chickens growing up : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

Hello I have been lurking untill I had another ? had some great postes! well thanks to all your help my chickens are now 13 weeks old and all doing well(except the one my wife got (see emeradle chicken)). My ? this time is they are starting to fly pretty well now how do I clip there one wing and how high do i put there purch & nesting boxes after I do. My dog is doing real well with her new pack of chickens and her hearding instinct is a bit of a proublem but one flew right past her mouth the other day and she just stood there shaking while im posting this it the frist time she has been alone with them for any lenth of time but she has killed 4 opossums this week that were after the ladies well just know i'm here in the back ground and will pop in now and then to say hello thanks for all your help P.S. looking at some land in Arkansas anyone in that area with some advice thanks Shaun& Terri

-- shaun cornish (, May 02, 2000


Shaun: Aren't chickens fun to watch? Each one has it's own personality. I built a perch similar to a ladder, except wider, from two 2 x 4s, with cross pieces of what I call lathe and my husband calls 1 x 2 lumber. All the "new" pullets use the perch, I think because I put broomstick perches in thier first pen, just about 8 inches and 18 inches above the ground. The older hens, born last year, will not get on the perch. They sit in the nest boxes at night. I have never clipped any of their wings, and only had one rooster that constantly flew up onto the roof of the chicken house. The rest just fly up the 3 or 4 feet to the top of the nest boxes, or perch. Good luck, and it is good to "hear" the chickens are doing well. Had my first batch of home-hatched chicks on Easter. Jan

-- Jan B (, May 02, 2000.

Hey Shaun and Terri, So glad to hear your chicks are doing so well! Good job, you guys!!! When we used to have a bigger hen house (we used to have 45 layers), we had perches for the hens, kind of like bleachers. They were 1x2's, I think, not dowels or anything round. The first row was maybe a foot off the ground and 2 feet from the back wall, The second was maybe 18" off the ground and 1 1/2 feet from the back wall, something like that. I think maybe further from the wall, come to think of it, and probably higher...but I'm sure you get the point. When the hens were real young, they could climb up these to get as high as they could, or to get into the nest boxes on a wall next to these. Since they were staggered, they didn't poop on each other during the night.

We had little doors from the outside that we could access the nests (and eggs) without having to go into the hen house. I think I'll get around to this concept again some day, as it was SO easy to get eggs.

Never have clipped wings, either. We had some banties our first year, and they would fly up into a pine tree to sleep, but they were always around.

Good luck, and glad you dog is being so chicken-friendly, and oppossum not. (BTW, it looks like 'possum road slicks around here. Why don't they ever get out of the way of the cars???)

-- sheepish (, May 02, 2000.

Re: the possum road slicks -- they don't get out of the way because they move so slow!! I'd feel sorry for them (like I do for porcupines) except I really don't like possums much. Anyway, as for the chickens, if you have problems with them flying out of their pen, it would be better to put a wire roof of come kind over the top of the pen. You may need one anyway to keep out predators (owls, etc.) and wild birds that will help themselves to your chicken feed and spread diseases to boot. Good luck with your land hunt!

-- Kathleen Sanderson (, May 02, 2000.

Hi this is shaun I do have my chicken pen coverd half with shade cloth (left over from the jucuze?) and half with chicken wire but I like to let them out and run in the yard two or three hours a day that is how my dog is getting use to them i have a six foot fench but the bantums realy get up and go I would hate to lose one to the dogs next door. I have four fruit trees in my yard that is why the opossums come in my dog is a good hunter anything in the yard is fair game that why i'm happy she is also smart as a whip and is easily trained so no problem with the ladies.It would be nice to relocate the oppossums but it,s just not an option nice to here from you again sheepish and thanks for your response Jan and greenbean I think you know what i need to do got to go now thanks Shaun

-- shaun cornish (, May 02, 2000.

I wish I could see a possum road slick soon. If I'm out of luck it may be the only way I can keep my chickens! Check out possum getting chickens to see what I mean. annette

-- annette (, May 02, 2000.

Clipping the ings is quite easy, just follow the line of the actual wing (flesh) line and trim the feathers with a pair of sizors, But remember possums cannot fly, so if you clip the wings of the chickens it is harder for them to get away from any predators.

