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Topic by XploreOrganics posted 1674 days ago 12191 views 1 time favorited 27 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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XploreOrganics

1393 posts in 2485 days
hardiness zone 5b

1674 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: chickens resource

There has been much discussion on GardenTenders about chickens in the garden.

Iceflower recently brought the subject around again so on MsD’s request, I would like to summarize a few points that have been made on chickens in the garden.

Chickens can be a treasure in the garden and as Scott Recently mentioned, there are many breeds to choose from for egg laying ability, ones more suitable for meat or chickens can be purely for manure, fun and interest in the garden.

They are not without their difficulties, care such as food, clean water, protection, and shelter needs to be provided. Scott also has several postings on Chickens, including a detailed blog on how he built his coop. Scott’s Chicken Blogs

Eklectic has also added a project on her tidy little chicken coop

If you are pondering chickens in your garden, here are some basic care tips:

Food and Water
Water – access to clean, water 24 hours a day.

Food – wholesome feed, seeds, scraps and access to range free from contamination and mold (which is highly poisonous to chickens).

Provide feed in sanitary containers and place it so as to minimize contamination but provide free access to the birds.

Shelter
Is provided to protect the birds from direct sunlight, rain, wind and predators and offers a safe clean place for them to lay your eggs.

Shelter should be large enough to allow them to make normal movements of stretching wings. Inadequate space may cause malnutrition, poor condition, debility, stress, or abnormal behaviors.

Shelters should be cleaned regularly.

Chickens should be kept in areas not more than 80 degrees Fahrenheit (chickens develop heat stress easily which can kill them) but not less than 20 degrees Fahrenheit.

Tractors can also be provided to keep chickens protected and move them freely about the garden so that they will do minimal damage to any one crop. Here is our tractor.

Related GT ‘Chickens” Discussions

-- Xploreorganics, 5b Canada, LFD 06-20 http://colorfulcanary.blogspot.com/



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MsDebbieP

14682 posts in 2606 days
hardiness zone 5b

1674 days ago

that’s wonderful.
Thanks XO. I love “one stop shopping” :)

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

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sharad

1632 posts in 1823 days
hardiness zone 11

1673 days ago

Thanks XO for the additional information on care of chickens.
Sharad

-- Bagwan-- “If someone feels that they had never made a mistake in their life, then it means they have never tried a new thing in their life”.-Albert Einstein

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MsDebbieP

14682 posts in 2606 days
hardiness zone 5b

1673 days ago

I keep swaying “get chickens / don’t get chickens” “think of the benefits / think of the work” .. sigh

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

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Scott Hildenbrand

1690 posts in 2378 days
hardiness zone 6b

1673 days ago

Eh.. I did the math how much eggs are costing me per dozen.. This does not count in the $12 50# bag of oyster shells, nor the $9 bag of grit I need to buy once in a while (every 4-5 months?)..

Also doesn’t count the $1k for the building (estimate.. I gave up keeping track.. For the sake of my sanity).. Also doesn’t count the cost of chicks, lamp, feeders and all that other stuff to get started, or the 5-6 months of food till they start laying.. ;)

A 50# ($8) bag of feed lasts 19 days…......
That’s 2.63 lb a day between 12 chickens….....
Total of 78.9 lb in a month gulped down….....
Cost is about $.16 per lb…..
At 30 days, that’s $12.63 a month for chicken feed…...
11 laying hens, we get 6 eggs a day on average…....
6 eggs a day over 30 days is… 180 eggs…....
Those 180 eggs cost us $.07 each…..

That makes it $.84 a dozen.

We got 7 eggs today.. :)

As far as work goes.. It’s really not much… So long as the shavings are DRY and stay such, you can leave them in place… I’ve got 6 or 7 bags of shavings down.. I just add more when I think the poo is getting thick..

I get up… I go outside.. I open the pop door… I get eggs..

I get bored while working, take a break at lunch and go outside, collect more eggs.

Before supper I wonder out, go pester the rooster… Get more eggs if any.

Sun goes down, I go outside… Go in and harass the rooster some more, loving him up and ruffling his feathers while he’s roosting… Close the pop door.. Get any final eggs.

Now and then I need to feed and water them.. It’s really been less work than I’d have expected.

-- Planting Daylilies in Kentucky, zone 6b

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Greenthumb

2287 posts in 2426 days

1673 days ago

only a fool would put their chickens in the garden…...............like me.

