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Animal Husbandy part one
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Animal Husbandy part one

Yes or no on raising and eating animals
Yes on raising, yes on eating
 28%  [ 2 ]
Yes on raising, no on eating
 71%  [ 5 ]
No on raising (hence no on eating)
 0%  [ 0 ]
Total Votes : 7

Author Message

Joined: 30 Apr 2008
Posts: 52

Location: Iowa

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Selkie wrote:
Hey guys, poking my head in XD Sorry for being so busy...



If anyone still wants to raise chickens, my mom just bought six...I have no idea why, but she did. If we manage to actually keep them alive, not sure how long they'll live, and we're having no luck with eggs. But depending on how long they live or if we get eggs, we may have six chickens right off the back (or more if they lay some damn eggs and actually take care of them, lazy bastards)

...I should warn you all, chickens are the most annoying fucking things in the world. They never shut up. They run around and are hard to catch. They make weird warbling noises and screech. They poop everywhere. They're little bastards and won't let you pet them. They fly away if you don't cut their wings. And they're ugly as hell.

I kind of resent that.  But anywho, first of all, what breed are they?  Some breeds of chickens are more flighty/aggressive than others.  Are they youngsters or older birds? (you can normally tell by checking the comb size and length of tail).  And, where did your mom get them from?  If they are from a hatchery, they are most-likely mutt chickens that have been roughly handled.  If they are from a private breeder, they will probably be pure-bred and easier to deal with.  

Chickens, by the way, can live up to 13 years, depending on their diet, environment, and amount of stress.  I had a silkie chicken who lived to be 8 years old that I reared from a chick.  He was a sweetheart who followed me around the yard and would come to me when I called him.  The key to calming down nervous or fearful birds is to avoid abrupt movements and loud noises.  Spend time sitting near them quietly and getting them used to you.  Then work up to trying to get them to eat treats (pieces of waffle, bread, fruit, etc) out of your hand.  After they get used to your hands, work up to petting them and picking them up and carrying them around.

Despite what most people think, chickens actually have a very structured hierarchy or "pecking order."  They are also intelligent.  Hens normally start laying eggs at about 6 months of age and will continue laying for 4 or 5 years, although the egg quality is in its prime the first year.

As for clipping chicken's wings...big no no.  Chickens will only take to flight as a last resort when they are startled or threatened.  Especially if you keep them outside, they need to be able to fly to elude predators.  Also, if you improperly clip the wings, you can cause injury to the wing or cut too close resulting in bleeding.  Broken bones, dislocated wings, bowed legs, and head injuries are very common  if you rough-handle chickens...they are sensitive creatures.

I know all of this because I have raised chickens and turkeys for over 8 years.  In that span of time I had also done educational presentations for kids on how to properly hold, catch, and handle chickens along with helping them tame aggressive birds.  They are wonderful, inquisitive animals with loads of personality that make excellent "pets" if you take the time and have the patience to work with them and respect them.

I also have horses and have worked with them for 12 years.  No, they are not unintelligent.  Their minds just work differently.  Because they are prey animals, they think primarily with the "flight" part of their brain.  It's by engaging their thinking side that they begin to listen and understand human body language.  Some horses may be more stubborn than others, while some can be downright mean and never get a long with humans.  Stallions are the most difficult to work with, they do their own thing and will step all over their handler if the person isn't experienced.  Mares come in second because they tend to be moody and unpredictable, although there have been exceptions.  Geldings are the best, because they are most of the time cooperative and super friendly towards humans and other animals.  My gelding, Outlaw, has been with me for about 7 years now and is a joy to ride and spend time with.

However, I am strongly opposed to having horses in the commune unless you are prepared to care for them.  They go through a 1,000 lb hay bale every two weeks (which cost a shitload of money) need vaccinations every year, need their hooves trimmed every 4 weeks (6-8 in the winter) and if they are injured or fall ill need expensive vet treatment.  They also require a large amount of space to roam and forage and daily exercise.  Building and maintaining horse-appropriate fencing is a constant job.  We have almost gone broke because of how high-maintenanced and demanding caring for horses is.

Erm.  That's all for now, I think.  If anyone has any questions, just let me know.
Mon Sep 08, 2008 11:14 pm View user's profile Send private message MSN Messenger
Dirt-Under-The-Nails Hippy

Joined: 29 Apr 2008
Posts: 542

Location: Las Vegas

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I asked my roomie about horses. She says that to keep one up, we'd need to give it 5 acres of food. I think horses are definitely post-expansion.
Thu Sep 11, 2008 7:24 pm View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website AIM Address Yahoo Messenger MSN Messenger
Dirt-Under-The-Nails Hippy

Joined: 24 Apr 2008
Posts: 553

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way to difficult to maintain, plus, i still don't like horses.

I have an american dream--
...but it invovles black masks and gasoline
Fri Sep 12, 2008 3:08 pm View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail AIM Address
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