Discussion in 'Where am I? Where are you!' started by tsgreer, Jul 3, 2008.

  1. wsmith

    wsmith Chillin' With My Peeps

    I am tired. Been working on projects (just like Mayah) to get ready for NPIP inspection on Monday morning. BUilt another shelter for straw and leaf bags. Built a bank of cages to hold all the birds at once.
    Tomorrow we will install the latches and finish putting up fencing boards on pens 3-6, and also frame up the fronts of those pens.
    1 person likes this.
  2. We have had a mtn lion cruising around for over a month. Killed a deer and left the carcus in our yard a couple weeks ago. Was seen by the bus driver at the bus stop a week ago Friday. So I feel your pain. If you have crows they will help you defend from hawks. I put up a scare crow on a line that goes the length of the chicken run. It has bells on it and swings up and down the line with the breeze. Totally looks like a person. So far I have not lost a single chicken to a predator. We also have a bb gun locked and ready and we shoot any fox that comes into range. Now they have learned to jet past our yard as fast as they can. They are afraid to even look at the chickens. Works on dogs too. Doesnt hurt them, they juxst get a good sting.
    Good luck!
    Here is the best site ive found in 10 months of looking for non PETA animal husbandry best practices. Good luck chickeners!

    Chickens for 10-20 years or more? Pull up a rockin' chair and lay some wisdom on us!

    Mountain Momma posted in this thread in Managing Your Flock 11/13/12 at 7:18pm | 10319 replies | 402508 views​
  3. wsmith

    wsmith Chillin' With My Peeps

    I looked up the CFR pertaining to NPIP. Though I havev never heard of them looking at anything but blood testing on the birds, here is a list of things that are supposed to be part of the program:
    • Feed should be protected from weather and vermin
    • Chicken housing should be reasonably clean and maintained
    • Vermin control in place
    • All birds up to 300 must all test pullorum clean,
    • any other health testing for the birds required by the individual state
    • Records kept showing where all your stock came from.

    I think thats it.
  4. wsmith

    wsmith Chillin' With My Peeps

    Duplicate post
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2012
  5. wsmith

    wsmith Chillin' With My Peeps


    I have followed the OT thread since the beginning, you have to be vigilant or it will get away from you. It was pulled for a while right after it started because of some folks that didn't agree with the concepts that all people don't raise their chickens are pets only. Very informative, though recently the gems of wisdom are few and far between.
  6. coloradogal

    coloradogal Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 5, 2011
    Here is a great in-your-face recommendation for coop size.

    If you are building it yourself, I wouldn't go that small. You only want 2 chickens? I've always been told that there should be at least 5 for a small flock. I know people have 1 or 2 when they make house chickens out of them but those chickens then consider the people and dogs/cats as their flock.

    I do a combination of shavings and straw in the coop. I even do alfalfa but they always end up eating the alfalfa. If you do a deep litter method, it really isn't that bad. I do poop boxes and scoop them out. It's a lot of scooping but then, I have a lot of birds. :) I only completely empty the house floor twice a year though. Even doing it that way, it composts very rapidly so I end up adding at least a bag or shavings every other week or a bale of straw once a month.

    I haven't had issues with lice or mites. They will get them but if you insure they have a great place to dust bath, it should keep them in check.
  7. Pozees

    Pozees Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 8, 2012
    Pueblo, CO
    Goodness you all have been busy today! It warms my heart to come home and see 19 posts to this thread! Colorado Chickeners rock :)

    Aaron, welcome! As others have mentioned, you will find a wealth of information here and plenty of fellow chickeners in various stages of learning - not one of us thinks we're done. My comments on your proposed setup are that 9 square feet is enough for two, could be tight but do-able for three if you let them out to free range in your yard when you are home. I would not line the bottom of your run - I had originally intended to do so this time around, but opted against because it negates the benefit of foraging - the wire crushes the greenery underneath. If you worry about predators, you might try a few turns of polywire electric fence and a small charger (~$50 plus an extension cord rated for outdoor use). You also, I'm sure, realize that nothing is foolproof, and there will always be the chance of predation, illness, or general unthriftyness claiming a chicken's life. For the most part, though, they are pretty darned savvy critters, and when loose know how to find cover if it's available. For litter, I agree with Mountain Momma, deep litter works well, despite the seeming illogic of it. I saw an ad recently, here on BYC, posted by someone in CO who raises and sells RIR in CO, think they are in the mountains and pickup only, I know nothing about them but may be worth a call/visit. I would also accept the invitation of those who have offered the opportunity to visit and see how they manage their chickens - not everything will work for you but lots of ideas. And opportunity to meet some chickens and terrific chicken keepers!

