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Survival and Preparations Long and short term survival and 'prepping'.

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  #81  
Old 01-07-2013, 7:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Dubious_Beans View Post
I considered getting day old chicks, but the timing was wrong to get them at our local feed store and I wasn't sure I wanted to deal with young chicks at the time.
Perhaps another time we'll have a go at getting chicks.

They really were no trouble, just add water & food & they do all the growing.
We put them in a 30 gallon storage container with some wood chip bedding, a 100watt lamp, water & food.
In about a week we had to put a screen on the top to keep them from hoping out.
At two weeks I put them out in the coop where the other chickens are but I had them fenced off from the others to prevent them from getting picked on.
At about two months I put them in genpop and they soon found their place.
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  #82  
Old 01-07-2013, 7:53 PM
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Nice still trying to convince the wife that our 20 month old daughter needs chickens
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  #83  
Old 02-01-2013, 8:28 AM
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Default First Eggs!

Yay! We finally got our first eggs today!

We've had the hens for 3 months now and they were already several months old when we got them. It seems like we've been waiting forever for eggs, but with the short cold days the ladies just weren't ready to start production yet.

This morning I found these 2 beauties in the nest boxes, still all warm and fresh from the hens.






I'm so happy I can hardly stand it.
Almost as proud as if I'd laid them myself. Bok.. bok.. bok...
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  #84  
Old 02-01-2013, 7:34 PM
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I've enjoyed reading your thread. As a former cockatiel breeder I know that feeling of seeing the first eggs. Your coop is awesome as well. Congrats on your work and first eggs!
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  #85  
Old 02-01-2013, 7:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Dubious_Beans View Post
Yay! We finally got our first eggs today!

We've had the hens for 3 months now and they were already several months old when we got them. It seems like we've been waiting forever for eggs, but with the short cold days the ladies just weren't ready to start production yet.

This morning I found these 2 beauties in the nest boxes, still all warm and fresh from the hens.



I'm so happy I can hardly stand it.
Almost as proud as if I'd laid them myself. Bok.. bok.. bok...


Whoo Hoo way to go.
I still recall the first time I picked up a very recently laid warm egg. Nothing else like it.

Now for a heads up.
If you are going to hard boil these eggs you may want to age them some because the shells of new eggs when hard boiled are very difficult to peel.
We found that if you put them in the frig for a few weeks they will hard boil & peel much better.
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--- Jeff Cooper, June 1990

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  #86  
Old 02-02-2013, 4:04 PM
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WOOHOO!!!

We got 3 more eggs today! That's 5 eggs in 2 days and I'm just as happy as can be.
Each of our 3 white Ameracauna hens left an egg in the nest box today, all of them blue/green and identical to the ones we got yesterday. They're small (aprox 1.55 oz each) but they will get bigger as the hens get older.

We ate yesterdays eggs this morning and they were excellent and had the most amazing rich orange yolks.





That's 3 out of 10 hens have started to lay. By summer we should have an abundance of hen fruit.

All that hard work digging post holes and trenches for underground fencing is finally starting to pay off.
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  #87  
Old 02-02-2013, 4:15 PM
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Whoo Hoo way to go.
I still recall the first time I picked up a very recently laid warm egg. Nothing else like it.
Yeah, it's pretty amazing to peak into those nest boxes and find the first eggs, and when you pick one up and it's still hot.. there is something kind of awesome about that. It's a little farm fresh miracle.


Quote:
Now for a heads up.
If you are going to hard boil these eggs you may want to age them some because the shells of new eggs when hard boiled are very difficult to peel.
Thanks. Grandma taught me that several decades ago.
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  #88  
Old 02-03-2013, 6:26 AM
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I love this thread I was wondering where it had gone.

I had a big laugh when I read this---> Almost as proud as if I'd laid them myself.

So do fresh laid eggs really taste as good as I have always heard? They sure look good sitting on that piece of toast
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  #89  
Old 02-03-2013, 8:01 AM
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Two of our hens started laying around Christmas....These are from our Black Copper Maran.



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Soon it will be clearly immoral to routinely violate the bill of rights like the California courts so enjoy today.

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  #90  
Old 02-03-2013, 9:00 AM
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Ahh, that's a beautiful bunch of eggs!

I'd like to add a couple of Marans to my flock.
Where did you get yours?
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  #91  
Old 02-03-2013, 9:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Sanderhawk View Post
So do fresh laid eggs really taste as good as I have always heard? They sure look good sitting on that piece of toast
Well I don't know what you've heard, but yes fresh free range eggs are definitely superior in flavor & texture to any store bought eggs I've eaten.
There is also a certain pleasure in knowing where those eggs came from and that the creatures that produce this wonderful fruit have pleasant accommodations and plenty of room to run around and act like real chickens... not just a bunch of egg laying machines jammed into a warehouse.

I found 2 more eggs in the nest box this morning. It's like freakin' magic!
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  #92  
Old 02-03-2013, 10:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Dubious_Beans View Post
Ahh, that's a beautiful bunch of eggs!

I'd like to add a couple of Marans to my flock.
Where did you get yours?
http://www.napabackyardchickens.com/

We have the Maran, a White Crested Blue Polish, a Speckled Sussex, and a Golden Laced Polish.

