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Thread: The Pit Chicken Keeping Thread

  1. #41
    Damn, you've lost a lot of birds. My friends keep 10 birds, 5 RR hens and 5 Campbell ducks, and they've been getting up to 10 eggs a day during the season, and they do pile up. They've been keeping chickens 5 or so years and haven't lost one to a predator; they do replace the older birds.

  2. #42
    Quote Originally Posted by Deacon Dog View Post
    Damn, you've lost a lot of birds. My friends keep 10 birds, 5 RR hens and 5 Campbell ducks, and they've been getting up to 10 eggs a day during the season, and they do pile up. They've been keeping chickens 5 or so years and haven't lost one to a predator; they do replace the older birds.
    I live in the city near a creek, so I've got my choice of opossums, raccoons, foxes and as noted, a red-tailed hawk. I didn't lose any when they were free range, but the minute I cooped them the bad guys went to work on them. It's hard to get a perfect seal on your coop, since there are always going to be edges and joints where the coop and the run meet. I hadn't lost any for over a year, and then when I lost the first one, the damn broke and they keep coming back.

  3. #43
    I should add that I usually eat eggs at a 4 whites to 1 yolk ratio, and re-purpose the unused yolks into chicken food. Almost everybody I know that keeps chickens agrees that chickens like few things more than scrambled egg yolks. If you eat every yolk then you will probably need fewer eggs in a given day, and you will also need a cardiologist.

  4. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by jhmd2000 View Post
    I should add that I usually eat eggs at a 4 whites to 1 yolk ratio, and re-purpose the unused yolks into chicken food. Almost everybody I know that keeps chickens agrees that chickens like few things more than scrambled egg yolks. If you eat every yolk then you will probably need fewer eggs in a given day, and you will also need a cardiologist.
    so chickens prefer to eat aborted chicken fetuses?

  5. #45
    Quote Originally Posted by DeacHawk View Post
    so chickens prefer to eat aborted chicken fetuses?
    The yolk is the part the embryo feeds on, not the embryo.

  6. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by RacerDeac View Post
    The yolk is the part the embryo feeds on, not the embryo.
    gotcha.

  7. #47
    Quote Originally Posted by DeacHawk View Post
    so chickens prefer to eat aborted chicken fetuses?
    Incorrect. Without a rooster, hens lay only unfertilized eggs. No conception.

  8. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by jhmd2000 View Post
    Incorrect. Without a rooster, hens lay only unfertilized eggs. No conception.
    gotcha again. hadn't really thought about it but makes sense. thanks for the info.

  9. #49
    Here's the coop I'm planning to build:
    http://www.thegardencoop.com/chicken...tures.html#tgc

    I like that it's full height so I can walk in to spread more litter and to do the yearly clean-out of the compost for the garden. It's got enough room that I won't feel bad leaving the birds in during the day if need be. Hope to let them range as much as possible, but I'm worried about hawks if we or the dog aren't out in the yard at the same time.

    Has anyone had luck with plastic owls or hanging pie tins/CD's in the yard to keep hawks away?

  10. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by RacerDeac View Post
    Has anyone had luck with plastic owls or hanging pie tins/CD's in the yard to keep hawks away?
    I dont have a chicken coop, but we do have one of the plastic owls. I can say with absolute certainty, they do not keep the hawks away. We even move our owl around occasionally.

  11. #51
    Quote Originally Posted by tsywake View Post
    I dont have a chicken coop, but we do have one of the plastic owls. I can say with absolute certainty, they do not keep the hawks away. We even move our owl around occasionally.
    That's what I figured.

  12. #52
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    Lets just say our plastic owl and the hawk are bros. They hang out with each other often. I think the hawk realized what an awesome vantage point the owl had from his fencepost and since that time has been sitting on the fence post next to it. The bald eagle I mentioned a few weeks back was also sitting in a tree maybe 20 ft away.

  13. #53
    Quote Originally Posted by RacerDeac View Post
    Here's the coop I'm planning to build:
    http://www.thegardencoop.com/chicken...tures.html#tgc

    I like that it's full height so I can walk in to spread more litter and to do the yearly clean-out of the compost for the garden. It's got enough room that I won't feel bad leaving the birds in during the day if need be. Hope to let them range as much as possible, but I'm worried about hawks if we or the dog aren't out in the yard at the same time.

