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Author Topic: Chicken questions  (Read 1689 times)
Hethen57
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« on: February 10, 2010, 12:31:38 PM »

Seems like we have a bunch of Beeks who are also into chickens...I want to join you  grin

I have a couple of questions and would be interested in your thoughts:

1. How do your chickens mix with the bees?  Do I need to fence off my hives from the chickens, or will they just clean up the dead ones and coexist?

2. We are planning on getting about 10-12 layers, do I need a rooster?...or should I have one to keep the girls in line?  When we had a flock in the past, it seemed like the rooster attacked everyone who went to feed and collect eggs and the girls were skittish....my kids littorally had to put on armor to feed...now they are teens so they won't be afraid, but I don't want it to be a hassle.  On the other hand, I like the idea of them following around a rooster who will protect them and keep them from fighting with each other.  When we didn't have a rooster, I noticed the girls were friendlier, but they often picked on the weaker hens.

3.  Finally, is there any problem mixing breeds of similar size and type, ie. 4 reds, 4 leghorns, and 4 Aracaunas?

Thanks.
-Mike
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-Mike
danno
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« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2010, 02:07:01 PM »

chickens and bee get along great.  No need for any fencing.   Last year i had 75 free range layers and 30 hives.   They just ignored each other.  No need for a roaster but they can be fun to watch.  They just need to understand the pecking order.  This includes chicken and people.   Sometimes that takes one good kick.  I have never had trouble with my biggest roasters.  It the ones that are alittle lower in the chain of command that seem to get testy.  Personally I like all hens and no roasters.   Mixing and matching doesn't matter either.  The last few batches I have had and will always stick with are the hubbard Isa browns.   They eat less,  lay more and the eggs are sooooooo big.
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JP
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« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2010, 02:15:21 PM »

Danno pretty much covered all the bases. I have seven layers, no rooster. 2 Buff orpingtons, 2 silver laced wyandottes, 3 Easter eggers.

The chickens don't eat the bees, at least mine don't and the bees can care less they are around them. I throw scratch out right in front of the hives, the chickens peck away while the bees go to and fro. Everyone is happy.


...JP
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danno
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« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2010, 02:26:24 PM »

Buff orpingtons are another bird that I have had and really liked
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Hethen57
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« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2010, 02:35:14 PM »

Very cool...thanks for the input....that helps a ton!  I'm glad to hear that the chickens won't harm the bees...that will allow me to move my bees back about 10 feet into the chicken area where they will get more winter sun.  Now I need to get to work constructing the hen house.
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-Mike
Portia
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« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2010, 07:33:53 PM »

Another couple of very hardy and docile heavy breeds that I would recommend are speckled sussex and black australorp.  Even the roosters of this breed are quite friendly, at least the one's I've had.  I have also found salmon favorelle to be a good breed.  In my flock there are also silver laced wyandotte (females are elusive, males are feisty & have had to be rehomed), barred rocks (females are always at the top of the hierarchy, have not dealt with purebred males), welsummers (flighty but hardy), leghorns (very flighty birds) and araucana (not the hardiest and don't lay much in the winter).  For the exception of the auraucana's all the above breeds are good year-round layers that do very well in a true free range living situation.   
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lakeman
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« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2010, 08:08:45 PM »

Do you belong to this chicken forum?

http://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/index.php
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Hethen57
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« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2010, 02:20:02 PM »

No, I don't...but it looks great!  I need to join and add it to the list of my "hobby" forums  shocked....if I find very many more good hobby forums, it will be difficult to get any "work" done at work...haha
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-Mike
lakeman
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« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2010, 05:37:54 PM »

No, I don't...but it looks great!  I need to join and add it to the list of my "hobby" forums  shocked....if I find very many more good hobby forums, it will be difficult to get any "work" done at work...haha

Every time I get interested in a new subject, venture, purchase of a product, or a repair to make on something, I google for a couple of forums on the subject. And I end up on one long list of forums.
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Cindi
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« Reply #9 on: March 03, 2010, 09:02:02 PM »

Mike, another chicken dude, cooooool, smiling.  JP has been assimilated.  He used to only keep bees, smiling that big smile. Think it was his escapades to my house, from Missouri to BC, Canada, during those midnight cyber-flights, trying to steal my Muscovy ducks for his dinner table  shocked (this is a standing joke with him and me, if you didn't know, smiling).

Anyways.  I would never be without a rooster.  I have several different breeds of chickens, all of the standard size.  I have light Brahma, blue, black and splash Cochins, gold laced Wyandottes, and buff Orpington.  They each have their own free ranging area.  The roosters take care of every need of the hens (none of my roosters are mean, they are all sweet and very docile and nice).  They show the gals where the best tidbits of food is, they make that rooster noise and the gals come running, like there was narry another piece of food on the earth.  He will pick up food for them, drop it, to ensure that they see what he is speaking about.  The rooster doesn't forage that much.  His job is to watch out.  The rooster watches the skies in particular.  His lifelong he stands watching out.  He will see a bird above in the sky long before the human eye can even detect what he is warning his gals about.  The rooster warning call is shrill, long and he means business when that is sounded.  The birds go running for their lives.  He watches, they listen.  I also believe that having a rooster around keeps the girls happy.  A happy hen makes for some very nice laying patterns.  I think that they feel protected when that rooster is nearby, they can forage constantly, never leaving their beady eyes from the stuff on the ground that they are wanting to find.  Well, other than to look around to, to see where they are going  cheesy .  I love roosters.  I sit in the house in the morning, and although the birds are still in their night houses, I can hear the call of the roosters, that begins long before that beautiful time of day, known as sunrise.  Each rooster has their own particular rooster call, and it is the most beautiful thing to listen to.  It is clear, long, and brings great pleasure to my soul and ears.  Our chicken houses are are fair distance from our home, but I can still hear them.  Sometimes it brings that swell in my throat, that lump that we all know as -- pride.  I am proud of my roosters and my hens, all the critters in my chickenyards, they are my prides and joys.  My blue Cochin rooster has the most beautiful of voices, in my opinion.  It is deep, throaty and a very powerful projection -- it is not more shrill like the other breeds, I think it is because of his massive size, throat and head.

That is my take on the rooster.  I will always have a rooster present.  Should a rooster ever become mean, that rooster would be replaced.  I will not stand for a mean rooster.  And let me tell you, I have had a couple.  A barred rock and a buff Orpington.  Neither are here anymore.  But the ones I have are just as nice as the gals that they co-exist with.  Even the blue Cochin rooster is so gentle, he is sharing with the parenting duties of the two blue Cochin hens, which hatched out a clutch together, they all share those duties, very cool to see.  Oh dear, as usual, you got that ramblin' gal goin', imagine that eh!!!   shocked Wink Smiley  Beautiful days, with love and health, Cindi
 
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