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Confinement - Page 2

post #11 of 74
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cknkids View Post

If you can build that you can build a coop. 

 

You may want to check out

http://poultry.purinamills.com/stellent/groups/public/documents/web_content/ecmd0007989.pdf

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/734710/our-newly-finished-pallet-coop

 

I'm glad you're here trying to learn and find a balance between your $ limitations and caring for chickens.  I'm guessing you're planning on selling eggs?  Also if you let them out in the pasture they eat grass and bugs, this cuts way down on the cost of feed and creates better eggs.

 

Yes, I'm planning on selling eggs. Either to my parent's coworkers or at auction.

 

As for bugs, I'm not sure I would want to eat an egg that got its nutrients from a bug sickbyc.gif

post #12 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by TwinWillowAcres View Post

 

My mom likes to have everything aesthetically pleasing--which means that fancy plywood. My sheep shacks are barely borderline. She's only tolerating them because they are temporary. We will be building a barn this spring. And because I offered to pay for part of it, I get to choose how big it is :D (I'm going with 16x24.)

 

As for happiness of chickens....I'm not real familiar with poultry. I worked with them for a month at my petting farm job. However, my sheep were confined for 2.5 months last summer in a dry lot, after being on a pasture their entire lives (as little as 2 weeks to as long as 6 years). I can't tell you if they were happy or unhappy about it. I love my sheep dearly--I spend about an hour after feeding just hanging out with them and watching their behavior. I've raised sheep for seven years now and I was taught all my "sheep skills" by my neighbor who had been raising sheep for almost 80 yrs--mostly range flocks out in South Dakota. They were still acting like their usual selves, so I don't think they were unhappy as I would assume they were happy before. I do know they were always happy when they saw me coming for food! They would run around the pen and hop and jump and bleat.

 

I think if a bird is caged and gets their basic needs provided--protection from predators, food, water, and a nest--they will be more than happy because their needs are being met regardless of how much room they have. I know with most livestock if you provide the feed, their space requirements go way down because they don't have to go out and try to find it themselves. I think poultry wouldn't be too far off.

 

I realize show breeders cage their birds, but many have adequate space in the cages for the birds.  Some will also let their chickens out to do their thing when they aren't showing.  Others also let their chickens bee-bop around their houses just so they can stay clean and are able to stretch their legs and wings.  There are also those who have chickens out in runs and just clean the chickens up come show time.

 

And yeah, places with commercial layers cage their birds in tight quarters, but read up on how well these chickens fare through it...it's not good.  Birds in situations like that very often start picking at each other, thus why you'll notice their beaks are trimmed (some use peepers as well).  Chickens will pick at each other if they're overcrowded and/or bored.   Chickens should have at least 4 sq. ft. per chicken in the coop, but from what you're saying you want 3 birds in a 2x2 cage.

 

I've had show animals of my own.  I also worked for a show kennel and watched what dogs locked in crates all day long went through.  These dogs were miserable.  Many were neurotic and some had given up so much they wouldn't even eat on their own anymore...they had to be force fed.  I was a groomer for 17 yrs. and would compete in grooming competitions.  I had my Poodle that I'd bust my butt grooming and wanted to stay neat during the season, but he still got to run around and be a dog.  I'd just clean him up when it came time to compete and keep his fur in wraps. I also worked as a vet's assistant and I know of no vet. who would agree to animals being locked up in cages that are too small for them 24/7.  I owned a rabbitry and had 130 rabbits at one time as well.  We raised and sold some rabbits for meat, some for pets and we kept some for show.  My show rabbits were kept in cages yes, but this was one rabbit to a cage and they were rotated and given time out in a straight stall to stretch their legs and do their thing.  I have two pet rats right now that are caged, but it's a large cage with toys, boxes to play in, different levels to it and they're given time out of it from time to time during the week to interact with us. 

 

Meeting an animals needs goes beyond feeding, watering and protecting from predators.  Providing enough room for them to be mentally happy is also meeting their needs.

