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  #26  
Old 05-07-2011, 08:51 PM
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Default Re: The Catch-All Chicken Heart Thread

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Originally Posted by Ensign Steve View Post
Okay, so those chickens I posted are silkies, according to the farmer lady whose chickens they are. So then today at lunch, dude was telling me that silkie meat is black! :stunned: Is he for serious, or are the rednecks playing another rousing game of "what stupid shit can we convince the carpetbagger is true?"
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  #27  
Old 05-07-2011, 10:26 PM
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Default Re: The Catch-All Chicken Heart Thread

Yeah, black bone chicken (AKA silkies) are used in Chinese medicine, so I sort of drool every time I see one. It's a pretty tasty recipe.
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  #28  
Old 05-08-2011, 03:15 AM
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Default Re: The Catch-All Chicken Heart Thread

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I don't keep chickens, what with being in the middle of a major metropolitan city and all...
It didn't stop me, Null. I'm in an inner city neighborhood of a major metropolitan area and I have seven standard hens who have destroyed my backyard garden. I'm in Cascadia and I hear NYC has more liberal provisions than do we. It's just that cocks are not acceptable.

No roosters for us....I'm running a convent!

This is my wanna. The Svart Höna. The Ogya is another.
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  #29  
Old 05-09-2011, 07:56 AM
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Default Re: The Catch-All Chicken Heart Thread

I live on the bog, as they say - just on the edge of the Pale really. I can tell, because when I go for a walk and leave the village, stepping off the road to look at some wildflowers has resulted in me sinking up to my hips in foul-smelling goo.

So, I thought I would exercise my prerogative as a Bogman and keep some really farm-like pets, such as a rooster. Since there were none available, I will have to wait a while to realize my full potential as a bogger. Maybe I will put a pony in my front yard and bypass boggerdom and upgrade straight to Knacker.

Anywho - this friday, I installed this in my garden:



And Saturday, I collected the girls from a farm store. It makes you feel like a proper farmer when you shop in a store that also caters to people who enjoy killing foxes, rabbits, badgers, deer and squirrels in inventive ways.



Originally I was going to call them Jalfrezi, Tikka Massala, Korma and Balti but I was overruled. My other suggestion of Soup, Nugget, Drumstick and Fillet was taken on board, but thrown over the side the moment we left port. This all happened because my youngest daughter took over the moment she saw the chickens, and to my amazement the chickens requited her love almost instantly - especially the smallest one, now dubbed Lucy, which is appropriate as she has the most red around her head.

Lucy was first out of the coop, and was the first to cotton on to the fact that if you stay close to the small human, goodies happen. She even managed to pin-point the hands as the goody-dispensing devices. She began following her around on the first afternoon. Tikka, (not known as Tinka) is her cohort. Not smart enough to suss out the actual origin of the wriggly treats, she has nevertheless noticed that they happen a lot around Lucy, so she just follows her around so she can get in on the action.

So now my chickens are hand-fed corn, worms, leftover rice and other goodies on an almost hourly basis. When I walked to the coop later they were trying to doze their way through the massive insulin-rush. This is them being lovingly hand-fed and chatted to



As you can see, it is conveniently located right next to the veggie patch, so any escape artist will be rewarded with choice pickings:



I have to say I am glad I went with the Black Rock Hybrid Laying hens. These ladies are nothing like the lightning-fast little farmyard bantams we used to keep. They are extremely easy-going, they barely protest when you pick them up, and will put up with almost anything if there is a treat in it for them.

The one downside is that Lucy, while near genius material for a chicken were food is concerned, seems to be unable to grasp stepladder technology. The first night I had to put her in by hand, as I could see she was contemplating roosting on top of the run, exposed to the wind and the rain. Last night she did get into the roost, but had to do so with a sort of running jump, bypassing the steps completely.

