I would love to keep chickens with the purpose of producing eggs (home comsumption)?

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I have a big enough garden for them to have freedom to run about.

So is there anyone out there who could give me advice for example do chickens need innoculating against diseases and importantly what happens if you have to kill them which envitably at sometime there would be a need. How do you handle this side of things?

I have never innoculated chickens for any disease with vaccines. There is usually no need. My chickens rarely get sick. I beleive the best inoculation for a chicken is to treat it right, keep its pen clean, give it lots of space to excercise and forage, feed it good food and fresh water, and practice biosecurity. (Dont let new birds into your flock unless you are completely sure they are healthy).

There have only been a few instances in my many years of breeding chickens where I have had to kill a chicken. I only do this If the chicken is already dying or if it has a disease that I know is contagious to the other chickens. I never cull (kill or remove from flock) old chickens who dont lay anymore, many people do because its not economical to keep them, but I tend to let them go into 'retirement'. After all, they deserve it after laying all those eggs!

If the worst happens and it is absolutely necesary to 'cull' a chicken, I take the chicken at night when it is sleeping, wrap it in a towel, talking to it gently and stroking it. Then I take it outside, far far away and gently set it under a bush in a quiet, dark place. In the morning, it is gone, the body taken by a predator. I beleive this is a very natural way for chickens to die, and I couldnt stand to kill one of my chickens with my own hand, so thats why I do it this way. Of course, it is very difficult, and my eyes tear up while doing it, but putting a chicken in a cage and taking it to an ufamiliar place like the vet is a very traumatizing experience for a chicken, so I beleive this method is more humane and allows the chicken to die in peaceful sleep.

(Oh, and the garden would be a good idea, but watch out, they do tend to tear up and eat certain plants)

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No Responses to “I would love to keep chickens with the purpose of producing eggs (home comsumption)?”

  1. louisawoof Says:

    well…there are always places that you can send them for humaine death
    innoculations can be done by a local vet…if they really need them
    you need to make sure you feed them oystershell and grit as well as feed and scratch

    go and look up eglu
    References :

  2. Daisyhill Says:

    You can buy them from good chicken farms already inoculated….young layers….there are many breds to choose from but only some are good layers.

    As for killing them…in a domestic situation like yours breaking the neck is considered to be the fastest….or chopping their heads off.
    References :

  3. Grace Says:

    Most chicks are innoculated after they hatch (unless bought by a home breeder).

    But after being raised on a farm, or chickens weren't innoculated. But we didn't produce chicks either. Occasionally we had a few because our chickens hd free reign of the land and a hen or two would wander off and make a nest somewhere, and by force of nature, we had chicks!

    Just make sure you hens (and rooster) have a place to roost at night. Tree's are alright, but they have to fly up, and they are fairgame in tree's for night predators.

    If you want your hen's to lay in one area so you don't have to huntdown the eggs, build some nest boxes and just stick a handful of hay or straw (or shavings) in there. When the hen goes to lay she will fix it to her liking.

    Egg layers need lots of calcium. So you should feed them a pelleted diet (like laying crumbles) that your local feed store will have. The rest, they will forage.

    Now…the killing part. Well…humanly do it. I remember my grandmother going out and "wringing one's neck" but my family always just chopped a head off and hung it on the fence row (crude, but less suffering for the chicken)

    It really just depends on what your comfortable doing. I could never kill them myself. I just always got the job of plucking….

    Anyway,good luck! Just be sure to close your chickens up at night so foxes, and other night time prowlers don't make them a meal.
    References :

  4. ddstantlerstill Says:

    Keeping chickens is fairly easy. Only certain States require inoculations but that is only for chicks purchased out of the State. It isn't hard to find that info out simply contact your local State Agricultural agent. Even though you may have a large yard you should still have a coop with a fenced area attached to it. This will help train chickens where they need to roost as well as where to lay their eggs. As long as your chickens are properly maintained there is seldom a need to dispatch one. Chickens can live up to 15 years, with an average life expectancy of ten years. In the event you do have to dispatch a chicken there are a host of methods one can employ, pretty much whatever suites you best. I would recommend beginning with chicks, there are many benefits to it. First are less apt to have health issues. Because you know everything about the birds as they grow. Second there really isn't much training because they have been raised around you and how you desire to keep them. There are several good books out about how to raise chickens, for the first time owner I recommend getting one. They offer great info on feeds and care as well as what breeds may best suite your needs. One of the best books I have found is called (A Guide to raising Chickens). There is much information you should know before getting chickens, it will help prepare you. Chickens are pretty easy to care for, they are easy to handle when raised properly.
    References :

  5. CF_ Says:

    we kept chickens last summer.. and sold them in the fall because were we live its too cold to over winter them without heat and we have no electricty going to the hen house…

    anyhow this link will help you
    http://www.gomestic.com/Pets/Unusual-Pets-Chickens.76299

    you can give them shots or buy the ones who already had shots or take your chances…

    we never did kill any of ours.. but 1 did die.. we think lightening scared her or something.. just found her dead on her side.. it was weird..
    References :

  6. ash_marie_wv Says:

    Yes, absolutely. I know Murray McMurray Hatcheries sell their birds with vaccines, so they probably sell it seperately. Make sure you wire around your garden really well to keep out possums, skunks, or dogs.
    References :

  7. Mary M Says:

    I have never innoculated chickens for any disease with vaccines. There is usually no need. My chickens rarely get sick. I beleive the best inoculation for a chicken is to treat it right, keep its pen clean, give it lots of space to excercise and forage, feed it good food and fresh water, and practice biosecurity. (Dont let new birds into your flock unless you are completely sure they are healthy).

    There have only been a few instances in my many years of breeding chickens where I have had to kill a chicken. I only do this If the chicken is already dying or if it has a disease that I know is contagious to the other chickens. I never cull (kill or remove from flock) old chickens who dont lay anymore, many people do because its not economical to keep them, but I tend to let them go into 'retirement'. After all, they deserve it after laying all those eggs!

    If the worst happens and it is absolutely necesary to 'cull' a chicken, I take the chicken at night when it is sleeping, wrap it in a towel, talking to it gently and stroking it. Then I take it outside, far far away and gently set it under a bush in a quiet, dark place. In the morning, it is gone, the body taken by a predator. I beleive this is a very natural way for chickens to die, and I couldnt stand to kill one of my chickens with my own hand, so thats why I do it this way. Of course, it is very difficult, and my eyes tear up while doing it, but putting a chicken in a cage and taking it to an ufamiliar place like the vet is a very traumatizing experience for a chicken, so I beleive this method is more humane and allows the chicken to die in peaceful sleep.

    (Oh, and the garden would be a good idea, but watch out, they do tend to tear up and eat certain plants)
    References :
    Chicken Guru

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