1. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    Let me ask this: Why do you want chickens?

    If this is how you want to keep them, it will be considerably cheaper to just buy the commercial farming eggs from the store and you will get the same product in the end. You will not have to care for the animals either, which takes time and money. Having chickens is more expensive than buying them from the store.

    Most people get chickens because they want healthier food for themselves and their families. Allowing the birds to free range on your pasture is better for the chickens. They consume a lot less feed, which is expensive these days. They then produce much better eggs, with an orange yolk instead of the pale anemic yolks from store bought eggs. The dark yolk color is directly related to the amount of beta carotene in their diet. (dark leafy greens are high in beta carotene) Look around this site and you will see numerous photo comparisons between eggs from hens that forage and those from the store. There really is a HUGE difference in looks, taste and texture. I myself will never again eat store bought eggs.

    Overcrowding can lead to many problems, such as feather picking, egg eating, severe wounds and cannabalism. Once these problems start, they are very difficult to stop.

    As others have stated, if you can build those sheep shelters, you can build a coop. There are a lot of ideas here from people that have built coops from completely recycled materials and are still appealing to look at.

    If you REALLY want birds to raise in a small confined space, I would strongly suggest you look into raising quail. They are much more adapted to a small space, and they lay eggs roughly 6 weeks from hatch.
     
    3 people like this.
  2. jdyson

    jdyson Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That sounds like such a sad life. :(
     
  3. ll

    ll Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:
    If this is how you want to keep them, it will be considerably cheaper to just buy the commercial farming eggs from the store and you will get the same product in the end.

    ^ yes this!
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2013
  4. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Overrun With Chickens

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    Agreed. Excellent advice.
     
  5. Coupe

    Coupe Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Lmao.
     
  6. Too Fast

    Too Fast Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Not a problem eating eggs from something that gots its' nutrients from a bug lol.

    If you can build a sheep shelter, you can make a chicken coop. I am planning on building mine very cheaply (get it?) with pallets for the structure.

    I don't want to spend much $$$ either. Many easy ideas here with pallet coops with runs attached.
     
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Chickens are omnivores, they are meant to eat animal protien be it bugs, mice. . .or . . .chicken!

    Confinment will end up costing you more for feed than pasturing or free ranging, chances are you won't break even selling eggs.
     
  8. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    Don't want eggs from a hen that ate bugs?! When you really consider the whole egg process from start to finish inside a hens body and that we as humans eat and enjoy that.... does the bug part really even matter anymore?!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 16, 2013
    1 person likes this.
  9. Time-Out

    Time-Out Chillin' With My Peeps

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    No, their needs won't be met. Chickens need to perch, they need to scratch, they need to stretch... Barren cages have been banned in the EU precisely because they DON'T meet the needs of chickens. The 'enrichment' cages at least provide them with a nesting spot and a perch, but they're still far from ideal, hence the need - as others have already pointed out - for antibiotics, beak removal, blinkers and woolly coats made by rescuers.

    You can make a very nice coop from free wood. I hope Sally doesn't mind me sharing her page, but it's simply gorgeous and cheap!

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/hinkel-haus-made-of-pallets-recycled-wood-pickets

    Show your mum, I'm sure she'll love it :)
     
  10. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    Many people on this forum consider their birds to be livestock just as many consider them pets. Regardless of whether they are considered livestock or pets, the general consensus is that they should be treated humanely and allowed to live in as natural an environement as possible. The reason many people raise their own meat and eggs is exactly because they know those birds are raised in a healthy, natural environement as opposed to being in a tiny cage all their lives.

    I personally do not think that just because an animal is classified as a "farm animal" that it should then be treated inhumanely and forced to live out it's days confined in tiny quarters with no ability to engage in any of the natural behaviors it otherwise would. And don't get me wrong. I am a farmers wife, I've been a farm girl most all my life. We've raised beef, chickens and goats as well as the usual ongoing assortment of pets. I am no crazed animal rights activist. BUT, I do have a very simple belief that every animal on my place will either live a decent, comfortable life for however long it's here, or I will not raise that animal.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2013
    3 people like this.

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