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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by mpsbarnmanager View Post
    Chickens are gross. Really. My little brother had chickens as a teenager. They stink unless you clean the enclosure daily. And free range chickens make messes in flower beds, rooting in the worst possible places. They are not worth the trouble to me; its not like eggs are expensive.
    little brother+teenager+care of chickens--that explains the "gross" and "stink comments.
    I LOVE my Chickens!


    2 members found this post helpful.

  2. #22
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    Jun. 4, 2002
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    Well, I have several hundred chickens between broilers for meat and layers for eggs and obviously I'm not getting rid of them. I'm unable to eat a store bought egg now..that might be a downside to some people. I also find store bought chicken utterly tasteless...the ones you raise are so much better...so that can be a downside also. You will become a chicken/egg snob.

    If you saw my possum thread you have to realize that you will be forced to defend them from varmints. You saw what sketcher went through...I've never had that much trouble before keeping anything out but I've dealt mainly with hawks, owls, dogs, possums and skunks. Electric netting works well for outside birds for all but raptors and that takes aviary netting which isn't cheap...you should see the elaborate netting I have up in a pretty large area now...I had a pesky Cooper Hawk picking off my pullets last winter and that was finally how I got rid of him. I haven't found anything that scares off a determined hawk yet and about all you can do is take away their food supply and hope they move on. They are protected also.

    They can be noisy and messy. Roosters crow at the butt crack of dawn and hens can "talk" very loudly when they lay an egg. I find them less annoying than a barking dog though. Their antics can be funny until they hop in the gator and knock over your horse feed tubs...then they are annoying. Generally though they are pretty easy to control. Muscovy Ducks however are much smarter and will get in where you don't want them..ie my barn...I have 3 ducks sitting on nests in my barn now. They won...I gave up.

    If you can free range them some, cleaning up is not as bad as if you have to confine them 24/7...but they do produce a lot of poop.

    They eat a startling amount of feed...and when the price goes up $2/bag in one day like it did last fall, that really hits in the pocketbook. They do however eat kitchen scraps and can forage a lot of their diets helping with the feed bill.

    The best and calmest ones I've found to date are Delawares and Welsummers. Some of the other breeds can be quite aggressive to each other and I had one Barred Plymouth Rock rooster who attacked me and my boarder. He ended up in the freezer but consider that if you get a rooster. Rhode island Red roosters are notoriously aggressive...so try and pick a docile breed. Don't squat down in front of them also as that is a turn on to them....if you get my meaning.



  3. #23
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    Dec. 20, 2000
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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. Diagnosing and treating them medically I have found to be infinitely more difficult than treating a dog/cat or horse. Vets in my area have limited knowledge so you must rely on books and online forums. Their diseases are far more serious, deadly and pandemic--sometimes taking out your entire flock. I could go on, but previous posters have mentioned other valid points I don't need to repeat.
    LOL, this is totally my husband and me. Thankfully, we've never had any contagious diseases, but have discovered what egg bound, sour crop, egg yolk peritonitis, and other health issues are. The chickens have broken my heart many times because I get so attached but they are worth it.
    Most people I know who have gotten into chickens really enjoy it.



  4. #24
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    Apr. 17, 2002
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    between the barn and the pond
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    we had RIRs for a few years then a coon managed to kill them. We've built a stouter coop and buried wire around it's perimeter and there's wire across the top of their pen. Right now it's just two blue laced red Wyandottes (sp?) they are cute and fun to watch. They are spooky about people (got them at about 6 weeks maybe, in early April. they like to come to their fence to get apple pieces through the wire or grass I've pulled, but if I go in there they scoot away. I need to spend more pen time with them



  5. #25
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    Oct. 4, 2002
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    Connecticut, USA
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    I'm a recent "Chook-convert", having just gotten three RI Red hens about a month ago.

    I was assured that they take less care than cats, and it's true!

    However, converting an old shed into a secure coop w/ exterior run was expensive, I have to admit. I probably would've been better off just buying a ready-made coop; however, I had an old shed and wanted to make it useful, and now it's sort of a "Club Med" for chickens.

