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Author Topic: Chicken ?  (Read 11605 times)
kathyp
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« on: July 27, 2012, 10:30:23 PM »

finally got the coop done and yard fenced.  i found a guy with chickens and he's not to far from me.  he has several different breeds.  i don't care what color the eggs are.  i want something that is fairly disease resistant, takes the cold/wet, and is a consistent layer.  also...do you find some breeds more apt to set if given the chance?

what are your favorites and why?

oh yeah....was planning on getting a rooster.  i remember how nasty some of ours had gotten.  also remember my mom taking the .22 to one of them.... evil  any breeds that are less apt to get nasty?
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

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AllenF
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« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2012, 10:39:27 PM »

My leghorns are the sweetest chickens I have ever had. 
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Okytransplant
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« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2012, 03:48:16 PM »

Are you looking for eggs or eggs and meat?  Leghorns are great layers, but they are not meant for meat production.  They put everything they can into eggs. As for roosters any breed can be nasty. If you run across one just send it to freezer camp or auction.  I run barred rocks myself. They are doing great for me.
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David McLeod
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« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2012, 04:36:10 PM »

For eggs I like minorcas, less flighty than leghorns, meat birds cornish crosses, best all purpose orpingtons or wyandottes. The latter two are particularly calm birds including the roosters with orpingtons being almost to calm, can be bullied by other breeds. Avoid rhode island reds, they are the best of the brown egg layers but they are vicious little bleep that will kill each other and all the roosters have an attitude. The leghorns roosters live to fight as well. If you want a red bird the new hampshires have all the good traits of the rir without the nastiness. The rocks are another dual purpose but they lean more to the meat side than the egg side.
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kathyp
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« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2012, 05:11:24 PM »

eggs.  not to worry about the rooster.  it wouldn't be the first to end up in the crock pot.  i got the hens.  don't have the rooster yet. 

i remember when i was a kid our rooster ticked my  mom off so much she went out with the .22 and put it to rest.   grin
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
JP
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« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2012, 05:34:36 PM »

Kathy, why do you want a rooster?

I really like orpingtons and am very fond of wyandottes but my favorite is the black sex link. My sex link Beatty lays a huge egg and she is such a sweet and smart bird.


...JP
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« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2012, 06:05:25 PM »

JP reminded me of one other,  the australorp. A great breed and layer, sad fact is that they fail to live up to the legend of their laying ability. Great layers but no better than their parent breed with a smaller carcass size.

Others I've fooled with.

Cochins, all colors and sizes, are my father's favorite. Lovely birds, colorful balls of feathers. Almost all are decent layers and the large size dress out well. Temperament is usually very calm to their owners but some roosters will scrap with other roosters.
Favorelles, a waste of feathers all the way around unless you like five toed birds.
Hamburgs are really nice but flighty and can only lay a small egg. In spite if that they are one of my favorites.
Brahmas are decent layers and sharp looking to boot.
Cornish are novelties only or making your own meat crosses. Poor layers of small eggs. Other than that they are a good bird.
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BlueBee
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« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2012, 06:12:33 PM »

Interesting.  I’ve been thinking of getting some chickens too.  More or less just enough for family and friends.  How big of a pen do you need?
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AllenF
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« Reply #8 on: July 31, 2012, 07:18:06 PM »

I have not closed the door to the chicken pen since March of last year.   Just let them run around.  They still go on roost in the pen every night.  My pen big enough to park a car in, if the door was only big enough.  They also still lay in there, same box as always.  Very nice hens.   
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BlueBee
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« Reply #9 on: July 31, 2012, 09:12:07 PM »

Wiki says these Leghorns are the number one breed for large scale commercial egg production.  Maybe a dumb question, but why so many different sized eggs at the grocery store?  Large, extra large, jumbo, etc?  Are these all from Leghorns or are they from different breeds?
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AllenF
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« Reply #10 on: July 31, 2012, 09:41:13 PM »

My leghorns throw about the same size eggs.   When I had RIRs, they laid eggs of all sizes.   From jumbos to little bitties.   I think the different sizes all still come from the same breeds.   There are just so many eggs laid, they get separated into sizes easily. 
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David McLeod
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« Reply #11 on: July 31, 2012, 09:43:44 PM »

