Chicken breeders or Folks in South Africa? - Page 129
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Hi @hedz82 thanks for confirming my suspicions...rats don't bother older chickens do they? They're pretty hard to get rid of. I do have Boschvelders, well not really Boschvelders but chickens from my gardener. I do have plenty space for them to go outside and I also grow a lot of spinach and lucerne for the chickens
Awww what a pretty roo! Just do me a favor and don't get like hi-line chickens or those other over-bred types..they are so unhealthy, drop dead in hot weather and we do need to preserve our heritage breeds. they lay for much longer, as well. if you have Boschvelders I'm sure the adults will be okay to chase the rats away, just make sure you have a few roos. Depending on the size of your rats.. I know they are a pest. I once got one of those electric shock traps from overseas for about R700 and it worked REALLY well, plus it kills them quickly and humanely. I didn't want poison or snap traps for safety of my chickens. The trick is to dry-bait them for a LOONG time so they really start trusting the thing, and then just randomly put it on, kill one and put it back on just dry-baiting for a bit. It kinda feels like you are just feeding your rats for a while, but as you go the ones you catch keep getting smaller and younger. Then you know you are starting to affect the population. Another reason against snap-trap, they only really work well if the rats are all the same size, and I have caught ones double the size in the beginning to later on down the line. And you really don't want the guy to just get his face smashed and die slowly and agonizingly..The live, cage-type traps don't work well because once you catch one in it, I think the stress hormones it produces for the rest of the night spoil the trap for ever using it again. They are very clever. Its actually quite cruel as well I think. Rather just drop the thing dead then and there.
I'm pleasantly surprised to find more South Africans on this forum. I'm from Darling and we've just started doing the chicken thing.
The last 2 days has been extremely hot here. At least it seems like the chicks are doing okay. They have been locally bred here in Malmesbury.
We have 1 Buff Orpington pullet, 1 Black Australorp pullet and 1 possible RIR mix hen that was left behind here on the farm by the previous owners. Apparently they left behind about 40 chickens but the property was left empty for almost a year. When we moved in it was her and a rooster with no coop or food. Unfortunately the rooster was killed soon after, before we could finish building the coop. Being alone she moved into my husband's tool cupboard and from there to the coop
Who else is in the Western Cape?
We've just started the chicken thing too. : ) We started with 4 and within two weeks lost 2 to predators (one of my boys left the coop open while we were gone for the day). It was a hard, but good lesson. It's been about a month and a half since then and we've had no more issues. We added a border collie as a chicken dog and, though he's still a puppy, he seems to do really well with them. Then last week we expanded with 6 new chicks (light sussex) and 3 buff orpingtons. The last two days we've observed the collie starting to herd the chickens. He sits and watches them and if one gets too far away from the group, he circles round and herds it back to the group. Then he sits and watches again. I couldn't be any more pleased. : )
@Taboo Welcome! I am in Cape Town, Wynberg and have two pet chickens, both Bantam Orps. They are like my children and sleep inside by my bed and watch TV sitting on my lap in the evenings..They are in the garden when I am at work, but always with my dog, a big black scruffy mixed breed who loves them and tries to play with them all the time.
Edited by Gwyllm - 1/5/16 at 6:21am
Feeling sad and frustrated as hell right now. Why? Newcastle disease... Out of 21 chickens, the dog killed one last week, 4 hens and 2 chicks died and 8 more chickens are ill. Vaccinated them, but it doesn't seem to have helped or they already had the disease but didn't show any signs yet.
Ok that is really worrying.. sorry to hear that. what vaccine did you use? did you keep it refrigerated?
I'm pretty sure not many people have a one eyed rooster and a one legged chicken. Zoe with one leg is doing so well. They are such awesome pets and can't wait to get let out and follow me around the veg garden.