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Offline longball

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Wife Does Not Play Fair. We have chickens
« on: March 05, 2018, 03:08:37 PM »
A few days ago my wife sent me a picture of an apron for little girls that has a bunch of individual pockets for putting eggs in. I know that woman well as well as where this conversation is headed so I says to her "that's cute, too bad we don't have chickens". She replies with, "ok, I already bought it though, so I guess Heidi can just find something else to put in her apron". Naturally I put my boots on and did the only thing could do at that point. Went and bought a bunch of pullets.



It'll be some time before these are laying eggs. Luckily for me, at only 5 months old it'll be a while before the little one is ready for that apron. If I'm being perfectly honest though, I am looking forward to having our own chickens. It's like a little slice of my childhood brought back to me as an adult and I know good and well there'll be lessons for littles to learn from them.


« Last Edit: March 05, 2018, 03:28:56 PM by longball »

Online Flyin6

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Re: Wife Does Not Play Fair. We have chickens
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2018, 04:16:50 PM »
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Re: Wife Does Not Play Fair. We have chickens
« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2018, 06:47:07 PM »
What you have to look forward to.....



This was 8 or 9 years ago, my youngest Samantha (thinking she was 5 or 6 maybe?). And yes that little chicken is asleep on her arm. It's name was fat face and it laid green eggs.

FYI, golden retriever are thieves and like to sneek in and steal eggs when you're not looking........
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Offline TexasRedNeck

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Re: Wife Does Not Play Fair. We have chickens
« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2018, 07:06:53 PM »
Reminds me of Johnny cash. You dirty old egg sucking dog


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Re: Wife Does Not Play Fair. We have chickens
« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2018, 07:07:52 PM »
Reminds me of Johnny cash. You dirty old egg sucking dog


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ROFL
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Offline Superwhdm

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Re: Wife Does Not Play Fair. We have chickens
« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2018, 07:52:42 PM »
This is great!  It’s a good experience for youngins imo. Just bear in mind you will have visits from the sneaky hungry predators/freeloaders in the animal kingdom, including the very curious neighbor’s dog.  It’s another tough but real life lesson to see what they can do. Makes you mad but c'est la vie.

Certainly don’t mean to be a downer!!!  It’s gonna be great to have eggs that aren’t 40 days old!!  Also a great responsibility tool for kids.
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Offline Farmer Jon

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Re: Wife Does Not Play Fair. We have chickens
« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2018, 08:13:58 PM »
Make sure you have a secure coop and lock them up every night. Oh and and beware of chicken math.

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Offline wyorunner

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Wife Does Not Play Fair. We have chickens
« Reply #7 on: March 05, 2018, 10:39:20 PM »

It’s gonna be great to have eggs that aren’t 40 days old!!  Also a great responsibility tool for kids.

We had chickens for a short spell, and then our friend supplied us with eggs when her 500+ birds were actually laying. She was ag certified.... the inspector informed her that she can legally sell eggs up to 90 days from laying. If they didn’t sell bring em back, re wash them, and they can be sold for up to another 90 days..... from an AZ ag inspector!!!

On another note, good on you for gettin a mess o chickens for your wife and daughter longball!
« Last Edit: March 05, 2018, 10:39:52 PM by wyorunner »

Offline longball

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Re: Wife Does Not Play Fair. We have chickens
« Reply #8 on: March 05, 2018, 10:45:14 PM »
Hopefully the yard fence will keep out the domestics. As for the wild critters, they’ll have to get through a smaller chain link fence around the coup. I can also see the coup from the upstairs window and it’s well within 17HMR range. We started out wanting 8-10 but we’re already up to at least 16. Chicken math is already getting us.


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Offline Farmer Jon

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Re: Wife Does Not Play Fair. We have chickens
« Reply #9 on: March 10, 2018, 11:15:28 AM »
I just had a possum get in and kill a duck. The coops are inside a 4 ft tall 2x3 inch welded wire fence. Zane didn't get the coop door closed properly. Said possum took up residence under the coop. It was caught in a live trap and died from lead poisoning 2 days later. This morning I found evidence of more activity but nothing got in. We had a week of bad weather the critters are hungry.

