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 I am getting chickens - help with a few things please

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Susie Wusie



Posts : 27
Join date : 2012-03-05

PostSubject: I am getting chickens - help with a few things please   Tue Mar 06, 2012 5:07 am

I am about to get chickens Shocked Very Happy and am having a hard time deciding what to get. I want to get some fancy looking chickens, not the commercial variety. Hell I am semi retired so I want something pretty to look at!

Just wondering what chooks you all have? I love the look of Silver Wyandottes. I want a few breeds and maybe 12 chookies in total. a want half of them to be reliable layers. The pretty chickens - doesn't matter as much. They are just going to be walking ornaments for the garden. I have started erecting a star picket and chicken wire fence around my vegetable patch that is about 20 metres by 10 metres. How high should the fence be? How high can they fly? How do I clip wings?

My main goals are:

Use a good type of mixed food for them and avoid GMO; I really dont like the idea of feeding my family and I eggs that have come from chooks eating GMOs, it is the corn that is not guaranteed apparently. Am I being over protective ? I buy organic [and grow] as much as I can and prioritize the things we eat the most of. Also dont particularly want to support the GMO industry.

I could sell a few eggs at work, but not enough to cover the cost of feed I dont think.

Thoughts please. Smile
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Tallula Belle

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Posts : 76
Join date : 2012-02-28
Age : 40
Location : Australia

PostSubject: Re: I am getting chickens - help with a few things please   Wed Mar 07, 2012 5:44 am

Hi Susie,

I reckon the fence around your vegetable patch should be 6ft high/2m, only going by our experience. You could start with lower than that and see what happens but I would hate to see the consequences of a dozen chickens (or even one), free ranging through a vegetable patch.

We have 2 chickens - one Rhode Island Red and one Isa Brown. The Isa is pretty good at flying, even when I clip her wings. I clip the feathers on one wing so fly crooked and they can't get the height that they need to get out of their run (although we free range our ladies in the afternoons after they have laid their eggs and when we are home to supervise them as we have NO fence or netting around our vegetable patch.

You would be able to find a video on Youtube of how to clip chook wings.

Everyone raves around Australorps. They are black, lay well and are friendly. Have you seen this page on the LOTG website: http://www.livingoffthegrid.com.au/articles/chicken_varieties.html

We use a feed that is a layer mix called "Darling Downs Layer Mix" by Barastock. Not sure if you can get it down there (I am in South East Queensland). It keeps them looking very healthy and the eggs are great. We noticed a huge difference when we changed to it from a straight pellet feed.

Hope that helps. Very Happy

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bugboy

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Join date : 2012-03-01
Age : 40
Location : Border Ranges

PostSubject: Re: I am getting chickens - help with a few things please   Fri Mar 09, 2012 2:17 am

Fence height really depends on the breed. We have a mix of breeds. The white sussex, which are a heavier meat and eggs breed, have no hope of flying over a 1.5m fence. The australorp can do it easy, as can the rhode island red and the ISA's, but they don't tend to bother because they have a huge area to free range when they're out. I don't clip my chickens wings, mostly because there is no need and I can't be bothered to be honest Laughing

If you are giving your chickens all your weeds, free range on the grass and some foliage plus all your vegie scraps they really won't need that much feed. To give you an idea, when we had 12 chickens which were free ranging with all the garden refuse and kitchen scraps we would go through about a bag of feed per 1.5-2mths. At the moment I have them turning over a garden bed for me and 7 chickens get about 1/2 a small icecream container a day of feed plus all the house yard clippings, rotten fruit and veg, kitchen scraps and weeds. That usually goes up a bit in winter. There are organic feeds out there, they can just be hard to find sometimes.

All our girls are reliable layers. I'm looking at getting a few more australorps and some speckled sussex sometime soon.
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Tallula Belle

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Age : 40
Location : Australia

PostSubject: Re: I am getting chickens - help with a few things please   Fri Mar 09, 2012 8:16 am

I haven't had to clip wings since we got rid of our 'evil' Twisted Evil (yes evil) chicken. I have just twigged that the reason why the chickens were flying over a 6ft fence was out of desperation to get away from the bully. Sad Oh well, she's gone now.

We don't need much feed either - we give the girls two small scoops of feed a day plus kitchen scraps and then they free range too. The love some of the weeks in our garden. Particularly the grass. Lawn clippings go into their run and the go nuts for it.
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Susie Wusie



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Join date : 2012-03-05

PostSubject: Re: I am getting chickens - help with a few things please   Sat Mar 10, 2012 2:57 am

An evil chicken? I dont doubt it. Dare I ask how you got rid of it?

Well I have got my feelers out for some local chickens. Stay tuned. This weekend I am putting up the fence around the vegetable patch and my daughter is bringing up their old dog kennel to use as a roost box sleeping quarters. I am deciding whether or not I want a chicken run or not. I am thinking that while I have all these star pickets and chicken wire lying around I may as well do it while I am on a role. I will make it 2 metres by 2 metres and stick the dog kennel in a corner. If only I knew how to make a gate.
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