Need Bees Removed?
International
Beekeeping Forums
December 20, 2014, 11:32:46 AM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
News: ATTENTION ALL NEW MEMBERS
PLEASE READ THIS OR YOUR ACCOUNT MAY BE DELETED - CLICK HERE
 
   Home   Help Search Calendar bee removal Login Register Chat  

Pages: [1]   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Chicks or Pullets?  (Read 2280 times)
Sean Kelly
Field Bee
***
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 903


Location: Buckley, Wa

I Pick; Therefore I Grin


WWW
« on: April 21, 2007, 07:45:03 AM »

I'm starting to wonder if I should even think of raising chickens after the last two chicken posts here.  That's some freaky stuff Brian and Cindi!

My wife is pretty excited to raise some egg layers.  I had some experience with chickens when I was a kid, but pretty much forgot everything I knew.  My wife is a city girl and to her chicken was what you got in your salad from the resturaunt, not a bird.

Anyways, which is the better way to go:  Pullets or Chicks?  What are the advantages?  Any downsides to each?  Love to hear what works best for ya'll.

Sean
Logged

"My son,  eat  thou honey,  because it is good;  and the honeycomb,  which is sweet  to thy taste"          - Proverbs 24:13
MarkR
House Bee
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 167


Location: Charlottesville, VA.


WWW
« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2007, 10:22:08 AM »

Downside of chicks:  space (indoors), time, and equipment (truthfully not expensive, though)

Upside of chcks:  you're more certain of healthy birds, you know you're getting young birds that will have a full laying life, they're freakin' cute

Upside of grown pullets:  eggs almost immediately, they're already grown

Downside of grown pullets:  no certainty of age or health, they're not so cute anymore (unless you're into that sort of thing)

All things considered, I got my flock as grown birds.  I'm not raising them for meat, just for eggs.  So that's also another consideration.  If I were raising them for meat, I'd probably try to find some 20 weekers and feed the heck out of them quickly, and process them between 6 and nine months.  Either way, make sure they have quality food (also access to grass, bugs, etc.) as you'll get better quality meat and eggs.

Keep in mind, I'm not sure what your wildlife is like around you, but they're are A LOT more predators of chickens than there are of bees.  No need for a bear fence (they aren't interested around here) but you need to think about protecting them from roaming dogs, raccoons, skunks, weasels, hawks, foxes, etc. (the list goes on forever)

It is worth it though.  They're almost as fun to watch as the bees, and you just haven't lived until you've tasted real fresh eggs.

Mark

Logged
ZuniBee
House Bee
**
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 183


Location: Zuni, VA USA


WWW
« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2007, 10:27:23 AM »

Mark - how do you protect them? Do you use  movble pen and then put them in a coop every night? I am thinking of getting some chicks but am trying to figure out how to protect them.....
Logged

BeeLady
New Bee
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 49


Location: San Antonio and DeWitt Co., Texas


« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2007, 12:13:52 PM »

I have dogs so I got chicks.  Had a long time to teach the dogs (and cats) these were "my" chicks and to leave them alone.  So that's one plus for chicks.  If you are going to keep your birds confined all the time its probably not an issue but my 3 hens and "Big Rue" roam around.

I splurged on the movable hen house on www.backyardfarming.com with the auto waterer, etc.  That way when I'm not here the chickens can still get around.  Have not had any predator problems when chickens are in their coop and we have lots of coyotes, coons, etc.

I love the eggs I get and find watching these critters most entertaining.
Logged

Lauren, aka BeeLady
San Antonio, Texas
Bees in Lindenau, Texas
MarkR
House Bee
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 167


Location: Charlottesville, VA.


WWW
« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2007, 01:11:24 PM »

Zuni,

I have a pretty large run for them (about 35' square) with landscape netting over the top and two strands of electric wire around the outside of the chickenwire fence.  It's powered with a battery/solar charger that packs a punch (it's one of the lower power chargers but since it's running such a short length of wire, it's strong).  I accidently tagged it last week while clearing some brush and it really gave me quite a knock. 

My fence is only about 4' high so the hens can get out if they need to.  It's also buried about 12" into the ground so not much will dig under it.  I lost my first flock to hawks and dogs.  This is the second flock, I've had them for over a year now, and haven't (knock on wood) lost any since I built "Fort Knox".  I'd rather let them free range, but with all the critters around here, and given that I'm not here a large part of the day, it just wasn't going to work out.

I did have a hawk get tangled in the netting a while back.  Since he didn't get anything, and I like them, I worked to get him out.  He/she was fine except for the bruised ego.  I, on the other hand, needed stitches.  It was worth it though.  You don't get to see hawk up close like that very often.

Mark
Logged
BeeLady
New Bee
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 49


Location: San Antonio and DeWitt Co., Texas


« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2007, 01:16:18 PM »

My hens/roo go into their coop on their own every night.  That's another plus for chicks, they learn where to roost and go there automatically at sundown.  I close up the coop at night.  My big dogs (now chicken friendly) keep the other critters away during the day.  Hawks have gotten one chick, tho, when I let my broody hen hatch a couple of eggs.  The hawk got the chick while they were out roaming around.

