Raising Chickens - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-03-2014, 02:55 PM Thread Starter
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Raising Chickens

Thinking about raising chickens and I have a few questions for the DIY'ers.

How hard is it to raise egg producing chickens the natural way? By natural I mean free range chickens, chickens that eat worms, bugs, grain and not chicken feed that has chicken meat in it. Is it worth it to raise chickens for eggs?
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-03-2014, 04:52 PM
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Re: Raising Chickens

Not hard at all. You can buy organic feed. A little more expensive but not outrageous. The biggest problem with letting them free range is the Hawks! They love chicken!
You are not going to save a lot of $$ on eggs, but it is a lot of fun. A chicken in its prime lays about 5-6 eggs a week.

Gobble,Gobble,Gobble -> BANG
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-03-2014, 05:11 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Raising Chickens

Thanks for the info. I guess i'm not trying save $ on eggs, I just like the idea of not having to run to the super market.
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-03-2014, 06:43 PM
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Re: Raising Chickens

I love having chickens for the eggs. 2-3 chickens will feed a average family and then some. Anymore and you will be giving the eggs away because you can't eat them all. You will find the free range eggs taste much better. There is feed that does not have meat in it. You will still have to feed them chicken feed in the winter time to suppliment the grazing. Chicken scratch is like candy to them. Don't want to feed allot to them. Raccoons are what get mine. If you have coons in the area, you will need to lock them up every night in a secure coop.
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-03-2014, 07:45 PM
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Re: Raising Chickens

My mrs tried the free range thing. Took about a month for the hawks and foxes to reduce the population by 80%. A chicken tractor would be better. Basically a chicken coop on wheels and open to the grass and ground below. Moved every few days so the chickens get fresh grass and area.
Might as well try a breed like Welsumers or Marans. Dark brown eggs almost look like Chocolate and the yolks are orangish, not pale yellow like store eggs,. The whites are firmer and less watery
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-04-2014, 01:41 PM
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Re: Raising Chickens

can you raise meat together with egg layers?

"one hand clapping" mork from ork
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-04-2014, 03:18 PM
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Re: Raising Chickens

Ever hear of "spent fowl" and what Campbell's does with them?

There are meat breeds, but they are mostly bred for raising quickly in a few months. 50 % of layer breed chicks are roosters and good for nothing else. Hens of the breeds that are extremely productive layers tend to be boney and scrawny like milk cows. When old milk cows are sold for meat they are called "canners and boners" Spent fowl are over the hill laying hens destined to flavor noodle soup.
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-04-2014, 04:35 PM
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Re: Raising Chickens

what I meant was, a meat breed with a laying breed,

"one hand clapping" mork from ork
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-04-2014, 09:15 PM
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Re: Raising Chickens

I don't see any reason why layers and meat chickens can't be raised together. There are some breeds of chickens that are good for both.
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-05-2014, 02:23 PM
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Re: Raising Chickens

thanks,now if I can figure out how to NOT make them pets,

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