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Our chickens are paying off their new coop!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by BarkerChickens, Dec 23, 2009.

  1. BarkerChickens

    BarkerChickens Microbrewing Chickenologist

    Nov 25, 2007
    High Desert, CA
    DH and I joked that the chickens could never possibly pay off their nearly $1000 coop. But, the other day, we realized they are! We all consider the cost of feed, coop, heating (if necessary), med supplies, etc. and then subtract out egg sales. Well, for us, we can now subtract out a yearly vet bill for our dogs! Yep...that's right...a dog vet bill (well, 2 actually).

    We live in a desert and have fox tails ALL over. I HATE fox tails! They get into everything. The vet bill comes when the girl dogs squat over fox tails to pee and get fox tails in their private area. They also get them in their ear canals. Fox tails are designed to be able to push themselves forward so that they can seed. Well, in dogs, that means that we find out that the dogs has a fox tail because they shake their head a lot or are licking their privates a lot. The ear one isn't so bad on the wallet, but the "other area" is expensive since it usually requires the remove a deeply imbedded fox tail and the antibiotics from the infection it usually costs. On average, we pay ~$350-500 a summer for fox tails.

    Well, the other day, DH and I were talking about how we didn't have a single fox tail issue this summer. Then, we got to thinking...we don't remember having had a fox tail issue the summer prior either. Why? Well, fox tails grow similar to grass and the seeds (the fox tails) form on the top of long stocks. Our chickens eat the wild grasses in the spring time as the grass sprouts, so the number of fox tails that reach maturity is significantly reduce!

    Our chickens have prevented the nasty summer vet bills!! Therefore, they are paying off their coop!! [​IMG]
     
  2. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

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    My Coop
    Good chickens; eating those immature foxtails.
     
  3. pw_quiltworks

    pw_quiltworks One Handy Chick

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    Jan 7, 2009
    Maine
    What do you feed your chickens. Feed alone is killing me. It's 14 dollars a 50 lb bag. They don't eat like chickens they eat like pigs. It's great your chickens are doing so well. I can only hope someday mine will pay off the coop.
     
  4. BarkerChickens

    BarkerChickens Microbrewing Chickenologist

    Nov 25, 2007
    High Desert, CA
    Quote:We feed ours layer pellets ($12 a 50-lb bag). They go through about a bag or so a week for 30 chickens. I'd figure they'd go through a lot more. They free-range some, but living in a desert, they don't have a ton of options in the yard. They do get kitchen veggie scraps though.
     
  5. Goose and Fig

    Goose and Fig Grateful Geese

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    Apr 19, 2009
    Fall Creek Falls TN
    That's awesome! Good for your dogs too- save them the misery!
    We don'thave fox tails here- but we've got snakes. I've seen the girls eat several young copperheads. It's hard to miss- they play chase with them.
     
  6. michickenwrangler

    michickenwrangler To Finish Is To Win

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    Jun 8, 2008
    NE Michigan
    Mine kept snakes and toads out of our yard last summer. Especially since we had a masagua rattler the summer before.
     
  7. pw_quiltworks

    pw_quiltworks One Handy Chick

    2,078
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    Jan 7, 2009
    Maine
    Quote:We feed ours layer pellets ($12 a 50-lb bag). They go through about a bag or so a week for 30 chickens. I'd figure they'd go through a lot more. They free-range some, but living in a desert, they don't have a ton of options in the yard. They do get kitchen veggie scraps though.

    Thanks. I only have 7 adults and they eat so much it really is expensive. I am going to try the pellets. Not sure they will fit through the holes in the feeder. I can enlarge them a little. Mine don't free range this time of year...heck they wont even step one foot in the snow. Now we have passed the first day of winter and can start to look forward to spring. [​IMG] I have hatched out 17 chicks this week and have more bcm's in the bator. I will live to regret it. [​IMG] They didn't even have chick feed in 50 lb bags just small ones. The guy says no one has chicks this time of year. That seems a little dumb to me. This is the perfect time of year for chicks...by the time they are grown the snow will be gone and they can free range. He is going to order it for me. I think they sell the pellets there. I go to the Aubuchon Hardware store here in Old Town I don't like to drive to Bangor unless I have to. Blue seal and wal-mart cost more than Aubuchon Hardware. Seems lame to me. They should be cheaper.
     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2009
  8. BarkerChickens

    BarkerChickens Microbrewing Chickenologist

    Nov 25, 2007
    High Desert, CA
    Quote:We feed ours layer pellets ($12 a 50-lb bag). They go through about a bag or so a week for 30 chickens. I'd figure they'd go through a lot more. They free-range some, but living in a desert, they don't have a ton of options in the yard. They do get kitchen veggie scraps though.

    Thanks. I only have 7 adults and they eat so much it really is expensive. I am going to try the pellets. Not sure they will fit through the holes in the feeder. I can enlarge them a little. Mine don't free range this time of year...heck they wont even step one foot in the snow. Now we have passed the first day of winter and can start to look forward to spring. [​IMG] I have hatched out 17 chicks this week and have more bcm's in the bator. I will live to regret it. [​IMG] They didn't even have chick feed in 50 lb bags just small ones. The guy says no one has chicks this time of year. That seems a little dumb to me. This is the perfect time of year for chicks...by the time they are grown the snow will be gone and they can free range. He is going to order it for me. I think they sell the pellets there. I go to the Aubuchon Hardware store here in Old Town I don't like to drive to Bangor unless I have to. Blue seal and wal-mart cost more than Aubuchon Hardware. Seems lame to me. They should be cheaper.

    Yea, if you are using mash for the adults...it seems more gets wasted than eaten (at least here!). We go through far less pellets than mash.
     
  9. BarkerChickens

    BarkerChickens Microbrewing Chickenologist

    Nov 25, 2007
    High Desert, CA
    While there are plenty of snakes in the area, we have yet to see them on the property (too developed?). They go after the lizards though! They gulp them down to keep them from being shared with one another! [​IMG] Big 'ol lizards too! I wish they'd leave the lizards alone...they eat the bad bugs in the summer garden.[​IMG]
     
  10. AK Michelle

    AK Michelle Bad Girl of the North

    Mar 17, 2009
    Palmer, Alaska
    [​IMG]

    We also have tons of foxtails. This was our first year with chickens so I didn't notice the reduction in the amount of foxtails, probably because I was so excited about the reduction in mosquitos.

    Thanks for pointing this out!
     

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