    Has anyone had luck with plastic owls or hanging pie tins/CD's in the yard to keep hawks away?
    That's a pretty top-notch design. Unless you have concerns about the aesthetics/scale, I would recommend going with eight feet in height on your vertical posts. This let's you comfortably step into the coop and lift and raise without having to stoop. It's probably one foot too tall, but by staying with standard retail lengths, you'll be assembling more than having to saw off scrap wood (that you're just going to throw away anyway). Why not keep the extra space and save the time? Win-win-win. I have height restrictions since I didn't want to draw too much attention in our neighborhood, but in the next house we're going to have more space and I'm going to follow my own advice. Besides, more space means more ventilation for the coop which matters during a lot during the rainy and cold season.

  14. #54
    Quote Originally Posted by jhmd2000 View Post
    That's a pretty top-notch design. Unless you have concerns about the aesthetics/scale, I would recommend going with eight feet in height on your vertical posts. This let's you comfortably step into the coop and lift and raise without having to stoop. It's probably one foot too tall, but by staying with standard retail lengths, you'll be assembling more than having to saw off scrap wood (that you're just going to throw away anyway). Why not keep the extra space and save the time? Win-win-win. I have height restrictions since I didn't want to draw too much attention in our neighborhood, but in the next house we're going to have more space and I'm going to follow my own advice. Besides, more space means more ventilation for the coop which matters during a lot during the rainy and cold season.
    I'm 5'10", so I'm not too worried about the height, but I had considered stretching it a bit size wise. I think it has a 6x10 footprint as shown, but it would be easy enough to make it 8x10 or 8x12 and have less waste. Need to measure the space in the yard and then decide. It's going next to my 4x8 raised beds, so making it 8 feet deep should be fine. I might add the 2 feet to the width to give some covered, but un-fenced storage space for litter, feed, etc.

    I don't really want to make it 9+ feet tall (with the roof), so I'll probably end up cutting down the corner studs regardless.

  15. #55
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  16. #56
    Quote Originally Posted by RacerDeac View Post
    I'm 5'10", so I'm not too worried about the height, but I had considered stretching it a bit size wise. I think it has a 6x10 footprint as shown, but it would be easy enough to make it 8x10 or 8x12 and have less waste. Need to measure the space in the yard and then decide. It's going next to my 4x8 raised beds, so making it 8 feet deep should be fine. I might add the 2 feet to the width to give some covered, but un-fenced storage space for litter, feed, etc.

    I don't really want to make it 9+ feet tall (with the roof), so I'll probably end up cutting down the corner studs regardless.
    How mucha bench?

  17. #57
    Anybody have newborn chicks this year? I'm on first egg watch for a dozen silver-laced wyandottes d/o/b 28 Jan 13. Recollection from last year was first eggs from the new pullets came around fourth of July. Anybody got any first year eggs yet?

  18. #58
    Bump. New birds are fully feathered and in their new run. Did anyone else add birds this year?

  19. #59
    Awoke this morning to a field of feathers and a raccoon gnawing on the carcass of one of the chicks sired by the only rooster on the jhmd2000 Estate.


  20. #60
    Awesome, I didn't know there was a backyard chicken thread here already...I posted a couple of things on the Pet thread. I've had chickens for 2.5 years. Love them, but it's a tough gig as we've lost 4 of our 11 over the last year: 1 to a red tailed hawk, one to ovarian cancer, one to an internally ruptured yolk, and one to my neighbors cocker spaniel. We've just clipped the birds wings to keep them in our fenced yard because our neighbors are assholes and won't fence their dog (it's attacked our chickens three times and killed one).

    We've got an austalorpe, an Easter egger, a silver laced Wyandotte, a barred rock, two buff Orpingtons and one bantam. The Barred Rock and the Aussie are the best layers, the Easter egger is the friendliest.

    Anyway...chicken keeping is awesome. So glad I got into this.

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