Chicken-Fi
Apr 7, 2009 at 7:18 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 13

Zaubertuba

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Feb 3, 2009
Posts
449
Likes
22
No, No, No...I'm not talking about what you're eating for dinner.
wink_face.gif


My wife has been interested in keeping chickens for some time, both as a cheap egg source--and because she really likes chickens.
rolleyes.gif


She's already checked our local zoning ordinances and we can apparently keep three (No Roosters) in our back yard if they're kept healthy and clean--and if the neighbors don't complain.

So...any tips from any closet Chicken-Keepers out there? General tips, pitfalls, Chicken Coop ideas would be appreciated. Yes, I'm serious.
smile.gif
 
Apr 7, 2009 at 7:33 AM Post #3 of 13

tintin47

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Oct 16, 2008
Posts
2,007
Likes
13
First, I don't understand why anyone would like chickens. They are just strange, dumb animals.

Anyway, I worked on a sustainable chicken farm last summer (I am an environmental engineering major and I thought it would be a good experience. It was. I learned a lot). We raised chickens on a much larger scale, but some things apply anyway. Chicken coops aren't hard, but you have to be hardcore about them. The mindset that you have to have when building anything to do with chickens is that raccoons will find a way into anything you build.

Overall, they are very low maintenance. They'll eat absolutely anything, especially fruits and veggies. Pretty much anything green, whether it is grass or scraps of veggies, watermelon rinds...

If you have any specific questions feel free to PM me, though I would imagine that there is a book or website somewhere with all of the info you could ever need.
 
Apr 7, 2009 at 7:58 AM Post #4 of 13

Uncle Erik

Uncle Exotic
Joined
Mar 18, 2006
Posts
22,596
Likes
504
I've never owned chickens, but when I worked out in the middle of nowhere, I had a secretary who did. She used to sell us the eggs for $1 a dozen. Best deal ever - I bought some every week.

She had a few varieties of chickens that produced these wonderful eggs with blue, green and brown hues. They were so beautiful I almost didn't want to eat them. They were nothing like what you find in the store, and had thick, healthy shells with almost dayglo yellow yolks.

Anyhow, I'd recommend getting a few different kinds of chickens so you'll get those amazing different colored eggs. She also said that she let them scratch in the yard most of the day, which is why the eggs were so healthy. If I can ever escape to an acre or two outside the city, I'd love to build a hen house and have eggs like that again.
 
Apr 7, 2009 at 1:59 PM Post #5 of 13

apatN

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Mar 28, 2007
Posts
5,774
Likes
19
We had chickens and I also worked at a local chicken farm. Like tintin said, they are very low maintenance indeed. They'll eat absolutely anything. That includes chicken as well, lol.
Just take care of them. Make sure they have a nice clean place with enough water. The first weeks you'll have to put them on a horizontal pole when they go to sleep. After that they will do so automatically. Give them some chicken food everyday and also the food that remains after your own dinner. More important, give them some space. They'll reward you with the nicest eggs you've ever had.
 
Apr 7, 2009 at 2:32 PM Post #6 of 13

Happy Camper

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Oct 27, 2006
Posts
9,049
Likes
275
Location
STL area
Possum are another problem that has to be accounted for.

My foster family raised chickens and rabbits to help out and I got to be the husband. Get them into the laying boxes early or they get used to laying on the ground. Also keep their wings cropped or you will be climbing trees to gather them in of the evening.

Eggs are the best from healthy, happy chickens. Giving them free range to scavenge is a healthy way.
 
Apr 7, 2009 at 2:49 PM Post #7 of 13

dj_mocok

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Dec 26, 2003
Posts
5,635
Likes
14
I wonder, if your pet chicken dies, will you bury it, or fry it? (assuming it's not an ill-related death)

Also, what do you think will happen if you inject your pet chicken with steroids?
 
Apr 7, 2009 at 2:55 PM Post #8 of 13

Zaubertuba

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Feb 3, 2009
Posts
449
Likes
22
Thanks guys! Now, why am I not surprised I'm getting all sorts of useful information on a topic that has absolutely nothing to do with headphones?
biggrin.gif


Quote:

First, I don't understand why anyone would like chickens. They are just strange, dumb animals.


I know, I resisted for several years. A lot. I knew I was done for, though, when she started referring to that "one corner of the yard where the chicken coop will go..."

...and I slipped and started suggesting ways we might go about constructing the chicken coop.
eek.gif


Quote:

Originally Posted by apatN /img/forum/go_quote.gif
...The first weeks you'll have to put them on a horizontal pole when they go to sleep.


First I've heard of this. What's the advantage of this over a nesting box? Or do you provide both?
 
Apr 7, 2009 at 2:57 PM Post #9 of 13

Zaubertuba

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Feb 3, 2009
Posts
449
Likes
22
Quote:

Originally Posted by dj_mocok /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I wonder, if your pet chicken dies, will you bury it, or fry it? (assuming it's not an ill-related death)


Hmm....reading what other people do, I guess it depends on how much of a "pet" you view your chicken as.

I'll try not to think too hard about that one...
tongue_smile.gif
 
Apr 7, 2009 at 3:11 PM Post #10 of 13

skiflyer

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Sep 23, 2008
Posts
118
Likes
0
Haven't had chickens since I was a kid... but the one thing I remember is things go much much better if you give them free range over a grassy area a few hours a day. Apparently something about the protein in the bugs they eat is good for them. Plus it gives you a chance to harvest the eggs and clean up the massive amounts of excrement they produce.
 
Apr 7, 2009 at 3:31 PM Post #11 of 13

apatN

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Mar 28, 2007
Posts
5,774
Likes
19
Quote:

Originally Posted by Zaubertuba /img/forum/go_quote.gif
First I've heard of this. What's the advantage of this over a nesting box? Or do you provide both?


When we had chicken we had a horizontal pole where they could sleep and some boxes where they could lay their eggs. The first few times my mom would put them on the pole every night and after a while they did so by themselves.
I am not sure of the reason why. For all I know chicken sleep like that.
tongue.gif
When I think about it it will save you a lot of work though. If you would make a shelf under the pole all their crap would fall on there. Easy cleaning.
smily_headphones1.gif
 
Apr 7, 2009 at 3:46 PM Post #13 of 13

Happy Camper

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Oct 27, 2006
Posts
9,049
Likes
275
Location
STL area
They usually won't sleep in the nesting boxes. They will perch (usually on one foot) to sleep. We gave them both. Put their horizontal perches over an area you can hose down and run off to an area that's safe. We would rinse it off and the drain water would go through the back yard. That area was greener than the rest of the yard.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top