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Online Nate

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Re: Wife Does Not Play Fair. We have chickens
« Reply #10 on: March 10, 2018, 05:32:08 PM »
It was caught in a live trap and died from lead poisoning 2 days later.

that's a shame jon, just how much lead are we talking about here and will it effect your poultry...........HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
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Offline Bob/OlallaWa

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Re: Wife Does Not Play Fair. We have chickens
« Reply #11 on: March 10, 2018, 06:09:57 PM »
Nate, that is the good thing about live traps....They keep the target easy to hit

Offline longball

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Re: Wife Does Not Play Fair. We have chickens
« Reply #12 on: March 10, 2018, 11:02:54 PM »
That sucks. We’ll have to figure out something around our coop door. There is a gap there that some critter may get their paws through. We gave the chicks meal worms for the first time yesterday. They weren’t sure what to do with them at first but an hour later they were all gone. What do y’all know about using sand for grit? One of the store employees where we bought the meal worms suggested it. 


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Offline Farmer Jon

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Re: Wife Does Not Play Fair. We have chickens
« Reply #13 on: March 11, 2018, 08:43:54 AM »
You can buy bags of grit but I just use road gravel. I never bought meal worms but I heard they are a good treat. Chickens will eat just about everything you give them. Mine free range and will fight the cats for table scraps. We got some beef ribs once that were really fatty. Chickens pecked the bones clean.
If you have Facebook look up the group chicken butts & crazy clucks and backyard chickens. There are some wackos on there but there is also a lot of good info.

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Offline stewie

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Re: Wife Does Not Play Fair. We have chickens
« Reply #14 on: April 14, 2018, 07:37:08 AM »
Make sure you have a secure coop and lock them up every night. Oh and and beware of chicken math.

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chicken math is a real thing. We have about 40 hens now. I had to cull a few over the summer/fall due to sickness, but we're getting 2-dozen eggs a day now.

i should photograph my coop and do a breakdown of how i built it. We have not had any predator issues that i know of, but i laied down 4' light guage fence all around it to act as a barrier against digging. Hen house is elevated and totally inaccessible if the door is locked.

when the girls are out, our biggest issues are owls and hawks. we had one of our stupid roosters killed by an owl on Christmas eve.
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Offline longball

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Wife Does Not Play Fair. We have chickens
« Reply #15 on: April 14, 2018, 11:03:50 AM »
I am tempted to do the same with some 4’ sheep and goat fence I have laying around just for added insurance. So far the radio has been enough but I’d really hate to lose them now. There’s two foxes who live in a brush pile behind our house and as you know, they are exceptional diggers.




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« Last Edit: April 14, 2018, 11:07:50 AM by longball »

Offline longball

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Wife Does Not Play Fair. We have chickens
« Reply #16 on: June 03, 2018, 06:54:30 PM »
Chickens are grown now so our 10x12 enclosure wasn’t big enough anymore. We expand it by adding a 25x25 on the other side of the coop. They went from 120sqft to approximately 745sqft of space to roam around.

We needed something to hold the aviary netting up so I grabbed a couple 10’ 2x4s and build something that can double as a perch.



Still need to put chicken wire inside the woven wire and fasten a gate but we’re headed he right direction.


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« Last Edit: June 03, 2018, 06:55:22 PM by longball »

Offline longball

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Wife Does Not Play Fair. We have chickens
« Reply #17 on: April 14, 2019, 11:01:16 PM »
Long overdue for an update here. We started with 21 hens and one rooster. The rooster died of some unknown causes (maybe living with 21 women). 5 of the hens got killed last summer by a raccoon which I caught in a live trap a couple days later. Couldn’t talk anybody else into eating it if I cooked it and wasn’t going to do anything with the hide so I drove it to the mountain and turned it lose by a creek. 5 miles as the crow flies and raccoon heaven so he hasn’t been back.