    Mice - might try the block type poison inside a piece of pvc so chickens can't get it. Or a cat. Indigenous control is largely absent this time of year (snakes) although birds of prey will provide some assistance, as will smaller mammal predators such as fox, but we don't generally want them around the chickens, so poisoning the mice will go some distance to keep them away from the perimeter.

    Owls/Hawks/Falcons (nice pics, Rock Home Isle!) - someone on the OTs thread mentioned using a pole with fishing line strung off it like a maypole to keep flighted predators away and several who have tried it say it seems to have worked. For Bobcats ... big dog, or hooved LG like burros, llamas maybe? Or electric fence.

    Wendell - nice job on your cages! I'm exhausted just reading what you got done today!
  8. Mommato5

    Mommato5 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 22, 2011
    Aaron, I know the recommendations for standard chickens (usually 4sq ft each indoors and 10sq ft outdoors). Last summer we got 4 chickens and housed them in a 12sq ft coop (that includes the 2sq ft external nesting box). It was definitely on the small side but they got along fine. I let them out every day even when there was snow on the ground. It got down to -10 without heat and they were fine but we did end up putting a heat lamp out with them for when it was super cold. The ventilation wasn't that great and I didn't want my girls to get frostbite. During the day they had a 250sq ft run and usually had the run of the whole backyard. Now we have 9 chickens and a 60sq ft coop with great ventilation. I don't intend to use heat this winter. We have a gravity feeder that holds over 50lbs of pounds of feed. I love it! We keep their water outside of the coop. They love to drink out a sled. LOL I just bring out a gallon of hot water every morning to break the ice. In our old coop we used sand. I liked it but when we built the new coop we switched to pine shavings and plan on doing deep litter. I haven't liked it as much but I'm new to it.

    Wendy, butterscotch is a doll! I love her expression!

    We are having a mice problem in our coop, too. Hubby said there were like 6 in there tonight! Boo! We need to get a (humane) trap out there.

    Our rooster went to his new home on Saturday and it's REALLY shaken up the girls. It took them 2-3 days before they would even come to me for treats again! They are jumpy and get startled easily. They spend all day hiding instead of pecking around the yard. Poor girls, it's been really rough on them. Baby, the rooster, is settling into his new home nicely. :) The girls are 20 weeks old now. I expected the red sex links would be laying by now.....
  9. marlo1968

    marlo1968 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 31, 2012
    Lorenzo, TX
    problem is that mice can come in through a hole as small as 1/4 inch....Something about the bones in their head can squeeze together...barn cat will do you good if you have mice. Sometimes shelters will give away barn cats, we have lots of cats around and I have only seen 1 mouse he was freshly killed....I must have run the cat off when I went outside. At first I was worried about the cats being around, I thought they would bother the hens, but the cats run from the hens because the hens just won't tolerate them being too close.[​IMG]
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2012
  10. Love to know who has the RIR in CO. I got 10 of my chickens from Estes Hatchery via the feed store. Min order is 250, great website and you can get less if you pick up yourself. Not a bad place to visit lots of cool cabins or historic places to stay and hike etc...then get your new chickies and head home.

    I worry about poisoning the mice. If a mouse is dying the chickens will still eat him and then the poison will get into the chickens. I know, i'm a freik about some things. My chickens hunt mice. I saw the roos in the coop the other day stalking one. They dont get to free range so they rally for a mouse hunt like its the super bowl. I swear the hens have little jerseys with their favorite players names on the back....."mater" "mcqueen" and "mouse". lol.

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