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Hello Guest!
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There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.

Chickens and the SFG - Page 2 I22gcj10Chickens and the SFG - Page 2 14dhcg10

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Chickens and the SFG

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Chickens and the SFG - Page 2 Empty Re: Chickens and the SFG

Post  1chichi 5/23/2010, 10:06 am

I have a few hens and they are a joy to me. I do feed them most of the green scraps from the kitchen and garden. They have a coop and run. Chickens and the SFG - Page 2 Icon_sunny

8 months ago, I used sort of a "tractor set up" to move the hens around the yard, in a few areas where I knew I would grow vegetables this spring.
They spent a few hours per week in all the areas. (it's a small yard).
They till up the soil and fertilize it. All plants growing in those areas are doing well.

I remember seeing videos on building small coops to fit over the 4' x 4' beds, I just can't seem to find those links.

Here is link to step by step instructions for building a tractor over the beds.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y11OkaFBhqM
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Post  lookmanoweeds 5/23/2010, 12:11 pm

Thanks for the feedback, chichi. In the areas where the chickens spent time have you had problems with weeds now that the chickens are gone or did they eat them all?
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Post  RoOsTeR 12/18/2011, 11:15 am

I was bored and it was really pretty out this morning doing chores. So I snapped some quick photo's of our Wyandotte's:
Chickens and the SFG - Page 2 IMG_20111218_073913
Chickens and the SFG - Page 2 IMG_20111218_073929
Chickens and the SFG - Page 2 IMG_20111218_074538
Chickens and the SFG - Page 2 IMG_20111218_074621
Chickens and the SFG - Page 2 IMG_20111218_074628

I got some new ducks about a week ago too that are hilarious to watch:
Chickens and the SFG - Page 2 IMG_20111218_073843
Chickens and the SFG - Page 2 IMG_20111218_073835
Chickens and the SFG - Page 2 IMG_20111218_074120


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Post  martha 12/18/2011, 11:44 am

The chickens are HUGE! What do you do with the ducks?

I so wish I could have chickens - I live in a Right-to-Farm community, but I would have to have the chickens at the restaurant, and I'm not sure that fly. (Pun wasn't intended, but I don't have the energy to re-word just to avoid it!)
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Post  ribarr4 12/18/2011, 11:57 am

Chickens are great and the added benefits to the garden is wonderful, but most people lose their appetite when they see the chicken alive when they walk into the resteraunt and then on the plate. If you can find a location out of sight though, chicken poop is the best fertilizer and it will really heat up your compost pile. Not to mention eggs and meat.
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Post  martha 12/18/2011, 12:07 pm

that is a very good point! Since I would be raising them for eggs (if I could raise them!) I hadn't made that connection, which is amazing, since I am the original wuss. But yes, I am sure our chicken sales would go way down! (And we serve delicious chicken!)

It's ridiculous. I believe in animals living a healthy and happy life before we eat them, I am not willing to become a vegetarian, and I am the first hypocrite who couldn't raise my own meat.
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Post  RoOsTeR 12/18/2011, 12:37 pm

It's ridiculous. I believe in animals living a healthy and happy life before we eat them, I am not willing to become a vegetarian, and I am the first hypocrite who couldn't raise my own meat.

Martha, I would venture to say lots of people feel that way. That's pretty much what ribbar4 was hinting at. Farm raised, organic whatever can bring a premium price. That doesn't mean the purchaser wants to look his meal in the eye before consuming Razz

And the ducks are pretty much just for fun! And the kids do ducks as part of their 4-h projects.

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Post  martha 12/18/2011, 1:04 pm

I'm glad to know that 4H still exists.
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Post  quiltbea 12/18/2011, 1:25 pm

I find this thread such fun. Keep us posted with pics please.
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Post  plantoid 12/18/2011, 2:26 pm

dixie wrote:I'm a chicken lover too! I'm glad to know the grids will keep them out of my boxes. DH hasn't done my chicken tractor yet, but we have our plans drawn up.

Many moons ago ( 600 or more ) My father set up a two foot high fence of 2 inch chicken wire all round the veg & flower plots , then all four of us kids helped braile all 400 chooks on one wing.

They can't fly high enough to get over the wire to get into the flowers or veg.
To braile a bird means simply clipping the feathers on one wing to about 1 1/2 inches long . The bird tries to fly but goes zooming off in a short curve to the right or left and crash lands a few feet away .

As the fence was only two feet high even I the youngest could get over it and being in 2 inch mesh hexagonals of thin galvanized wire it didn't spoil the look of the flowers or veg. Plus the white posts helped enhance the idea of a barrier to the chooks.
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Post  Ha-v-v 12/19/2011, 7:56 pm

We ordered chicks in Oct, they arrived Nov 10th two days after they hatched. Im learning how to use my phone for video and how to talk on videos in preparation for my SFG teacher video some day Smile
Chickens will be for meat and eggs. Eggs to sell as well at farmers market.



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Post  NorthWoodsFever 1/7/2012, 4:53 pm

Your Wyandotte's are BEAUTIFUL!!

nKedrOoStEr wrote:I was bored and it was really pretty out this morning doing chores. So I snapped some quick photo's of our Wyandotte's:

Chickens and the SFG - Page 2 IMG_20111218_074538

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Post  camprn 1/7/2012, 4:56 pm

Yes indeed, those are some beautiful birds!

