Worldwide Beekeeping

Sustainable Living => Farm Livestock => Topic started by: mamapoppybee on January 06, 2015, 08:42:03 am

Title: coop attack!
Post by: mamapoppybee on January 06, 2015, 08:42:03 am
well once i got my hens up to a good laying age along came some varmints that found them away in. We all know how i like my chickens and wont stand for the raid i received. Found a buddy of mine that had some cage traps and coon cuffs and set out to end the perpetrators. by the five days end of my trapping i had two skunks, an opossum, and one pissed coon cuffed.  So for this springs adventure i will be getting me some more chicks.
Title: Re: coop attack!
Post by: CpnObvious on January 06, 2015, 09:08:55 am
Might want to get some material (will vary depending on how your coop is designed) and close up the openings BEFORE you get more chicks.  I'm sure you don't want to lather, rinse, repeat...
Title: Re: coop attack!
Post by: brooksbeefarm on January 06, 2015, 11:21:43 am
I hate coons, the only thing good that comes from them is tooth picks ;D I trap and introduce them to mr. Remington year round, a conservation officer said i couldn't do that, that they belong to the state of Mo. I told him that the state of Mo. had better come and get there property because the Brooks farm doesn't allow the SOB's on it. (Swell Old Boys). ;D So far haven't heard from them :no: Jack
Title: Re: coop attack!
Post by: mamapoppybee on January 06, 2015, 08:33:53 pm
coop reno as made asap and all is good in the chicken hood thus far.
Title: Re: coop attack!
Post by: lazy shooter on January 08, 2015, 10:14:31 pm
I'm with Jack on coons.  Them and feral pigs are messengers from hades, as far as I concerned.  I trap both of them in live traps, but they don't live long after being trapped.
Title: Re: coop attack!
Post by: LazyBkpr on January 09, 2015, 12:43:15 am
Coons and foxes here..   I buried Dog kennel fencing, the two by 4 square stuff all the way around my chicken pen. It goes up the sides about three feet and two feet are under ground, bent in an  L  shape, so standing at the wire looking in your standing ON the wire under the dirt.. any critter that tries to dig IN just digs down to the wire, they are not smart enough to dig BACK and under.
   It is the first time we have not lost any chickens in many years.. My wife calls it the Chicken fort..   The normal chicken wire then hitches to the dog fence and goes all the way around.
   I am not used to having chickens so long...  What do you do with them when they start to slow up on laying?   Soup?
Title: Re: coop attack!
Post by: Jen on January 09, 2015, 01:45:14 am
Yup! In The Pot! My mother in law would pressure cook them so they would be tender.
Title: Re: coop attack!
Post by: efmesch on January 09, 2015, 02:43:54 am
Lazy asks, "  I am not used to having chickens so long...  What do you do with them when they start to slow up on laying?   Soup?"

I believe there is some technique for renewing their egg-laying capacity--the chickens are left hungry (fasting)  for several days, which leads to their shedding their feathers.  Then they are fed normally again, re-grow their feathers and return to full speed laying.
Try looking it up in the literature (Wikipedia?).
I'll try to find out the details myself too, and  pass the word on to you.  It's certainly better and faster than starting with chicks again.

However, in general, during the short winter days, hens naturally reduce their egg-laying.  The shorter days influence the necessaary balance of hormones and laying is reduced.  In Israel, probably elsewhere too,  egg producers turn on lights in the chicken runs during the night, to artificially imitate the effects of longer days.  When longer days return, egg-laying picks up on its own.
Title: Re: coop attack!
Post by: iddee on January 09, 2015, 06:46:14 am
It's called forced moulting, or molting. It is a natural process that you induce.
Title: Re: coop attack!
Post by: efmesch on January 09, 2015, 07:11:21 am
My brother, who many years ago raised eggs, sent me these links:

 He said that food, but not water, was witheld for a few days.  Lighting was only natural daylight, and as the days got longer, the egg laying would resume.  After the foodless period they were fed Dura for a certain amount of time and then they were returned to their normal diet. Apparently timing is an important aspect of this "treatment".
Title: Re: coop attack!
Post by: mamapoppybee on January 09, 2015, 07:55:16 am
I have a hen that is four and a half years old she still lays an egg about every three days depending on the weather. I cant bring my self to cull this one because it was one of the chicks my dad gave me when we first got this place.  Chickens are most productive if there first two years but will still lay an egg every so often. Stewing hens outta old bitties and freezer camp for honer y roosters. Now fellas i wont tell you wives about freezer camp if you dont tell me hubby about the stew pot!  :laugh:
Title: Re: coop attack!
Post by: Gypsi on February 04, 2016, 04:14:58 pm
Good point on the secrets of stew pot and freezer camp.  I got tired of stewing old hens that don't lay so I am retiring mine to the apiary to keep pests and weeds under control. They go in the coop 'on the lot". I got no problem with roos going to freezer camp but I am thinking there is a farm that processes them for $2 or 3 each that would save me a lot of time and mess. I just don't see old hens being worth the cost, so I let them retire.
Title: Re: coop attack!
Post by: Retroguy on February 05, 2016, 02:22:55 am
We had some hens that died of old age at 7 or 8 years.  Still laying the occasional egg.  I don't like chicken soup and I hate the smell of a stewing hen being boiled down.  Rates right up there with boiling cabbage in my estimation.  Doesn't smell any more appetizing to me than the smell of wet feathers when plucking them.  Commercial egg farms usually send the hens off to the processors at 18 months but, of course, they're adding chicks on a regular basis and loading the chicken crates at the other end of the operation in a continuous rotation.

