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  1. #1
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    Default Does anyone have chickens?

    I'm seriously considering getting some chickens. I've wanted to do it for ages, but we're getting to the point we may finally be able to afford the initial outlay. I love the idea of gradually attaining self sufficiency and this is one step in the process.

    I don't know anyone who has chickens to help me reality test the idea, though.

    Does anyone have or have had chickens? Were they a lot of work? Did you get a consistent supply of eggs? Was it expensive to maintain them? Would you do it again if given the chance (or are still happily keeping chickens)? Are there any tips you have for starting up and keeping them healthy and happy? Do you love chickens?

    Any ideas, experiences, or thoughts on backyard chicken keeping are very, very welcome.

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    HugsBunny is offline Once upon a time there was a bunny.........
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    They're relatively easy to look after, we just fed ours food scraps with some laying pellets.

    Consistency of egg supply depends on the season if I remember correctly. I think they usually lay 1 egg per day.

    Most people I know have a surplus of eggs and give them away to friends lol. We used to write the date the egg was collected on the egg itself so that we could keep track of how old they were and made sure to use the oldest ones first

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    MissMuppet  (21-06-2012)

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    I'd love to have enough to be able to give eggs away. And the easy care sounds good too.

    Everything I've read says they are pretty easy, but I wanted to check that with people who actually have them instead of believing the marketing guff....

    So, thanks for the response!

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    HugsBunny's Avatar
    HugsBunny is offline Once upon a time there was a bunny.........
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    No worries :-) I'd love to have chooks again but I would only have them free range and haven't had the space to do it.

    Maybe one day lol. When I have my big a$$ vegie garden :-)

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    I used to have them, but unfortunately mine got eaten. And they were in the Taj Mahal of chicken palaces, with full double strength chicken mesh, going under the dirt as well as all the way over/ around. Something tore a hole in the side of the coop - there weren't even any joins there. Apparently, from the looks of it, it was a fox.

    I'm planning on getting some again.

    Things I'd do differently:

    Get fewer chickens. I had 6 and was getting waaaay too many eggs. I've had 2 before, and that was perfect. Now DD is here, maybe 2-3 chickens.

    Not let them be free range. I used to let mine go free range during the day (if I was home) and then shut them up at night. They ate all of our veggie patch, and made such a mess of everything in the garden.If I just have 2 I'd give them a really big run.

    Get layers to start with. I started with chicks that I kept under a heat lamp. It was super cute, but took ages until they started producing.

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    MissMuppet  (21-06-2012)

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    Wow, I had no idea foxes could do that!

    Hmmm, I was worried they would make a mess of the vegie patch. I guess I could try fencing the vegie garden off with chicken wire.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MissMuppet View Post
    Wow, I had no idea foxes could do that!

    Hmmm, I was worried they would make a mess of the vegie patch. I guess I could try fencing the vegie garden off with chicken wire.
    Yes, I couldn't believe the amount of mess they can make! Chickens scratch the dirt all day long, and so they not only empty out garden beds with mulch/ woodchips, etc. in them, but they also destroyed the veggie patch. DH had spent ages setting up a lovely 3 tiered veggie patch and nurturing his veggies, and he was not impressed...

    Fencing off is the way to go

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    MissMuppet  (21-06-2012)

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    jbish is offline “Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.” Dr Seuss
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    Girl X - I currently have chicks under a lamp that I have inherited from a kindy hatching program... No idea if they are boys or girls. I live in QLD so it's not freezing but still cold, do you know how old they have to be to put them outside?

    Sorry to thread crash!

    OP - I love my chicks so far, but they are living inside and it's head doing! They are sooo messy. Can't wait for them to get big enough to go outside.

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    MissMuppet  (21-06-2012)

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    My sister had chickens...just two and they made an absolute mess! Destroyed the garden beds and not to mention all the poo! It was crazy. She got rid of them as she wnated to keep them free range but the mess was too much. The kids and dogs were constantly bringing poo on the feet inside (as much as you try to keep them clean). She loved them but she said if she could have a large fenced off area for them so they could be free range but the mess was contained then she would do it again.

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    MissMuppet  (21-06-2012)

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    I've had chooks for the past 10 yrs, I love having them. Nothing compares to a home grown egg even if you buy free range fromt he shop, they stillt aste better.

    I have 12. we get a heap of eggs but had aproblem with stray cats getting in and eating the eggs. We are on a large property so the chooks live 100m from the house. They will make a complete mess of your garden if you let them out. Lucky for us they can scratch round the side paddock for grass and bugs. Mine don't get let out a lot as we have a huge fox problem here too, even during the day they can't be trusted.

    We feed ours wheat or pellets plus table scraps. They like somewhere up hight to roost of a night so a perch or nest box off the ground helps them feel safe. If you just have a small backyard you could make a little chicken run so they stay out of your garden, like a moveable tunnel of chicken wire you could shift.

    In 10 yrs I have only had one problem sickness wise and that was something called coccidiosis. So I think that makes them pretty easy care animals. My 12 live in a chicken house that used to house over 1000 chooks when it was a chicken farm back in it's day so they have plenty of space but are safe from predators.

    You need a really secure coop to keep stray cats out or the neighbours dog.W

    hen i buy them I get them at about 16 wks old, they start laying when they are just over 20 weeks

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    MissMuppet  (21-06-2012)


 

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