Author Topic: Chickens at home  (Read 39063 times)

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Offline GGV8Cruza

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Chickens at home
« on: April 19, 2015, 07:17:14 PM »
So with the move to a bigger block we have a bit of room and are thinking about getting some chooks so we can get some fresh eggs and give the kids a bit of responsibility and a pet of sorts. There is an old chook pen in the back paddock but its past its used by date so I will need to make a new one.

I searched these guys out the other day and for the cost of it I cannot see me buying the timber and making it for any less. Its movable as well and should do just fine. Any tips or hints for the next mass egg producer from 4-5  chooks

https://www.backyardchickencoops.com.au/chook-pens/the-taj-mahal/

GG

Offline D4D

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Re: Chickens at home
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2015, 07:21:08 PM »
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Offline dales133

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Re: Chickens at home
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2015, 07:34:57 PM »
Chickens make pretty cool pets once they gain your trust.
I had 3 when I was a kid and dragged them home and did the "can I keep them pleeeeeease thing.
Very low maintenance and live mostly on scraps and a bit of chook feed.
Just make sure they have a place to keep thier feet dry if conditions are wet and as stupid as it sounds you'll probably have to teach them how to sit on a peach.
Another tip is if you've got a bank put a veggie garden at the bottom of the bank and the chicken coup at the top if you arnt free ranging them.
The amount of manure that makes it is diluted and you'll get self seeded pumpkins and the like on the bank
Good luck the kids will love them

Offline LuckyDog

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Re: Chickens at home
« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2015, 07:35:56 PM »
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Offline tk421

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Re: Chickens at home
« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2015, 08:14:16 PM »
Looks the goods.  We've had chooks in suburban sydney for ages. They really are easy, and when you go away the neighbours look after them with the promise of keeping the eggs. We have a big feeder and a waterer that will last two weeks, so it's really just egg collection that's the issues.  What are you planning on getting? We had 4 ISA Browns. That's 4 eggs a day for 300 days of the year.  Thats a lot of eggs to get through.  We've now got Australops, not as many eggs thankfully!

Our pen is 2.5x5m. 6 uprights and a roof, all covered in mesh. We put a $200 ebay hen house inside that and a sun shelter made from left over colourbond fencing. Every so often we let them out, but they cause havoc with the garden beds????

If you have an orchard, let them roam in that. Citrus loves the chook poo. Some natives not so much.
Make sure you include shell grit as well as food and water, don't feed them potato skins,  other than that they're pretty easy.

I know one guy who has his chook house in the middle of his veggie patch. Veggie patch is divided into 4 areas. Chook pen has 4 doors, one onto each area. The chooks roam in one whilst he farms the other 3. Then every year he rotates clockwise.  Gets great veggies.
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Offline dazzler

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Re: Chickens at home
« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2015, 08:51:44 PM »


I know one guy who has his chook house in the middle of his veggie patch. Veggie patch is divided into 4 areas. Chook pen has 4 doors, one onto each area. The chooks roam in one whilst he farms the other 3. Then every year he rotates clockwise.  Gets great veggies.

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Offline Malcolm Tugless

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Re: Chickens at home
« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2015, 09:23:30 PM »
Never owned one ... but I've been feeding the chooks for years.

Offline oldmate

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Re: Chickens at home
« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2015, 09:28:23 PM »
Never owned one ... but I've been feeding the chooks for years.

Lol.  Been married awhile hey.
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Offline lindamc

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Re: Chickens at home
« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2015, 09:53:14 PM »
We have 2 orphingtons (bred for meat and eggs) one seems to be the clucky one and would make a great mummy , the other lays the eggs. We get 1 egg most days. They go off the lay around Christmas time and again in March for a couple of weeks.  My dad made their palace and I made their run. They live on pellets/grains and greens. Shell grit occasionally which they only take when they need. I love my chooks so much my vege patch is now full of veges that the chooks love to eat. Full of lettuce, spinach, kale, and parsley. In a couple of weeks when the lettuce has grown, it will be time to let the chooks feast!


