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Here is something many of you may not yet know... I will now admit it openly. I am also a chicken farmer, yes I said it, chicken farmer. Have been around them most of my life so when Mikayla said "Daddy can we get some laying hens?" I said no... "Daddy please" (pouty look and all) I said yes, but only 10.

We now average around 50 or 60 layers at any given time and Mikayla pays for their food as well as makes a profit from egg sales....

The yard boss, Hubert the roo...

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Grand kids getting mugged for scratch grain

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Mikayla with a psycho roo name of Blue Max a couple years back, he was better with dumplings than he was in the yard

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Finished products.... With what is called a "fart egg" usually no yoke or yoke and no white.

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Chickens are cool for sure.

They Keep the Goat Heads away.

Ticks and other bugs gone.

Mine would even eat mice.

Get her some Araucana Chickens .

They lay Pink, Blue and Other Odd colored eggs.

We could sell a dozen at the flea market for $5.00...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Araucana

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We have about 20 in the current flock Homefire and they do lay some colorful eggs! The rooster Mikayla is holding is a Blue Araucana

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When folks first see the eggs they think you dyed them. LOL

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Hi Bill, We have 10 hens right now some of them are Araucana also. In this cold weather they have not laid eggs for 3 weeks. First time in a year we have to buy some eggs. I told them if they don't start laying we will start frying.

Bob

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Carol ... my girlfriend ... has 16 of them in Wheat Ridge CO ... I was against them here in Prescott Valley AZ but relented, was about to build a coop by the garage and then she moved for her work to Denver ... I built her a coop here in my garage anyway and paletized it so I could deliver it to her, assembled in CO ... She averages 10-14 eggs a day and sells them to eagerly awaiting work mates. No rooster ... so her chicken eggs are unfertilized. Many folks don't know that chickens will lay eggs without a rooster ... conventional and uneducated wisdom thinks eggs can't be made without the rooster's sperm ... not so! Anyway she has gotten me into caring for them when I visit ... never thought I would have any interest ... but they have a personality of their own and a 'pecking' order to boot! We keep the coop inside the fenced garden area ... no need for pesticdes and no mice ... fun to watch them chase a mouse, catch it and have a communal feast! Yum ... Mouse Sushi! They will eat anything that moves ... they even try to peck at my laces on my boat shoes ... hard keeping them tied while in the garden area and the chicks are out of the coops. Initially her three labs wanted to attack them but that was 10 months ago ... now they are more interested in getting into the garden to eat the scratch we scatter around in the winter. You'd think we never feed the dogs but they are dogs of opportunity and take a dog's advantage when our backs are turned!

Mike F

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Yup they lay fine without a roo, but we hatch little ones now and again to re populate and the girls get round 3 years old or so when laying slows. Then we eat the older ones at 4 years old or so once the new batch is laying so we keep a couple around, good protection for the girls as well....

Tough as nails unless cooked right, but if done right they are mighty good eating.

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LOL! Chickens that eat Bugs and all the other junk in the yard Taste Nothing like those Store bought things.

Well? They Taste like Chicken.

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Ok time for a war story.....farm story.....and a chicken story.....

When WWll started my old Dad was 24....so one day him and a bunch of his home grown buddies jumped in

someone's pick-up and went to the country seat (Stigler,OK).....they just about took every young patriotic man

in that neck of the woods.....and joined the Army Air Force....for the next four or five years my Dad spent the

entire war flying back wards as the tail gunner in B-17's.....for years I would ask him questions about the war

and he would just turn around and walk away....

After that experience all he ever wanted to be in life was a farmer.....so he took his GI Bill and bought the same

farm that he and his seven brothers and sisters lived on as share croppers....365 acres with the highway

dividing the two halves.....

First 17 years of my life it was "reveille" every day at 0430.....milk 15 cows....slop 8-10 hogs....gather in the eggs....

and a few other odds and ends.....in farm life there's not any time outs....no vacations.....it has to be done24/7/365....

Getting to those odd and end jobs.....one of the big ones was cleaning the hen house every evening and morning....

with a grain scoop shovel (their big)....put out the feed....medicine in their water.....and me being the oldest of

the four kids it naturally was my job to take care of all 300 chickens....chicken houses are low so you stoop a

lot when your 6' tall....then you put all the poop in five gal. buckets to put it on the garden and potato patch...

You can't believe the amount of dust that much poop can cause.....have to go bare footed and no way can you

find enough weeds to run between your toes to clean them.....

Ok to shorten this we'll skip ahead several years.....old Dad was divorced twice in later years....when in his

70's and 80's he had this big Red rooster that rode in his pick-up with him and went every where Dad went...

even in town (Stigler) old Red would jump out of the truck and go with Dad....down the street...in the stores....

