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Old 06-17-2017, 07:16 AM   #41
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I have compared keeping chickens to having an aquarium hobby, where $400 worth of stuff is required to maintain $8 worth of fish.

I have a daughter who lives with us who has enough interest in the project to feed and water the birds while we go camping. She's on a vegan diet. Says she won't eat the eggs and was a bit negative towards the project for a while. But the real reason for her downer attitude slipped out the other day. She knows chickens have a "useful life" of "X" amount of time and then must be "retired" She is afraid she'll become attached to them.

I have a high school buddy down the street as well. I'm sure his thrifty wife would walk up here to check the feed and water just to get free organic eggs.

Sweet Wife worries about wild creatures, everything from snakes to owls, getting into the pen. I told her we'd do everything we could to keep them out, and then be sure to write that tithe check.
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Old 06-23-2017, 08:13 PM   #42
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Default Chickeneering and Eggonomics

The Chickeneering phase of the project has come to and end. The Eggonomic phase should begin about August 1st

Finally done with major construction, a photo report of the girls coming out to see the run enclosure.

Pic 1.

The run enclosure and the coop. The tarp gives shelter from the sun and rain. The open frame on the ground will become a greens garden for the birds. The cinder blocks and boards keep critters from digging in (hopefully) and the frame is completely wrapped in 2x4 welded wire fence.

Pic 2

Abigail, Beatrice and Charolette all confer about the outside world and how to navigate the ramp.

Pic 3

All the Barred Rocks are out of the coop and having a look around the enclosure. They are bolder and more curious than the New Hampshire Reds. The B. Rocks would always look out the coop "windows" and watch us as we finished work on the enclosure.

Pic 4

Finally, curiosity gets the best of the N.H. Reds, Daphnie, Edna and Frank all come out to see the outside world. Frank has gender issues, We don't have a rooster. (There's always one.)

After construction of the coop, the door and frame were the biggest carpentry project. I found out (or remembered) that preservative treated wood is bascily water-logged and darned heavy. I assembled the door/frame on the driveway and had to get B-I-L to come help us move it back to the enclosure - it hadn't dried out and was still really heavy. Thanks, Steve!

Pic 5

And my day is done. Almost all the chickeneering is done. Just one or two minor things to go. The eggonomics should start about August 1st. Fresh organic eggs. Big brown eggs. With any luck.
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Old 06-25-2017, 10:33 AM   #43
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All I can say is pretty fancy digs for 6 cluckers. Is there a limit on the number of chickens you can have? Looks like there will be room for more. Can you tell which hen is which and do they come when you call their name. My cousin had a pet chicken that would do that. He called it Penny and if there were a couple dozen hens out in the farmyard and he called it's name it would come running to him.
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Old 06-25-2017, 06:58 PM   #44
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The county says we can have up to 6 hens and no roosters on our 1 acre lot. Fortunately we are not within city limits. I think based on the space we have we might try 8 next time.

Just don't tell anybody

We keep a lot of straw in the coop. Even with 6 birds there is very little stink and they make no noise. They are still, however, determining the pecking order.

We named the Barred Rocks Abigail, Beatrice and Charlotte.
The NH Reds are Daphne, Edna and Frank. (we don't have a rooster. Frank has gender issues.)

I can't tell them apart visually but if you watch them awhile you can sort them out. There are marked personality differences. The Rocks are more curious and friendly. The Reds are more reserved and have greater common sense. Frank figured out yo can have your choice of best spot on the inside roosts if you come back in early (beat the crowd) in the evening.

Charlotte is the most curious and outgoing, but the Rocks have to be encouraged to go back in the coop at night or during a thunderstorm. They also don't object to being handled the way the Reds do.

But none of them will respond to a name.
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Old 06-25-2017, 07:05 PM   #45
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CABBAGE BALL SCORES: Reds vs Rocks 0 - 0.
And after a short season both teams are 0 - 12.

Post season my be cancelled due to lack of interest.

At a friends suggestion:

What you do is drill a hole through a cabbage (Interesting experience) run a cord through the hole and hang it so it swings free just above the ground. The chickens then attack/play with the cabbage with joyus abandon while consuming their rations of green fiber. Friend said it was great fun to watch a poultry version of tether ball or volleyball.



Nada, Nothing.

I guess they've never seen a cabbage before and aren't sure what to do with it. Maybe they'll figure it out. Charlotte was, of course, curious about it. But lost interest.

Oh well, all I have invested in it is a cabbage and some string.
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Old 06-25-2017, 07:19 PM   #46
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Yeh, what's the chances of all 8 hens being outside at the same time, just don't mix in another breed. The Reds are a heavier chicken and probably not as flighty as the Rocks. We had Rhode Island Reds and if you ran after one of them with your arm out they would just sit down and you could then pick it up. Do they have tell tale marking that you know which is which for names? or do they have name badges?

Like I mentioned before, get a watermelon and of course eat the good stuff yourself and give the hens the rind, they will go nuts over it, nothing left but a paper thin shell.

I assume you will compost the straw you take out of the coop. Put it on the strawberry bed in the fall after the berry harvest and the next spring you will have a great crop of berries.
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