No eggs yet, but they are just 20 weeks, so it will take a few weeks for them to get started. It certainly wont be for lack of food. I wonder if chicken obesity can be a problem? If so, I will soon find out, as my daughters feeding schedule is relentless.
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  #30  
Old 05-09-2011, 03:13 PM
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Default Re: The Catch-All Chicken Heart Thread

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  #31  
Old 05-09-2011, 05:45 PM
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Default Re: The Catch-All Chicken Heart Thread

Rockstars! You gotz Rockstars!

Those hens look like what we call black sexlinked crosses here in the US. A Scots breeder started with them over there and called them Black Rocks. They are crosses of Barred Plymouth Rocks and Rhode Island Reds. Great layers and great personalities. Mine were 'shoulder chickens'. Here they can be Black Stars, Black Comets, etc., which is why I went with Black Rockstars and named mine Gladys and Tina.

Fun. Are they started, yet? Laying, that is.

Mine were escape artists, too. They'd have been out of that enclosure and into the tasty veggies in the garden in a flash. Those four will destroy all the greenery within that close in a hurry, too. Good thing it is movable.

I think you'll want a wire cover to keep the hens in and the predators out.
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Old 05-09-2011, 07:52 PM
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Default Re: The Catch-All Chicken Heart Thread

The run looks great, but as godfry said, I'd put something over the top to either stop them flying/flapping out, or from hawks and what not dive bombing them from above. Not going to be a problem with your daughter there constantly, but she might get tired out.
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  #33  
Old 05-09-2011, 08:03 PM
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Default Re: The Catch-All Chicken Heart Thread

Cheez...One of these days, I'll actually read the text, rather than just look at the pretty, happy pictures of hens. I see that Viv answered my questions already.
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  #34  
Old 05-10-2011, 05:47 PM
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Default Re: The Catch-All Chicken Heart Thread

Both of you were 100% correct - they did indeed figure out that they could simply make a bee-line for the veggie patch on day 3. We have covered the top with some fruit-netting for the time being.

I also constructed a small shelter out of a large rectangular piece of plywood and some bricks, so they have a spot out of the wind and out of the rain. I felt like a bit of a fool when I built it, but they use it enthusiastically, so I guess it worked out :)

No eggs yet - slackers! I will leave the chopping-block out and start talking about soup loudly, as encouragement.
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  #35  
Old 05-11-2011, 01:37 AM
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Default Re: The Catch-All Chicken Heart Thread

seems almost inappropriate to interrupt
the flow regarding the LOVELY set up
enjoyed by viv, of which i am trying not
to be envious.... (fishers, foxes and all
manner of birds of prey = no chix)

but i just got back here after several
uninterrupted days of studious endeavor
and i got nothing but this.....



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  #36  
Old 05-11-2011, 03:03 AM
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Default Re: The Catch-All Chicken Heart Thread

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Originally Posted by Vivisectus View Post
Anywho - this friday, I installed this in my garden:

Neat. :1thumbup:

We largely bypassed the construction process by placing an ad in our local paper announcing that we wanted to buy a small aviary. Total cost, including the ad, three bags of cement and some paint was less than $100, and we finished up with this:



The budgie was something my partner and her #2 son found wandering about outside his school.
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  #37  
Old 05-11-2011, 04:08 AM
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Default Re: The Catch-All Chicken Heart Thread

What a nicely-appointed home. Does the chicken have any friends (other than the budgie)?
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Old 05-11-2011, 04:47 AM
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Default Re: The Catch-All Chicken Heart Thread

We got our hen house for free, but ended up spending way too much on the run. It's got wheels though, and those were free.
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Old 05-11-2011, 05:02 AM
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Default Re: The Catch-All Chicken Heart Thread

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What a nicely-appointed home. Does the chicken have any friends (other than the budgie)?
There are three of them. We let them roam the garden after they have laid their quota of eggs. (No more strawberries for us. They love them.) In the evening they assemble on the step to the back door, waiting to be led back to the pen. That blue thing is an old cupboard they spend the night in. I cut holes in the doors, put it on stilts to keep it off the ground and added a perch.

