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muck

I just bought 25 chickens

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Human females also produce eggs without having sex. It's just the sex part is needed to turn that egg into a baby. Same with hens. The funny thing is how many women I've had to use this explanation with. "Um, you do know what your period is all about, don't you?"

 

And they don't lay eggs at random. If you get breeds that are known for laying as opposed to meat, you'll get 5-6 eggs per week except during the shortest or hottest days of the year.

 

5 to 6 eggs per chicken per week... Could you imagine how much your life would suck if your wife were ovulating that often?

 

I was under the impression that they laid eggs after they had had a cock in them... Pun intended.

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5 to 6 eggs per chicken per week... Could you imagine how much your life would suck if your wife were ovulating that often?

 

I was under the impression that they laid eggs after they had had a cock in them... Pun intended.

Trust me. I've wondered. They're not that big and the eggs kind of are. Additionally, either they work really freaking fast, or they've got one brewing while the other is about to hatch, so there's got to be room for two in there pretty much at all times. Not to mention that the shells are hard.

 

I do know this, when they were still young and a bit smaller, they made a lot of freaking noise when they laid the eggs. Probably freaking hurt a bunch.

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After reading this entire thread I just called Directv and Cancelled the Nature Channel.

 

Thanks guy!!

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Just so you know, if you end up with more than one rooster then you may have to deal with spurs as well. Also watch them closely with small kids as sometimes they feel threatened and can do some real damage.

 

This. We got one rooster with our first batch of hens when I was a kid. He was aggressive and attacked a small cousin one day - never in my life ever saw my dad so mad. He chased that rooster around our large yard until he connected with a lucky swing of a 2 x 4 and ended the rooster's reign of terror. :wacko:

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QUOTE (rajncajn @ 2/23/12 10:35am)

Just so you know, if you end up with more than one rooster then you may have to deal with spurs as well. Also watch them closely with small kids as sometimes they feel threatened and can do some real damage. Of course you will also want to keep them separated unless you want to eat fertilized eggs and/or have chicks. My uncles used to keep the roosters separate & then had a separate pen when they wanted to pair them up for breeding.

 

Good points and, honestly, I don't know why you'd even want a Rooster. Peeps are cheap enough so I'd just keep buying new peeps to replace the older hens once they stopped laying. I think ours were like $6 each, which seems like a small price to pay to avoid all the hassles.

 

Mind you, roosters aren't even allowed in our city limits, so that wasn't even on the table if we wanted them.

 

 

Its amazing to me that a town in the south has a rooster ban. That's hilarious.

 

When we move to the famine farm I'm getting a dozen or so hens and a rooster. While Muck's chicken are quite attractive I'm getting some from the local Pilgrim hatchery. I hope they don't band together and drag up and kill the neighbors ostrich. These are some seriously gigantic birds.

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Polk ... consider the amount of feed necessary to feed to get each ounce of eggs... You may want smaller birds.

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Polk ... consider the amount of feed necessary to feed to get each ounce of eggs... You may want smaller birds.

 

Not if he plans on eating the chickens too.

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That's pretty much it. What you get in the stores is unfertilized. Some people like them, but fertilized to me is kinda, for lack of a better term, gross. Which is why I wanted to give muck a little heads up.

 

When my son was in preschool they did the "hatch eggs in the incubator" thing. One morning making breakfast, my son proclaimed that it was pretty cool that we could buy eggs with the chickens taken out of them.

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Not if he plans on eating the chickens too.

 

 

indeed. I'm also gonna use them for varmint control.

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Its amazing to me that a town in the south has a rooster ban. That's hilarious.

 

When we move to the famine farm I'm getting a dozen or so hens and a rooster. While Muck's chicken are quite attractive I'm getting some from the local Pilgrim hatchery. I hope they don't band together and drag up and kill the neighbors ostrich. These are some seriously gigantic birds.

 

Hell, until about a year or two ago, you couldn't even have hens in Durham city limits. It seemed to me that many were so afraid of being thought of as some backwoods town. Oddly enough, it was mostly us yankee interlopers who were most hell-bent on getting it through. So, now you can but with plenty of restrictions and I actually had to have some dude from inspections come out and approve my coop. All-in-all, it seems over the top but everything they ask you to do makes sense for the well-being of the chickens. In other words, if your coop and pen and such are not up to their standards, you're likely flirting with disease, predators, or filth. All of which would make you a pretty crappy neighbor. So, I don't mind it because it does protect us from being exactly what people feared when they outlawed keeping chickens.

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They arrived on Saturday.

 

The company was nice enough to include a couple of extras. So, now, we're at 28 chickens!

 

Very cute (right now).

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Whenever this thread gets bumped I always think to myself "I just choked one."

 

:lol:

 

Sorry to interupt.

