forum: Chicken

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#11 Tue 21 Oct 08 7:20am

australiangirl

Member
Member since Sun 06 Jan 08

Re: New to keeping chickens in the garden - help needed

When it gets dark they will find their own way back to the coop but you MUST lock them in to keep them safe from predators.  Our neighbours love looking after our 3 "girls" when we go away, we tell them to keep any eggs they lay, which is usually 21 eggs a week!
They do make a mess of the garden, so be prepared to get lots of chicken wire and fence off anything you don't want dug up and flung across your yard.  A decent sized coop is ok for them to be left in for a weekend, provided you pop in extra containers with water and food.  Good luck!  It's all trial and error. wink

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#12 Sat 15 Nov 08 7:29pm

Maree

Forum super champ
From Newcastle, Australia
Member since Sat 10 Mar 07

Re: New to keeping chickens in the garden - help needed

Anyone in Oz had any thing to do with a Sydney-based business that sells two hens, a 1.8m long x 90cm high coop on wheels that is fox proof? (But is it possum proof)

They also "rent" out as above with six week's worth of food in a "try before you buy" system?

Had hens when a kid. Have wanted them (again) for years.

Just wanted any feedback before I commit.

Note: I haven't mentioned the firm, but if you've dealt with them you'll know which one I'm talking about.

Thanks!


"Cook with love and laughter ..."
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#13 Sun 16 Nov 08 4:46pm

Lord_Thunda

Member
Occupation Retired
From New England Highlands, NSW, OZ
Member since Sun 26 Oct 08

Re: New to keeping chickens in the garden - help needed

Hi All,

I recently attended a seminar in relation to building Quoll proof chicken coops. A quoll is a cat-like carnivorous marsupial which is endangered in Australia.

GLENRAC has secured a threatened species grant from the World Wildlife Fund for Nature to assist Glen Innes community members to construct quoll-proof chicken houses and runs.

I figured, if it can keep a quoll out of the chicken house then it will keep feral cats, dogs, foxes, snakes, etc out too. It has become quite a major construction as I needed to get fairly strong wire to cover the nesting box & sleeping area. I ended up using 50 x 12 x 2.5 galvanised mesh. The reason for this is because quolls can eat through normal chicken wire.  shocked Placing corrugated iron on the floor area & concreting on this will provide a further safety layer.

During the day they will free range but will be put into the shed at night. I have a 2m x 2m floor area & 8 nesting boxes. I will be starting out with 8 chickens but may increase this number at a later date.

It just shows what we have to do to protect our chickens up here & to live with the environment. Native animals were here long before man ever walked on Earth & I like to do my bit trying to make sure they will be here long after I have gone. big_smile

Rob

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#14 Mon 24 Nov 08 7:42am

runwestierun

Forum champ
Occupation Volunteer
From Oregon Coast USA
Member since Sat 22 Nov 08

Re: New to keeping chickens in the garden - help needed

My coop has a run that is fully enclosed on the sides and top with chicken wire.  The door from the coop to the run is always open, but they go into the coop at night.  If I am not home, they have the run,  If I'm home, the yard is theirs!  This way they can get outside in the run whenever they want, but if they're in the yard I'm there to watch for coyotes and raccoons.  If they're in the yard I always leave the big door to the coop open so if the maurading pack of labradors comes through, they can get up to their roosts.  Then they can always get in there to lay, too.  I like my system, it works really well, and I think it's a good balance of happy and safe for my ladies.  Oh, I forgot to mention, I have a little feed and water carousel that's good for quite awhile if I'm gone.

PS.  My chickens (there's 10) have a cat friend.  She's orange striped.  She hangs out in the run with them.  They really like each other, it's funny.  She's feral.  I've never gotten near her.  I'm not a chicken...

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#15 Tue 02 Dec 08 9:21am

Sweet teeth

Member
Member since Mon 24 Nov 08

Re: New to keeping chickens in the garden - help needed

All I would add is what ever you do avoid buying Guinea Fowl. Our neighbour has just bought a pair and you would not believe the level of noise they can churn out. Astonishingly dim looking birds (but quite pretty with their long necks and tiny heads) but lungs like a buffalo!

Apparently these two are destined for the pot at Christmas. Can't say I'm unhappy about that!

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#16 Sat 10 Jan 09 8:03am

frizz1974

Forum super champ
Occupation Mother of 2 working more than full time
From Wallerawang, Oz
Member since Wed 29 Jun 05

Re: New to keeping chickens in the garden - help needed

Maree, 

I think I saw them on Totally Wild a few years ago... they are supposed to be very good.. I havent heard anything bad about them yet & I have had my aerial up for 2+ years now.

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#17 Sat 10 Jan 09 8:54am

Maree

Forum super champ
From Newcastle, Australia
Member since Sat 10 Mar 07

Re: New to keeping chickens in the garden - help needed

Thanks Frizz. They've had a huge amount of publicity recently.

Checked out website. Guy runs it as a "hobby" and has a "day job". Can't keep up with orders. Only works the chook business Thurs-Sat. Think he needs to take on staff to keep up with demand.

Grew up with chooks. Always my job (when younger than your kids) to collect still warm eggs each morning for breakfast.Delicious.

Have huge area for them to "range".Only concern is how, when they are free ranging", Bronte (small 8yr old dog) will react.

Still, it's a six week trial basis, initially.

Will ring him.

Thanks again smile


"Cook with love and laughter ..."
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#18 Sat 10 Jan 09 2:52pm

CraigJ

Member
From Townsville, Australia
Member since Mon 29 Dec 08

Re: New to keeping chickens in the garden - help needed

We have 3 chooks and a duck. Holidays are not so much an issue as we have provided our neighbours with free free range eggs throughout the year, and find they are only too happy to oblige when it comes to feeding them while we are away, as payment for the contributions year round.

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#19 Sat 10 Jan 09 3:42pm

Maree

Forum super champ
From Newcastle, Australia
Member since Sat 10 Mar 07

Re: New to keeping chickens in the garden - help needed

Hi Craig, ("chooks" you must be another Aussie smile )do the chooks and the duck live together? How big is your coup?

Fell in love with duck eggs while in UK recently. Impossible to get down here and don't have time or eco-kms to drive to where I could get them.

Have already approached neighbours (promised no roosters- they don't lay eggs-not allowed in the 'burbs and don't particularly want to have chicks).

They (neighbours) have given me their blessing with the promise of excess eggs throughout the year *and* in return for feeding and watering the birds, they get to take all eggs while I'm away.

Last edited by Maree (Sat 10 Jan 09 3:47pm)


"Cook with love and laughter ..."
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#20 Sun 11 Jan 09 12:17am

frizz1974

Forum super champ
Occupation Mother of 2 working more than full time
From Wallerawang, Oz
Member since Wed 29 Jun 05

Re: New to keeping chickens in the garden - help needed

Maree, as far as I have been able to find out chickens & ducks should be kept seperate as chickens contaminate their water supply with salmonella from their salivery glands & this can make the ducks sick.

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