I want some Chickens!

Discussion in 'The Rural Life' started by Eddy Honey, Oct 22, 2011.

  1. Eddy Honey

    Eddy Honey New Member

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    I'm building a coop first where the wife won't notice then I'll need to get some chickens. What breeds are good egg layers and do well in the NJ climates?
     
  2. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Rhode Island reds, for one. There are many others, but the RR is readily available and a good choice.
     

  3. Crofter

    Crofter New Member

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    The hybrid egg layers will produce the most eggs per pound of food, BUT.... they dont breed true and will not brood their own eggs and there is virtually zero food value at end of lay.

    I agree with Iddee on the RI reds for a no fiddling dependable egg layer and there is some meat on them too.
     
  4. Omie

    Omie Active Member

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    Yes RI Reds are great in our NE area. :) Also consider some (Plymouth) Barred Rock/ Buff Rock hens- very hardy and good eggs. Nothing as pretty as some barred rocks with buff rocks and some red rhodies all together!

    Wish I could have a few chickens....alas our village zoning prohibits it. My bees are hidden in my yard but can't hide cackling hens! (i know, my neighbor tried it already...lol)
     
  5. Skyhigh

    Skyhigh New Member

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    RI Reds are also very friendly. My friend has several and they're such sweet birds. Otoh, you can be sure you get hens if you get the sex linked ones. (Nice, but not like the RI Reds.) As for the ones that lay easter eggs (eggs that are blues and greens and such) they are very skittish. None of my friends are as happy with them. I've been looking into getting chickens, too, and been researching my area. :)
     
  6. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm Active Member

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    Haven't had chickens in years,i miss the roosters crowing in the mourning.We had RR's, white legerns(mean) and Domenickers(sp?), i'm looking around for some gray guines but the wife isn't to thrilled about it. :roll: Jack
     
  7. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    Banties, (Bantems). Small and hardly eat much feed. Very small eggs (you need 3 for any 2 of another breed).
    They are funny as all get out to watch :D and they are broody as heck, will hatch out just about anything you put under them!
     
  8. rast

    rast New Member

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    I like banties too. For eggs, dominickers. I'd rather have a barking dog than guineas.
     
  9. Mama Beek

    Mama Beek New Member

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    We love our red stars for eggs, they lay HUGE brown eggs at a rate that just amazes us. We also really like black australorpes they are very docile and lay almost as well as the red stars do. We had some dominiques but didn't care for them so much. I LOVE dark cornish for meat chickens, and they lay fairly well too. We keep quite a few banty hens to be substitute mamas for chicks in the spring...those silly little birds will even try to hatch a hickory nut!
     
  10. Omie

    Omie Active Member

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    Guinea hens are unbelievably loud. They'd drive me insane.
     
  11. ShaneVBS

    ShaneVBS New Member

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    how late can you start with chickys
     
  12. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    As late as you can keep them warm. A 100 watt light bulb under a metal shade, two foot above the ground, inside a building will do the job.
     
  13. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm Active Member

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    Like Iddee said, but inside the house in a corner pen with cheep, cheep, cheep all night long,and three brothers and three hound dogs for those three dog nights. Can you believe i miss those days. :( Jack
     
  14. Crofter

    Crofter New Member

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    Have the whole fun and hatch them right from eggs. You can make a cheap incubator with the regulator for water beds. build the box the right size or user a 5 frame nuc, or 10 frame. You could also use it for a queen cell incubator. Those controls and heaters are on E Bay, Kijiji, or Craigs List. Think of the possibilities, Lol!
     
  15. Zulu

    Zulu Member

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    We bought day old chicks in April. , 4x Buff Orpingtons - very very friendly, big brown eggs , free range on our 3/4 acre in the city. NO rooster, and little noise. We also have one Black Sexlink , also brown eggs , we call it Houdini as it is always getting out.....

    Clean up the coop one a week , we made a shelf below their roost area , to make it easy to clean up.
    Three next boxes for 6 hens ( we lost one early on) and get 5 eggs a day Beautiful orange yolks and tasty too.

    Our cat was intrigued early on, but now she just lies in the sun and they will peck all the way up to her without issue.
     
  16. ShaneVBS

    ShaneVBS New Member

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    can you have them with your garden fenched in, or will they cause damage
     
  17. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    They may cause a little damage until the plants get up some size, but are a help and no problem after that. Scratching up seeds and eating new growth would be the only thing you need worry about.
     
  18. Eddy Honey

    Eddy Honey New Member

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    I'll have to train my Shepherds to be vegetarians and that the chickens are friendly. Or I'll train the chickens to not go on the part of the property that the dogs invisible fence is buried under.
     

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  19. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    My guess is, "You need to buy a shovel". You will be burying either chickens or dogs.
     
  20. Zulu

    Zulu Member

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    A fenced area or yard is preferred. But they do get to know what is their territory. Training dogs is not too hard, work with them while chicks are still young and Don't trust the dogs until you are 100% sure. I sat out in yard with chickens eating around me with the dogs under control on leash. Soon they relaxed. Challenge as always in when chickens run. They become prey and many dogs react instinctively.

    Also make sure they are locked up at night - securely. Many animals out there will eat the chickens given only a small chance. Chickens are blind at night and just sit no matter what, so are an easy meal for a predator.

    As for damage ,not really. They do an awesome job turning over the compost , they happily scratch around my veggies but I would not trust them with seedlings.