The Maran and Sussex are each laying about 1 egg per day, the other two are about 6 weeks younger and haven't yet started laying.
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Soon it will be clearly immoral to routinely violate the bill of rights like the California courts so enjoy today.

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  #93  
Old 02-03-2013, 8:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Hopi View Post
http://www.napabackyardchickens.com/

We have the Maran, a White Crested Blue Polish, a Speckled Sussex, and a Golden Laced Polish.

The Maran and Sussex are each laying about 1 egg per day, the other two are about 6 weeks younger and haven't yet started laying.
Thanks for the link!
I have emailed them about their Marans. I'd love to add a pair to my little flock.
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  #94  
Old 02-07-2013, 7:12 PM
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Well, it looks like 5 of our 10 hens have started to lay.
Got our first 2 eggs on Feb 1.
Yesterday we finally got our first brown egg. One of the barred rocks popped it out.
This morning we finally got our first "Medium" egg, at 1.766 oz. I've been faithfully weighing all eggs. It's interesting to watch the average weights go up a little every day.

Anyway, in the first 7 days since they started to lay we have scored 23 eggs from 5 hens. Hopefully the other 5 should start laying soon.

I looked in the hen house this morning and found these 3 lovely ladies hard at work in the nest boxes:




And they left these us 3 beautiful little protein nuggets:




Heres' our first "full" dozen. We've been eating them... so it's taken us a while to actually fill a carton. Finally got a full one this morning.



When the other 5 hens get up & running, we should be overflowing in eggs!

Chickens are awesome!

Last edited by Dubious_Beans; 02-07-2013 at 7:20 PM..
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  #95  
Old 02-08-2013, 1:03 PM
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I really wish I lived somewhere with room for a chicken pen. I get so jealous by these threads
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  #96  
Old 02-08-2013, 1:22 PM
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Newbee here(tweedle2) A fine bit o' work there! The girls look real happy and one seems to love the cam! They are beeeuuutttiiiifffuuuullll. Happy fer ya!
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  #97  
Old 02-08-2013, 1:26 PM
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I keep about 20 to 25 hens and one rooster here on the place. I let them free range on 6 or so acres and lock them up at night. Skunks and badgers are a pain the the left leg and tthe girls let you know when some predator is around usually around 3:00AM. As you go along with your girls buy or borrow an egg from the store and break it into a bowl then break one of your girls eggs in the same bowl. You will see a difference in color right off. I think they taste better also but probably in my head. Don't let scratch become more than about 20%of their diet feed laying crumbles and buy a 50 pound bag of oyster shells and keep it out for them to eat it makes better shells and gives them the calcium they need. Look around for a feed mill they will sell for a lot less than the local feed store.

If you let them free range they work their muscles and become boiling chickens not friers. Any room to move about for exercise toughens up the meat but I let mine run then boil them on the third year and freeze the soups for winter.
Fun is what it is for me.

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  #98  
Old 02-08-2013, 3:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dubious_Beans View Post
That's great!
Refresh my memory on how many hens you've got..?
Do you add any supplemental lighting to your coop, or just running "natural daylight"?
Sorry late reply,

I have 3 hens, Rhode island red, Americauna and black astralorp

I use to use the red bulb heat lamp when they were still young but that bulb blew out and i never replaced it.

The chickens are tough though, as others have posted pics of theirs in the snow so I think 30-40*F isnt too bad since they are in a coop and have feathers.

Day light inside a total enclosed with chicken wire run is what i have.


dug up my thread
See this for pics

http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/s...d.php?t=634934

Last edited by Darklyte27; 02-08-2013 at 3:32 PM..
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  #99  
Old 02-11-2013, 7:09 PM
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I didn't think my first post would be in a chicken thread but this is one of the most interesting and inspiring threads on the internet! Entertaining and educational. Please keep the updates coming.

Allen
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  #100  
Old 02-11-2013, 8:06 PM
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Congratulations on your first eggs!! I remember our first. It was when we were still building the chickens their first real coop. Having one of our chickens sneak in there and lay an egg made it all worthwhile.

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  #101  
Old 03-10-2013, 6:57 AM
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I got some new additions.


The duck front and center is Mallard cross, the rest are Khaki Campbells. The chicks are Red Sexlinks and the black ones are Jersey Giants.
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  #102  
Old 03-10-2013, 1:05 PM
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Awesome eggs.
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  #103  
Old 03-10-2013, 3:29 PM
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Great job, impressive.

Wish I had some.
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  #104  
Old 03-10-2013, 8:49 PM
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Ok so I must ask. If one were to buy chickens for the purpose of eggs is one breed better than the next?
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  #105  
Old 03-10-2013, 9:40 PM
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Originally Posted by sdnative13 View Post
Ok so I must ask. If one were to buy chickens for the purpose of eggs is one breed better than the next?
Very much so, there are some breeds that will typically lay an egg a day all year long, such as americaunas, while others only lay when they feel like it which might be an egg a week. Road island reds, auricanas, orphingtons are all solid choices, you can check info about many breeds on some of the breeders websites such as murrymcmurry.com
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  #106  
Old 03-11-2013, 3:27 AM
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Best thread ever!