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Offline Alan Loy

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Re: Chickens at home
« Reply #9 on: April 20, 2015, 06:35:53 AM »
This mobile coop would let you move the chooks around so they dont dig up just one area http://permaculturenews.org/2010/09/03/how-to-make-an-egg-mobile/

This is the advanced model http://www.geofflawton.com/fe/64322-chicken-tractor-on-steroids

Offline muzza01

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Re: Chickens at home
« Reply #10 on: April 20, 2015, 06:46:53 AM »
Hi Garrick,
We too have a big block, acre. I prefer something more permanent in structure. It's coming up to about 5 years old now. We normally have 12 chooks, 11 ATM.  I built this chook pen to my own plan. It wasn't particulary cheep as my mrs wanted it to be snake proof and I wanted something that should stand up to cyclonic winds

From memory it is 6 meters by 3.5 meters, I completey covered in 6mm2 gal snake mesh before screwing and of the Coro on.  The mesh also goes down in der the ground about 250mm and concreted all around the perimeter. 








Offline macca

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Re: Chickens at home
« Reply #11 on: April 20, 2015, 07:11:19 AM »
Muzza your dog's keeping a pretty close eye on the chooks. My brother locks his dogs up at around four each day and let's the chooks out until dark then let's the dogs back out. Dogs keep the foxes away , that what you will have to watch out for up your way GG , fox can make a mess of a chook shed in a night. That's seems like a bloody good price too

Offline speewa158

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Re: Chickens at home
« Reply #12 on: April 20, 2015, 07:15:55 AM »
Muzza  Has the dog worked out what its looking at yet  ???
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Offline muzza01

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Re: Chickens at home
« Reply #13 on: April 20, 2015, 07:22:30 AM »
No dog is good. We let the chooks out around 430 every arvo to free range for a couple of hours. The dog behaves herself and chooks are her good friends that she sits with and watches over them.

We have to be careful of Hawks and Eagles up here. We get the occasional falcon but they seem to take birds airborn and not in the ground.

Offline graham

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Re: Chickens at home
« Reply #14 on: April 20, 2015, 04:49:22 PM »
Ill back in the Isa Browns  GG , good eggs , don't fly , well most don't , and bloody friendly
This lady in Carrum downs has great quality chooks , she also has one rescued from hatcherys that seem alright , I was going to get some to see if they were any good , but her other Isa brown chooks have been brilliant , friendly , bloody funny if you watch them
Crystal. 0427 624 665 
I may even be going there tomorrow to grab a few more  as our are about 4-5 years old now
Ask Rich he has had a pair running around
Cheers mate
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Offline jimc1

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Re: Chickens at home
« Reply #15 on: April 21, 2015, 02:19:54 PM »
Yeah I agree, Isa Browns are fantastic around young kids. My 2 chickens will let our young kids pick them up and move them about the yard.

my advice for a coop, maker it comfortable for you to get in and out of, as your going to be the one who inherits the feeding, watering and cleaning. My kids occasionally help with the egg collecting.

I built mine for about $300. Most of it was miscut lengths and offcuts from Bunnings and Robot Trading. Most expensive part was the wire fabric.

Do yourself a favour and get some quality waterers and feeders. I got mine from Royal Rooster. Its made cleaning and refill task a 7 - 10 day thing, depending on the heat.

Offline dales133

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Re: Chickens at home
« Reply #16 on: April 21, 2015, 07:02:05 PM »
Chinese silky bantam are real characters and good layers but the eggs are small but delicious.
They have feathers sticking out all over the place like they got the fright of thier life

Offline tones_swag

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Re: Chickens at home
« Reply #17 on: April 21, 2015, 08:14:54 PM »
I have 4 chooks in my backyard (700sqm block). I built my own coop loosely using plans from this site - http://www.sbs.com.au/shows/costa/tab-listings/detail/i/1/article/6947/Chicken-Coop-Plans-and-Details

Because I had a smallish yard, I too raised my coop which allows a bit more space for the chooks to roam around. Had them for 6 or so months and have been pretty happy to have them. Kids love collecting the eggs and most days we get 3 eggs. With 3 boys, they make great snacks. We initially collected heaps of egg cartons thinking we would be giving a lot of eggs away, but that hasn't been the case.

