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urgent advice needed please
do I adopt CHICKENS from school???
teagg
teagg
AUSTRALIA
Member since 5/25/05
Posts: 743
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Date: 5/16/13 8:43 AM

Dear All
as my youngest DD was going to bed tonight - the question arose as to whether we could adopt some chickens from school... apparently they've hatched a load and tomorrow (Friday), the chickens go (somewhere)...
should I get some? and if so...
how many
what do I need to do
what do I need to get/build
are they expensive
can I get just girls
will they lay eggs for me (you can see where I'm going with this!)
what do I do if they're not a girl or they don't lay
can I keep them in the garden
are they easy enough for my husband to look after when I take the girls on hols for 3.5-4 weeks in July (am I seriously asking that question...)
what other advice would you give me

just fyi - we live in Sydney - but on the northern side, we have a garden (not huge, but not small), I don't have sons (don't know if that's really relevant), I'm a SAHM (most of the time!!), I've never kept chickens before, but we had lambs in the garden in England as kids, and a cockatiel flew in and we looked after that too, in the UK (learnt very quickly to ensure that his cage cover was on the night before... summer dawns are VERY early in the UK!!!!)...

I understand that ticks are a big worry for dogs (one of the reasons we don't have dogs, amongst many), are there any major worries like that for chickens?
are chickens expensive to keep?

if I need to get rid of them... is there somewhere/someone they can be sent to??? (I realise that there probably isn't but someone might have a relative who's a chicken enthusiast and would happily adopt them if we are completely incompetent in doing this....)

Please advise me as soon as you can!!! this is a time critical issue!!!!!!
with great appreciation,
regards
Gillian

------
G
Sydney, Australia

poorpigling

poorpigling
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TX USA
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In reply to teagg <<


Date: 5/16/13 8:58 AM

This is something we have seriously considered trying our hand at.. I love animals/pets as all here know.. but UNTIL I feel I have a real grasp to all this adventure will bring.. we are waiting. So.. I would advise you to do that same thing.. wait until you have done your research..
However.. there is some that will say.. Hop in.. just do it.. you will learn as you go along.. and its not bad advise really.. you can learn so much very quickly nowadays on the net..

skae
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skae  Friend of PR
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In reply to teagg <<


Date: 5/16/13 9:29 AM

they are very easy to take care of. they will lay eggs for you once matured. If you have a little shed for them to go into at night. you can also built a A frame shed. it doesn't have to be so big. If you have a small barn that will work
Feeding them. They will eat all the bugs including ticks. You could even let them roam the yard.
It is important to keep them in a closed building at night. this will keep them safe from fox or other predators.
What you need is
water, chicken feed, warm place for them.
I would look on the internet to see what
you will all need. they are very easy to take care of.
you could take from 5 to10 That would be enough for
layer, or if you want to raise them to butcher.
They are fun to have.
If you decide it will be a experience.
Yes your husband can take care of them while your gone.

------
Ecclesiastes 11:7,8 Nothing on earth is more beautiful than the morning sun. Even if you live to a ripe old age, you should try to enjoy each day, because darkness will come and will last a long time. (CEV)

teagg
teagg
AUSTRALIA
Member since 5/25/05
Posts: 743
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In reply to skae <<


Date: 5/16/13 9:47 AM

I've been reading online and it seems that i'm allowed to keep them locally, and there are various options regarding what to keep them in....
i'm going to find out some more info tomorrow....

and i'd better send DH a text to check he's at least neutral with this plan!!!!!!

thanks for all your help!
regards
Gillian

------
G
Sydney, Australia

koo104
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koo104
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WA USA
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Date: 5/16/13 9:54 AM

Backyard Chickens is the best resource. The most important thing is building them shelter that is preditor proof and dry. The roost boards should be wide enough so their feet don't wrap around them at night. When they are flat, their feet are covered by their bodies and feathers and prevents frost bite. They are heathier if you don't heat them. The Chicken wire holes allow Raccoons to reach in and kill the birds. We used hardwear cloth and have it 1 foot buried under the ground.
They are so much fun to have in the yard and they are smarter then you would imagine. They each have a different personality.
I have 4 and that keeps us in eggs for 2 Plus we give some away. In the winter when there is less daylight they don't lay much so I buy 1 or 2 cartons out of the year.
They clean the garden of unwanted pests like slugs and cutworms, apple bugs. Just cover an area when you just plant something. They love to scratch which is great when you are cleaning up a bed.
Oh, they need areas for dirt bathing which is how they keep insect off themselves.
I had no idea what fun we were getting ourselves into.