    I opted not to get chicks, but pullets - young birds but old enough not to need the coddling that chicks need. I'd definitely do that again.

    I'm enjoying my three eggs a day, but just as much how personable those chooks have become. They're changing my assumption about how stupid chickens are. Let's just say, the girls are already adept at manipulating me and my "carpenter" neighbor who's been converting the shed to a coop -- and spoiling the girls rotten so they now demand offerings whenever a human approaches! nope. they're not that stupid after all!



  6. #26
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    Dec. 20, 2000
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    Quote Originally Posted by JeanM View Post


    I'm enjoying my three eggs a day, but just as much how personable those chooks have become. They're changing my assumption about how stupid chickens are. Let's just say, the girls are already adept at manipulating me and my "carpenter" neighbor who's been converting the shed to a coop -- and spoiling the girls rotten so they now demand offerings whenever a human approaches! nope. they're not that stupid after all!
    Yes, my husband is the one who wanted the chickens (for eggs, when he was going through produce-your-own-food-for-the-end-of the world phase) but it really surprised me how much personality they have. They definitely went from being food producers to pets for us.



  7. #27
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    Jan. 21, 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bacardi1 View Post
    Uh - they only ". . . smell. Bad." if you don't take care of them properly. Nuff said.
    I have to disagree here. My barn owner has a flock of well-kept, free-range chickens. They have lots of space and are healthy. She cleans up after them regularly so the farm doesn't smell like bird. HOWEVER, having scrubbed up after them while she's away, I have decided that I will never own chickens. I don't care for the texture of their droppings and I think they smell terrible. I'm sure it's just a matter of preference. Horse manure, for example, doesn't bother me, but offends some. The birds themselves don't smell bad, which I think is what you're getting at.

    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.
    I have to agree. The opinions of COTH shouldn't matter, though first hand experiences or pros and cons might be useful. I think doing a lot of research from reputable sources is your best bet.



  8. #28
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    Feb. 4, 2009
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    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.



  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by saratoga View Post
    LOL, this is totally my husband and me. Thankfully, we've never had any contagious diseases, but have discovered what egg bound, sour crop, egg yolk peritonitis, and other health issues are. The chickens have broken my heart many times because I get so attached but they are worth it.
    Most people I know who have gotten into chickens really enjoy it.
    Just over the holiday weekend I had a rooster with a tick bite reaction--I was so thankful that I saw the tick because his face swelled so bad both his eyes were shut--I can just imagine the extreme panic I would have gone through had I not seen the tick! I love my chicky-babes to the point of insanity LOL!
    I LOVE my Chickens!



  10. #30
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    Dec. 29, 2012
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    You are supposed to expect a 20% loss of flock a year due to predators and sickness.



  11. #31
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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.
    This has absolutely ZERO to do with the proper way to keep chickens. It has to do with an issue between you & your neighbor & your neighbor's inability to keep chickens properly. Not everyone keeps chickens that way. My neighbors didn't even know I had chickens until I started showing up with eggs - lol!

    Quote Originally Posted by Hulk View Post
    You are supposed to expect a 20% loss of flock a year due to predators and sickness.
    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.)



  12. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hulk View Post
    You are supposed to expect a 20% loss of flock a year due to predators and sickness.
    Maybe I've been lucky, but I've lost maybe 5% a year and mostly to predators...hawks are by far the worst...and my own dogs who got loose once. :-( I loose very few to disease or other problems. The broilers go outside in electric netting paddocks by 4 weeks or so and are locked in an owl proof coop at night...learned the hard way on that. The hens/roosters (layers) do free range but other than a few "death-by-misadventure" drownings by falling into a water trough, I have very few losses.

    My chicks do pretty well too and out of a 125 broilers (Freedom Rangers...no Cornish X) I might loose one or two in the brooder from pasty butt or something. Keep it clean and water clean and you have very little trouble if you get the hardy sorts and stay away from the Cornish X which are very fragile. I also deal only with hatcheries with a good record of getting the chicks to me quickly and in good condition. From the Freedom Ranger hatchery, they nearly always arrive alive and in good shape.

