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Old 05-08-2011, 04:55 AM   #11
elsasmom
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I love my 3 chickens and 3 ducks. I served duck egg quiche tonight for a potluck and got rave reveiws Even better than the yummy free range eggs is the pet value of my girls. After my ancient hen, Ruby Tuesday, died last Winter snuggled next to a heater, my duckie girls are the oldest at 4 years old. I raised my Muscovy ducks from week old ducklings. They are Poopy, Soupy and Peanut.
Next is my 3 year old Black Star, Henny's Penny and then my 2 year olds; a Barred Rock named Brigit Barred Dot and an Aracauna mix named Juicy Lucy. I got my hens as young pullets.
We let them loose in the morning and one of us has to be home to lock everyone up at dusk to protect them from the night predation. I've only lost one bird in 4 years. She wandered too far into the woods when we had a fox patrolling the area. That was Penny's friend, Henny. We now keep them in their 2000 foot pen if we both leave during the day and can't leave Elsa June out in the yard to watch them.
They all sleep in a 6x6 steel coop inside a covered wire pen inside the 2000 square foot 5 foot high fence buried a foot deep. (hasn't been breached by predator yet)[ATTACH]elsa and hens.jpg[/ATTACH]
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Old 05-08-2011, 12:19 PM   #12
JessicaR
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I am looking foreward to getting my chicks next year! Right now I am just reading everything I can.

I would love to have ducks too but I dont have that big of a yard and I dont know what they would swim in They would be great for herding though.
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Old 05-09-2011, 02:42 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JessicaR View Post
I am looking foreward to getting my chicks next year! Right now I am just reading everything I can.

I would love to have ducks too but I dont have that big of a yard and I dont know what they would swim in They would be great for herding though.

I take Tigger now to go herding ducks n sheep and the lady is getting goats for us to train on too...

I too wish I could have ducks instead of traveling 70miles and paying for lessons...XD
~Meredith
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Old 05-09-2011, 02:48 AM   #14
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Chickens in Winter:

To answer your question, chickens can live in really small places. Most eggs that are produced in USA are from chickens that LIVE in a 2x2x2 little box (if that big). Some are crammed in 3 birds to a "box", and cannot sit...there are youtube videos on this sorta thing...and documentarys....

I am just saying that to show you the extream of what they can indure, so you dont feel bad about "cooping" up the birds

If you have a roomy coop, they will be fine to stay in there in winter. My little shed is plenty big enough for them to stay happy in the winter, a little fresh air wont hurt them though I plan on letting them play in the snow a little ...

To have hens lay eggs throughout winter (they will stop laying eggs because chicks+winter=dead chicks) you can feed them protine. Someone told me lima beans will do the trick.
~Meredith
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"He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion."
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Old 05-09-2011, 10:44 AM   #15
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I have seen some videos on the way they are treated it is really sick to watch! Makes me want my own chickens all the more, at least they will be treated good even if they dont lay eggs. Plus I know what they are eating and will have better quaility eggs.
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Old 05-09-2011, 12:36 PM   #16
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I don't do anything to force laying during the winter months as these are pets and they need to get a natural break from laying. Some breeds are better cold weather layers than others and lay into Winter until the weather here gets very cold. I want them to use their energy to stay warm rather than laying. We don't eat eggs for a couple of months because of this and work our menus around it. Those first eggs when they start laying again are sooooo yummy.
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Old 05-10-2011, 10:44 AM   #17
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I wont be forcing mine to lay either. I think its better on their body to get that rest and mine will be pets too.
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Old 05-11-2011, 08:21 PM   #18
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Love the pics with Elsa and friends. That is too cute. Unfortunately, chickens are the only thing Cerbie has ever shown prey drive toward. He's ok with ducks, though.
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Old 05-14-2011, 12:29 PM   #19
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Fascinating subject! I've often thought of raising chickens but have never attempted it myself...got enough critters to feed you know. Guy at work has been bringing in his eggs and they really are better than the store-bought eggs! Good luck with your venture!
Sharon - Mom to Mozart, Monte, Merlin and Mylee! my boyz!
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Old 05-15-2011, 03:03 AM   #20
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Fascinating subject! I've often thought of raising chickens but have never attempted it myself...got enough critters to feed you know. Guy at work has been bringing in his eggs and they really are better than the store-bought eggs! Good luck with your venture!
The eggs really are tasty. We just finished eating duck egg omelets with the first asparagus from the garden. YUMMY
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