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What kind of poultry do you have? When did you get started raising them?

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What kind of poultry do you have? When did you get started raising them?

Post by Farmfresh on Sat Jun 28, 2014 10:18 pm

I have always been a fan of raising my own poultry.  When I was a little child of about 2 my mom bought me a white Pekin duck named "Kelly".  Later I had another Pekin duck named "Nipper" that I had for years and years.  Nipper would often lay two eggs a day!  I never had another animal after that was anywhere near as prolific.  I had duck eggs almost daily for my breakfast while she was laying.  Grandma Nettie would cook them up for my breakfast. 

This is a picture of her and my pony "Dapper" as well.

 
In addition to ducks I got started in chickens at a young age as well.  My grandpa bought me some bantams when I was probably 8 or so.  Later I ended up raising and showing bantams, both in 4-H and through our local Poultry Fanciers club. 

When I got married my hubby and I raised some meat birds at his parents house.  That was a learning curve.  The first batch was so stringy we needed to stew them to eat them.  The second batch were beautiful!  Of course the week before they went into the freezer a neighbor dog broke into the pen and killed all 40 of them.   No   That was the last of my birds ... for a while.

When the kids were little my aunt had a couple of hens that she wanted to get rid of.  I picked them up and brought them home.  I put them into the bathtub and gave them a bath (like my show birds got).  The next day I took one to Sunday school!  I was a Sunday school teacher back then with a class of 2 and 3 year olds.  We were learning about God's creation and what a better teaching tool for "God created the birds" day.   Very Happy  That hen was poked and prodded, but she sat well for it all.

When we got home the dog, a German Shepherd, had killed the other bird.   Sad   I was mad.  I spanked her and yelled about the dead bird.  Then we turned the other bird out into the yard.  I actually fully expected the same result and was just going to clean her after, instead she lived in the yard with that dog for years!  She actually took over the dog house and left the dog to sleep under the porch.  That was "Missy Hen" and our first truly city chicken. 

Missy ended up being a pet for Geek.  He was about 4 or 5 at the time.  He loved Missy and her green eggs. 

After Missy finally died it was years before we had more chickens.  Finally I got back started when Geek was in 4-H.  We raised a batch of 50 mixed layers as a 4-H project here at what was then Grandpa's farm.  Since then I have had city chickens as layers, raised our own meat chickens, raised turkeys, quail, and even started guinea fowl for my sister. 

Currently I have 19 started pullets of various kinds, a old rooster (that I inherited from D1 when she moved) and one FAT meaty hen that is the only one supplying my eggs right now. 

Tell me your poultry story!
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Re: What kind of poultry do you have? When did you get started raising them?

Post by Rohn on Sat Jun 28, 2014 11:11 pm

Very interesting story FF. Love that picture too.
I have raised chickens a few times in my life. I lived on 13 acres when I was younger and bought some chickens at an auction barn that was located within sight of my house. I had about a dozen chickens if I remember right. Once when at the auction there was an old chicken with almost all the feathers pecked off and the auctioneer could not get a bid on it. My Dad was with me and he bid 25 cents. "Sold." I looked at Dad and said, "What are you going to do with that old worthless bird?" He said, "I'll put it in with yours. It will be alright once the feathers grow back on." We took that poor bird home and nursed it back to health. Yes it grew new feathers. They were red and I think it was a Rhode Island Red. It became one of my best layers and my kids named it "Granny."

I have also raised German Shepherd dogs when I had chickens. Once you teach a GS that chickens are not to be played with they will leave them alone. In fact I have had my GS dogs protect them and the chickens and dogs have eaten out of the same dish together a few times.
I think GS dogs are super intelligent. If you spend time with them you can teach them just about anything.

Later in another place I raised Buff Orpingtons. I think they are my favorite chickens. They are great egg layers and good meat birds too. One year I over did it and purchased 50 rooster chicks plus 25 straight run. Also that same spring I borrowed an incubator and hatched out about 25 more. That is a lot of chickens! I butchered chickens until I was tired of butchering. In fact I was sick of it. I ended up gathering up a dozen that were left and selling to some Amish friends so I wouldn't have to butcher anymore.

I don't have any chickens now but I have a friend who raises chickens and Turkeys and I help him do his butchering. Every year we butcher turkeys just before Thanksgiving. Nothing is better than a fresh turkey for the Thanksgiving dinner.

I live in the city for now, but my heart is in the country.
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Re: What kind of poultry do you have? When did you get started raising them?

Post by dizzy on Sun Jun 29, 2014 12:38 am

I never wanted chickens. After all, the few places I knew where there were chickens stunk! Then I started going over to RU's. And while she had the chickens, I wasn't interested in them. At that time, she had no roosters, but had one that went broody. DD was working on a local farm that raised various types of chickens. They gave her a dozen, 4 white, 4 green and 4 brown. If I remember right, there were 4 roosters and 3 hens. The one rooster was a Polish Crested. I eventually ended up selling him and 2 of the other roosters.

