Wildlife Gardeners - North American Wildlife Gardening  

Go Back   Wildlife Gardeners - North American Wildlife Gardening > Reduce That Ecological Footprint > Sustainability > Livestock

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 05-29-2012, 09:36 PM   #21
Carbon
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
Default

My 15 or so hens do just fine with the 4 nest boxes I have. They definitely share, we have found as many as three girls all crammed into one box while the others are empty. For some reason the girls all like one particular box and will either try to cram themselves in or pace in front of it making a heck of a racket till they get their turn.

Max
Muckmuck is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-30-2012, 06:46 AM   #22
WG Facilitator
 
biigblueyes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Cajun Country, Louisiana, USA
Default

Max,

I have a 4 foot strip for nest boxes - they're 1 foot deep. How wide would you make them? Do I want 4 that are 12 inches, 2 that are 24, or 3 that are 16 inches wide?
__________________
My yarden and I lean a little to the wild side.
biigblueyes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-30-2012, 08:02 AM   #23
Official Plant Nerd
 
Equilibrium's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Default

Ask your dad if the chickens he picked up for you are bantams or large fowl. If they're bantams... you might want to run with 4 nest boxes and if they're large fowl... maybe 3 would be better. You're gonna lose some width to the plywood so your actual nest boxes will be more like 10.5" wide if you go with 4 compartments and about 15" if you go with 3. A large fowl anything might have a problem in a nest box that's too small so maybe better to go a little bit bigger than smaller if you're gonna have a mix of different breeds. I knew out the gate I was going with large fowl and that I'd have some English orpingtons which are actually bigger birds than an American Buff Orpington so I went with larger nest box dimensions. I totally agree with Muck that some share. I've only got 4 nest boxes.... 2 up and 2 down and if they're all filled and somebody has to lay.... they'll share otherwise they take which ever nest box isn't occupied. I think if I had to do it all over again, I'd run with 6 gallon buckets like this because they'd be easier to clean out than the tray system I've got right now, Community Cluckers: Bucket o' Chicken. There is a 6 gallon bucket out there. They're not as common as the 5 gallon buckets but... they're out there and they're a little bit bigger. I've got 3 blue English orpingtons that are big girls so that's why I'd go with a larger bucket than a 5 gallon. My guess is they're about 9-10 lbs each. I should weigh 1 just for the heck of it.
--
Here's something to think about..... Top 10 Nest Box Ideas Around the Farm by Joy E. Cressler from the August/September, 2009 issue of Backyard Poultry. Chickens really don't seem to be that picky about where they lay from what I've seen in coops that friends and neighbors have.
--
I think it's awesome he decided on an actual chicken tractor. 1 lil thing though.... some day you 2 might want to think about putting wheels on 1 end. Reason being is I saw a chicken tractors bust apart from being dragged and in my little chicken tractor.... the wheels on the 1 end make it easier to avoid breaking their legs or crushing them. Once you hook up the tractor to the front to move it.... the chickens are all going to move to the other end. Chickens seem to have a death wish IMO. Wheels that lift the tractor up off the ground by an inch and a half or so would be high enough to avoid accidentally killing any chickens when you go to move it... as long as you move it slooooowly. When you move these chicken tractors.... the chickens always run to the opposite end of where the tractor is hooked up and they don't exactly "walk" with it as it's being scooted up to a new spot.
--
I did hear of a bad chicken tractor design where they added a picee of ply wood to the bottom of the opposite end from the hook up. They'd seen the chickens run to the opposite end when they hooked up and figured with some plywood on the bottom of that other end....all the chickens would end up getting raised off the ground when it was moved so they wouldn't end up with broken legs or crushed. I guess the design sorta worked. Some chickens did end up on top of the plywood but....some ended up under it and got wedged between the plywood and the back skid. I don't know what they ended up doing to their chicken tractor design so they wouldn't lose any more birds.
--
Gotta run.... I got a pm note and stopped in to read it after watering some plants and saw this and got too excited for you that this is all coming together so fast but.... hi ho hi ho.... it's off to work I go!!!! Somebody's gotta pay for chicken feed.
__________________
"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."
- Dr. Seuss
Equilibrium is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-30-2012, 12:19 PM   #24
WG Facilitator
 
biigblueyes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Cajun Country, Louisiana, USA
Default

Dad has always had a few bantams, so I know I can get some if I want, but the ones he bought for me are Production Reds. I'll go with the bigger boxes.

