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 Post subject: Chickens
PostPosted: Mon Feb 02, 2004 8:58 pm 
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When my husband and I moved from Dallas, Tx to Hubbard, Tx 3 1/2 years ago I quickly decided we should have chickens. I taught myself how to raise chickens and dove right in. I haven't regreted one minute. In fact, I wish I had started raising chickens in Richardson. I found out that most cities allow a few hens to be raised in backyards. Roosters are a no-no because of the crowing and too many birds can get smelly if not properly taken care of.

I just don't see the downside to chickens. They are easy keepers, don't take lots of time, eat bugs, and provide homegrown eggs. When allowed access to grass and bugs the eggs are high in Omega-3. Chickens can also be fed table scraps of most any kind except some spicey foods they dislike. Of course the end result of keeping chickens is the manure. I keep a layer of mulch on my chicken coop floor. The mulch controls odor and eventually the mixture of mulch and poop can be used for fertilizer.

If anyone wants to try keeping chickens I am available to take questions and give advice. The hardest part is getting set up. Check your city's regulations on this but truthfully if you aren't bothering anyone people won't report you having a few more chickens than allowed.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2004 9:24 am 
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Joined: Fri Apr 11, 2003 10:19 am
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Location: Franklin,TEXAS
The downside is - getting up in the middle of the night to get the raccoons out of the pen. They can get into just about anything!


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2004 11:56 am 
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Nice to see someone from College Station. My hubby is an Aggie.

I haven't had that problem, only owls taking hens not roosting in the coop. As of now we live close to a busy highway but someday we will move to our more secluded ranch. I will likely have to come up with ways to keep the critters out.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2004 12:46 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 21, 2003 2:43 pm
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Location: Princeton, TX
I've had chickens for about 4 years now. they are great at grasshopper control. They do tend to get in the flower beds and trear things up. The eggs are great.


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 Post subject: guinea fowl
PostPosted: Thu May 27, 2004 11:28 am 
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Joined: Thu May 27, 2004 11:22 am
Posts: 8
Location: Midland, MI
I have had chickens for a couple of years now and enjoy them very much. A mixture of Auracana, Reds and Rocks. I free range them except when the garden is young; they have a tendency to eat it up.
I would like to know if you or anyone knows about guinea fowl. More specifically, will they eat my garden as well? Or can I free range them year round with out ruining the garden? I have heard that they are wonderful at controlling bugs in the yard.


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PostPosted: Thu May 27, 2004 12:26 pm 
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Location: Franklin,TEXAS
The only thing I know about guineas are that they are very noisy. I have heard several people complain about that.


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PostPosted: Thu May 27, 2004 12:32 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 21, 2003 12:41 pm
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Location: Austin
I've read that guineas do not tear up plants the way chickens do, because they don't scratch. We've got two dozen guinea eggs in the incubator right now, so I'll report back in a few months :)


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PostPosted: Thu May 27, 2004 3:08 pm 
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I don't know much about guineas and I probably won't have any because I want chicken eggs. Using a chicken tractor is a good way to give access to grazing without access to planting beds but I haven't done this yet. I have had some luck using cedar mulch. Chickens aren't fond of it.

I wish I had an incubator or knew someone who had one. I'd love to hatch a couple from my hens and relatively docile rooster.

Ducks are good at bug control but are easy pickins for coyote, wild dogs, and varmits of all kinds.

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 Post subject: guineas
PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2004 6:22 am 
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Joined: Thu May 27, 2004 11:22 am
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Location: Midland, MI
I was chatting on the 'net and discovered that if you like peace & quiet - don't get guineas. On the other hand, they are some of the best watch dogs you could ever have (but they don't play fetch).
I also found:
You should always have them in pairs if free ranging; 1 male to 1 female.
They are very territorial and will stay close to home. If anything is out of the ordinary (according to the guinea), they will let you know!!
They come in 3 colors; Black, white and lavender.
They are excellent in the art of bug control.
If you don't establish them in a coop for a couple of weeks prior to free ranging them, they will opt for trees and you may never get you hands on them again. They will stay at home, but not where you would like them to be (coop).
But still can't find out if they will eat my young garden plants or not.
There is a retired fella' down the road from me that raises all kinds of fowl to sell. I am curiously fond of the guineas. He doesn't garden, so he don't know what to tell me.

