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Home for the boys?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by riftnreef, Mar 2, 2011.

  1. riftnreef

    riftnreef Chillin' With My Peeps

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    OK...I have two breeding pens in my basement "chicken room"...I know, it sounds bad, but it really is pretty nice. I have the room devided into two seperate pens of about 8'x8' and in each is one pair of bantam Cochins. Well, it would seem that I need to start into the wonderful world of artificial insemination(sp?)...so I need to move the boys away from the gals so there will be something left when I go to harvest....so here is what I'm thinking.

    Moving both hens together (opens a pen for another breed..lol) and building an elevated wire floored duplex for the roos. This will be a permenant living arrangement for the roos, so I want to make sure they have the space and what not to meet their requirements. Again, Bantam Cochins, but I was thinking a 2'x2' square each with roost pole and solid wire bottom. Perhaps I could borrow a couple of my daughters plastic rabbit cage relief mats to put in as well...

    So...is it cruel to house them in this manner? Keep in mind that during the summer during daylight hours they would get free range time, but during winter months...that will be home....what would you do?
     
  2. aka Rachel

    aka Rachel Chillin' With My Peeps

    I don't think you could pay me to raise chickens in my basement.

    For your planned double high wired bottom set up..how do you keep the birds on the bottom clean? I must be missing something.

    And of course, the question that has me wondering the most...why on earth do you have to do AI and 'harvesting' from these roosters??

    Sorry and had to add, as a permanent living arrangement for your little boys, yes, I think 2x2 is cruel.
     
  3. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    Why don't you just put the two roos in one pen and the two hens in the other pen?

    Or, no offense, raise birds that can reproduce naturally? If the fertility isn't good, are they really genes you want to pass on?
     
  4. riftnreef

    riftnreef Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Putting the two roos together is a bad idea for obvious reasons...I don't want to end up with a dead or best case mangled bird!

    The pen I'm building turned out to be 6'x4' and will be devided in two giving each roo a 3'x4'x24" space. That is 12sq ft for each bird and I think ample room, though not the ideal situation for "pet" birds. I've seen breeding pens much smaller than that. I chose 1/4" hardware cloth for the bottom to keep any toes from getting stuck, but that means I will have to clean them frequently, but I don't mind. The pen is elevated so the girls will still have room to roam under the pen, and leave plenty of floor space for the two I have, and others to be added later. As a side note....my kids LOVE these birds and have them out daily for one on one time. They are somewhat spoiled with some kind of treat at least a couple times a week and daily grooming...so it's not like they are penned in a dark coner somewhere and ignored.

    As for raising birds in my basement...again, I know it sounds bad, but I have went to great lengths to make it work. The room is sealed from the rest of the basement with it's own ventalation and fully equiped with two 4' 2 tube shop lights with reptile bulbs to provided UVA/UVB light. The floors and walls are both sealed and painted to make clean up easy. I keep my Serama in there during the coldest winter months, and the cochins in during the hot summer months. It has worked out very well so far, and all of my stock has stayed healthy and happy. Those that have seen it in person love it, so just a reminder that I'm not totally out of my mind.

    As for using AI and the birds not being able to reproduce naturally....don't ask me, talk to the folks that created the standard of perfection that requires the birds to be so fluffy to begin with. It's not that they can't reproduce naturally, but the incidence of fertility is way down without some outside intervention. If they were not show birds and just breeders, I would just trim all their vent feathers and let them have at it, however, these birds will be shown by my kids this summer, and have to be left in tact until then.


    At any rate...I think I have the solution well handled and will proceed with my current design. Thanks for the input.
     
  5. lilchick

    lilchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Having chickens in your basement is your own personal choice. Until people see your arrangements they will just think what their own basement would look like with chickens! [​IMG]

    Now I have a breeding pr. of mille fleur d'anvers and blue bantam americanas in a nice pen in my basement. Also have my hospital pen set up for any emergencies. It is dusty and my hubby complains of the furnace filters needing changed more often. Most house guests laugh at the early morning alarm clock that echos thru the floor vents... nothing like having a rooster in the basement! [​IMG]

    Sorry I can't be of much help with cage size but I know how important your birds are to you. Just wanted to chime in that there are MANY people on this forum who keep chickens in the house. good luck!
     
  6. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    I guess I've just had fantastic luck, my roos all get along together. Didn't think of them killing each other, it's just not something that happens here. I love my little world!
     

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