 

And btw, bugs and such provide a good diet for chickens and is what they would naturally be eating.

 

I'm not trying to be snotty and mean all I've said in the nicest way possible.  I hope you understand.  smile.png

Had to give up all of my chickens due to a bad personal situation.  Things are fine now though, but sooo miss having chickens. Looking for pet quality Serama pullets (probably three, but two would be fine).
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Had to give up all of my chickens due to a bad personal situation.  Things are fine now though, but sooo miss having chickens. Looking for pet quality Serama pullets (probably three, but two would be fine).
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post #13 of 74

To add, I also grew up on a small farm and was in 4-H.  If we didn't have the room or what it took to provide for all of an animal's needs, we just didn't chose to own that particular animal.

 

Like I said, I'm not trying to be snotty.  I and others are just trying to get you to understand where we're coming from is all.  Plus, I don't think you'll be happy yourself with 3 chickens that have become cannibalistic due to overcrowding and boredom and are picking each other to pieces.  Btw, chickens can die from the injuries as well.


Edited by Chikenbutwut - 2/13/13 at 11:20am
Had to give up all of my chickens due to a bad personal situation.  Things are fine now though, but sooo miss having chickens. Looking for pet quality Serama pullets (probably three, but two would be fine).
Reply
Had to give up all of my chickens due to a bad personal situation.  Things are fine now though, but sooo miss having chickens. Looking for pet quality Serama pullets (probably three, but two would be fine).
Reply
post #14 of 74
Since you said you couldn't do a coop for 25 birds I take it that means you want to cage 25 birds. If yes and the idea of them foraging grosses you out, have you evaluated how much feed is going to cost to fuel these egg makers? And what will you do with the waste that builds up under the cages. You don't want it in your pasture so where will it go? People complain about cost of feed as it is. I'm not sure 25 birds that rely completely on processed feed for their diet (since they won't be allowed to forage) will get you to break even on egg sales. You can't market them as free range for the higher end price so I'm not sure if you could even getting away selling you caged hen eggs for more then the grocery store caged hen eggs.
I could be completely wrong about whether or not you could be profitable with how you want to manage your flock.
I see you are being good intentioned on giving them a little more space then a commercial layer farm would but how are you going to deal with feed costs and waste management?

I say wait for that barn to be built and give them some space in there. You are going to miss out on some good chicken antics by not letting them scratch around in dirt and chase bugs.
My current zoo consists of over 20 pullets/hens, 3 muscovy hens, trio of snowy call ducks, 4 corgis, 3 cats, and 1 betta fish. Getting 2 pygmy goats soon. I think I'm addicted.
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My current zoo consists of over 20 pullets/hens, 3 muscovy hens, trio of snowy call ducks, 4 corgis, 3 cats, and 1 betta fish. Getting 2 pygmy goats soon. I think I'm addicted.
Reply
post #15 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by TwinWillowAcres View Post

.........Don't want chicken poop in my pasture because it will add copper to it. There's enough copper in our well water--don't need any more added due to chicken feed........

Well, that's interesting! . . . and I think I read somewhere that sheep ar sensitive to copper toxicity, you've got to keep them out of the goat minerals(goats need copper).

 

Really got me thinking about the levels of copper in chicken manure and how it can effect using it in other places....First of all, why does chicken manure contain copper, at what levels and where does it come from? Does it get into vegetables in a garden that you fertiize with composted chicken manure, does it really sift down into ground water? I suppose copper pretty much holds it's form, doesn't degrade or neutralize...maybe only gets diluted?

 

TWA, I'm very curious,  got any links to studies on this? What is a safe level of copper in potable water and what is the level of copper in your well water? Is it only a danger for sheep, or other animals and humans? Where did it come from?