-- just one more rock, and the garden is done ; )

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

14682 posts in 2606 days
hardiness zone 5b

1672 days ago

oh sure.. add that bit about “less work than you thought” ...

I chuckled at the “didn’t count this.. and didn’t count that.. and didn’t count this.. ”
all those items are regarding the fun of it all … you’re right – they don’t count in the price of eggs.
thanks for calculating it..

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

View erika's profile

erika

415 posts in 1655 days
hardiness zone 5a

1632 days ago

There was a time I only ate free-range, fresh-from-the-farm eggs. It was easy. The egg lady came to the office every week with her wares. One day, she did not come so I decided to drive to her farm and pick them up myself. It was a hot and humid August day. I drove up the long driveway to her house. When I rolled down the window and took a whiff, I almost passed out. Chicken poop stinks to high heaven. You haven’t smelled poop till you’ve smelled chicken poop. From that day forward, I bought my eggs at the supermarket.

Rabbit rearing is far nicer. They are easy to feed – they love grass and lettuce and stuff like that, they multiply like there is no tomorrow, their poop – nice little pellets – don’t smell and make perfect fertilizer, and their meat is so lovely and tasty. Plus, you can use their pelts.

Kill the Easter Bunny, you say? Well, don’t think of it that way. You have to kill a chicken too, if you want it for supper.

I know all this because my mother used to raise rabbits in our back yard. I must say the kids at school were horrified when I told them we had one for dinner. I’ll never forget the way they looked at me – like I was a murderer or cannibal.

-- Erika, Hastings, ON

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Iris43

3807 posts in 2236 days
hardiness zone 5a

1632 days ago

LOL! Erika, I don’t know who was more truamatized….the children who found out that people eat the Easter rabbit or you…....having to live with that ‘look’ planted in your mind.
My father was a hunter and trapper. When I was growing up, we had rabbit, squirrel, deer and whatever else was in season on our supper table——sometimes even bear or moose. Youngsters today do not have a very realistic view of makes their life so good. :-)

-- 'To plant a Garden is to believe in Tomorrow'

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XploreOrganics

1393 posts in 2485 days
hardiness zone 5b

1632 days ago

I get a little miffed at the people who keep chickens in this condition thus making chickens the blame for something that is a human error….Dog poop smells, cat poop smells worse and chicken poo smells but if they are kept clean and in sanitary conditions then there are no smells…Nobody has ever smelled anything on my chickens.

-- Xploreorganics, 5b Canada, LFD 06-20 http://colorfulcanary.blogspot.com/

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

14682 posts in 2606 days
hardiness zone 5b

1632 days ago

liquid chicken manure is even worse than fresh/decomposing.
I don’t mind the aroma of manure – typically – but I draw the line at liquid c.m. GAG

We raised/ate rabbit for many years. A friend of mine said that we ate bunny. No we ate rabbit.
(The rabbits were named BBQ, Charcoal, cinnamon, ... ) It was our source of food.

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

View erika's profile

erika

415 posts in 1655 days
hardiness zone 5a

1632 days ago

Oh Iris43, I didn’t mean to make you feel bad. What I smelled was the poop, not the chicken. They were running free so they pooped all over the place. In any case, I just meant to say that rabbits are easier to raise – less troublesome – lower maintenance – than chicken. Of course, they don’t lay eggs, either.

And yes, what do kids nowadays think? Where do they think the ingredients for their burgers come from? Or their hot dogs? I think it would be a good idea to send them to live on a farm for March break. Much better than getting wasted on some beach in Florida or wherever.

What say you?

-- Erika, Hastings, ON

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XploreOrganics

1393 posts in 2485 days
hardiness zone 5b

1632 days ago

Ha Erika, I don’t feel bad, just don’t like the bad reputation chickens get because their owners don’t clean their poop. Had a neighbor with 5 dogs Free range too lol) and he only cleaned their yard once a year…way worse than chicken poop ;)

-- Xploreorganics, 5b Canada, LFD 06-20 http://colorfulcanary.blogspot.com/

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mario1360

921 posts in 2021 days
hardiness zone 5a

1632 days ago

i would love to be able to have a few chickens, citiy hall is agains it :)))))

-- south shore montreal, zone 5a, whish it was 9

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XploreOrganics

1393 posts in 2485 days
hardiness zone 5b

1632 days ago

Try a few of these Mario…My Blog

-- Xploreorganics, 5b Canada, LFD 06-20 http://colorfulcanary.blogspot.com/

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mario1360

921 posts in 2021 days
hardiness zone 5a

1632 days ago

wow this is hilarious….thats a goodlooking bird that silkie….maybe…..

