NY chicken lover!!!!

Discussion in 'Where am I? Where are you!' started by peggym, Aug 19, 2009.

  1. Nambroth

    Nambroth Fud Lady

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    My Coop
    There is no such thing as a wild chicken-- they are a species that humans created through domestication, like dogs. They are technically a different species than their wild ancestors. That said, they sure can revert to be close to their wild ancestors (Junglefowl) and I am not at all arguing that they have instincts and the capabilities of their ancestors to survive and live naturally, if the habitat supports it (such as in FL or HI). Much like other domesticated species, if left in a suitable habitat without human intervention, they will revert quite well!

    Bird reproductive cycles are triggered by many factors, but photoperiod is the biggest. Which is why any lengthening of the daylight can trigger better egglaying in the winter for our hens, even if it's an incandescent bulb.

    My chickens are pets "with benefits", so I let them take a break, too. They are already 'programmed' through our selective breeding to lay far more eggs in a year than would be normal for a wild bird, and I feel that letting them have a break will lead to longer-lived birds. Again, mine are pets, though-- I must make that clear... I'm not trying to knock anyone that needs better winter production. I just want mine to be around as long as possible. I don't mind if they slow down in the winter or as they age, as we only need a few eggs a week for the two of us that live here.
     
  2. stonykill

    stonykill Overrun With Chickens

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    do we know for sure if chickens were ever wild? Not really.
    But everything I've read about Sumatra's suggests they were "found" wild. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sumatra_(chicken) . Of course owning Sumatra's for the last 5 years I also know almost all of the "facts" about their behavior and egg laying ability are wrong. There are some old writings available online telling of all of the different colors they were in the wild. It was a handful of humans who decided that black and blue were the 2 standard colors. With everything else unacceptable [​IMG]. I see the red, silver etc come out as I breed them. But in breeding pens (I do have 2 pens of Sumatra's to selectively breed) I only keep the blacks and blues. As that is what Americans have decided are the colors that they are.
    They taste delicious. I compare it to eating pheasant, grouse or other wild game birds.

    BTW, not knocking anyones ways of raising. I was just pointing out mine [​IMG]
     
  3. rancher hicks

    rancher hicks Chicken Obsessed

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    Well I can't speak for everyone else but if I had to go chasing chickens for dinner I'd pass out. Keep in mind though that if you'd like a more "wild" chickens there are some breeds out there. Some breeds are better at "foraging" than others. Also keep in mind that like many animals and plants, work has been done to ease the trouble of us having to "forage" for ourselves.

    For me personally I'd like my chickens somewhere in the middle. Not so wild I have to shoot them to get them down out of a tree for the table but not so needy I have to add heat and keep a cabinet full of meds to keep them alive.

    Please forgive me if I've missed your point.
     
  4. rancher hicks

    rancher hicks Chicken Obsessed

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    oops.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2013
  5. marquisella

    marquisella Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Differences of opinion is what makes us individuals....

    We all have our reasons for doing things....and I'm sure we can all come up with reasons to validate our opinions...nothing wrong with that.

    If we all thought the same, we might all just have white chickens with no diversity! boring[​IMG]
     
  6. rancher hicks

    rancher hicks Chicken Obsessed

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    My BM's don't have a light but access to the outside and strangely enough they're laying quite well.

    I did turn on a light in the coop with the covered runs and things have picked up. I think there is just not enough light in there with out it. Though some birds did lay.

    Now I think the problem with the BR's is it's too cold for them. While they are warm enough to survive I think they just don't like the cold. I did find an egg today while tacking up some fleece on the front of the coop. It was in the run in the straw but I had no idea how long it had been there so I tossed.

    I agree with Marq that we have not ruined chickens. We've improved them for our survival. Though breeding them for luxury of show has not been helpful. On the other hand I think some of us could do more for the preservation of the utility of the breeds.
     
  7. rancher hicks

    rancher hicks Chicken Obsessed

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    Well quite frankly I'd prefer everyone only had Delawares. I see nothing wrong with white birds. IMO they are the least popular for whatever reason. Like white cars they don't hide the dirt so well.

    What's more I should have gotten about five more of your Sussexes. I don't know her line but this one is a laying machine in this cold. AND she's in a coop with no light too. [​IMG] If you DO know her line I would like some more.
     
  8. stonykill

    stonykill Overrun With Chickens

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    I like white birds. Maybe it is because I have so few white birds...not sure. I said to my wife the other day how the birds we call snow white in the summer look kinda yellowish against snow....

    What you said about adding light to your dark coop makes perfect sense to me. I would add a light until I had a chance to make natural light available in that case.
     
  9. rancher hicks

    rancher hicks Chicken Obsessed

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    There aren't enough windows and I most likely should have used clear plastic panels on the tops of the runs. I didn't because the tin ones will last longer. I may add some windows at the top this summer. If you notice you can see the top of a window in this pic. I think a long window above that one will allow more light into the coop. This building is divided into two parts and the back part does not get the light I wish it did.

    On the other hand I'd like to drop the ceiling and keep the heat they generated on them.

    You can see the hoop coop with the BR's in it at the back. I don't know why they aren't laying other than it being too cold. Strangely enough he's the only roo without frostbite, or very little.


    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2013
  10. marquisella

    marquisella Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Rancher, I've discovered Brabanters....they are laying well, even in the cold, got 6 eggs yesterday, they dont eat much either. Very much like a leghorn, but without a single comb, a V comb instead so they are winter hardy..lay large white shiny eggs. Can't say enough good about them.
     

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