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  1. #1
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    Default Backyard Chickens!! Any tips?

    Ok so we ordered a chicken coop the day and it will be delivered some time today.

    We are going to get 2 chickens, we are thinking ISA browns. They apparently produce alot of eggs and have a good temperament. We have a medium sized yard with gardens for them to walk around.

    Can anyone give me tips on the best food to feed them and any other tips you have learnt along the way.

  2. #2
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    No tips sorry just wanted to say I think it's cool your getting chickens

  3. #3
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    Kitchen (not meat) scraps are great, a good raiser/layer pellett like 'golden yolk' and they love grain screenings if you can get hold of some also something for the nesting boxes like basic clean straw

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    A few things I have learnt, going from a farm to suburbia with chickens.
    They poo everywhere if not contained.
    They destroy lovely gardens.
    Handle and talk to them a lot, so they come when called and are not frightened if you need to pick them up.
    They are not good on wet ground for long, they can get fungal feet infections.
    They need grain as well as fresh kitchen scraps.
    They will attract rats, mice and snakes if not cleaned properly. Keep grains in an airtight container and only give small amounts at a time. Collect eggs daily. They won't lay if stressed.
    Have fun, chickens are lovely to have around.

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  6. #5
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    We have 5 hens ATM, have had 8 at one point. Please DONT get isa browns. Yes they produce well but only for about 18 months. They are bred to be layers then meat. I have had to 'dispose' of 3 isa browns and it is just horrible. Id suggest either leghorns or australorps. They are great layers (approx. 300/year) and they live (and lay) for about 10 years. I have an eight year old leghorn with one eye who stills lays 3-4 eggs per week. Chickens don't eat raw potato/capsicum or onion. They love anything leafy and any scrapes from your kitchen. You can give them meat (ive seen my mother hen eat a WHOLE mouse). I don't given them a lot of meat but a scrap here are there is good. Keep their poo for your garden but never leave them unattended around your garden, unless of course you need a new one...they are deadly to gardens . Buy your hens at either POL (point of lay) or from 8 weeks old, that way they can go outside straight away. If they don't have all their feathers and you out them out in the cold they will die. Good luck and have fun...backyard chooks are the BEST!!!

  7. #6
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    Hi,
    I have had chickens for a number of years.

    1. I would never give them pellets - it is rubbish food - remember that if you are eating their eggs you are eating what they are eating - I would give them a good quality grain - I like Red Hen.
    2. They need scraps (there is a big debate over this - but I feed mine a little meat/tinned fish - they LOVE it!! and they do eat meat naturally - grubs and snails etc)
    3. They will destroy your garden if allowed to wander all the time
    4. I would get a minimum of 3 - chooks are social animals and will die of lonliness if you only have 1 - if you get 2 and 1 dies you are in a bit of strife so I would always get 3
    5. You do need to handle them to get the most out of them

    cheers,
    Jessie

  8. #7
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    Yep they destroy gardens and poop at your back door if given the total run of your yard

    We use shredded newspaper in the nesting boxes - cheap clean - easily compostable.

    You can feed the shells of their eggs (crushed) back to them, ours get a treat of scrambled eggs and yogurt everynow and then too aswell as kitchen scraps (our compost heap is in their area) and a good scratch mix.

    Collect eggs daily.
    Clip one wing if you have low or medium fences.

  9. #8
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    We have 7 silkies- still chicks though. We chose them because they're friendly, good with children and can lay for years. And they cannot fly at all! Oh they're also super cute!

    They need locking up at night
    If possible have their grains/pellets suspended so it is harder for rodents to get into
    Don't feed chicken or raw egg


    I wouldn't recommend Isa browns they don't lay for very long. My dad has them on his farm and once they stop laying they need to go

  10. #9
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    Thanks everyone for the advice. I told DH about avoiding isa browns. So we are going to get 3 australorps tomorrow. I cant wait for DS1 to meet them

  11. #10
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    Mine went nuts for watermelon! We had to rehome them to a family because our garden was totally destroyed and we didn't want to spend the dollars on larger coup . I will have chicken again one day they were awesome and the next time we will do it right . I think it's great if you can free range . Our garden was just too landscaped for them . Nothing like baking with your beautiful yellow yolks! Enjoy .


 

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