Generally, yes, all those pretty white eggs at the store come from strains of the white leghorn bred for egg production, usually the pearl or similar strain. The size differences are because in spite of years of intensive breeding the laying hen clone has yet to be developed and some lay larger eggs than others and even that may vary from day to day or with age. Generally, a pullet starts laying very small pullet eggs before developing her full potential. Once she goes into full production the egg size will stay pretty much the same size over the season and then may drop off slightly in size as she plays out for the season. If your store carries brown eggs then those will more than likely come from some sort of production strain of Rhode Island Red or sex linked red like the Comets or Red Stars, possibly even a black sex link usually off of the Australorp.
The leghorns greatest attribute is it's feed to egg conversion ratio. It develops very fast (most breeds will not lay their first egg until 4-5 months of age) often beginning laying earlier than all others. It then proceeds to lay an average of better than 300 eggs per year while consuming less feed per egg weight than any other breed. Most commercial laying hens are culled (where do you think chicken soup chickens come from) after the first season as the second and consecutive seasons are never as good as the first plus production strains "wear out" faster. Most of your brown egg layers can lay well into their second season but there the producer has to weigh the feed costs vs culling.
At one time other mediteranean breeds (the breeds that lay white eggs) were used commercially with the minorcas being the main competition but most of these other breeds are larger birds and require more feed so they fell by the wayside. I like the minorcas because they are the most consistant layers of jumbo sized eggs.
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Georgia Wildlife Services,Inc
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www.atlantawildliferemoval.net
georgiawildlifeservices@gmail.com
kathyp
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« Reply #12 on: July 31, 2012, 10:59:41 PM »

JP, the rooster is because we are going into survival mode here.  if one of the hens will set, that would be great.  if not, i'll go the incubator route...which is kind of a PIA, but....

the rooster was delivered tonight. 
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
David McLeod
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« Reply #13 on: July 31, 2012, 11:26:06 PM »

Kathy, if you want a broody hen look to either a a heritage breed or some of your bantams or silkies. Avoid any of your production strains. Broody hens quit laying while brooding so the maternal instinct has been bred out of production lines. Silkies make great brood hens but are otherwise the ugliest bird on the planet.
Just me but I would have both a brood hen and an incubator. That way you can hatch what you want to when you want. Hens don't go bloody on our schedule.
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Georgia Wildlife Services,Inc
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kathyp
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« Reply #14 on: July 31, 2012, 11:29:25 PM »

i just hate the incubator thing.  i have done it before and not my most fun thing  grin
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
David McLeod
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« Reply #15 on: July 31, 2012, 11:43:37 PM »

I agree but if you are interested keeping a large flock of layers it's nice to be able to hatch off a few dozen on your schedule.
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Georgia Wildlife Services,Inc
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JP
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« Reply #16 on: August 01, 2012, 08:23:49 AM »

So Kathy, you're looking into egg and meat production?


...JP
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My pictures can be viewed at http://picasaweb.google.com/pyxicephalus
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BlueBee
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« Reply #17 on: August 01, 2012, 09:43:44 AM »

Relative to bees, how much of a learning curve is there to keep chickens?  Are chickens a pretty simple endeavor?  Do they require constant attention?
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David McLeod
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« Reply #18 on: August 01, 2012, 10:07:28 AM »

Compared to bees chickens require daily attention and constant protection. Unlike bees they do not gather there own food and water unless they're free ranged on good pasture and even they usually need supplemental grain. Protection in the form of a secure coop is a must as everything from snakes to owls like chicken which is why I refuse to recommend free ranging chickens. Free range in regards to poultry is another way of saying predator buffet.
Now with a good quality coop and barring pest and pestilence a daily visit to feed and water plus collect the eggs when they occur chickens can be very low maintenance. The main issue is to get the chick's off to a good start. They get chilled easily and need to be kept in a brooder for warmth until fully feathered and fed a proper diet. Once feathered they can venture out and pretty much fend for themselves as long as you keep food and water available. Then it's just monitoring for health issues like impacted eggs in young pullets, mites, bumblefoot, picking (they can kill each other in their pecking order squabbles) or nasty traits like egg eating.
Anyone who has the wherewithal to take up beekeeping should do just fine with chickens.
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Georgia Wildlife Services,Inc
Georgia's Full Service Wildlife Solution
Atlanta (678) 572-8269 Macon (478) 227-4497
www.atlantawildliferemoval.net
georgiawildlifeservices@gmail.com
kathyp
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« Reply #19 on: August 01, 2012, 11:10:50 AM »

jp...eggs.
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
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