 

Sorry for all the questions and thread drift...you're really stubborn and I'm really analytical and curious ;-)

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

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Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply
post #16 of 74

Yes, chickens can be kept in cramped, crowded cages. You can clip their beaks off so they can't peck each other's eyes out from boredom and overcrowding.  If given food and water they'll likely lay eggs.  That's pretty much how commercial operations work.  Does that make it right?  Not in my opinion.  Chickens like to peck at the ground, scratch and forage and roam around.  They like to dust bath and sun bath and, well, just be chickens.  Not possible in just a few square feet of space and never allowed out.  I think that if a person is going to responsibly own any animal it's their responsibility to see that the animal lives as humane and natural a life as possible.  Just because you can do something doesn't mean you should do it.

wife to long suffering husband who has built more miles of fence, barns, coops and enclosures then one man should have to, two teenage boys, current flock of 13 assorted hens, 1 big red roo and a list of other assorted farm animals. 
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wife to long suffering husband who has built more miles of fence, barns, coops and enclosures then one man should have to, two teenage boys, current flock of 13 assorted hens, 1 big red roo and a list of other assorted farm animals. 
Reply
post #17 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by cafarmgirl View Post

Yes, chickens can be kept in cramped, crowded cages. You can clip their beaks off so they can't peck each other's eyes out from boredom and overcrowding.  If given food and water they'll likely lay eggs.  That's pretty much how commercial operations work.  Does that make it right?  Not in my opinion.  Chickens like to peck at the ground, scratch and forage and roam around.  They like to dust bath and sun bath and, well, just be chickens.  Not possible in just a few square feet of space and never allowed out.  I think that if a person is going to responsibly own any animal it's their responsibility to see that the animal lives as humane and natural a life as possible.  Just because you can do something doesn't mean you should do it.

goodpost.gif

post #18 of 74

Did you post this just to get some people riled up? Because I can't really believe that someone would post such an idea on this site. And yes, I am riled up! Keeping 3 chickens in 2 square feet is like the equivelant of keeping 25 cats in a two bedroom house. Would you do that? Wouldn't they be standing on wire all day? That alone will cause major issues with their feet. It is animal cruelty, there's no way around it.

3 GSL pullets - Ariel, Belle and Goldilocks, one lemon cuckoo orpington roo - Mr. Big, 1 loveable kitty and one fabulous DH - all spoiled!!!

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3 GSL pullets - Ariel, Belle and Goldilocks, one lemon cuckoo orpington roo - Mr. Big, 1 loveable kitty and one fabulous DH - all spoiled!!!

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post #19 of 74

All good posts.

Maybe consider that chickens aren't right for your situation at this point in time?

They will be very dirty chickens living within their own filth -holds breath from smell- sickbyc.gif

You would have to take out the poop hourly. They are best with sunlight & exercise, dirty dust baths and bugs.

They aren't parakeets or canaries. Not a happy life for a chicken.

Best of luck with your decision.


Edited by ll - 2/13/13 at 9:57pm

My Member Page has photos of how we started ~ Does yours?
Visit our Hen House & read how we put 2 pullets together successfully.

 

I'm so egg-cited! Have an egg-cellent day!

Reply

My Member Page has photos of how we started ~ Does yours?
Visit our Hen House & read how we put 2 pullets together successfully.

 

I'm so egg-cited! Have an egg-cellent day!

Reply
post #20 of 74

I have 10 chickens in an 18x20 ft building, and they are let loose all day everyday...so what you are proposing is going against the whole reason people started keeping chickens. We wanted eggs with delicious bug protein flavor, and we wanted to know that our chickens lived like chickens...So you can do what you want...but there is no way I could cage a chicken like that...I love to see them milling about the yard. They are just so peaceful and country like. I love love love it! The idea that you don't want to eat eggs that were made with bug nutrients is ridiculous because in a scenario that you are suggesting the hens are eating decaying hens stuck in the cages with them...and cannibalizing each other. Kind of like most commercial meat...give me grass and bugs any day over decay and death and rot..makes the yolks too pale, the whites too runny, and the eggs too bland...

It could happen. Just remember, Pluto used to be a planet.

And when things go wrong, always remember, even geese cheat sometimes.

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It could happen. Just remember, Pluto used to be a planet.

And when things go wrong, always remember, even geese cheat sometimes.

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