-- south shore montreal, zone 5a, whish it was 9

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

14682 posts in 2606 days
hardiness zone 5b

1560 days ago

Rick’s taking care of the neighbour’s chickens this week…. does he feed them once a day or twice a day? (the neighbour didn’t mention that bit of information)

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

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jroot

5056 posts in 2236 days
hardiness zone 5a

1560 days ago

When I had them, I used to fill the hopper in the morning, and then collect the eggs. That was all. Every operation is different though.

-- jroot ....... Southern Ontario .......... grow zone 5A ...................."Gardening is an exercise in optimism." ....... . . Author Unknown

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MsDebbieP

14682 posts in 2606 days
hardiness zone 5b

1560 days ago

thanks Jroot .

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

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Radicalfarmergal

4296 posts in 1869 days
hardiness zone 5b

1560 days ago

Do you get to keep the fresh eggs? I feed them morning and evening because that is when they do the most eating. I just give them enough so that food is not left around after they stop eating to attract other animals to a free dinner. Maybe Rick will enjoy it so much you will be getting a few chickens soon…. : )

-- "...I have nothing against authorities as such; I am only in favor of putting a question mark after just about everything they say." Ruth Stout

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MsDebbieP

14682 posts in 2606 days
hardiness zone 5b

1560 days ago

that’s what I said—we’d get to see whether we wanted to have some or not :)

thanks for the info. I’ll pass it along to Rick.

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

View rosewood513's profile

rosewood513

420 posts in 1956 days
hardiness zone 6b

1557 days ago

I have 6 hens, I love them all, they will never be dinner. There is nothing wrong with eating your animals, It’s just that I am not that into it. You are basically all right about how to keep and feed them.
One thing, correct me if I missed someone saying this, but they destroy your garden. Last year I started to let them out of their fairly large pen to walk around, big mistake. Within one hour they were digging up all the grass they could find. Ok that was not so bad, when they got into the raspberry patch I figured they can eat the bottom and I get to eat the top there’s plenty to go around.But, Today I found them jumping to get last years dead ones. so funny.
But when they got into the tomatoes I was livid, they love tomatoes and I would share but they want them all and I want to warn you, they keep pecking at each and every one of my tomatoes until they find one they like. I did not have many tomatoes without little holes poked in them.
Their whole life is scratching, if they don’t want to eat the plants they scratch at, they scratch around the plants and actually rip them up out of the ground to get to our precious worms.
This summer, and very soon I am going to put the fence back up and contain them on one side, they are not going to like that but too bad, let them grow their own tomatoes. :o)

-- If you always do what you always did, then you will always get what you always got!...Lanoka Harbor, NJ 6b

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MsDebbieP

14682 posts in 2606 days
hardiness zone 5b

1557 days ago

“let them grown their own tomatoes” – -love it!
Someone said that they let their chickens out about half an hour before dusk and then they don’t stay out of their pens very long – just long enough to eat the bugs in the garden.

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

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MsDebbieP

14682 posts in 2606 days
hardiness zone 5b

1557 days ago

I’m afraid to check my plants now—one of the neighbour’s chickens was out of its pen and visiting my gardens.
I wondered what happened to some of my plants. I thought it was my fault – now I’m not so sure. hmmm chickens…

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

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Bon

7374 posts in 2386 days
hardiness zone 5a

1556 days ago

Although I never have and never will raise chickens I find these blogs on them very interesting.Thanks to everyone for sharing their info and pictures of them.

-- Bon,Hastings,Ont.....zone 5a....Always room for one more

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maples

45 posts in 1660 days

1556 days ago

rose wood I had the same problem with my chickens in the garden, they took a piece of everything, like a littlke kid in a new box of chocolates,, I keep them penned, I need to build a chicken tractor so they can munch on new grass and such every few days, but my new ones arnt ready for that yet, I just built a new pen for them in a section of my barn, I figure in 3 weeks they will get to see outdoors, as its starting to warm up a bit

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maples

45 posts in 1660 days

1556 days ago

PhotobucketPhotobucket

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Radicalfarmergal

4296 posts in 1869 days
hardiness zone 5b

1555 days ago

Maples, I like that photo of the pullets in the pot. Beautiful colors! That’s a nice looking little pen you built for them too.

-- "...I have nothing against authorities as such; I am only in favor of putting a question mark after just about everything they say." Ruth Stout

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