The chickens are out in the country so I don't worry about stray dogs, which would be an issue around other houses.
Logged

Lauren, aka BeeLady
San Antonio, Texas
Bees in Lindenau, Texas
Cindi
Galactic Bee
******
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
Posts: 9827

Location: Grindrod, B.C. Canada


« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2007, 11:41:52 AM »

Nothing on earth can compare to fresh farm eggs.  We are getting over 2 dozen a day, between 3 families we eat a fair amount, but still have many for sale.  It pays for our food for the fowls.  We get many duck eggs too.  I actually prefer to eat the duck eggs, the taste almost the same but are a little bit bigger.  Well, for the goose eggs, they are too big and kind of freak me out to see one eaten hard boiled, but the goose eggs make the best crepes and pancakes you could ever imagine.

I am going to do a test pretty quick.  I have an extremely accurate little scale that measures up to 150 grams only.  I am going to measure the yolks and whites of each species of fowl in our chickenyard and see what compares to what.  I will post the measurements when I get them down pat.  It is fun to record keep and compare barnyard stuff.

An added note, you could sit and watch the barnyard fowls all day and still see something new and interesting every moment of that day.  If you love to observe a higher form of entertainment, I recommend bees and barnyard critters.  Best of this beautiful day, good health to all.  Cindi

Logged

There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
beehive lane
New Bee
*
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
Posts: 32


Location: lexington, Missouri


« Reply #7 on: April 22, 2007, 11:50:38 PM »

I am starting my second try at chickens. They will arrive at the end of next month. The first attempt was "the great chicken massacre of 2003"...I worked nights, and my husband did not put the hens up at night. Gee thanks honey! We tore the old coop and enclosure down and are trying to build Ft Knox... Any good suggestions coop/run for 26 chickens?

syd
Logged

Syd
MarkR
House Bee
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 167


Location: Charlottesville, VA.


WWW
« Reply #8 on: April 23, 2007, 07:00:51 AM »

Give them lots of space.  A flock with plenty of space to scratch and forage is a happy flock.  If you're going to free range, you need to be around all day and keep an ear out for anything bothering the hens.  If not, build a secure coop and pen.

Use chicken wire or some kind of wire fencing and electric wire (the string works well, and I've heard good things about the ribbon as well).  One strand at about 4 inches will discourage most diggers, and one about waist height, just above where the chicken wire ends, will discourage most jumpers.  I only use one run of chicken wire so that, if something should get it, the chickens have a chance to get out (I don't clip wings).  Also, use landscape netting or strands of fishing line (spaced about 6" apart in a grid) on top of your pen to discourage predators from above.  Also, burying the base of your fence 6-12" inches in the ground will really help against other critters digging in. 

Oh, and probably easiest and most important, get a rooster.  They're big, mean (well they can be), and they don't put up with much of anything they consider a threat to their flock.  Yesterday, my rooster left the pen to ride on a nice shepherd puppy from down the rode that was nosing around the coop.  Of course, there are downsides to roosters: they crow early, late, generally anytime you're trying to sleep; they have these nasty spurs that can do a lot of damage to you if you're not careful (they can be trimmed off, though); and sometimes they perceive you as the threat to the flock (this is generally cured with a swift knock on the head, but most people cure it by eating the offender and getting a nicer rooster).

Chickens and bees are a great combination.  Have fun!

Mark
Logged
randydrivesabus
Queen Bee
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1072

Location: Indian Valley, VA


« Reply #9 on: April 23, 2007, 06:01:12 PM »

premier fence sells an electrified netting for poultry that i have been using for many years. no problems with predators. and its easy to move.
Logged
reinbeau
Super Bee
*****
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
Posts: 2502


Location: Hanson, MA and Lebanon, ME


« Reply #10 on: April 23, 2007, 08:35:27 PM »

Backyard Chickens This website is a great place to go for chicken info; this is the associated forum.  It's a great place!
Logged


- Ann, A Gardening Beek -  ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

Click for Hanson, Massachusetts Forecast" border="0" height="150" width="256
MarkR
House Bee
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 167


Location: Charlottesville, VA.


WWW
« Reply #11 on: April 23, 2007, 08:40:19 PM »

Ann,  Are you on there too?  That place is crazy fun. 

Mark

Logged
reinbeau
Super Bee
*****
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
Posts: 2502


Location: Hanson, MA and Lebanon, ME


« Reply #12 on: April 23, 2007, 08:42:54 PM »

Yes, I am.  I thought that was you!  I'm on there under my older nym, annbal.
Logged


- Ann, A Gardening Beek -  ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

Click for Hanson, Massachusetts Forecast" border="0" height="150" width="256
MarkR
House Bee
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 167


Location: Charlottesville, VA.


WWW
« Reply #13 on: April 23, 2007, 08:53:47 PM »

AHA!  I was wondering if there was much crossover, especially with all the chicken talk here lately. 

Mark
Logged
Pages: [1]   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Beemaster's Beekeeping Ring
Previous | Home | Join | Random | Next
Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.20 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines | Sitemap Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 1.44 seconds with 22 queries.

Google visited last this page Today at 06:17:56 AM