Seriously
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  #107  
Old 03-12-2013, 1:02 PM
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most people freak out when you mention ducks but I figured I would chime in if anyone was curious we have only 3 indian runner ducks and cannot eat enough eggs to save our life we get about on average 4 eggs a day so if you forgot to collect a day or two as I did last week bam a pile of 15 eggs its insanity I have never seen a bird lay so many eggs. anyhow nice setup man enjoy the eggs I am sure you will have them in every possible way to try and keep up!
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  #108  
Old 03-13-2013, 2:43 AM
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mmm tastes like .... chicken lol
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  #109  
Old 03-13-2013, 7:19 AM
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Well, we had some bad luck and are down to 7 chickens from our original 10.

One of them was... defective. She was brain damaged or something.
During the day she mostly just stood still with her head down just staring at the ground while everyone else was being active & chicken like. At night she didn't get along well with the others and was always instigating a scuffle on the perches.
She would totally freak out any time I came within 5 feet of her. She would ignore me until I was about 5 or 6 feet from her, then suddenly she'd burst into motion and scream bloody murder and run away in complete terror.
All the other chickens love me... they eat from my hand and they will let me pick them up any time I want with no fuss, so I don't know what her problem was.
The last straw was that she never laid an egg. Not a single one, even after the others were all in full production. So she ended up being the first test of "The Cone"...

We also lost 2 hens to predators while they were free ranging during the day. Lost one to a fox and the other to a bobcat.
I was quite dismayed about the bobcat incident. I was outside working in the garden and the hens were all within 50 feet or less from me.
The cat snuck up the driveway and while my back was turned it snatched a hen that was about 40 feet behind me. I heard a sudden ruckus and turned to see the cat running down the driveway with a flapping white bird.
I gave chase and the cat dropped the bird when it had to cross the creek, but she was already quite dead with a broken neck.
I'm so amazed that the cat was bold enough to approach me that close. It practically grabbed that bird out of my back pocket.

So we are down to 7 hens and all free range privileges have been suspended until I can install some more serious fencing against predators. Sigh.... that sucks.

But the good news is that our 7 remaining hens have been averaging a little over 6 eggs a day for the last several weeks.
They started laying on Feb 1, and we have harvested 215 eggs so far! (in 40 days)

We get way more fresh eggs than we can eat... but our friends, neighbors, and co-workers seem happy enough to help take up the slack for us.

Other than the depressing predation losses (gonna chalk that up as educational experience and fortify my fences & defenses), I have been quite enjoying the chicken experience.
The constant supply of "farm fresh" eggs is absolutely awesome!
I wish I'd done this years ago...
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  #110  
Old 03-17-2013, 2:50 PM
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Got our 240th egg yesterday... 20 dozen since the hens started to lay on Feb 1st.

One of the problems of having a virtually unlimited supply of fresh eggs is finding ways to make use of them. This morning my wife made "scotch eggs".
Hard boiled egg, wrapped in a layer of sausage, then coated with bread crumbs and deep fried.

It's a tasty little sausage & egg geode!

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Old 03-17-2013, 3:01 PM
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Great thread, I've been delightfully entertained.
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  #112  
Old 03-17-2013, 4:00 PM
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this makes me want chickens
DO IT! I'll post pics of my chickens later
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Old 03-18-2013, 7:17 AM
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I just can't stop reading this. Thank you for the long term inspiration! The thought of having a functional chicken coop is as exciting as C&R's at a yard sale.
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Old 03-18-2013, 7:03 PM
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I just can't stop reading this. Thank you for the long term inspiration! The thought of having a functional chicken coop is as exciting as C&R's at a yard sale.

Now that must be the Scotch talkin.
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Old 03-23-2013, 7:37 AM
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Nice full tray from this week's production.....



Black Copper Maran on the left
White Crested Blue Polish in the middle
Speckled Sussex on the right
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  #116  
Old 03-23-2013, 9:32 AM
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Sorry to hear about losing a couple to predators OP. We have to watch for coyotes here. We've even had hawks taking dives at our little guys when we let them free range.

Wife decided to try to hatch some of the eggs we got. Five chicks broke out of their shells this week.

.
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Old 03-23-2013, 2:19 PM
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That's great! It's cool watching mama hens and the chicks peck and scratch around.
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Old 03-26-2013, 8:17 PM
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Sorry to hear about losing a couple to predators OP. We have to watch for coyotes here. We've even had hawks taking dives at our little guys when we let them free range.

Wife decided to try to hatch some of the eggs we got. Five chicks broke out of their shells this week.

.
Evil silkies!!! We raised some of them for a long time, great at hatching eggs but man where they a pain.
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Old 03-26-2013, 8:54 PM
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This is the coolest thread ever! I retire this year and this is on my list to do...
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TURNING and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

William Butler Yeats 1865-1939
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  #120  
Old 03-26-2013, 10:23 PM
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-aK- -aK- is offline
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Location: Livermore, Kali
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I'm jealous. I mean, those hens have a bigger place then my last apartment!
Great job dude!
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