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 Message Boards » » The Official Chicken-Raising Thread Page [1] 2 3, Next  
AntiMnifesto
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We finally got an ordinance allowing us to raise chickens in Durham passed at the Feb. 2 City Council meeting. We are going to apply for the coop and chicken permits very soon. I'm planning on raising
mainly Araucanas/Ameracaunas with some more exotic breeds thrown in. Any other recommendations?

If the permits aren't a super hassle, I hope to have the chicks here by mid-April, and out in the coop by early June at the latest. We should have eggs by mid-September (it's been 3 years since I last raised a flock, so I have to brush up on my chicken knowledge).

Who else is raising chickens? What does your coop look like? Are you raising just hens, or
broilers too?

2/24/2009 5:59:19 PM

tchenku
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thai roosters are some ugly things but check this out

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CWrySfx2gSw

2/24/2009 6:08:05 PM

NeuseRvrRat
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Quote :
"I have to brush up on my chicken knowledge"


all you gotta do is put them in a pen with some food and water. it isn't that difficult.

2/24/2009 6:09:41 PM

DeltaBeta
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Your neighbors are going to love you. Do they not sell eggs and chicken in the grocery stores in Durham?

2/24/2009 6:22:08 PM

ncsuapex
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watch for snakes

2/24/2009 6:24:40 PM

Willy Nilly
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I'm planning a hen coop-n-run for eggs (and fertilizer). I live right in Raleigh. I don't care whether it's legal or not.

2/24/2009 6:26:04 PM

AntiMnifesto
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^ It's legal in Raleigh. FYI, I think it's also legal in most cities in NC, except Cary. There are some
restrictions in certain places (Asheville, I know of).

I'd like to not get into a debate about the benefits of store-bought vs. home-raised eggs, but my reasons are pretty simple:

1) home-raised eggs taste better to me, with thicker yolk and better coloring
2) They completed the compost cycle with an organic garden (greens and garden scraps to chickens, then manure and bedding back into compost, then to garden, repeat)
3) I like knowing some of my food comes from a verifiable, humane source, as well as being a
potential source of food security.

Also, the coop we're building will probably be built sounder than some of the housing currently in Durham,
so I'm not worried about offending my neighbors, attacks from dogs, or noise (hens cluck but I couldn't really hear them from my last house).

2/24/2009 7:19:36 PM

69
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chickens are the nastiest damn thing you could ever keep, on any scale

2/24/2009 7:21:29 PM

colter
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down thea lane theres always a bunch of chikens always running around. I think some mexicans own them

2/24/2009 7:21:40 PM

69
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i ran over one there once, feathers all over the road, nm it was a white goose

2/24/2009 7:23:28 PM

Willy Nilly
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Quote :
"2) They completed the compost cycle with an organic garden (greens and garden scraps to chickens, then manure and bedding back into compost, then to garden, repeat)"


[Edited on February 24, 2009 at 8:04 PM. Reason : ]

2/24/2009 8:04:36 PM

tchenku
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Quote :
"then manure"


wait, you're planning to shovel up the muck and crap in the coop? HAHA good luck. Never seen that done before I give you 2 weeks if anything

Quote :
"chickens are the nastiest damn thing [next to pigs] you could ever keep, on any scale"

2/24/2009 9:04:53 PM

Willy Nilly
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^
Nah... It's not that bad -- you can design the coop to make it easy to access, plus the bedding goes with it. Super easy.
Or if you think you could make it predator-proof, you could build a coop tractor that you move every so often.
Then hens get to eat bugs without depleting them, and you get to lightly fertilize your yard bit by bit.


2/24/2009 9:47:20 PM

BobbyDigital
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if one of my neighbors did this

they would have some dead chickens.

2/24/2009 9:51:49 PM

tchenku
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^^oh.. I thought you were talking about a couple hundred square feet

2/24/2009 10:00:36 PM

NeuseRvrRat
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Quote :
"you get to lightly fertilize your yard bit by bit"


there is nothing light about it. chickens are shit factories. you'll be cutting grass almost all winter and it'll be so damn acidic you'll have to lime the fuck out of it.

ask me how i know

2/24/2009 10:05:35 PM

AntiMnifesto
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Mucking out a chicken coop once or twice a week compared to mucking out horse stalls nearly every day growing up, is a piece of cake.

Manure is a part of life, and it only smells pretty bad if not stored and disposed of properly. And there's no faster way to kill the grass on my lawn than by putting chicken manure on it.

2/24/2009 10:42:00 PM

G.O.D
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I always wanted chickens.

but I have parrots, so I guess that's just fancy chickens.

2/24/2009 11:51:26 PM

alee
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I've got seven hens as pets: red sex link, black sex link, ameracauna, and rhode island reds. They just lay eggs and enjoy life. A couple are rescues.