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Looking for a place to post these thoughts and figured this may be as good a spot as any. There's one very valuable lesson I've learned raising chickens:

 

We all know the horror stories about chickens being raised in little tiny boxes barely big enough to turn around in, if that. I think many, and I'll include myself prior to being shown the light, might rationalize it by saying, "What the hell, it's a freaking chicken. Maybe they're too stupid to even care."

 

Now, I'm not saying my chickens are smart, not by any stretch. However, I can assure you that, at least once they've seen the difference, they know it. They're smart enough to know that it's a hell of a lot more fun to run around on the grass than be locked up. And, keep in mind, our coop is like a luxury penthouse compared to even what passes for more humane digs in the commercial world. Yet, because we've let them out of that coop and into the fenced veggie garden, they now squack like mad every morning when we go out there wanting to be let out. The second we open the door, they bolt for freedom.

 

Our fenced veggie garden is inside our fenced back yard. They rarely get to play in the backyard proper because of the dogs. However, when I take the dogs to the woods for their morning run, we open up the gate to the veggie garden and let them out. Same story. Now, everytime we go in and out of the veggie garden gate, the chickens come running, hoping to be let out. Now we're finding them spending more and more time by the gate that closes in the yard, as if they want out of that. Sorry ladies, the fun ends here.

 

This whole thing didn't take long. It didn't take long for the chickens to not only prefer being able to stretch out and play around in the yard, but actively crave it. They may not be that smart, but they're at least on it enough to know what they like.

 

This may not be a revelation to all, but it has certainly made me think more and more about what sort of chicken I'm willing to buy for dinner. Fortunately, I've already got the eggs thing covered.

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Det --- your comments also reflect our choices about beef, hence the upcoming (modest) launch of our little cattle enterprise.

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Det, have you had any issues yet with them going over the fence yet?

Edited by rajncajn

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Det, have you had any issues yet with them going over the fence yet?

 

My home office faces the front yard, opposite side of the house than the coop is. One day, I was likely wasting time here when through my window I peeped all four chickens running across the lawn. So, yes, I have.

 

We've since taken to clipping the flight feathers on one wing. Basically, the wing has two levels of feathers and if you clip the last 10, they can't really fly well. In fact, it makes more sense to just do one side than both. If you do both, they can still sort of fly, if you do just one, they can't really at all because they're unbalanced. Since then, we haven't had any issues.

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My home office faces the front yard, opposite side of the house than the coop is. One day, I was likely wasting time here when through my window I peeped all four chickens running across the lawn. So, yes, I have.

 

We've since taken to clipping the flight feathers on one wing. Basically, the wing has two levels of feathers and if you clip the last 10, they can't really fly well. In fact, it makes more sense to just do one side than both. If you do both, they can still sort of fly, if you do just one, they can't really at all because they're unbalanced. Since then, we haven't had any issues.

 

Nod. I was going to suggest clipping. Your post about them figuring out that they liked roaming outside the fence made me think that once they realized they could clear the fence then they'd be off to the races every chance they got. :lol:

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Somewhat related, I always crack a smile when I see them running. It's just funny and cute all at once.

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Another question, health reasons aside, is there any financial gain to raising your own chickens if you're only getting a few for eggs?

 

ETA: Meaning, does it cost more to raise them than it does to just buy eggs from the store?

Edited by rajncajn

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Another question, health reasons aside, is there any financial gain to raising your own chickens if you're only getting a few for eggs?

 

ETA: Meaning, does it cost more to raise them than it does to just buy eggs from the store?

 

I think that, ultimately, you catch up financially and it starts paying for itself. The lion's share of the cash outlay is for the coop itself and I think I figured out it would pay for itself after 8 months or so of eggs (of course, I used what a dozen eggs from the farmers market costs, not the crap at the store). Mind you, the cost of the feed pushes that out a bit but not much. I forget what we pay for a bag of feed, but it lasts a pretty long time and the hens are giving us 2 doz eggs per week at this point. Mind you, that's 8 months of eggs, which basically means after a bit more than a year because that's how long it takes them to get old enough to lay.

 

Honestly though, the money is not a good enough reason to do it. After all, if you combine the effort (albeit not much) and the chances of having to replace birds because of predators or illiness (knock on wood so far for us), all that. We just sort of dig the whole thing. We've got rain barrels, compost, the whole garden going. Plenty of our fruit trees and bushes have been more work and expense than they've given us in fruit, but it's a hobby as much as a source of food.

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IMO, there's a lot to be said in knowing where your food comes from.

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When do chickens stop producing eggs? What do you do at that point? I find this interesting

 

When they die. You have a little service & then cremate it in the fryer.

 

ETA: I think it's like most other females. It just depends on the chicken itself and their lifespan. Chickens tend to live quite a while (5+ years) if I remember correctly, provided they're kept healthy. I would imagine you can average about that many years before they stop producing eggs.

 

 

...and then it's time for the fryer. ;)

Edited by rajncajn

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Its our limited understanding that once they molt, they lay less frequently than they do before they molt ... but the eggs are bigger.

 

Not sure though. :unsure:

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