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Topic: Urban Chickens  (Read 7971 times)
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« Reply #10 on: April 13, 2007 04:25:34 PM »

My chickens could totally kick a cat's ass. I think you might be underestimating the size and ferocity of an adult standard-breed chicken  Wink

Bantams or juveniles, those I'd worry about.

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« Reply #11 on: April 13, 2007 08:45:03 PM »

The City Chicken: http://home.centurytel.net/thecitychicken/index.html
This site makes interesting housing: http://www.henspa.com
This is a good all around poutry site with a lot of links about poultry housing. http://www.feathersite.com/ I live on a farm where it isn't neccesary but the "chicken tractor" idea rocks.  (same site under "free range")

You should also contact your local extension office.  Extension is a part of the USDA formed to share the research from the land grant colleges (U of Mn) with anyone that can use it, creating a well educated and productive society.  4-H is a large part of it.

and....the Storey's put out great books.  It's so nice to have one handy when you get curious about something.  I have an awesome book from the 70's on the whole full cycle surburban self sufficient agriculture thing.. from feeding the chickens to eating the eggs to using the manure, but I'm sure it out of print now Tongue

Our chicks are a few weeks old now (after survivng the coldest April on record...) 5 amerucanas(bue egg layers), 5 light brahma cochins ( my favs... great personality, great layers and cute fluffy bloomer butts... well that you might have to see to appreciate! lol) and 5 white crested black polishes(rock star chickens), along with 3 ducklings for my 5 year old.  My oldest son (10) has a string of customers lined up for selling eggs.. two dozen a day, a dozen to each customer once a week.  Each breed lays a different color of egg, the eggs are freerange and technically organic and he gets $3 a dozen for them. 

My brother lived on a lake and raised some chickens with the neighbors consent.  They all adored them.  Chickens are amazing wood tick eaters if that's an issue.  Where ever the yard is mowed is pretty much bug free.  They also "sing" when they're happy! Smiley 

Good Luck!
« Last Edit: April 13, 2007 08:50:16 PM by kd » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #12 on: May 30, 2007 07:28:10 PM »

We had a small flock (actually morelike 20, but yeahhh) We had a mix of Rhode Island Reds, some random mixed breed from a local farm, and Bantums. I would highly recommend Rhold Island Reds. They are kind of on the larger side, but they are really friendly. We had a really great Rhodie Rooster who took care of all the girls. He even had a fight with a neighborhood dog and managed to hold him off long enough for us to get out there and get the dog to leave.  We never lost a single hen with that Rooster on duty!
As for our coop, my very crafty mother built one out of leftover wood from the building of our house. It was pretty much a garden shed with some roost boxes inside and windows covered with Chicken wire (and hardcore plastic sheeting in the winter).  A chicken wire run went around three sides of the coop so that when the door of the coop was open it closed off the run. The only safty measure we had were a couple big rocks and a log to hold the coop door closed at night. Good Luck with your chickies! They are great fun!!

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« Reply #13 on: June 13, 2007 07:39:37 PM »

I have a little flock of 5 hens that have their run of the front and side yards of our house.  They're totally fenced in, but I was wondering if anyone had suggestions for chicken enrichment.

For my pet rats, I make "rat pinatas" where I take some yummy foods and tie them up in a few layers of different types of paper (napkins, paper towels, plain printer paper), and hang it inside the cage.  They have to work and figure out how to get the treats out, it usually results in a lot of chewing and sniffing and tugging.

What can I do for the chickens?  I planted strawberries out there for them, and I bring them crickets/mealworms/grasshoppers/nightcrawlers.  Do they like toys like other birds?  The only thing that gets them excited is when I spread out scratch for them, but it seems so...plain.

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« Reply #14 on: June 15, 2007 06:36:16 PM »

Scratch s a good treat for everyday and will train your chickens to come when you call.  It should get them close enough to you where you can reach down and pet them.  This comes in handy if you ever need to catch them during the day.