We converted the old playset into a little barn and fenced in run. The barn is 24 sq ft and the run is 128 sq ft. Plus, the monkey bars are still on there and they love to roost on that and the ladders. We put a tarp up over half when it rains so that part of it stays dry. Plus, they have the enclosed little barn.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/95783303@N00/sets/72157594198453188/



2/25/2009 7:17:26 AM

Willy Nilly
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^




2/25/2009 8:26:26 AM

Jader
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Quote :
"Manure is a part of life"

2/25/2009 9:12:10 AM

alee
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<3 Darwin

Also, the run has a fancy storm door which makes it easy to get in and out. Make sure you have an easy way in and out. It's a pain to go in for eggs otherwise.

2/25/2009 11:50:01 AM

fatcatt316
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I, too, would like to raise chickens once I get a house that isn't part of a HOA.

If you haven't already, you should check out the Henside the Beltline Tour d' Coop. Last year there were about 20 different places around Raleigh where you could go and see and ask questions to people who were raising chickens in their backyards.

http://www.ecojoes.com/henside-the-beltline-tour-d-coop-2008-raleigh/

They have lots of helpful advice, plus it's really cool to see all the different chicken setups they have.

The Tour d' Coop is May 16th this year. Forilla, check it out.
http://www.visitraleigh.com/event.details.php?id=13388

2/25/2009 12:11:18 PM

wlb420
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I knew some people that raised chickens, primarily to sell the eggs. Around $5 or $6/dozen I think, and there was always a waiting list.

My gramps has a few as well, but its mainly a hobby for him.

from what i've seen, they're really not that bad.

2/25/2009 1:28:18 PM

NeuseRvrRat
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they were ripping folks off

my grandaddy sells his for $1.50 a dozen

2/25/2009 1:39:23 PM

qntmfred
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i <3 chicks

6/25/2010 6:56:17 PM

NeuseRvrRat
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the house i moved into has a rabbit pen up on stilts with a wire floor and a house on one end and a tin roof. i'm gonna make the door on the house a little bigger and put about 4 chickens in there i think. it's a pretty big rabbit house.

what kind of chickens should i get? i just want some eggs. i was gonna get some red sex links or some rhode island reds.

also, what kind of cold weather preparations will i need to do? my family has raised a lot of chickens, but we always had them closed up in a house. it gets really cold up here in roxboro. will i need a heat lamp for hens or will some wheat straw in there be ok? i'm getting adult chickens, not fucking around with bitties.

6/25/2010 7:01:50 PM

traub
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whoops

[Edited on June 25, 2010 at 7:38 PM. Reason : forgot i was in lounge]

6/25/2010 7:37:48 PM

wolfpackgrrr
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This thread is relevant to my interests!

Where did you guys find information on building a coop? What do you do for easy nest access? How much to you find yourself spending on feed to supplement the bugs and crap they eat?

6/27/2010 9:57:31 AM

AntiMnifesto
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A lot of time later since I started this thread:

1) We finally got the coop and permits from the City of Durham. Don't want to do that again. We had to construct a dog-proof, hawk-proof pen (8'x8' x 16') with a 32 sq. ft. coop. Ugh.

2) I ordered 12 chicks back in the winter for May. 2 Speckled Sussex, 2 Ameracauna, 2 Barred Rocks, 2 Silver Laced Wyandotte, 2 New Hampshire Red, 2 Black Australorp. They're about 7 week old pullets, should begin laying in Sept. or Oct. I decided on heritage breeds with good egg-laying reputations.

3) Now that the chicks are older and bigger, their personalities have really come out - some are playful, shy, etc. Composting is easy, now that I can incorporate the birds into my plan.

6/27/2010 12:06:02 PM

FykalJpn
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building a coop is basically like building a dog house; you can find plenty of plans on the internets, but http://www.backyardchickens.com/ is a pretty good site. you shouldn't need a heat lamp

6/27/2010 6:30:47 PM

bcsawyer
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I graduated in 04 with a degree in Poultry Science, and I raise about 2000 chickens a year for people with small home flocks, in addition to meat chickens, hogs, turkeys, and cattle. Most of my customers have done research online and most of the information out there for home flocks is extremely overkill. Keeping chickens is very simple, and people don't need to spend $1000 plus for a coop to hold 5 or 6 chickens, and they don't have to be "babied" once they are few weeks old. If you are thinking of getting some chickens, take what you read online with a grain of salt.

6/27/2010 7:12:36 PM

FykalJpn
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http://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=3812

i think this is a pretty good design for a backyard operation. it's tall enough to walk in and the feeders are suspended so they don't get knocked over and shat in--although i wouldn't have the coop so high off the ground. they have a window on the back that isn't necessary and i would've replaced it with an egg box with a raisable lid. the opening vent is over-designed; you could just use a vent cover with adjustable louvers. also, the way they've built it, you have to clean it from inside the run. if they'd made the side-door bigger, you could close the chickens out of the coop and clean it from the outside

[Edited on June 27, 2010 at 8:14 PM. Reason : and i'd prolly use a shed roof instead of gabled]

6/27/2010 8:11:45 PM

wolfpackgrrr
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I wonder if I could convince my parents to do this. They live on a 1/2 acre in Raleigh and right now all it's used for is their dog's personal playground

6/28/2010 7:52:05 AM

quagmire02
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^^^ i can understand that...i would assume that, as a poultry science person, you (or the people you worked with) were focused on efficiency (minimum necessary for the health and safety of the birds)...people like me (and many in this thread), though, are looking for a mix of form and function, so that it looks nice in addition to accommodating the chickens

i have an acre that i'd like to build a coop on...not in any hurry, really, but i'd like to do it within the next year

do you have any links or suggestions as to what is minimally necessary to take care of chickens? i, for one, would be interested in knowing what i HAVE to do, assuming everything else is just a bonus

[Edited on June 28, 2010 at 8:13 AM. Reason : .]