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  #40  
Old 05-11-2011, 06:20 AM
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Default Re: The Catch-All Chicken Heart Thread

Awesome! Do you file your chickens alphabetically at night? :)

I wish I could let my chickens run about freely. The problem is that my backyard is surrounded by conifers with branches all the way to the ground - I am concerned that they will start roosting there. The place is crawling with foxes and now that they all have their cubs they are pretty audacious. If I could be sure they would be as well-behave as yours I would chance it, but I already have one chicken I have to manually put to bed as she point blank refuses to roost in the coop.
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Old 05-11-2011, 07:27 AM
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Awesome! Do you file your chickens alphabetically at night? :)
Definitely do, but it is easier than you imagine because their names (from left to right) are Henrietta, Henrietta and Henrietta. The reason for that is that it makes it easy to call all of them at once, should the need arise. I'd just shout: "Come here, hens."
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Old 05-11-2011, 07:14 PM
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Default Re: The Catch-All Chicken Heart Thread

Yeah...One of my Welsummers has decided to take up roosting in the viburnum bush just outside (and far above) the hencondo door. I spent waaaaaay too much time last night attempting to extinguish that behavior (using a squirt bottle) until I finally had to go down and herd the little twit into the hencondo.

So...Seraph? Is that an Australorp and two Rhodies? Or some other collection of birds?
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Old 05-11-2011, 07:20 PM
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Default Re: The Catch-All Chicken Heart Thread

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Originally Posted by Vivisectus View Post
Awesome! Do you file your chickens alphabetically at night? :)
Definitely do, but it is easier than you imagine because their names (from left to right) are Henrietta, Henrietta and Henrietta. The reason for that is that it makes it easy to call all of them at once, should the need arise. I'd just shout: "Come here, hens."
Heh...

Mine all have individual names. In the past, I've had a couple of wanderers (I still have one, this year's 'impertinent youth', the bush-roosting Welsummer) and if I wanted them to come home from raiding the neighbor's yards, I'd step to the back door (or front, if no response was received at the back) and yell, "Bukka! Bukka! Bukka!"

If I'd connected, I'd hear the response and calibrate based on clucking whether they were actually headed home or lingering abroad.

On rare occasions, I'd have to go in search. Your neighbors can get some interesting perspectives when they find you clucking around their sideyards, poking in the bushes.
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Old 05-11-2011, 10:12 PM
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Default Re: The Catch-All Chicken Heart Thread

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  #45  
Old 05-12-2011, 02:04 AM
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Default Re: The Catch-All Chicken Heart Thread

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So...Seraph? Is that an Australorp and two Rhodies? Or some other collection of birds?
They're chickens. They lay eggs. Nice, tasty eggs. Yesterday they only laid one between the three of them, though, so I renamed them all "Dinner" while menacingly brandishing a roast pan.
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Old 05-13-2011, 12:03 AM
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Default Re: The Catch-All Chicken Heart Thread

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So...Seraph? Is that an Australorp and two Rhodies? Or some other collection of birds?
They're chickens. They lay eggs. Nice, tasty eggs. Yesterday they only laid one between the three of them, though, so I renamed them all "Dinner" while menacingly brandishing a roast pan.
In other words, you don't have any fucking idea.

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  #47  
Old 05-13-2011, 10:53 AM
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Default Re: The Catch-All Chicken Heart Thread

Yesterday we found our first egg - huzzah! - it was VERY small and didn't have a nice orange yolk. Then today we got an enormous monster-egg, which we never got to try as it ended up cracked in the enthusiastic run from the coop to the house. In retrospect, giving the job of egg-collecting to an excitable 5 year old was not the best idea.
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  #48  
Old 05-13-2011, 01:54 PM
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Default Re: The Catch-All Chicken Heart Thread

Didn't you give her a spoon to carry it on?

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  #49  
Old 05-13-2011, 02:38 PM
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Default Re: The Catch-All Chicken Heart Thread

No, I just blindolded her, tied one leg into a sack and made her cross an obstacle course hopping on one leg while balancing the egg on her nose. I didn't want to complicate things unnecessarily.
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Old 05-15-2011, 03:04 PM
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