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Best breed of chicken for prepping

This is a discussion on Best breed of chicken for prepping within the General Prepper and Survival Talk forums, part of the Survivalist, Prepper, Bushcrafter, Forest Rangers category; Originally Posted by hawgrider I see a lot of folks using them as roosts. It also exposes their feet to the cold up here in ...

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Thread: Best breed of chicken for prepping

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by hawgrider View Post
    I see a lot of folks using them as roosts. It also exposes their feet to the cold up here in the Northeast.
    If you read online. some folks say chickens like to roost on a flat surface, so these folks say turn the 2x4 with the 4" side up... like my step. Others say, if using a 2x4, turn the 2" side up & round the corners so that they can wrap their toes around it. My feeling is to replicate what they do naturally and use rounded branches... small one in the brooder & larger for adults. Seems logical to me, their feet are designed to wrap around a branch. On what tree would they ever find a 4" flat, smooth surface?

    Proof is, none of my birds ever sleep on the 2x4. They always choose a branch. Normally, they like the tallest roost but I've noticed on cold nights, they mostly choose the lower one on the other side of the coop. There is a window up there on the upper roost, of course covered in hardware cloth, which they love on hot summer nights and really, most nights. The lower roost doesn't have a window & is across from the heated waterer, so they seem to like it on cold nights. Not that I watch them at night but I clean their coop & run each day, so I see the evidence of where they sleep.

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackDog View Post

    This works out great because I've been wanting chickens for a while but hadn't gotten off my ass and done anything about it. As has been mentioned...what a great prep! Plus they're just cool birds, and I'm sure tasty, too.
    Yes, they are very cool animals. Everyone that visits my farm spends more time with them than the horses. And yes, they are a great prep because they provide food for you most every day. With as many eggs they can lay, with an incubator, one could do as I plan, and quickly increase a flock ten fold. As a prepper, I have my food stores but just as importantly are items that replenish themselves. For me, besides chickens, that is why I have a catfish pond & feed them daily when warm. Add in a nice garden with open pollinated seed, maybe an orchard and you are well along on the journey toward self sufficiency... a prepper's dream.

    Quote Originally Posted by BlackDog View Post
    Some were molting so I'm only getting 1 egg a day right now but I get two every now and then.
    Yes, molting will stop egg production but unless you are running lights in the coop at night, so will the short days of winter. Some folks turn on lights early in the morning to get more eggs, but during normal times I choose to let nature decide what is best for them. I figure they deserve a rest.

    If you do the lights to increase winter egg production, remember to extend the light period in the morning, where the lights come on in the dark & go off when it is light. They are night blind, so if you leave the lights on in the early evening & turn them off while nighttime, the coop goes from bright light to instant darkness, and the gals will not be able to find their roosts.
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  3. #33
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    Any tips or ideas about keeping chickens in the light over winter? Being off-grid, we have to really keep our wattage consumption down and only have 10hrs of daylight... would LED bulbs work for this? This is the main reason we haven't done chickens yet, though having the eggs would be wonderful. Not sure how many birds yet either...or what kind of coop for snow country, etc...actually we dont know anything yet, lol, but its one of the things we're trying to figure out now & hope to start this spring. Thanks!
    ~~~~~~~~~~~
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  5. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by MountainGirl View Post
    Any tips or ideas about keeping chickens in the light over winter? Being off-grid, we have to really keep our wattage consumption down and only have 10hrs of daylight... would LED bulbs work for this?
    I don't think the chickens read reviews on bulb type.

    Only thing that matters is getting it bright enough to fool their system into thinking the days are longer. I don't think it takes a whole lot of light but bet the folks that have done it can let you know.
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  6. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by MountainGirl View Post
    Any tips or ideas about keeping chickens in the light over winter? Being off-grid, we have to really keep our wattage consumption down and only have 10hrs of daylight... would LED bulbs work for this? This is the main reason we haven't done chickens yet, though having the eggs would be wonderful. Not sure how many birds yet either...or what kind of coop for snow country, etc...actually we dont know anything yet, lol, but its one of the things we're trying to figure out now & hope to start this spring. Thanks!
    Yes LED will work. You will need 12 to 14 hours of light per day. So that means you will need to run that LED bulb in the coop all day because chickens in the winter where its cold are wussy's and they will hang out in the coop all day long except to come out for a drink of water and a nibble of some feed. I don't run any heat for my birds. If your mission is eggs run the light.

    Yes it will wear the birds out sooner but so what! I want eggs all winter that is why I go through all the work.

    Every time they molt they will lay less eggs.
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  7. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by hawgrider View Post
    Yes LED will work. You will need 12 to 14 hours of light per day. So that means you will need to run that LED bulb in the coop all day because chickens in the winter where its cold are wussy's and they will hang out in the coop all day long except to come out for a drink of water and a nibble of some feed. I don't run any heat for my birds. If your mission is eggs run the light.

    Yes it will wear the birds out sooner but so what! I want eggs all winter that is why I go through all the work.