Only issue I have with the free range is I got a bit tired of the chook poo all over the place and they kick leaves up and out from under the hedges, making my freshly cut lawn looking scrappy within the hour. So I have left them in the coop for longer periods, the only downside being they need more food.

I enjoyed building my coop. Took a few weekends and even with a fair bit of recycled material, I still spent probably $500 odd before the chooks, feeders, food etc.

I do enjoy watching the chooks. Definite pecking order and they get relaxed around you pretty fast.

Good luck and enjoy.
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Offline Dingo0163

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Re: Chickens at home
« Reply #18 on: April 22, 2015, 02:13:30 PM »
I had to notice this post today , didn't i. I was in town getting the car serviced and the missus rang me. She found five of her old girls in the paddock with their heads chewed off. Lucky they were the " house chooks " as she breeds others and pays up to $60 for one chook. The wire has boon chewed on one yard , the other four yards are fine. Guess who will be sitting outside tonight with the shot gun and spotlight.  >:(

Offline tk421

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Re: Chickens at home
« Reply #19 on: April 22, 2015, 02:32:35 PM »
I had to notice this post today , didn't i. I was in town getting the car serviced and the missus rang me. She found five of her old girls in the paddock with their heads chewed off. Lucky they were the " house chooks " as she breeds others and pays up to $60 for one chook. The wire has boon chewed on one yard , the other four yards are fine. Guess who will be sitting outside tonight with the shot gun and spotlight.  >:(

Sad news. My dad lost his 2 polish and 3 silky bantams in one night to a fox. Made a proper mess of the coop. He didn't have the heart to start again.
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Offline Dingo0163

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Re: Chickens at home
« Reply #20 on: April 22, 2015, 02:46:08 PM »
It's real sad , I was going to have a few coldies tonight since I've got tomorrow off. It looks like I'm on the coffee now since I'll have the bang stick.  :'(

Offline Green rv

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Re: Chickens at home
« Reply #21 on: April 22, 2015, 03:06:40 PM »
i had 3 chooks a few years ago now on a 600sq block used to let them out a lot and they did make a mess everywhere
down sides are the rodents they bring in (not a big problem.)
only good layers for about 2-3 years i think the ones i had were rhoad island reds (mate i give them to said they tasted good)

other than that the kids loved them and the eggs were great

after looking at your link the taj mahal looks awesome, maybe even enough to start again

thanks for the inspiration

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« Last Edit: April 22, 2015, 04:46:55 PM by Green rv »
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Offline graham

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Re: Chickens at home
« Reply #22 on: April 26, 2015, 07:19:13 PM »
How did you go go with the chookens GG , I went down and grabbed a couple of layers that have come from a egg farm  $5.00 each that seem alright , a year old , ready for KFC  , bit barren on a few feathers , but have been assured they will fluff back up , seem happy , don't think they have been de beaked , only because I haven't looked /paid attention . And I haven't heard the chooks having a go at them
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Offline GGV8Cruza

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Re: Chickens at home
« Reply #23 on: April 26, 2015, 07:50:29 PM »
Making purchases this week if I get a chance, set up the accommodation and then purchase a couple of happy layers.

GG

Offline Zilch

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Re: Chickens at home
« Reply #24 on: April 27, 2015, 07:32:57 PM »
Brother in law lives on the outskirts of Mackay in North QLD (ish) and has a few chooks, as he is nigh on rural,
surrounded by canefields etc. they attract snakes due to the influx of rodents who are after the
feed/hay/straw etc, He has lost a few to eastern browns/Taipans, kicked their mortal coil after being bit..
he has some footage of an Eastern Brown Bar steward taking out a rat about 5 metres from pen :) so depending on
where you live you may want to consider if they would attract any real nasties.. especially if you are rural
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