thoughts on battery cages

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by stephen84, Aug 23, 2013.

  1. stephen84

    stephen84 New Egg

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    Aug 23, 2013
    freestate,south africa
    I recently visited a small egg farm in the freestate south africa and was sickened on the conditions the chickens are kept in..

    I'm curently doing research on how to begin my own egg farm not far from the one I have visited,I found myself a large plot with borehole water,I need some advise from you guys tho,what is the best veg or plants I can plant in order to cut down on feed expenses?

    I'm planning my 'coop' to be as 'bird friendly' as possible even if it means less eggs..
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2013
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

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    There won't be a difference in the number of eggs. That would be more dependent on the breed you choose.
    Pasture only makes up about 10% or less of their intake but it will provide some vitamins and minerals. They will also pick up some bugs for protein but don't expect to save a great deal on feed.
    I'm not sure what your climate is like and what grows well but I plant alfalfa which, once established, is hard for the chickens to kill. In summer I plant buckwheat and usually get 2 or 3 plantings in since it grows fast and when goes to seed will provide some food. I also plant beets, radish, turnips and for winter I plant field peas.
     
  3. stephen84

    stephen84 New Egg

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    Aug 23, 2013
    freestate,south africa
    Thanks,the climate is hot,rains a lot and winter get bitter cold..I should be up and running within 2 months,summer just started here so I hope all goes well..
     
  4. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

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    [​IMG] wishing you the best of luck
     
  5. stephen84

    stephen84 New Egg

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    Aug 23, 2013
    freestate,south africa
    Thank you..I'll be posting pictures on my progres and hopefully get some tips on do's and doesnt
     
  6. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

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    So your climate is just like here.
    Free range birds in hot wet areas are most likely going to get worms but healthy birds can handle a light load of parasites.
     
  7. stephen84

    stephen84 New Egg

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    Aug 23, 2013
    freestate,south africa
    Hmmm,its a new business venture for me and I'm trying to learn asmuch as I can,any suggestion on how to prevent worms and keep them at bay?
     
  8. BantamFan4Life

    BantamFan4Life LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO. Premium Member

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    My Coop
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  9. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

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    Actually you can't. Most parasitic worms have a secondary host which may be crickets, beetles, earthworms, flies, etc.. When the chickens eat those things they get the worms. But as I said, healthy birds can handle a light load with no problems. I've kept chickens for many years and this is the first year I've needed to use a wormer.
    If your birds get thin, have a fecal sample done and you can worm according to what is affecting them.
    There are more important things to worry about than worms.
    Predators being the first. As free range, birds of prey and dogs are probably the biggest daytime concern.
    At night they need to be locked up in a building strong enough to keep out the night predators in your area. They are most vulnerable at night because unlike most predators, they're night blind. What are your worst predators?
    The other challenge is ventilation. Chickens have small respiratory systems so they need fresh air. Therefor the building has to have big openings covered with something predators can't tear through.
    Most breeds can handle cold but not so good with heat.
     
  10. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

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    I have a friend of a friend that lives outside Durban with lots of animals. She has a pair of turkeys and needs more turkey hens but they apparently aren't very common in South Africa. If you come across any in your travels please let me know.

    Have you thought about the breed of chickens you'll raise? Do people around there prefer white or brown eggs?
    A Mediterranean breed is most likely your best bet and probably available.
     

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