" of my back yard seating area. Our property is surrounded on two sides by woods and on one side by a field and the other is hwy. They show no desire to go 400 feet over to the highway through an exposed pasture, nor do they seem to want to cross the road to my neighbor's (there is too much to do in the woods inbetween).

    The eggs are amazing. The yolks are a deep orange.

    The biggest drawback is being home 2x a day to take care of them. Vacations are hard. Also, I have spent a lot of money on the coop. Which is much larger than I need for 4 chickens, but I like to be able to walk into it with a wheelbarrow, etc. Also, I will run electricity there before winter so I can do heated waterers. I got a big galvanized hanging waterer for now and I'm glad I went large.

    I don't think I would want chickens if they couldn't free range all day. That would be a lot more work and I like that they are eating the spiders and things around the base of the house. They all lay their eggs under the bush by the stoop instead of in their roost, though.

    I also think 4 is a really nice number for a family. Enough eggs to give some away, but nothing crazy as far as maintenance/cleaning/feed bills.
    Siouxland Sporthorses: http://slsfarm.blogspot.com/

    DIY Journey of Remodeling the Farmette: http://weownblackacre.blogspot.com/



  17. #57
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    Dec. 31, 2009
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    Area 51
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    Quote Originally Posted by chestnutmarebeware View Post
    Too adorable!
    I LOVE my Chickens!



  18. #58
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    Dec. 20, 2000
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    1,089

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    Quote Originally Posted by kookicat View Post
    I like my chickens.

    They're really not that much work and while the poop does smell, show me poop that doesn't... It goes in the muck heap with everything else and rots down very nicely.

    The eggs are lovely and I get lots of them.

    Mine are all ex-battery hens. http://www.bhwt.org.uk/cms/re-home-some-hens/
    Aw, those poor hens..I wish there were adoption programs in the US but then Id probably have hundreds of them!
    For predators it helps greatly if you can have a dog outside with them. Our dogs are out all day and we used to keep them out most nights too. It wasn't until we let them in every night that we had a predator attack. Of course some peoples' dogs will kill the chickens! But that doesnt fly at my place.



  19. #59
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    Jan. 21, 2011
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    272

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    Quote Originally Posted by sketcher View Post
    That might depend on where you live.

    I live up against an animal sanctuary in a rural area with a lot of woods. I've seen hawks, fox, possums, racoons, rabbits, deer in the road in front of my house, coyote, fisher cats and even a moose once in my back yard. We have a lot of wildlife up close and personal. We have bears living in the cemetery down the street and I'm pretty sure it was a bear that destroyed my 3 bird feeders in the backyard. And large cats have been seen in the area. I've seen a fox trot out into the yard, take the neighbors chicken and go trotting off in the middle of the day. They say that if you have chickens and lock them up tight at night, if the animals have to they will start coming in the daytime.

    So cross your fingers. Either you do not live in an area with a lot of predatory critters or you have really good luck if you are letting them out during the day!
    We have foxes, coyotes, and hawks. We also have a really good farm dog who keeps the foxes back. We HAVE been lucky on the chicken front. The guinea hens (who like to roost up high, but protest being locked up) have not been as fortunate. It probably helps to have a pretty busy farm and birds that don't stray far.



  20. #60
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    Jul. 28, 2004
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    ...right where I want to be
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    Last year our city passed an ordinance allowing 4 hens per household within city limits. We are now the proud owners of 4 Comets, just under a year old. They easily lay 4 eggs a day(even through the winter) and keep us and friends with a more then adequate supply. They are the calmest hens I have ever owned, very quiet and mellow, my neighbors never had a clue we even had chickens till we told them. They are penned 24/7(requirement of the ordinance) and only "talk" when laying. They do not stink and are probably the easiest animal to care for that I have ever owned. Our coop is a 3 sided lean-to type structure off our detached garage. The open side has a strong mesh front and is reinforced to prevent predators from digging into the coop. DH added a roll down cover for the front for when we get really nasty storms, he doesn't want his girls to suffer.

    Like any pet, a little planning and thought before purchase goes a long way!



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