I had some ducks.... In my opinion, they are the most unsanitary animals on a farm. I'll leave it at that.

Personally, I don't mind background noise on a farm. Roosters crowing, dogs barking, cows, horses.... etc. Much better than the sound of "I-40", or any highway, rushing by.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 29, 2004 6:32 am 
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I visited a friend's place where she kept a few guineas, didn't seem all that noisy to me. I will say though a chorus of roosters can grate the nerves. My first chickens were a straight run of 25 chicks through the mail. Eventually I had around 10 roosters on our property all trying to be the loudest, badest bird. They liked to hold their contests right outside my window at dawn just to wake me up. And trust me yelling and throwing things at 'em doesn't faze 'em. :) All it takes is two and they will crow all day and probably eventually one will kill the other. Roosters by themselves will crow but infrequently.

All birds are pretty messy because they poop so often. I think because they don't pee just poop a watery, smelly glob. I have two ducks, one runner type and a muscovy. The muscovies are large, calm birds that would rather hang out on my porch and poop all other it. The runner duck doesn't like the porch, is more skittish, and spends more time in the pond. My advice on the messyness is that if you have a large porch or deck, understand that it WILL be convered in bird poo.

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 Post subject: chickens
PostPosted: Sun May 30, 2004 10:31 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 12, 2003 12:45 am
Posts: 420
Location: Whitesboro,TX
I prefer guineas because they tend to
be a little wild and stay away from the
house and it is great having them in the
trees - not on porch and/or power tools
and work benches, etc.
Geese are great as the take a mate for
life and they eat bugs and weeds. There
are people that fence them in gardens
and let them do the weeding.
They are sooooooooooooo much better
than ducks. If you have a pond, they
can get away from preditiors. We had
a male for 10 years and he was great.
He was protective. Normally very mild
mannered but one day the farrier
showed up and started the horses with
out me, the goose attacked. He had
never done this before because I was
always around. The farried never started
with out me after that incident.

The guineas will eat bugs but I can't
remember them ever doing any damage
to the plants.
Robert D Bard


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 31, 2004 6:56 am 
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Joined: Thu May 27, 2004 11:22 am
Posts: 8
Location: Midland, MI
I would like to thank everyone for replies. I think I will let the guineas free range and cage the chickens in the spring.... at least while the garden is young.

Regards to all,
bridsonbunch :wink:


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 Post subject: chickens
PostPosted: Thu Sep 30, 2004 8:10 am 
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other than fence, does anyone know of a spray or mixture to keep the chickens from eating out of the garden? Especially lettuce, cabbage, broccoli?

The avoid squash, beans,etc, but love the green tender leafy stuff.

I love my chickens, butget tired or replanting and caging the plants.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 30, 2004 8:39 am 
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Chickens don't like peppers, onions, garlic. Making a spray consisting one or more of those flavors may work for a while. You may have to do it very often to achieve total protection. Also the don't like cedar mulch so use it around the vegetables.

I also plant veggies the chickens don't generally want.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 30, 2004 11:20 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 27, 2003 10:51 pm
Posts: 747
Location: Garland, Texas
The mention of chicken keeping in an urban or suburban environment certainly piqued my interest. Is there anyone currently doing this? What are the regulations in your city/town?

I wouldn't worry as much about wild dogs, but we do have several neighborhood cats and a couple of Red-Tail Hawks in the general vicinity. What do you do to protect your birds? I don't have a fenced-in yard, is that a problem or do the birds stay close?

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