My sympathies to Mike Miller who lost his flock of chickens (except for
a one-legged rooster) to racoons. The comment about the worthless
rooster reminded me of the time my Rhode Island Red rooster sprained
something during a particularly vicious attack on me. It didn't slow him
down much. He could limp plenty fast to catch the hens. He quickly
healed. I suspect they would prefer him with only one leg.
But seriously, my parents built very secure chicken houses, and still
every so often we'd loose another batch to something or other--always at
night. Just when we thought everything was secure, a new-to-us threat
would strike, like mink or skunk or 'possum.
Mike may well be wise not to get a dog to protect his flock; my only
losses so far have been during daylight when our own dogs managed to get
at the chickens. When our present dogs die of old age, we plan to get a
puppy; one with herding instincts. Then we'll put the puppy in with the
chickens while he or she is still small enough to learn good chicken
manners from the chickens. I've heard that works. There's no hope for
our present dogs--they have too much hunting instinct.
Of course, remembering my parent's problems, I close the chickens up in
a secure house from dusk to dawn. Even so, a neighbor just lost a
rooster to unexplained causes just a few days ago, and he dissappeared
before dark! And a friend lost a larger flock to a bob cat last year, so
I still worry about my feathered darlings.
About daylight requirements, it is my understanding that lighting is
manipulated only to get MAXIMUM egg laying in a short life span before
the layers are sent to the soup factory.
Seems to me I've read a magazine article by Andy Lee suggesting starting
chicks a little later so they will reach their first peak laying period
about the time the older hens are tapering off for the winter. As I
recall, he suggested starting chicks in April or May, but it seems to me
that June would work as well. (Andy, are you reading this and do you
I had a hen go broody early in May and she now has 4 chicks. Assuming
at least some of them are pullets (I'm hoping for 4 pullets, but that's
asking a lot), I'll see how soon they start laying. Meanwhile, my
neighbor is hoping I get at least one rooster so she can have him. I'm
thinking of loaning her mine just to give my hens a rest.
I currently have 4 hens started in early April, 98 and 5 started in
early April '99. One of the older ones is not laying right now (she'd
taking care of her 4 little ones), but I'm still getting from 3 to 7 eggs
per day with the average at about 5 or 6 per day, so I don't think that
is too bad from 8 hens. They slowed down to about 4 or 5 per day during
the winter for a couple of months. All without artificial lighting.
Best regards, Edna
YOU'RE PAYING TOO MUCH FOR THE INTERNET!
Juno now offers FREE Internet Access!
Try it today - there's no risk! For your FREE software, visit:
To Unsubscribe: Email firstname.lastname@example.org with the command
"unsubscribe sanet-mg". If you receive the digest format, use the command
To Subscribe to Digest: Email email@example.com with the command
All messages to sanet-mg are archived at:
This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Mon Jul 03 2000 - 12:00:39 EDT