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Poultry in Urbania

A group all about how to keep poultry including chickens, bantams,geese and ducks. Help with problems or questions and to brag about your special feathered friends.

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Latest Activity: 23 hours ago

Discussion Forum

Chicken lice - Organic solutions 3 Replies

Started by Damian Cinereus Veneficus Mair. Last reply by Andrea Graves Sep 25, 2014.

Dealing with a muddy run 7 Replies

Started by Nigel Thomson. Last reply by Andrea Graves Sep 22, 2014.

neem oil 1 Reply

Started by Kirsten Fathers. Last reply by Petra Dirkx Aug 18, 2014.

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Comment by Derek & Julie Craig on March 13, 2012 at 8:34pm

One of our hens has laid an egg with a crater like hole in the shell. Does anyone have any idea what it could be?

Comment by Matt Moir on March 13, 2012 at 1:32pm

Hi Roxy I give them about a handful per chicken a day and in the evening and I have a cup size scop that I give them in the morning they peck it out of my hand then they free range for 4 to 6 hours I just sent my blue Australorp to puhoi and added a silverlace wyendot in exchange she is locked up in the run now and the others are a little upset rite now until they get used to her

Comment by Roxy Hart on March 13, 2012 at 10:43am

Hi matt,

That sounds like a good healthy mix for your chooks :) how much do you provide per chicken? Do they also free range? 

I checked your photos.. you have some nice looking chickens :)

Comment by Matt Moir on March 12, 2012 at 3:52pm

Plymouth barred rock cockeral lookin for good home I am finally able to start sexing my 3 barred rocks If anyonein the Auckland area is looking for a rooster he is free to a good home message me if interested

Comment by Kristen Morse on March 6, 2012 at 4:02pm

Good on you Katrina. I have been using the roosters we hatch now for a few years and it is a very satisfying feeling to be that little bit more self sufficient. We kill the birds at dusk as they are quieter and we don't want to upset the hens. A quiet bird is also easier to pluck and the meat is more tender if they were relaxed. Having moved recently to a rural location I have been able to breed more chooks and make use of an old aviary to keep the boys separate once they are about 3 months old so they can be fed to gain more size than they would if they were completely free range. Small batches at a time. Heaps more room than barn raised meat birds. You might want to think about the breeds to use for meat as we have found some of the bigger breeds like Orpingtons spend a lot of their energy growing feathers and bone at the expense of meat at that crucial time 3-5 months of age before starting to crow. They have a lean large frame. Also birds with white or yellow legs and lighter colored feathers give a cleaner looking carcass. The pinfeathers that are growing can leave a colored residue just under the skin when pulled out - all the commercial meat birds are white. We have a black Orpington rooster and his genes are dominant over the mixed flock of hens. Hence 90% of his chicks were black. I am thinking of replacing him for next seasons chicks with something like a Light Sussex or Barred Rock roo to get round the appearance thing. Of the 35 chicks we hatched from this season 22 of them were boys, color wise 2 grey hens, 2 barred rock boys and all the rest black.

Comment by Matt Moir on March 6, 2012 at 3:46pm

I feed my chickens a mix of sprouted wheat, barley,corn, and sunflower I soak in a bucket of water 24 hours and drain then place in dark bucket for 2 to 3 days so the grains can sprout they love this mix and its much healthier for them

Comment by Shannon McKenzie on March 6, 2012 at 2:13pm

Kathrina, I have heard it is a lot more pleasant to kill them after dark as they are so dopey at night they just go peacefully. I got one black australorp girl out of a clutch last season (a rat got the rest) and she is a lovely big but docile girl with big brown eyes. Hatched by the bottom banty in the ranks so she's not picking on anyone.

Comment by Roxy Hart on March 6, 2012 at 2:05pm

Hi, i was just wondering if there is anybody here that doesn't feed "chicken mix" style food and what you use instead?

And is there anybody growing or making there own "chicken mix"?

Comment by Kathrina Muller on March 6, 2012 at 8:21am

Finally did what I had wanted to do for ages.  With the help of a friend I managed to kill pluck and gut the 4 roosters that hatch in the last clutch of eggs I hatched,

The hard bit is the killing and I am not sure how I will do it in future.  I may try to get a killing cone or something.  I can certainly cope with plucking and gutting wasn't so bad, since I had great tuition.  It didn't smell too much except when I managed to do the wrong cut into the vent.  When done properly the intestines and other innards just pull out easily.  It took about an hour to do the 4 roosters.   All the waste has gone back into the garden, for fertiliser.

I have cooked and eaten one, great meat and have 2 in the freezer.  My friend took one and the giblets, I have used the feet to make stock- tons of gelatine in it.  I did make the mistake of putting the feet into boiling water first and not just hot, so couldn’t skin them properly.

I will certainly do this again as I want to hatch my replacements each year. That way I can choose the breeds I want.   I am going to keep a little bantam in my flock as they will go broody early in spring; I want to choose placid breeds and am thinking of Welsummer and maybe Orpingtons.  As the bantam is getting a hard time, and runs to me for food every time I go to the hen run, I have managed to tame it even more so hope it will encourage any future chicks to be tamer.  Also chicks hatched from one in the flock seem to fit in better, and have learnt to use the automatic feeder without too much hassle, especially as they are now heavy enough to open it properly.

Comment by Shannon McKenzie on February 27, 2012 at 1:20pm
Also Ricardo - thats how ducks roll horrible isnt it. If theyre swimming the female gets held underwater. I say if they dont like it how come the females keep following him around?! My drake would also sit on my chickens - we had fun thinking up what to call any offspring:-D
 

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