Sew Confused
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Sew Confused
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Date: 5/16/13 9:56 AM

Yes, you can get just girls and they will still lay eggs, but you would need to have someone present who can sex the chicks. Otherwise, you could end up with any number of roosters.

------
Paula

"In Seattle you haven't had enough coffee until you can thread a sewing machine while it's running."
- Jeff Bezos, Amazon.com founder

Visit my blog at www.sewconfused.blogspot.com

koo104
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koo104
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Date: 5/16/13 9:56 AM

I forgot to mention that it is when they are baby chicks that you need to keep them warm and safe, they can drown in there water etc, you need to fuss over them at first.

sewsally
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sewsally  Friend of PR
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Date: 5/16/13 12:28 PM

They will eat bugs in the garden but may also help themselves to lettuce for example.

I raised chickens for awhile and really liked them. Some were very friendly.

You don't need roosters -- the hens will like you instead. Roosters are not nice to kids.

Predators are a problem including opposums, raccoons, stray dogs, hawks... even in the day time.
-- Edited on 5/16/13 12:29 PM --

a7yrstitch
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a7yrstitch  Friend of PR
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In reply to teagg <<


Date: 5/16/13 1:16 PM

If you are truly serious about having birds in the backyard it would seem prudent to guide the girls in thoughtful research prior to their summer holiday so they can start preparing for acquiring, housing and caring for livestock after they return home.

This could be a whim on your daughter's part that changes everything about your summer plans. And your hubbie may feel differently but hubster here already has his plate full when I have been gone for extended periods. Suddenly the yard is his, the bill paying is his, the laundry is his, the hubster feeding is his......and I know that he spends extra time at the office when I am not here.

My hubbie would do it, but I honestly would not want to pile a month of new animal care on his plate. Of course we would have the added problem of hurricanes and seasonal flooding. It's about time to put the emergency overnight duffel in the car and replenish his emergency office food and water stash. Maybe our conditions are extreme but I wouldn't want him trying to drive home in flood waters to see to some chickens if he had already decided it wasn't safe enough to drive home for himself.

As I said, our conditions can be extreme. I was out of town for an extended period of caretaking when Hurricane Ike came through. With all he had to take care of, alone, I am sure glad that I hadn't also left him with a new puppy or a flock of birds.

Do you have anything like 4H down there?
4H Livestock Program

Couldn't you interest her in a sewing machine instead? She could sew all the chickens she wants.
-- Edited on 5/16/13 1:21 PM --

------
I have no idea what Apple thought I was saying so be a Peach and credit anything bizarre to auto correct.

Vireya
Vireya
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AUSTRALIA
Member since 12/10/05
Posts: 932
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Date: 5/16/13 6:45 PM

I don't know that adopting chooks from the school is the best bet. Very high likelihood of roosters, which you are not allowed to keep in suburban backyards.

I've kept chooks for years, but we get them as "point-of-lay" pullets, which means they are about 20 weeks old. It takes them that long to mature enough to start laying. After that, they will produce eggs for a couple of years, then slow down. There are various things you need to be careful of. There are likely to be foxes in your area even if you've never seen one, so the chooks need to be securely locked up at night. Chooks will eat everything in the garden, or at least scratch it up or knock it down, so you need to fence them off from any part of the garden you don't want destroyed.

I don't live in a tick area, so don't know if ticks are a problem. But chooks can get mites and worms which you have to medicate them for.

Reasonably easy to care for, but finding the ideal food and water arrangements can take a while. Chooks will kick over or foul water and food containers, so you need to come up with ways around that or check them every day to make sure their food and water is OK. If your husband can't do that, don't leave them with him!

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