Stayed that way until two weeks ago. Last day of vacation I talked to my neighbor and told him he could let the chickens out before he went to work. By the time we got home around 1400 five were dead in the yard and one was MIA. No way to know for sure but I suspected a fox that we used to see every now and then. After that I only let them out when I was home and outside to keep and eye on them. This evening I let them out while I had some chicken and salmon on the Traeger. My wife was finishing up some kabobs so I took the baby upstairs to start her bath. When we came back downstairs the fox was 20’ off of our back porch chewing on a live Buff Orpington. When he saw us he ran across the street and sat down in a wood line behind my neighbors house. I hauled butt across the street with my favorite varmint rifle and propped up against his porch. Clean shot at a stationary target maybe 70 yards away and I freakin missed. Thought I saw fur fly and was caught off guard when he took off. Took another crack at him on the run and missed again. I had called Dan (Vietnam sniper and an all around great guy) and told him what I was doing beforehand. He was watching out the window and said I gave him a haircut with the first shot. Scorecard as of 2100 is:
7 living layers
11 chicks in a brooder
3 dead chickens in a freezer to use as bait
1 fox that got his ears lowered
1 seriously mad woman
1 man who’s in trouble for not finishing a fence and who thinks he needs more trigger time.


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« Last Edit: April 14, 2019, 11:06:18 PM by longball »

Offline longball

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Re: Wife Does Not Play Fair. We have chickens
« Reply #18 on: April 30, 2019, 11:54:51 PM »
Wife got 9 more pullets a couple weeks ago so we now have 20 in brooders. They likely be ready to go outside soon which means we will need a bigger coop. Im thinking we’ll need at least five, maybe six nesting boxes. Anybody have a recommendation on dimensions to hold 25-27 chickens?

Offline Farmer Jon

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Re: Wife Does Not Play Fair. We have chickens
« Reply #19 on: May 01, 2019, 06:04:10 AM »
You need 2 to 3 square ft in the coop for chickens. My coop is 8x14. I had just over 30 chickens with plenty of room. With that many chickens I had 20 nesting boxes. They used 5 and pooped in the rest. I think I'm down to 10 chickens now. They all lay in the same 3 boxes.
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Offline Farmer Jon

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Re: Wife Does Not Play Fair. We have chickens
« Reply #20 on: May 01, 2019, 06:08:23 AM »
I repurposed an old grainery. If you build a new coop make it tall enough to walk around in. Makes cleaning raiser. Also you can get some decent roosting bars. They like to be up high at night. My daughter was supposed to paint it last summer. You can see how far she got.

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Offline longball

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Re: Wife Does Not Play Fair. We have chickens
« Reply #21 on: May 01, 2019, 06:08:34 AM »
Thanks for the info Jon. Our do the same thing with the nesting boxes except we have one goober that’ll lay her right on top of the pile of crap. I’m planning on being able to remove or fold down a section of the boxes so they can be cleaned out easily.


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Offline wyorunner

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Re: Wife Does Not Play Fair. We have chickens
« Reply #22 on: May 01, 2019, 10:40:48 PM »
I agree with Jon!

Ours (which is a shed now) was 16x12 for around 60 birds, chickens, ducks, turkeys, guineas and peafowl. We have nothing now.

The walk-in height is the only way to go.

Nesting boxes, something like 5 birds per box seems acceptable. We had 10, 2 rows of five one over the other. Have a friend who has hundreds of birds, and each bird house only has a small handful of boxes.

Seems the birds just lay where ever. Ducks lay in the places that are most secure, such as a vertical piece of culvert.

Guineas, no idea! They just lay, but do like to roost in the coop.

Turkeys, usually in a bush.

Peafowl, the roost on the top of the house or barn. Lay in very hard to find places.

All of which doesn’t matter, but figured I’d throw it out there!

Offline longball

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Re: Wife Does Not Play Fair. We have chickens
« Reply #23 on: May 06, 2019, 10:37:18 AM »
Do y’all think if I build a second smaller coop, similar to the one we have now, that they would utilize both of them? Or would they just all crowd into one of them?


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Offline Farmer Jon

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Re: Wife Does Not Play Fair. We have chickens
« Reply #24 on: May 06, 2019, 04:27:54 PM »
If I learned anything about chickens it is that they are completely unpredictable. They might use both they might crowd into one. Every flock is different.

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