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Post  RoOsTeR 1/7/2012, 7:27 pm

Thank you! I like them too Chickens and the SFG - Page 2 3170584802

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Post  LittleGardener 1/7/2012, 8:57 pm

Wow! another amazing Resourceful thread. Chickens and the SFG - Page 2 109486
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Post  miinva 1/7/2012, 9:11 pm

I love our three hens! Sadly, though, they love to scratch and dig up my flower bulbs, so I don't let them into the fenced-in garden area.

Personally, I thought it was a better idea to get adult birds. A local lady was reducing her flock so we took three of her hens. There's also a great resource here that happens at least once a month at the local TSC's, called poultry swaps. You don't have to have anything to swap and it's a great place to look at gorgeous chickens, turkeys, hens, bunnies, and just about any other kind of small animal. I'm in Virginia and there's a great forum called Pet Chickens of Virginia, and they publish the dates for the swaps and it's a great resource about poultry in general.

I've found some great information on Backyard Chickens too. Smile

Edit: I forgot to mention that I was TERRIFIED of chickens because when I was young I used to board my horse at a place with a mean rooster. It was like running a gauntlet, getting from the car to the barn, and I lost chunks of hair to that mean thing. I don't eat chicken, but if I had a chicken like that I would eat it, no question. That bird was miserable with his life and I think it would have been doing him a favor to end it.
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Post  Chopper 1/8/2012, 1:28 am

Ha-v-v and NWF I love your chicken pics and video. I do not ever believe I will live a life that allows me to have chickens, but I just love the idea. But then I would want a milk goat too. And on and on. What great info.
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Post  Ha-v-v 1/8/2012, 9:13 am

Chopper wrote:Ha-v-v and NWF I love your chicken pics and video. I do not ever believe I will live a life that allows me to have chickens, but I just love the idea. But then I would want a milk goat too. And on and on. What great info.

Chopper thank you so much. I would love to have a goat, except for the work of milking her twice a day ack ! We did goats when the older children were at home and in 4-H. I do miss the goats and the milk Smile not the extra work. I would share my eggs with you if you lived by me Smile
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Post  RoOsTeR 1/8/2012, 10:50 am

These guys were a year old on New Years Eve.
Chickens and the SFG - Page 2 IMAG0137-1
The goats are fun, but they can be pretty "curious" too. They can and do get into everything! And man, they are serious escape artists! I have had them break into the barn before and eat all the chicken and cat food. How they even got to it, is beyond me...

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Post  quiltbea 1/8/2012, 11:32 am

My ideal used to be a 5-acre homestead with an acre of cleared garden space, fenced grazing areas, small dwarf orchard, chickens, ducks, rabbits, 2 goats and a miniature horse just for me (with a wagon when garden chores loom), and a German shepherd and a quilt studio.

Sadly, my hubby and children were bred for the city and outvoted me every time. Now at least I live in the country (son's in-law apt) with space for roses, raised veggie beds, 5 dwarf fruit trees, blueberry bushes, strawberries and my corgi. The dreamed of chickens, and then later the ducks, have still been outvoted as usual but since I'm getting older with less energy to spare, I'm not unhappy. I quilt in the winters and garden in the warmer months.

I'm grateful to Mel Bartholemew and his book. Bring on spring!
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Post  CarolynPhillips 1/8/2012, 1:12 pm

Wyandottes are so pretty.

I'ma chicken fan.
41 chickens, 9 guineas, 3 turkeys.

The Easter Eggers a couple months ago.


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Post  quiltbea 1/8/2012, 1:44 pm

Can you tell I'm green with envy? Nonetheless, love this thread.
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Post  miinva 1/8/2012, 1:45 pm

I had no idea the variety of colors of chickens, let alone eggs! Our Araucauna mix lays pretty blue-green eggs, which are actually blue-shelled eggs with a coating of brown over them. I read somewhere that egg shells are either white or blue and the other colors of eggs are caused by a coating the hen deposits as the egg passes through her oviduct, but I'm not sure that's factual. Either way, I love Lily's beautiful eggs. Smile One of our hens lays eggs that have varying shell quality. I know it isn't dietary because she eats the same feed Lily does and her eggs have good strong shells, so it must be an issue with the hen herself. She's no 'spring chicken', so that may be a factor as well. Either way she's safe here as long as she isn't mean. Smile
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Post  Rhianna78 1/8/2012, 1:50 pm

Carolyn I'm just green!! My grand-dad raised easter egg hens when I was a kid. They were so cool!

I'm currently working on getting the husband to let me have a few layers (2-3). So far its a no go but I'm working on him with every + to chickens I know of. I think the "eating mosquitoes & ticks & bugs" may be working .... slowly.

I do have a question for those SFGers with chickens. How much do you spend a month on feed? The husband is grousing that they must be expensive to keep even though I've told him they'd be free rangers so the feed costs would be way below cooped up ones.
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Post  miinva 1/8/2012, 1:59 pm

We feed our chickens year-round to make sure they're getting all of their nutrients, and we always have oyster shell out for them if they want it. That said, we only have three hens, so if we spend $20 a month on feed I'd be surprised, although that doesn't include the treats I give them. I buy organic puffed grain cereals from Whole Foods as treats for them, as well as dried meal worms (which are disgusting, but the chickens adore them!). They like quite a few kitchen scraps although you have to watch giving them things that can alter the flavor of the eggs, such as onions or garlic. I occasionally give them a bit of ground flax seed to enhance the nutrients in their eggs too, but you don't have to do that to raise healthy chickens.

We bought our chicken coop from TSC for $99 and then my husband built a little run to attach to it so they have a little room when they aren't free ranging. We only let them free range when we're home because I'm on over-protective mommy. Smile
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