Tired Of Raising Back Yard Chickens?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by nova022, Oct 6, 2012.

  1. nova022

    nova022 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    When my husband's friend who he hasn't seen in a while found out we have started our own flock of chickens he offered to give us his entire flock, which consists of 30 RIR hens that are a year and a half old. We couldn't take them because we simply don't have the space for them, plus I do not want to bring other chickens to my flock when I don't know whether they are healthy or not. When my husband asked him why he was giving them away he gave my husband a very long list of reasons why he was dis-enchanted with raising chickens.

    First and formost was the expense. He said that the cost of feed had gone up quite a bit in the last year and he simply could not afford to feed thirty chickens. He bought the chickens thinking that he would be able to sell the eggs to cover the cost of feeding them and make a little extra money to suppliment his income. He has not had luck with finding buyers for his eggs and has more than he knows what to do with. He also spends a lot of money on medical expenses because his chicken peck each other and are always hurting each other and he has to treat them.

    His second complaint is the time it takes to clean his two 7' x 12' coops and to feed and water his thirty chickens everyday. He does not use the deep litter method and with 15 hens per coop he says it gets pretty smelly. He does not let his birds free range and I do not know the size of his runs.

    His last complaint was that having chickens ties him down and prevents him from traveling because he has to be there every day to take care of the chickens. He says that he cannot even find someone who will do that for him for a day or two. He said when he first got the chickens he loved them and willing spent the time needed to care for them, but now he finds it a chore and does not enjoy it at all.


    I was wondering if anyone here has run up against these problems and what they did to solve them. I would hate to think that raising chickens is a fad that people will tire of after a time. Also does anyone have any solutions that I could pass along to my husband to tell his friend?
     
  2. Baxter-Shamo

    Baxter-Shamo Out Of The Brooder

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    If he was really that tired of them, And if I were you, I would have had them. I can sell RIR hens all day at £10 a piece. Thats nearly £300! lol

    To answer your questions,
    Expense. Theres plenty of places, At least round here that will sell you corn cheaper than a pet store, Its just knowing where to look. I get my corn (25k) bags for £5 a bag, Pet stores on the other hand want nearly £9 for a bag that only contains 20k.


    Cleaning and feeding, Theres a simple solution to this. Instead of getting rid of all 30 hens, Thin the flock out a bit, even removing 5 maybe 10 chickens will reduce the poo levels, therefore reducing the smellyness. As for feeding and watering taking longer, I'm not being funny how does it take longer to feed and water 30 birds then it does 10? Its just simply putting some food in a food bowl, Vice versa with water.

    Tying him down, If he can't find someone to look after them for 2-3 days Then Automatic feeders and water drinkers can take care of what would need to be done. Both cheap and simple and as long as they're topped up enough for 2 days feed and water, They'll be fine.

    However,
    From what I've read, It just seems your friend cannot be bothered with his chickens any more and is just using excuses.
    Hope I've helped.
    :)
     
  3. nova022

    nova022 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you so much for your suggestions. They are good common sense solutions to his problems. I only know him casually as he is my husband's friend through a friend. I don't know if why he feels the way he does. I do agree that it sounds like he has just lost interest in them but I want to give my husband some ideas to share with him on making things easier.
    I will have to look around for some cheaper feed sources myself. I would not mind finding a cheaper source. Thank you again, you are a breat help.
     
  4. Daisy8s

    Daisy8s Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Here's some cost cutting tips that have worked for me.

    I found that my local feed mill had cheaper, and better, feed. It's fresher and I truly think my birds waste less of it because they aren't beaking through most of it digging for something worth eating. Look at the style of feeder being used also to prevent waste from beaking out feed.

    Some people have tried fermenting their feed as a way to feed less, but more nutritious feed--check out the Meat Birds forum for an informative thread on fermented feeds there.

    Free ranging will greatly reduces feed costs if you have the right kind of land that supports a variety of plants and bugs so they're getting protein and nutrients.

    Finally, I love using the deep litter method with my own mown grass and raked leaves. Can't beat totally free litter that then turns into the best compost ever!

    One last tip--I just found out about a local auction place for small farm animals. I've lived here 9 years and never knew it existed. If I'd known I would have used it to sell birds over the years rather than go through the hassle of CL or word-of-mouth. If he really wants to keep his birds but hasn't found a market for eggs then reducing his flock through this kind of place would be an easy out for him.
     
  5. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    Sounds to me like he's someone who wanted to make a quick buck and is finding out chickens aren't the way to do that!

    I've not run into a lot of the problems cause I manage my flock to avoid them in the first place.

    Expense.......really, can't do a lot about that. Yeah, you can look for mills and alternatives but really, feed is just spendy now.

    Doctoring animals...........I just don't do it. My flock does not peck at each other due to proactive flock management.

    Coop cleaning time...........I cleaned my coop in August 2011 (I think). Should probably do that here before long.

    Feeding and watering times...........each night I go out to the coop after dark. I scoop four coffee cans of feed into the hanging feeder. Shine the flashlight around, gather eggs, that's it. Once a week I rinse and refill the kiddie pool and the black rubber tub we use for waterers.

    You can set birds up with enough feed and water to last for a couple days. Since I have other animals that require twice daily feeding (horses), I just have the same person feed and check on everyone. You may have to cast a wide net but you can find someone. 4-H and FFA kids are a goldmine for that kind of thing.

    Sounds like he tried to pack a bunch of birds into a small area and make money on them. Bummer for him, "hens are not vending machines".
     
  6. nova022

    nova022 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I tend to agree with you about his reasons for getting the chickens in the first place, but as I said I don't really know. I love my chickens even though I haven't had them that long and I would hate to think I would have to get rid of them for reasons that may have reasonable solutions. I want to offer him a few, but ultimately it is up to him. Thanks for your thoughts on the subject.
     
  7. nova022

    nova022 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks, Daisy8s. I will pass your suggestions along to him. He could definely save time with the deep litter method and money with the grass and leaves and they are very abundant around. here.
     
  8. Daisy8s

    Daisy8s Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You're welcome. I can't say enough good things about my the deep litter system--just can't beat free and easy and getting compost to boot!
     
  9. cubalaya

    cubalaya Overrun With Chickens

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    maybe he should sell half of them for $150 and invest in some automatic feeders and waterers and maybe a rollout nest so he could get away for a few days. he could even cut down to 1 rooster and 5 or 6 hens and just raise chicks in the spring to get new layers. he could kill the other 8 and put them in the freezer for roasters. nevermind......
     

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