    I feed no medicated feed at all and just don't feel like I need it. That is a big plus for my sales as most of my customers are looking for antibiotic free meat and eggs.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  13. #33
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    Jan. 21, 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bacardi1 View Post
    This has absolutely ZERO to do with the proper way to keep chickens. It has to do with an issue between you & your neighbor & your neighbor's inability to keep chickens properly. Not everyone keeps chickens that way. My neighbors didn't even know I had chickens until I started showing up with eggs - lol!
    This is so true. Our neighbors have no idea there are chickens. They stay near the barns.


    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.)
    We lock our chickens up at night and haven't lost one to a predator in nearly two years.



  14. #34
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    Feb. 4, 2009
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    [QUOTE=Bacardi1;7011845]This has absolutely ZERO to do with the proper way to keep chickens. It has to do with an issue between you & your neighbor & your neighbor's inability to keep chickens properly. Not everyone keeps chickens that way. My neighbors didn't even know I had chickens until I started showing up with eggs - lol!

    Of course it doesn't. I just took the opportunity to vent. Keep in mind my neighbors have a dairy goat and were eagerly awaiting the time she would start producing milk. Imagine their surprise when we told them that she needed to be bred before she was going to produce any milk.

    They have a sheep and a goat in a little pen, a flock of about 40 mixed fowl (ducks, chickens, & geese), a dozen intact cats that roam, and a barking dog. On an acre. They talked about getting a pony but so far that hasn't happened.

    I'm still not fond of chickens but if they're well kept I have no objections.



  15. #35
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    Mar. 26, 2005
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    mswillie: sorry your neighbors aren't better poultry-keepers.

    But for those who think chickens smell, sorry - I have to side with megaladon & Bacardi1:
    Not unless you aren't keeping your coop clean!

    harnessphoto: maybe your BO is feeding something that makes the droppings extra stinky?
    I feed Nutrena layer pellets along with treats of Boss and kitchen scraps and can't say the smell is noticeable.

    Ditto for my coop - a converted metal garden shed - now housing 4 hens (down from 6 & a rooster).
    I scoop poop daily and sweep out the whole coop once a year, then replace the pine shavings bedding.
    I sprinkle Sevin under the shavings to control mites/lice and add shavings as needed.
    A 40# bale of shavings lasts me at least 6 months.

    OP: hope you go ahead and get yourself some pullets.
    Chicken TV is a cheap source of amusement
    *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
    Steppin' Out 1988-2004
    Hey Vern! 1982-2009
    Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009



  16. #36
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    Mar. 23, 2005
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    Unless you get pullets and one rooster instead of straight run, expect a 50/50 ratio of guys and gals. I for one hate rooster fights..they will fight til death and it can be gruesome.

    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"!!



  17. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2DogsFarm View Post
    harnessphoto: maybe your BO is feeding something that makes the droppings extra stinky?
    Barn owner feeds Nutrena Layer pellets too. They're not extra stinky. I just don't like the smell they do have. Their droppings gross me out. The coop is clean. Cleaning it is how I know I don't LIKE cleaning up after chickens. I could scoop manure all day and be perfectly happy, but chicken poop squicks me out. It's just a personal preference.



  18. #38
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    I love my chickens! They are staying in a chicken tractor for the summer and we will have the permanent coop/run built in time for winter. They free range for about 3 hours/day during the week and all day on the weekends. We built the chicken tractor with no floor in the run or coop, so no cleaning to do -- just move the whole thing a few feet over every couple of days.

    I plan to do a deep litter bed over the winter, so that will just get cleaned out once in the spring. They are pretty low maintenance.
    Jigga:
    Why must you chastise my brilliant idea with facts and logic? **picks up toys (and wine) and goes home**



  19. #39
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    Jul. 30, 2005
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    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/
    Horse Show Names Free name website with over 6200 names. Want to add? PM me!



  20. #40
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    Oct. 27, 2011
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    On the topic of smelly poop, I just read about the rehab of two Canada goslings at our local bird vet's. One had normal smelly poop and the other had bad smelly poop which was apparently due to a bacterium. Maybe that's what's going on with some of these "gross" chickens?

    (A longish article about the goslings, starts on page two: http://www.nyswrc.org/2013winter.pdf )



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