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Discussion Starter #1
I am moving into my new house in about a month. I would like to have chickens for eggs and a small hobby.

I have tons of questions, as I know absolutely nothing about them. If you know something about them - lets hear it.

Jericho - I will be blowing your phone up with questions and advice, but I though it might make a good thread and there might be one or two other people who have been thinking about it.
 

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On the backside of my pole barn, there is a kennel for beagles - it has an outside pad that is chain link fenced in - and there is a small "hole" in the wall for the beagles to come in and out of the barn. One the inside is a couple of stalls that the beagles use as a giant dog box. Pretty basic square stalls, nothing special. I am wondering what type of modifications I need to make so the chickens will nest and lay eggs. Do they build their own nest? Do the chickens nesting areas need to be separated by having their own little house or box?

Lights? Heat?

How much space does each bird need to itself?

If I open the chain link gate during the day, will they roam the yard and come back in at night on their own?

I would like to have brown eggs. What species of chicken? I only want about 4-5 chickens, and a rooster. Does the species of rooster mattter to the species of chicken?

What are some things to consider as far as predators?
Are they aggressive when you collect eggs?

I don't have or keep my beagle in there so I was thinking chickens would be fun.
 

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Any hungry dogs around in the new neighborhood?:biggrin:
 

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You would use a beagle kennel to house CHICKENS!!!! That's just not right:yikes:
 

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Really have to watch out for the ****. They love to sneek in and take chickens.

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Next time we get together we can talk. I'm sure you've googled the hell out of it. They're really easy to keep, especially if you get your wife to do it.


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You would use a beagle kennel to house CHICKENS!!!! That's just not right:yikes:
Ha!

My beagles are spoiled like you wouldn't believe! The da** mutts have more rights than I do around the house! Momma sees to it!

56 - I don't think there are hungry dogs? The west and south of our place butts up to a coule thousand acres of Englewood Metropark property, and the east side is a big farm, soybean field. I am more worried about yotes from the metropark land:mad:
 

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Next time we get together we can talk. I'm sure you've googled the hell out of it. They're really easy to keep, especially if you get your wife to do it.

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The secret to success raising chickens!:biggrin:
 

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Ha!

My beagles are spoiled like you wouldn't believe! The da** mutts have more rights than I do around the house! Momma sees to it!

56 - I don't think there are hungry dogs? The west and south of our place butts up to a coule thousand acres of Englewood Metropark property, and the east side is a big farm, soybean field. I am more worried about yotes from the metropark land:mad:
I'd worry more about hawks and *****.

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Have fun with your chickens. They can be kind of addicting. I started with 20 started pullets in 2000 and have had some ever since. I keep about 20 to 40 layers and raise 100 meat chickens on pasture every summer. We butcher the meat chickens and old layers ourselves. The meat birds can be a little tricky but layers are easy. Pretty much any building can be converted to house them. The more room the better. I think the books say something like 4 square foot per bird but up north here where the snow piles deep and the birds are sometimes cooped up for a couple months, I double that square footage. Stray dogs and racoons are the biggest predators around here. I lost 14 of 16 laying hens one evening to a stray dog. Coyotes are a problem but they tend to snatch a chicken and run off (but they do come back for more). Dogs, racoons and weasels will come in and kill a bunch at once. Feel free to pm me if you have any questions.

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I would get a bunch of Rhode Island reds for layers if you want brown eggs. Also watch out for skunks they like to sneak in there and get one or two of them.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks guys!

If I let them roam around the yard during the day, will they take themselves back in at night or will I have to chase them around and gather them up?

To start, I think I only want 3-4 layers and a rooster. What breed of rooster? Does it matter?
 

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Thanks guys!

If I let them roam around the yard during the day, will they take themselves back in at night or will I have to chase them around and gather them up?

To start, I think I only want 3-4 layers and a rooster. What breed of rooster? Does it matter?
When you first get em, if you keep em pinned for a few days they'll all go back in at night. I know folks who have automatic doors that open and close morning and night.

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I keep mine locked up in the barn until around lunchtime. If I don't after a few days some of them will start laying eggs in places where I can't find the eggs. The majority of eggs get laid early in the day. If no one can let them out at noon, mine just stay in until I get home from work. I have friends that let their chickens loose all day but they will miss finding some eggs being laid elsewhere but they don't care.

The only reason to have a rooster is because you want to hear the cockadoodle do or you like the way they look. You don't need a rooster for the hens to lay eggs. In fact over time, a rooster will pull all the feathers off the hens' backs and you will have bald hens until their next molt. Overall standard sized roosters tend to be less mean then bantams but there are mean roosters and nice roosters in any breed. Most of mine I have had over the years have been rhode island red roosters. I've never had too big of a problem but if I had young kids around I would be concerned some. I've actually been roosterless for a couple years and while the hens are very happy, I miss the crowing. So I have some new 4 week old layer chicks with some roosters in the mix that I will choose 2 to keep and butcher the rest.

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It's true about keepin them in till late morning, but most of the time, missing feathers is a mite issue. Roosters do grab on, but usually not to the extent where there's baldness.
Whenever I see it, I think mites.


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It's true about keepin them in till late morning, but most of the time, missing feathers is a mite issue. Roosters do grab on, but usually not to the extent where there's baldness.
Whenever I see it, I think mites.

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I am talking feather loss right on top of their backs where the roosters tread (sp?). All I know is whenever I have roosters the hens have bald backs and whenever I don't have roosters my hens have feathers on their backs. I have had some feather loss from mites before but that tends to be all over.

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I am talking feather loss right on top of their backs where the roosters tread (sp?). All I know is whenever I have roosters the hens have bald backs and whenever I don't have roosters my hens have feathers on their backs. I have had some feather loss from mites before but that tends to be all over.

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X2

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Same place I'm talking about.
Unless your rooster(s) is/are only hittin the same hen and constantly, it's from mites.
Not saying the rooster doesn't contribute a little, but mites are the underlying cause.
I see people all the time with this happening. They always say its from their rooster. I used to believe the same thing until I heard from a buddy of mine how that was a myth. I didn't believe him. I did a lot of research and I've since changed my opinion about it. Maybe look into it and you'll do the same?


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i've heard piping in some real soft music will increase number of eggs layed...i think the big egg farms do it...you might want to consider it...prolly classical music i imagine...:D
 
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