WalMart stopped him at the front door so old Red would just wait for Dad out front.....

Since then I only like chicken fried!!!!

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We have an 8 bird flock and totally enjoy having them and their eggs......

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We have 14 hens and one rooster, I will have to post some pictures of them,

We have 4 Ameraucana which are similar to Araucana, and lay bluest/green eggs but they lack the ear tufts and have muffs and a beard, the remaining 10 hens are Production Reds, the rooster is a Wyandotte.

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Well that is cool that we have other chicken farmers on the board....

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I grew up on a farm, we had 200 chickens at a time in a 60 x 24 hen house. Mostly fryers.

Nothing as fun as 200 chickens mobbing you @ feeding time.

Was my job to care and clean up after them. @ 10 yeas old I was a chicken whisperer, I can still lull them to sleep with my voice.

My Mom's last days were spent in her coop with exotics, she got so doped up on the morphine she would bring them in her bedroom.

I got a funny way of remembering/thinking about chickens now.

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Most Chickes are far more Stupid then they Look.

Once in a while you find a smart one.

I had a Cool little Bantam Roster that would meet the Van every day I came home.

Fly up on my shoulder and Tell me about his day.

Talk and Jabber for a half hour if you had time.

He would go on and on about what ever he was talking about head a Bouncing wings a flapping.

He got Munched by a coyote.

Missed that stupid Bird.

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When I was young my brother and I helped our great aunt Georgie on her working farm.

A couple thousand acres with horses, cows that came to their names, guineas, turkeys, and God only know how many chickens.

We used to gather eggs from the hay stacks in the barn and help her candle the eggs. Then my dad would take em to work and sell a couple large ice chests full each week.

I'll tell you the story about my mom's Thanksgiving turkey at the outing if you remind me. It's a hum dinger :)

Georgie, aka Georgia Morris (always thought her last name was Marsh from how she said it), passed away and left the whole thing to her 'foreman'. Wasn't really much of a foreman, but he was always there to help out and took good care of her. Talkin about this has me remembering her and something in my eyes.

Wonderful woman, taught me a lot about hard work.

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Wow alot of chicken folk. We had to get rid of our chickens and I had to get rid of my bee hives when we moved out here, but now we are ready to get chickens again. Can't wait, got a donkey 3 goats 3 ducks and 2 dogs...Hell whats a dozen chickens gonna hurt? If I can get these dang javelina under control, I can get my bees going, I miss my girls.

Went to Cal ranch to ask about spring chicks and they didn't know what I was talking about, I gotta find a place to find chicks now. Any input is welcome.

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Most Feed Stores sell them in the Spring.

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Most Feed Stores sell them in the Spring.

Yup HF nailed it and this time of year most feed stores have them in AZ....

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We love chickens and had them for years up here in Topanga.

All sorts of them about eight at a time as we don't have tons of space for them and they need it as you all know.

My wife is an ex-chef. Our chickens ate better than 99.999 of the worlds population on our scraps.

The eggs were great; our daughter would collect the ones we did not use and sell them to the French

bakery in town and saved the money.

If things ever slow down again we'll have more.

They were a lot of fun.

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Master Chicken Rancher Bill, I have a question about eggs one of our girl lays. They are unusually large and do not fit into a regular egg carton and the shell looks like hilly terrain. What's up with this?

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Some Chickens do that.

Genetics?

Vitamin deficiency?

I had one that laid eggs without a shell.

Her Eggs were like a leather bag.

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Have had a hen or two lay eggs like that Steve and from what I have read it is an issue in the chickens plumbing (shell Gland) and often older or very young hens is where this will occur. Is she an older hen? Just guessing by the size of the egg....

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It was probably a Rhode Island Red and just 3 years old.......This was the biggest egg we have gotten so far

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Steve ... My girlfriend Carol has 3 RI Reds and they lay unusually large brown eggs ... they don't fit the carton and are in great demand by her workmates where she sells all the eggs she can get. Once in awhile I have noticed a double yoke from these same birds. Don't really know much beyond that ... haven't seen an egg a "creative" as the one you are showing ... a couple waves but no mountains and valleys. Interesting egg to say the least. Log onto "Community Chickens" website and ask the question ... bet they can tell you why.

Link to Community Chickens: http://www.communitychickens.com/forum.html#bn-forum-1-1-2991459902/0

Hope this helps.

Mike F

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Steve,

If you are feeding them "laying mash", then, mayyyyybe they exchanged that for "sour mash"....

you should be able to tell if...

..if they are taking slow and deliberate halting steps, looking around like they are trying to focus, and you hear an occassional "hiccup" in the midst of "clucking",

well... :ROFL::evil1:

Greg

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