You can set out a dish of oyster shells or other calcium enriched stuff.  Chickens are very good at knowing what minerals they need and will eat what they need, if they need it.

They also like to take dust baths so you could dig a hole a couple of feet wide and fill it with sand for them to play in.

They like treats, like corn on the cob, fresh fruits and veggies. (they have to be small enough... a chicken can't eat a whole carrot or apple very easy for example)  They also like cereal, like cheerios. 

Potato chips aren't the healthiest thing to feed them but a group of them will play foot ball with it... one grabs it and the others chase after him.

They like to peck water and food out of metal containers that make a lot of noise, like wagons or metal pans.  They'll chase an aluminum can around for hours.

A chickens favorite thing seems to be chasing grasshoppers.   The bugs found naturally in your yard should provide plenty of entertainment.

*A momma raccoon got into our chickens last week and 10 of them disappeared.  The barn door is designed for horses, mounted on an overhead track and very heavy duty, and she still managed to push it open.  The poor chicks that were left were scared to go in the barn at night because of her, but we were able to catch it in a live trap.
« Last Edit: June 15, 2007 06:41:03 PM by kd » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #15 on: August 17, 2007 07:59:32 PM »

I have araucana chickens, they lay green and blue eggs.  This is really cool because it freaks everyone out!

Araucana History . . . The Araucana, is a breed of poultry which lays blue and blue/green eggs that can trace it's descent from two rare South American types of chicken - the Collonca, and the Queteros.  The Collonca is a naturally clean faced, rumpless, blue egg laying fowl. The Queteros is tailed, has ear tuffs and usually lays a pinkish brown egg.  The cross between the Collonca and the Queteros resulted in the Araucana  (info from http://araucana.freeservers.com/)

« Last Edit: August 17, 2007 08:16:45 PM by dressshop - Reason: added photo » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #16 on: August 18, 2007 05:32:47 AM »

I have 2 silkie hens, 1 silkie Cockerel, a barnevelder hen, a maran ( i think)  hen and a silkie chick. They are all fab and very interesting. They love to get in and about the when you're gardening. They wander into the house if we leave the back door open. The only complaint I have is that they love to eat my veg, so it's a constant ight to keep them out of the veg plot. Although if it came to it I'd preer to have my chucks than my veg. Grin

The silkies

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« Reply #17 on: August 18, 2007 06:34:24 AM »

Chickens! <3  I plan to have rescue chickens (and other rescue animals) one day.

Chickens are so great and it surprises a lot of people about how much personality they have, too - as much as a cat or a dog.

Those silkies are far too cute!  Cheesy  That's a good picture of the araucana, too!
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« Reply #18 on: October 22, 2007 01:36:32 PM »

My family has raised a small flock for a long time - my dad built a really nice little "tractor coop" with a house, nesting areas, a bar, and a little run out the coop door (all enclosed to protect against raccoons, foxes, etc. - raccoons have made many meals of our fiesty free-range roosters - so be warned!). Anyhow, the uniqueness of the chicken tractor is that it's mounted on 2 4x4" runners, with a chain at the end - so you can move it around to fresh grass/dirt whenever the chickies scratch it all up.  It's like a giant chicken sledhouse.  We move it around the garden in the fall after harvest to let them "fertilize", and then as mentioned in a previous post, the poop ages over the winter so it doesn't burn our plants in spring. Works really well, 2 people can haul our big one around when needed - for your size area you could get by with a smaller one (manageable by one person).  Chicken Tractor. I think we found the plans in a sustainable small farm/off the grid kinda magazine.  Guerrilla farmin'.

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« Reply #19 on: November 25, 2007 07:29:29 PM »

I have a bunch of chickens and guinea hens.  Grin  I have two separate big coops with yards.  I also let my chickens free range and they always return to their coops at night, my guinea's do most of time.  Banti's aren't timid at all like some PP have suggested.  I really love my banti's they have great personalities.


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