I keep talking about raising chickens and selling eggs but I hate to butcher them.  I'll have to look around to see if some outfit would do the dirty work for me.  ;D
Title: Re: coop attack!
Post by: apisbees on February 05, 2016, 04:19:23 am
To keep chickens laying when the weather gets cold, you need to keep their feet warm. Insulated floor or a dirt floor dug into the earth below frost And enough chickens to produce enough heat to keep the frost out or a heat source.and don't let them out if the outside temp is below freezing or the ground is frozen.
Title: Re: coop attack!
Post by: Gypsi on February 05, 2016, 10:04:29 am
problem isn't cold here, it is heat.  My ground almost Never freezes.  But they quit laying in the heat, and if I move them to the coop on the lot it is in deep shade and they don't lay as much. then we have fall moult, I got 4 eggs yesterday from the old girls (and those birds are all 3 years old next month except one who was hatched here). right now no leaves on the elm so they are laying

But production reds that lay an egg a day when young seem to run out of eggs by age 2 or 3.  I don't much care anymore. I just let them live their lives out and keep the grasshoppers down.  I am not that big a fan of stewed old bird and by that time half of them have names
Title: Re: coop attack!
Post by: brooksbeefarm on February 05, 2016, 11:18:14 am
A young Mennonite family bought the farm next to one of my outyards, he built two chicken houses (over $100.000.00 each) and is building another one bigger than the other two. It is a organic operation, the hens are free to roam in outside pens (on the ground) they go inside and lay there eggs (brown eggs) on a trough in the middle of the building that is a conveyer belt. Stan (the Mennonite) will go to the end of the building where he stands and pushes a button, and the conveyer brings the eggs to him, and he puts them in egg cartons and stores them in a large walk-in cooler behind him. I don't know how often, but a semi truck comes and takes the eggs to Cali. to sell them.I think he buys a new flock of chicks every two years, this year he has white chickens that lay brown eggs :o ??? ??? Jack
Title: Re: coop attack!
Post by: Zulu on February 06, 2016, 11:29:09 pm
I have a heat lamp turned way down on a rheostat in the coop, right above where they roost , and it adds light and some heat. 

Mine lay mostly through the winter.  I do have a small time mid summer that they are poor layers but it's only a few weeks. 
4 hens and I get about 20-25 eggs a week , most weeks.  Don't bother to keep records.

Also had a darn hen who was eating the eggs , and it took a lot of work to stop her. Had to change the laying boxes and pull eggs twice a day to leave nothing out there.

Had some critters two and half  years ago , but redid the wiring of the coop and my dogs now do a few circuits a night before bed and I have a red LED that blinks ( supposed to mimic critter eyes) , and no issues in last 18 months.
Title: Re: coop attack!
Post by: neillsayers on February 07, 2016, 01:00:51 am
Our old hens end up dying of old age or varmint. Kind of the same thing as they slow down in old age. Sweet wife names them all and they still eat ticks, mites and shbs. :)
Title: Re: coop attack!
Post by: Gypsi on February 07, 2016, 02:52:43 pm
that is why mine are in the apiary.  SHB got really bad last year
Title: Re: coop attack!
Post by: LazyBkpr on March 12, 2016, 07:33:48 pm
Been a bit since I checked in here...  I ended up putting a light in our coop, on a timer so they had 15 hours of light..   WOW! I had broody hens a week later and they were laying...  Just shut the light off a couple days ago since there should be long enough days now..  Was nice to have eggs all winter, but you have to be on top of checking for them or they freeze and crack.
Title: Re: coop attack!
Post by: Zweefer on March 12, 2016, 08:17:37 pm
We got one of these, as the coop is wired to one outlet, and needed one light on 24/7 (light converted to plug) for the water heater, and one for the light. Bored like a charm, and I didn't have to head back out in the cold to shut the light off!
Title: Re: coop attack!
Post by: Retroguy on April 04, 2016, 01:52:30 pm
I remember that we had a weasel get in one time when I was just a tow head.  Killed about 7 hens as I recall.  Dad found the weasel's access and plugged it up with cement.  Had to shoot the weasel with his old .22 rifle.  I think they like to drink the blood.  At least that's what my folks said.

Every once in a while we'd get a hen that would get broody and wouldn't get off of the nest.  No problem getting the eggs but she'd peck until she'd draw blood.  We had what we called a "cluck box" that sat on the floor, about the size of a chicken crate.  We'd stick her in that for a few days with feed & water and she wouldn't be broody any more.