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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Worthington, Pennsylvania USA
    Posts
    1,848

    Post

    Ten or more years ago we raised our own Rhode Island Reds and Plymouth Rock chickens and Guinea fowl and enjoyed the fruit of their labor--all free range and locked them in coop at night if they went in. Guinea fowl eggs are our favorite. Coons, foxes, dogs and then the worst -great horned owls-they got the guineas at night whether the guineas were thirty feet in a big white oak or in a thirty foot scotch pine. The owls were the last straw--we no longer raise chickens. It was a good experience.
    "Younz" have a great day, I will.

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,408

    Post

    My favorite breed of chicken is "Salmon faverolle".

    http://www.mcmurrayhatchery.com/prod...averolles.html
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Woodinville, WA
    Posts
    145

    Post

    I didn't realize you got eggs from Guinea hens. What rate do they produce at? I really like the look of them. I was planning on getting chickens next year, but I might switch to Guineas if they produce a reasonable amount of eggs. I'm not planning on selling them. Home eggs just taste way better.

    sam
    Sam
    Beekeeping since 2004 - 1 hive, 3 dogs, 3 cats, 2 donkeys, 3 sheep, 2 goats, 5 acres

  4. #24
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    1,933

    Post

    Here is ATTRA's guides to sustainable poultry. Pasture raised and free range are covered.

    http://attra.ncat.org/livestock.html#Poultry

    Sustainable Poultry: Production Overview
    http://attra.ncat.org/attra-pub/poultryoverview.html
    is a good overview

    Raising chickens for eggs has been the #1 most effecient /expense & time /vs./ food return/ project I have done. Seems like it could be profitable especially if you have a market already or can easily make one.
    Use brown egg layers, many are good producers, others are more for looks.
    And get some Arucana green egg layers too. The reason for this is to put at least one green egg in every dozen. Patrons will marvel at the green and brown eggs and return to buy your interesting eggs. They aren't as productive as say barred rocks, but I think it is a good marketing thing. Adding some white ones might be nice too.
    We have a few regular customers at $3 a dozen but haven't tried that hard. We don't have quite enough extra eggs to take it too seriously. Meat would be a part of it if we were getting serious about it. We just like eating lots of great eggs and having them around.

    Never heard of Hardy Concords, would like to see a picture.

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Hiram, Northeast Ohio
    Posts
    731

    Post

    "How expensive to start, to maintain, and payback."

    You really don't NEED anything but the chickens. They are about $5 for a good hen just hitting her peak, and they will lay about an egg a day in the summer, less or none in the winter--unless you give them artificial light. I don't see any reason to fence them unless you want to keep them from making messes where they shouldn't or have dogs roaming about that won't lay off them. A fence isn't going to deter any of the nightime predators. Dogs are the only thing I have ever had kill a chicken in the day.

    Let them find their own perches if you want to "let it work." Make a small but secure coop from scrap or pallets if you want to reduce losses. But whatever you do, don't make an insecure coop--that is the surest way to lose them all in one go.

    It's pure profit Bubba! Get a rooster too and let them raise a constant supply of little gals to replace the inevitable losses, and it won't cost you anything beyond the first purchase and the effort of making sure your shoes are clean before going in the house.
    It\'s people! Soylent Green is peeeeople!

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,748

    Post

    I would have a lot more chickens if I ran them into a coop and locked the door everynight. [img]smile.gif[/img] But I don't. So I only have the ones wily enough to survive.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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