Wednesday, June 5, 2013

I Would Love To Raise Chickens

Raising chickens around my home is not a possibility because I am an apartment dweller. 


Chicken Embryo Educational Poster
Chicken Embryo Educational Poster - Amazon
I do not think that constructing a coop on my patio would be welcomed by the property manager but it is always a thought! I will have to wait until I am in a home of my own with a yard that will allow room for a coop large enough for roosting and nesting. 

My 3 Hens 

I had 3 hens in Florida when I lived there and I enjoyed watching them grow from fuzzy little chicks into the beautiful hens they became. Two of the chickens were pullet chicks and the other was a Rhode Island Red. I brought them home as these tiny, little peepers and let them nest in a large, clear, plastic storage box in my living room. 

They had a clay pot with a light bulb fixture run through it for a heat source and a feeder. I believe I had a jar feeder for their water, too. I need to dig out the old images and see what this cage set up was so I can share it with you. In time I will diagram the cage and the set up. It had a thermometer in it and shredded pine in the bottom for soft nesting. When their feathers filled in and they were no longer babies but full hens, I placed them in the cage in the yard.

Chart showing the life cycle of a chicken from before the egg laying to the chick hatching and their growth cycle. Amazon poster image.

Life Cycle Of A Chicken Chart - Amazon

They were housed in a large steel mesh pen and covered with a plywood lid that was weighted down at night with potted plants on top. I had to make due with the materials at hand. This box was in a shady area and I could hose it down when needed. It was  roomy enough for them to each have a section to themselves.

Keeping chickens in an area that has predators is always a challenge. *

Around my yard then, there were raccoons, foxes, and stray cats that were a sure threat to my birds. I lost them one by one because I couldn't watch them every second and I did not have a screened in yard for them to roam in. I let them wander the garden during the day and they were picked off one by one. 

I left them out over night after a month of putting them outside and heard this squabbling noise. I ran screaming out the house. "LET HER GOOOOOOOO!!!" I did rescue that chicken but looked down to see that I was running almost in the buff. What a sight I must have been tearing out the door and off the porch in to the woods in my underwear!

The next time I set up a chicken dedicated home there will be some changes. I live in Southern Nevada now,
This white chicken coop is an elegant carpenter's project. Chicken condo is a better description!
Fancy Chicken Coop - Image: MorgueFile.com
This coop looks more like a condo for chickens than a coop!
so the raccoons and foxes won't be an issue but keeping them cool will be. I am thinking about adding a misting system to the outside of the coop where they can stay cool in the summer heat. A/C would be a little extreme but I do love my critters!

I still have a chicken feeder that sits on one of my book shelves. It silently reminds me of the first three birds I kept and the long term goal of keeping chickens for eggs and meat again.

If you keep chickens, do you plan for their 72 hours of emergency supplies? For chickens their kit would require a bulk stock of chicken scratch feed and water for drinking.

Chickens won't need much. Leave them behind if you have to bug out unless you are prepared to drop them into a soft bag or a pet carrier of some kind. It depends on your crisis. They probably won't be very happy with you sticking them into a pillow case...


Related links and topics:

How To Build Your Own Coop: Chicken Coops On Skruben


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