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  • ChicagoBoyz Poultry Update

    Posted by Dan from Madison on November 15th, 2011 (All posts by )

    Below the fold is information on our chickens, if you desire.

    Below is a photo of an old pig barn that is on our farm and a hammock that I have not used one single time.

    Have you ever been in a pig barn? Yes? Then you know the smell. That stench has faded for the most part, but I don’t think it will ever go completely away. We were this close to tearing down this structure but we didn’t and we are glad we kept it. On the right side is a lean to that the small horses go into when it is raining. It had to be shored up as it was in pretty sad shape when we inherited it.

    On the left you can see a wire cage – it is actually a dog kennel type thing that we got from a hardware store pretty cheap. That is the outdoor section of the chicken area – it has to be fenced since we have predators like hawks, foxes and coyotes. When we are there we let the chickens out and they love to eat the grass. If you look closely you can see a small square door by the fenced in area with a ramp. The chickens can go in and out of the structure as they please but we shoo them inside for the night just in case a predator tries to get over zealous. Of course the inside is heated in the winter and has a fan in the summer. Most of the old pig barn is used for horse hay storage, grain for the horses and other things. We came to find out that you can’t ever have enough “storage” when owning a place like this.

    So here is the inside of the chicken area.

    In the foreground is Angel, the white one, and Red, well, the red one. Behind them we have the taller silky rooster, which I have named “The Situation” and next to him is JWoww (you will have to brush up on your Jersey Shore to understand these names). Sitting in the laying box is Sammi and below her under the ladders is Snooki. When daylight is long we get up to three eggs a day. Right now we are getting about one every other day.

    This is pretty much a money loser if you consider the feed and electricity to keep these things alive, but it is enjoyable, pretty cool to get fresh eggs, and the kids and I have fun with them. We handle them a lot so you can pick up most of them and pet them if you desire. I love watching these stupid animals cluck and scratch around. We are making another coop like this and will be getting six more exotic chickens for that area.

     

    13 Responses to “ChicagoBoyz Poultry Update”

    1. Jonathan Says:

      Outstanding.

    2. Tatyana Says:

      So all this takes time and effort – a lot more time, it seems to me, than a once-a-week hobby visit. How does it work, schedule-wise? Your store is not close to the farm, is it? And your family – do they live on the farm fool time?

    3. Dan from Madison Says:

      I don’t run the day to day operations, the wife does that. It really doesn’t take much once it is set up. Pretty much out there twice a day to throw hay at the horses, make sure the chickens have feed/water, make sure the waterers for the horses and cattle are working and that is it. In winter also throw hay to cattle. We are building a house there now (they just broke ground today) so this will all be much easier in the near future.

      Weekly/monthly scooping of the poop and other general cleanup and maintenance items. Summer time is the harvest for hay, extreme amounts of backbreaking labor involved in that.

    4. Tatyana Says:

      Your wife is an exceptional woman. I’m sure you know that
      [a typo @comment above. should read “full”]

    5. Michael Kennedy Says:

      When I was a kid, my grandparents still had their farm south of Dwight. We would get fresh eggs by shipping a 12 dozen egg crate Railway Express. They would ship it back in about three weeks. As I’m sure you all know, live eggs will keep a long time. Once you refrigerate them, though, you have to keep them cold. When I sailed in the Transpac Race to Hawaii, my wife found an egg farm and bought 12 dozen. We taped the crate to the rudder post in the stern where it was protected and had fresh eggs all the way to Hawaii.

    6. Dan from Madison Says:

      Yes eggs last a surprisingly long time.

      @Tatyana yes she is exceptional for putting up with all of my nonsense for all this time (almost 17 years now). The farm was her idea and she loves it. Some people have vacation homes on a lake, we went this way and are glad we did.

    7. J. Scott Shipman Says:

      This is great, Dan! Still green with envy!

    8. Tatyana Says:

      Dan, congrats on breaking the ground.
      So your wife is now a construction manager as well.

      Do you remember you wanted to show us the renovated interiors w/lots of arch. detail?

    9. Dan from Madison Says:

      Its coming Tatyana. Soon.

    10. Joe Wooten Says:

      I wish I still ahd the time to raise chickens. When we left Texas back in 1997, I had a flock of 25, 5 Red Star hens, 2 RI Red Roosters and 18 Araucana hens. They got to run free on the property and always went back into the coop at dusk where we could close it up to protect them. They were big pets too. They just loved to follow me on the mower as I stirred up a lot of bugs.

    11. Dan from Madison Says:

      Joe – did you sell all those eggs?

    12. Joe Wooten Says:

      Yes. I averaged about 13 eggs a day and sold enough to cover the 50 lb bag of layer mash I bought every 3 weeks or so. We always had enough to keep us in plenty of eggs too, and given they could range freely, they all had delicious dark yellow yolks. Their antics amused the whole family. Two of the Araucana hens would fly up and perch on my arm if I held it out straight, which never failed to bring giggles from the kids.

    13. Dan from Madison Says:

      Cool. That’s entertainment. I do not know why I like watching them scratch around but I do.