I still wasn't really interested in them. I'd gather the eggs and that was about it-until the one stopped being able to walk. I thought she had gotten stepped on by a horse, so I brought her home. Tried putting her in w/the goats, but they wanted to play badminton and use her for a live birdy, so I took her out.

Then RU started getting all these dogs. People would dump them on her, and they started killing the chickens. I was left w/one of my hens and a rooster. I brought the hen home, but not the rooster. About the same time, I got 4 chicks where they have the hay auction-they were all supposed to be hens, then one started to crow. When they got old enough to be outside, I set up an area that I hoped they couldn't get out of.

About the same time that my hens at the farm started to lay, my one hen at home went broody, so I stuck some of my eggs under her. Where she was was not a good spot, but I didn't know what to do about her. I planned on moving her and the eggs, but B4 I got a chance to, something got the eggs. Then, right when she started to lay again, a hawk got her.

Now I felt bad for my crippled hen since she was by herself. By then, my chickens weren't laying, but I decided to see if I could get her to go broody. She did, so I stuck some of the farm eggs under her. I ended up w/a hen and 2 roosters. The roosters I butchered, the hen I kept.

Then, something got my crippled hen, so I took the other one out to the farm. By now, I wanted more birds, but was having no luck getting one to go broody. Hubby got me a LG incubator. I never had any luck w/it. I did at one point in time get 2 chicks out of it, and I bought 6 more straight run banties at TSC. I was hoping for a broody. I had, by this time moved my chickens since they were off of CL's field. I wanted them in my field. But, I didn't have an area set up for a broody and/or chicks. When my chicks got old enough, I took them out to the farm, but they didn't have enough air, and I lost all but 2-they turned out to be roosters. Needless to say, I was quite upset w/myself and felt so guilty.

So, I bought 6 more chicks, this time I went for Ameraucana chicks. I raised them at home, then when they got old enough, I took them to the farm and was very careful to be sure they had enough air. And, they were fine.

I lost one of my original 4 B4 I was able to move them. Something got her. It was probably for the best, she had a crossed beak and it was hard for her to eat. But, I still had the other 2 as well as the rooster. I had given my original rooster away since I didn't need 2 roosters and someone wanted him. Then I lost another of them last year. She acted egg bound, but was pooping, so I wasn't sure.

One of my hens went broody last year. I had eggs in the incubator, and was hoping I could get her to raise the chicks for me-she went broody after I had the eggs in, so I just gave her fake eggs to sit on. I was able to get the 5 chicks in under her. From them, I got 1 hen and 3 dinners.

This year, I lost one and have no idea what got her. She was the one I had had at home and laid my biggest eggs. But since I liked the mixed (barred rock, Ameraucana), I decided to get a couple of chicks, put eggs in the incubator and hope that we got a (farm) broody about the same time. We did, and she raised 5 chicks-she's now back w/her flock.

Had another farm hen go broody, and I slipped some of my eggs under her and got another chick. Then I put the eggs in the bator, and got the chicks I have now, plus my one hen went broody, so she's on eggs. I also have 7 muscovy eggs in the bator.

I'm going to have to change things around in my broody area cuz the way I have it set up right now, I don't have enough room for 2 sets of chicks and a hen! Plus, I 'm going to need a bigger coop.

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Re: What kind of poultry do you have? When did you get started raising them?

Post by Farmfresh on Sun Jun 29, 2014 2:28 am

Once the poultry bug bites, we always need more or bigger coops.     Laughing
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Re: What kind of poultry do you have? When did you get started raising them?

Post by Harvey_Birdman on Sun Jun 29, 2014 6:28 am

I just have 2 laying hens right now, (1 dommer, and 1 rock) but I have had chickens on and off all my life.
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Re: What kind of poultry do you have? When did you get started raising them?

Post by mountainmama on Sun Jul 06, 2014 7:07 am

I love this thread!

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Re: What kind of poultry do you have? When did you get started raising them?

Post by PATRICE IN IL on Sun Jul 06, 2014 7:36 am

How'd I miss this thread?  Embarassed 

I got my girls back in 2006 and had hens until last year. I originally bought my 4 gals for the eggs, 2 were laying when I got them and the other 2 started a few months later. I was down to 2 hens when a friend of my dh's asked if I'd take her SIL's uncle's 5 hens as he had heart surgery and couldn't take care of them any longer. Well, let me tell you there were 2 of the meanest birds I'd ever seen in that grouping. They tore one of my hens open several weeks after I brought them home, killing her. They were trying to kill my other one and were beating up the ones that they were originally raised with so I separated my run and those 2 beasts lived outside the entire first summer here. Even then they still tried there hardest to get to the others. Sad I eventually wound up with just those 2 beasts left and finally one day last year one of them killed the other. That beast was of the devil, it took 6 shots at point blank range to put it down. At that point my health and dh's dementia were factors in not replacing them as was the cost of the feed that almost doubled in the seven years I raised my birds.
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Re: What kind of poultry do you have? When did you get started raising them?

Post by Farmfresh on Sun Jul 06, 2014 11:22 am

I have run across birds like that in the past and there is one certain cure for their problems... Chicken Soup.
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