Cluck-Cluck Foghorn Leghorn

henhouse
henhouse.v02
Saw one of these 4-bedroom units at Tractor Supply and got to thinking about “Free Eggs,” such as they might be after various associated costs (feed, bugs, poop) – but also known as, “Free Coyote Dinner”…

However it’s a massively pedestrian home-design considering the gargantuan stylish advances that the British have made as illustrated in Thud’s blog – zounds!

So I Googled “chicken ranch” for further 4-H type data and got a very different result than I first expected, quite interesting and might require further study, *cough* – large-firm animal husbandry and all that… Anyhow  with a bit of room-to-roam the cluckers might be a bit useful. Now I’d better get that front sight fitted to the Mossberg because coyotes and all.

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About NotClauswitz

The semi-sprawling adventures of a culturally hegemonic former flat-lander and anti-idiotarian individualist, fleeing the toxic cultural smug emitted by self-satisfied lotus-eating low-land Tesla-driving floppy-hat wearing lizadroid-Leftbat Califorganic eco-tofuistas ~

22 thoughts on “Cluck-Cluck Foghorn Leghorn

  1. I miss my chickens. I had them in a large pen hardware cloth all around to keep the coons, weasels, coyotes, foxes etc from getting to them. During the day they had free range around the place. Beautiful bright egg yolks. My Araucanas (colored shells) where the best producers and gentlest. Ran hens only, roosters are just a pain.
    On a side note, don’t ever think coyotes won’t go after bigger animals. We had a pack of them run a large herd of yearlings over a cliff on the home ranch. We shot as many coyotes in the pack as we could find. Fine balance to keep enough coyotes to keep the ground squirrel rodent population in check, and not have them decimating your livelihood.

    • Yeh, our friend Eileen’s chickens (that survived) are doing and laying fine without the rooster which the coyotes got. Freaked her goats out pretty good. Lot of dogs around “the Ranch” to bark at them – if they aren’t afraid, and have a good backstop in case they feel its safe to bed-down in the end of the pasture, with cheap night-vision I can shoot ’em and I’m sure my neighbors and Sheriff will only applaud. 🙂 The cattle in the pasture beyond our fence are HUGE, not milk cows. And lots of stray cats around, will probably end-up with a garage cat… Gonna get the big Fort Knox.

  2. as for coyotes, I wouldn’t count on anything smaller than a .17HMR. or whatever. Most folks count on .223 (which I guess is .22 sort of). Seems like Cabela’s / BassPro have calls. But if you do the hardware cloth thing, you shouldn’t have problems. Coyotes only hang around where the food is easy to get.

  3. Another year-and-a-bit, and I’ll be looking seriously at the chicken thing. (Stuck in the Bay Area for another year for family reasons, and I don’t want to take on additional livestock at this point; the parrot and cats are a great plenty.)
    I wouldn’t expect a personal chicken farm to make economic sense, what with store-bought eggs being so cheap, but having really fresh eggs from chickens that run around eating bugs and weeds makes a big difference to the quality of breakfast. Every once in a while, I score some eggs from a little demonstration farm with semi-free-range chickens… yum!
    Besides, it’ll be an excuse for developing high-tech, labor-saving chicken-minding technology for the backyard farmer.

    • I’m not much of a pet-person, so I think chickens and livestock are more a lifestyle choice than an economic one. EVERYBODY up here has dogs except us. Also you often see signs by the road saying “Fresh Eggs,” so I think there’s a bit of overproduction in evidence. We can get eggs from our friend’s really-free, free-range chickens that run all over her yard on 3-acres and lay in boxes in the garage. They have an almost alarmingly bright yolk. Maybe you can invent an “Iron Dome” for run-about chickens using drones and lasers? 🙂

    • Hmmm, Iron Dome… protection against hawks? Might be a bit tricky, though lasers to dazzle them and drones to chase them both sound plausible. I’ll have to add those ideas to the list.
      My chicken-protection ideas were more along the lines of predator exclusion at the henhouse door, and maybe something to discourage ground-based predators in the pasture. Hm. Wonder if I could get small-caliber paintballs filled with Sriracha sauce?

    • Would predators be deterred by things they like to eat? Scotch-Bonnet sauce might work better. Some kind of super-sharp electro-portcullis in the weeds? That might get the cats.

  4. Coyotes and cattle can share a range. They do this across the road from me. The ‘yotes do a night drive across the hills on a somewhat regular schedule. The cattle mostly go back to barns/holding pens? at night, but not always. Weather dependent, perhaps. Little ones never stay out at night, and full size cattle are not bothered by the furry ones. They are hunting turkey, possum, raccoons, rabbits, mice, maybe other things I haven’t seen. Extremely loud bastards when driving prey at o’dark-thirty. They really put a dent in the raccoon and possum population hereabouts, after they moved into the neighborhood. Not too sad about the raccoons, since they are noted for rabies, and the local ones would get aggressive in the backyard, if they thought you were going to get in their way.
    The coyotes I’ve seen here range from cute females in small/medium dog size, to big German Sheppard nasty glad-I’m-not-outside size. They climb 6-7ft wood fences, too.

    • Wow, the “ranch” is still pretty residential to my mind but I’m sure my neighbors will be able to elaborate on the local wildlife population…

  5. look up chicken tractor. And even those are too fancy. A cage open to the grass.

    You need a box. about 4 X 8 X 18inches. A little smaller actually. It needs to have shade for about half. And the rest needs to be hardware cloth – NOT poultry mesh (chicken wire). Poultry mesh isn’t strong enough to keep the coyotes at bay.

    And you need to move the thing every day or 2. So the chickens can get at new grass/weeds and bugs. They love bugs. (Chickens turn protein you won’t eat into protein you will eat.)

    They don’t have to be beefy. 2X2 lumber is fine. 2X3 or 2X4 for the bottom if you want.

    Free range is fine if you don’t have coyotes. If you do, they will decimate you in short order. Keep them in tractors and keep them moving.

    Also the eggs aren’t free. They end up costing about the same as what you can buy, but they have no hormones, no nothing that you haven’t given them.

    Start with the fryers. (Rock-Cornish crosses are ready to be butchered in about 6 to 8 weeks. Commercial units do it in 6, push them a couple more weeks and they cost you more in feed, but they get a better flavor.)

    I don’t do this. TOO much work. (I have enough to do on 5 acres without asking for more, thanks) But I have friends who do both eggs and fryers. The roosters will drive your neighbors crazy. (That’s why the fryers work good in the city… when the 1st rooster starts to crow, you butcher them all and put them in the freezer.

    • Might be the tractors need to be about 2 feet tall. I will ask my friend and get back to you. Size of available hardware cloth will dictate dimensions.

    • I like the ones that lay green eggs. Thanks for the ideas about “tractors.” The “ranch” has 1.6 acres, mostly useable – lotta grass to cut. Not sure about roosters, our friend has chickens and her rooster got taken by the coyotes – but they birds keep laying? 🙂 I’m thinking a night-vision scope on a Savage .22 might do the coyotes – if there are any, what with the big cattle and other stuff all around. I dunno.

  6. Just for your further information: A friend of mine got rid of his chickens earlier this year. The problem he had was with rats. It started out with them stealing the chicken feed, then nesting in his basement, then living in his walls. He went through a couple rounds of extermination, but couldn’t be rid of the rats till he was rid of the chickens.

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