6/28/2010 8:12:26 AM

bcsawyer
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Feed, water, reasonable shelter, and ample nesting space with clean material inside is all you need. Where you go from there is up to you. All we learned about in college was high density, commercial production, but we have started producing pullets, meat chickens, eggs, cattle, hogs, and turkeys on our family farm without the use of preventive antibiotics, growth promoters, and animal by-products in the feed. We grind and mix our own feed, and our animals are raised on pasture. This has required a shift in approach to the same basic knowledge. The biggest problem you will encounter when keeping chickens is predators, whether they be wild or domesticated. From my own experience and in my conversations with customers, the defining characteristic of whatever housing you build should be security from predators. I would also advise you to build your coop so that you do not have to enter it to gather eggs, and to buy enough feeders and waterers to last for 2 or 3 days at a minimum. Clean shavings in the nests is essential to keep the eggs clean and prevent breakage. If the eggs start cracking and the chickens start eating them, you might as well put them in a pot. I'll be happy to advise anyone who wants to keep chickens.

6/28/2010 11:16:28 PM

Chop
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Quote :
"chickens are the nastiest damn thing [next to pigs] you could ever keep, on any scale"


we kept chickens as a kid, and this is 100% true. roosters can be some mean boogers too.

6/28/2010 11:34:02 PM

wolfpackgrrr
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My grandmother has a home coop and I really don't think it's that dirty. But I'm also probably biased because I used to work on a commercial chicken farm

6/29/2010 12:00:05 AM

wahoowa
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i will buy eggs...who's selling

6/29/2010 12:05:53 AM

wolfpackgrrr
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bcsawyer, how do you make your feed? How much time do you find you end up spending weekly on maintaining your chickens?

6/29/2010 12:09:35 AM

bcsawyer
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I have a hammermill, and also a grinder mixer with a built in hammermill. It grinds the corn and mixes it with the other ingredients and is powered by a tractor. The hammer mill is older, driven by a flat belt, and only grinds. The grinder mixer is PTO powered and saves a lot of time since it combines steps. It would be hard for me to say how much time I spend on the chickens because the number on hand and age varies a lot and we have many other types of livestock. I will say that maintaining grown chickens is not very time consuming though.l

6/29/2010 12:18:35 AM

AntiMnifesto
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I would have preferred to build a coop without the buried fencing ( I wanted to use stones to weight down a 1-foot edge). I spent a few Saturdays digging a 12-18" trench around our pen and burying it, and standing on ladders stringing avian netting over the top. Totally overkill, but we had to to comply with city regulations.

I've also got two hunting breed dogs,and don't have to worry about them digging underneath the fence. We made the structure attractive for our neighbors- I painted the inside and outside of the coop an attractive color, the pen frame is waterproofed but left a natural pine color, and the compost pile is situated well away from any houses. I'm on good terms with them all, and I'd like to keep it that way.

Wolfpackgrrr, I'd say I spend about 20 pokey minutes a day on feeding, cleaning the coop and observing the flock. You could get that down a lot with bigger feeders or waterers.
Every few weeks we buy food and raid the crappy produce bin at the grocery store.

[Edited on June 29, 2010 at 9:06 AM. Reason : rere]

6/29/2010 9:00:58 AM

wolfpackgrrr
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When you get chance post pics of your coop

6/29/2010 9:22:53 AM

NeuseRvrRat
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i put 2 red sex links and 2 black sex links in the old rabbit pen today.

i agree on these fancy chicken pens being overkill.

7/8/2010 6:16:18 PM

1985
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Thinking about slaughtering my Americanas. they are only a year old, do you think they would taste any good?

7/8/2010 6:24:16 PM

TroopofEchos
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That's actually pretty old to be slaughtering a chicken. . . unless you plan on cooking it low and slow, going to be tough and not so yummy and even then I'd have my doubts.

Typical age of slaughter of broilers for instance, are usually 42 to 56 days leaning towards the 42 side.
I realize you are not talking about a broiler bird, but just to give you an idea.

7/8/2010 10:05:28 PM

NeuseRvrRat
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you can still use an old chicken to make stuff like chicken pastry, etc. my grandaddy had two commercial chicken houses and my granny always killed some of them when his flock went out.



got my first egg today

7/9/2010 4:19:59 PM

ALkatraz
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^This ain't no egg hunt!

7/9/2010 4:27:44 PM

1985
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^^Thats what I'm thinking, just stews and pies.

7/9/2010 4:33:58 PM

NeuseRvrRat
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give it a shot

7/9/2010 4:35:17 PM

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