Thanks!
__________________
My yarden and I lean a little to the wild side.
biigblueyes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2012, 08:40 PM   #25
Official Plant Nerd
 
Equilibrium's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Default

Oopsie... I thought you were getting a mix. What's a Production Red? A Rhode Island Red???
--
I just learned there's a downside to dorkings.... they fly well... really well. Even with clipped wings they can fly well. Not a good thing if you're in an area where there's a lot of predators. This breed of bird would need to be in pens with bird netting or screening of some sort to contain them. I've never seen chickens this age with clipped flight wings able to get out of a pen. That's a bummer.... for me at least.
__________________
"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."
- Dr. Seuss
Equilibrium is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2012, 08:53 PM   #26
WG Facilitator
 
biigblueyes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Cajun Country, Louisiana, USA
Default

Nahhh, you're right. He bought a dozen for me, (12 were a better price than 10) but will end up swapping some out for others that he has.

This is from the Cackle Hatchery -
Quote:
The Production Red Chicken is very similar to a Rhode Island Red Chicken only lighter in color. They were bred to be a commercial laying chicken. The plumage color can vary from a red-dark red to a light red. They are a vigorous, hearty chicken that lays lots of brown eggs.
__________________
My yarden and I lean a little to the wild side.
biigblueyes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2012, 08:54 PM   #27
WG Facilitator
 
biigblueyes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Cajun Country, Louisiana, USA
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Equilibrium View Post
I just learned there's a downside to dorkings.... they fly well... really well. Even with clipped wings they can fly well.
Uh oh - did any of them get into trouble?
__________________
My yarden and I lean a little to the wild side.
biigblueyes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2012, 09:04 PM   #28
WG Facilitator
 
biigblueyes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Cajun Country, Louisiana, USA
Default

Clipping wings isn't something we did much of, although I am familiar with it.

I just found something interesting - do yours have one wing clipped or both? I just found a discussion where one guy said his have never managed a jailbreak, and he only clips one wing. He claims their balance is thrown off with one wing shorter than the other. Others claim it works better with both clipped, some say to make sure they are clipped BEFORE the birds learn how to fly.

http://www.the-coop.org/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=63470
__________________
My yarden and I lean a little to the wild side.
biigblueyes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2012, 09:29 PM   #29
Official Plant Nerd
 
Equilibrium's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Default

No... nobody became a dietary supplement to a coyote. I did find a few of em perched up on the top of their hog panel fencing though in the Cooper Hawk's strike range and assumed I'd missed clippping some wings. I didn't miss any wings.
--
He's right. If we clip both wings we sorta negate what we did because we just "balanced" them. We watched a few YouTubes on clipping the 10 flight feathers and went for it with no problems. Clipping flight feathers kept all our birds on the ground last year. As long as we kept the flight feathers clipped on their right wing.... they couldn't get out of their pens. These Dorking chicks can fly with their right wing flight feathers cut. I swear I'm not losing my mind. We put netting over their enclosure and used cable ties to hold it in place. I wasn't in the mood to start stringing fishing line.
__________________
"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."
- Dr. Seuss
Equilibrium is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-2012, 07:57 AM   #30
POM Judge & Official Non Gardener
 
Sage's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Buffalo, NY, USA
Default

Do you guys realize that from your banter, chickens sound like a lot of work! How do you ever get away from home?
Sage is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
backyard chickens, breeds, chickens, chicks, cockerels, dorking, grey, grey dorking, hens, poultry, pullets, silver, silver grey dorking

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:09 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.3.2