Chicken Poultry Husbandry

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CreoleGenius
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Chicken Poultry Husbandry

#1 Post by CreoleGenius » Sun Sep 23, 2018 10:08 pm

All things poultry should be served up here. I have raised chickens for 25 years, and I am always learning something new. I might respond with suggestions, but don't consider me your family veterinarian.

dirtmurphy
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Re: Chicken Poultry Husbandry

#2 Post by dirtmurphy » Sun Dec 09, 2018 6:14 pm

Here is some good information on preventing and treating frostbite in chickens
http://www.poultrydvm.com/condition/frostbite

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Re: Chicken Poultry Husbandry

#3 Post by dirtmurphy » Sat Dec 15, 2018 4:17 am

Here are some books that I consider essential for chicken keepers. I refer to them frequently.

Storeys Guide to Raising Chickens by Gail Damerow
The Chicken Health Handbook by Gail Damerow
Chicken Tractor by Andy Lee and Patricia Foreman
City Chicks by Patricia Foreman

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Re: Chicken Poultry Husbandry

#4 Post by dirtmurphy » Sat Dec 15, 2018 4:27 pm

Hens can spontaneously switch genders. The left ovary produces estrogen, the right one produces testosterone. If the left ovary stops functioning for whatever reason, the hen will develop a larger comb, male feathering, can start crowing and mounting other hens, as well as in rare cases, actually father offspring. If the left ovary starts to function again, she can go back to laying eggs. A "rooster" named Basel was burned at the stake for witchcraft because he started laying eggs.
Strange, but true.

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Re: Chicken Poultry Husbandry

#5 Post by dirtmurphy » Mon Apr 22, 2019 2:36 pm

One of my hens has a pretty bad wound on her side, an old wound that was healing but was re-injured so it's worse than before. I'm making a wound wash with yarrow and applying a comfrey poultice twice a day to try to heal this thing for good. She's still laying well and it's worth the effort to not only try to save her for her own sake but to practice herbalism.
I listened to Christian's interview with Dr. Bailey. She mentioned low hatch rates among her chickens last year. We had the same problem in this area among pretty much all of our heritage poultry breeders. They switched grain and hatch rates were normalized. The thinking is that the grain they were using previously had been contaminated by mycotoxins. I don't know if anyone remembers or not, but several farms in the midwest last year had mycotoxin fatalities due to contaminated grains. I believe that it was corn specifically. That's yet one more reason for us to grow food not only for ourselves but for our livestock as well.

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Re: Chicken Poultry Husbandry

#6 Post by Farside » Tue Jun 11, 2019 5:25 pm

I have a very simple chicken watering system constructed:
watering system_sm.jpg
watering system_sm.jpg (47.68 KiB) Viewed 1727 times
There will be two of these in my pastured poultry enclosure, and they are made from simple components. I used those snap connecting garden hose connectors and garden hose to connect the 5 gallon pail to the watering cups so that I can raise and lower the drinking system easily.

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Re: Chicken Poultry Husbandry

#7 Post by Farside » Wed Jun 12, 2019 1:08 pm

I learned today that baby chicks will eat sawdust and get sick, which is why the shop sells wood shavings. Good thing I learned this before the baby chicks arrive. :shock:

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Re: Chicken Poultry Husbandry

#8 Post by Farside » Thu Jun 13, 2019 12:10 pm

The brooder is built (I used cardboard boxes cut and shaped into a big circular enclosure), the heat lamp is in, flat rocks, feeders and waterers ready to go. Today I will install the finishing touches (like the floor), and turn on the heat lamp so everything is warm an toasty for the big arrival.

We're now talking about a second batch. This whole thing started with 2 families raising 75 birds. Then it was 3 families, now another family want in and there is a growing list of people who want 3 or 4 pastured broilers. I didn't realize there was such a demand out there for chicken that isn't raised in a factory.

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Re: Chicken Poultry Husbandry

#9 Post by Farside » Mon Jun 17, 2019 1:28 pm

The chicks arrived on a cold, wet, windy day and we struggled to get the temperature of the brooder up. A lot of kinks to work out and we lost our first chick within a few hours (choking on a piece of wood shavings). It was a nerve racking first 24 hours but we got it sorted and the chicks are now happily chilling in the brooder.

Of the 80 that arrived, one was lame and I had to dispatch it yesterday, and we found one dead yesterday morning. So far we have lost 3.

The chicks are eating chick starter, some wet food, and a mix of garden weeds I know chickens like to eat. We are beginning to train them for pasture by putting samples of the pasture into the brooder for them to peck at and eat.

I installed one of the pasture waterers in the brooder yesterday and it leaked everywhere. I tested that thing and everything was good until I deployed it. Typical. So I uninstalled it, reassembled it using silicone sealant and tested again. But the actual valves are leaking slowly. It's not a big deal when they're out on pasture but these won't be suitable for indoor use. Lesson learned buying cheap Chinese crap from e-bay. I tried a bit of vaseline on o-rings but no luck. :cry:

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Re: Chicken Poultry Husbandry

#10 Post by dirtmurphy » Mon Jun 17, 2019 7:38 pm

I always set up my brooder 12-24 hrs before chicks arrive to avoid those sorts of issues. Except for the wood chip thing. That wouldn't have been on my radar :D
Meanwhile, in the world of natural brooding, Princess Layer's chicks are due to pip out today. They'll go to the barn in a couple of nights.
Good luck with your chicks Farside!

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