    Every time they molt they will lay less eggs.
    Thanks, hawgrider. I wasn't sure if the full-spectrum light was needed; LEDs dont draw much so that might work out. Yeah they'd be in all day up here; water would have to be inside or they'd be lickin on an ice block. Do chickens lick? LOL Time to google 'raising chickens in snow country'. We need coop ideas, too. Tks again.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~
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  8. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by MountainGirl View Post
    Thanks, hawgrider. I wasn't sure if the full-spectrum light was needed; LEDs dont draw much so that might work out. Yeah they'd be in all day up here; water would have to be inside or they'd be lickin on an ice block. Do chickens lick? LOL Time to google 'raising chickens in snow country'. We need coop ideas, too. Tks again.
    I use a chicken fountain hot plate. It keeps the water from freezing by kicking the heating element on/off based on temperature. But one of those may not work for you being off grid.

    My coop is not insulated. The birds huddle together on the roost when the temps are really really cold.

    Make sure what ever coop design you use that its very easy for you to clean and gather eggs and in your case room for food and a water fountain.

    Now keep in mind though if your water fountain is inside of a small coop the moisture can cause issues like frost bite on the combs.
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  9. #38
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    My somewhat limited experience is older birds are more affected by the shorter days of winter. My 3 older sex links pretty much completely shut down in winter but each of my 4 gals who were born this spring are giving me about an egg every other day, with the shortest day of the year almost here. So what that means for me is, I still get all the eggs my wife & I need, even in winter. Now in summer, I'm giving eggs away like crazy as we sure can't eat all the eggs they produce.

    You can use some strategies to ensure you have eggs in winter without lights, if you so choose.. Below is a link of a study conducted by Mother Earth News. In early fall, before they slow down, build up your stock of eggs in the refrigerator. I never wash my eggs as that removes the protective covering on the eggs. Fresh, unwashed eggs will easily last for 2 or more months in the refrigerator (the Mother Earth study eggs lasted 7 months), so we just eat the oldest first. As you move into winter, your gals will still be laying but will slow down, so your egg inventory steadily is reduced but depending on your usage, not by much. Then as time passes, and the inventory runs very low, the gals start laying again. We rarely, if ever purchase eggs... even in winter.



    https://www.motherearthnews.com/real...s-zmaz77ndzgoe
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  10. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by hawgrider View Post
    I use a chicken fountain hot plate. It keeps the water from freezing by kicking the heating element on/off based on temperature. But one of those may not work for you being off grid.

    My coop is not insulated. The birds huddle together on the roost when the temps are really really cold.

    Make sure what ever coop design you use that its very easy for you to clean and gather eggs and in your case room for food and a water fountain.

    Now keep in mind though if your water fountain is inside of a small coop the moisture can cause issues like frost bite on the combs.
    It's low humidity up here even in winter but I can see how moisture could build up in a small coop, yeah. Thanks for that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Redneck View Post
    My somewhat limited experience is older birds are more affected by the shorter days of winter. My 3 older sex links pretty much completely shut down in winter but each of my 4 gals who were born this spring are giving me about an egg every other day, with the shortest day of the year almost here. So what that means for me is, I still get all the eggs my wife & I need, even in winter. Now in summer, I'm giving eggs away like crazy as we sure can't eat all the eggs they produce.

    You can use some strategies to ensure you have eggs in winter without lights, if you so choose.. Below is a link of a study conducted by Mother Earth News. In early fall, before they slow down, build up your stock of eggs in the refrigerator. I never wash my eggs as that removes the protective covering on the eggs. Fresh, unwashed eggs will easily last for 2 or more months in the refrigerator (the Mother Earth study eggs lasted 7 months), so we just eat the oldest first. As you move into winter, your gals will still be laying but will slow down, so your egg inventory steadily is reduced but depending on your usage, not by much. Then as time passes, and the inventory runs very low, the gals start laying again. We rarely, if ever purchase eggs... even in winter.



    https://www.motherearthnews.com/real...s-zmaz77ndzgoe
    Good tips and link, thanks!

    -------------

    How feasible would it be to buy chickens in the spring, have eggs all summer & store some ahead, then butcher all of them & start with a new flock the next spring? Meaning - not winter over chickens at all. I know it would not likely be $$$ smart... but are there 'chicken reasons' this wouldn't be an option? (And, if that last question doesn't show you how clueless I am, nothing will LOL)
    ~~~~~~~~~~~
    Not even that.

  11. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by MountainGirl View Post
    Yeah they'd be in all day up here; water would have to be inside or they'd be lickin on an ice block. Do chickens lick? LOL Time to google 'raising chickens in snow country'. We need coop ideas, too. Tks again.
    Nope, they don't lick ice. I use a K&H Pet Products Ultimate Stock Tank Deicer w/ Cord Clip Red 250W in my buckets to keep them from freezing.



    We built my coop in my shop and maybe these pics will give you some ideas. I do realize you have to worry about cold more than me where I have to worry more about heat.



















    Last edited by Redneck; 12-15-2017 at 09:42 AM.
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