-- Mark (, May 03, 2000.

Hi, Shaun. Good luck with your dog, I don't know anything about AK, but I have about 50 chickens of all ages. My youngest ones are about six weeks, and they all free range. At the age yours are, they probably could get up an a perch at any height. Got any pallets? Lean a few of these against the wall and cut out every other horizontal slat. Then you will have the ladder type perch described above. Should take you about five minutes. Chickens feel safest perching high off the ground. Mine line the stall sides, the coop roof, the wood pile, anywhere high. (I built the coop inside the barn)

Good luck and congrats on such a healthy flock!

I haven't clipped wings, and if you go that route, remember that you will have to maintain it.

-- Rachel (, May 03, 2000.

OK,, I can`t help myself.... Here is a joke my 10 year old son told me.

Why did the chicken cross the road????

Well, to show the possum it could be done!!!! :O)

(though I too really hate possums!!)

-- Bergere (, May 03, 2000.

Shaun, if you don't like possums, wait until you get to Arkansas and see what an armadillo can do. They don't bother chickens, or at least I never heard of it if they do. But as far as road kill, 'dillos are the kings. Three of 5 dead critters will be an armadillo and you will be so glad of it. They are so destructive of flowers, gardens and pastures it isn't funny. I was born/raised down there and lived there again from '93-'97.

For what it's worth, the postal abbreviation for Arkansas is AR. Alaska is AK.

-- marilyn (, May 03, 2000.

Thanks, Marilyn, of course you are absolutely right. I am so ashamed.

-- Rachel (, May 03, 2000.

Shuan- this is your daughter in WA. I found the website and really like it. I can't wait to see the chicks when I get down there in June. For the record, you are not moving my mother to Arkansas! Cherri tells me you can get inexpensive property in Cle Elem which is close to Roslyn. I love you and see you soon. : )

-- Amber (, May 07, 2000.

We had a Wyandotte rooster named Wylie once. He had a harem of 5 or 6 hens that would follow him anywhere. Our fence was 8 feet tall and he and the girls would fly over it. We captured them (out of a tree, after dark) and clipped one wing of each chicken. In a day or two, Old Wylie figured out how to fly in a spiral pattern (like a spring) up and over the fence. We caught him and clipped the OTHER wing. Couple of days later, we caught him CLIMBING the fence - with his feet and beak. We gave up on keeping him in - he was king of the barn. We had to go looking for him and chase him with the broom before we started the chores, or he would sneak up on us and try to spur us! He also bullied the dogs, cats, pigs, cows, geese, kids and any other critter dumb enough to walk into the barn - hated my husband with a passion - used to hide up in the rafters and jump down on his head when he least expected it. Coyotes finally got him one night....darn. Do think that my spouse missed the challenge though!!

-- Polly (, May 08, 2000.

I have clipped wings of guineas, since otherwise they will always stay out at night, and if unfenced, probably will whether clipped or not. Turkeys, too, since ours have a huge run, and it's as close to free range as I can get, and they will fly to the top of the 4' fence, and invariably jump off on the wrong side. But I have never clipped wings on my free range chickens. They always come in at night, and occassionally the pups are too far away (rarely, but it happened!) to get the fox before he got the chickens. Being able to "sort of" fly gives them a little bit better chance. What's your objective? In any case, GL!

-- Brad (, May 08, 2000.

we have all come to this site with our love for animals, and most specifically ...chickens. We as well have these incredibly personable creatures, but would like to share a thought on the whole road kill hostility. We, as human beings, have been over excesive with space and resources. We are increasingly pushing animals from out of their homes (overpopulation, deforestation, etc.), and deminishing food supply. Amidst all of this we have imposed the machine age to which natural law cannot relate. Everything is connected, and a sence of humblness to the interconnection of all living beings and the environment is sooo very important. As animal lovers, i hope that we all feel some level of greif over a dead animal, be that pet or roadkill. We must do what we can to protect our domestic animals, but we are being intrusive to the law of nature,and i wish to share a respect for all creatures. We are all part of a balance. And remember, next time, give a little smile if an armadillo decides to nibble upon your precious petunias, for example of such is not enough to which any creature dead.

-- lori loo (the, March 20, 2001.

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