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7020RE: [fukuoka_farming] Chickens???

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  • Linda Shewan
    Jan 31, 2008
      I don't know if you have them in your neck of the woods but guinea fowl are
      meant to be excellent for keeping snakes away. One example is
      http://www.guineafarm.com/guineas.html . And if you google "guinea fowl
      snakes" you will find many more I am sure. They are VERY noisy I understand
      so might not be best under the bedroom window. They free range completely
      and will keep themselves out of danger if you have a good tree they can
      roost in.

      They will also certainly let you know if a fox is in the area, or anything
      else for that matter.

      This is all hearsay but I am thinking of trying it so if anyone knows more
      about it I would be interested in hearing first hand stories.

      Cheers, Linda

      From: fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com
      [mailto:fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Garth & Kim Travis
      Sent: Friday, 1 February 2008 3:55 AM
      To: fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: [fukuoka_farming] Chickens???

      The only free range chickens I have seen survive, are in a very well
      fenced pasture that has a perimeter patrolled by several large guardian
      dogs, then another fence. The owners daily patrol the fences looking
      for places where predators have attempted to get through. Too much work
      for me, I don't have time. Especially since all the fences in the world
      won't keep the birds safe from hawks.

      There are many options on how to keep chickens safe and still let them
      do most of their own feeding. We feed ours a mixture of one part each
      of black oily sunflower seeds, shell corn, barley and oats. I get good
      egg production, year round and my birds are never sick. All of these
      foods will grow without too much trouble on my land, which is my next
      step. Most recipes I have found for poultry call for wheat, which is
      very difficult for me to grow, so I experimented and continued to learn.
      I have been feeding my mixture for 18 months now and am happy with the
      results. My birds are on pasture and get the bonus of all horned worms
      I find in my garden in the summer.

      Much of what I use may or may not be available in your part of the
      world. I have built small chicken tractors that were 4'x8' that make
      good shelters and are easy to move by hand. I have been known to attach
      posts to large peices of plywood, for the base. The movable fence is
      attached by using clips on fence nails that are not pounded in all the
      way. When I was using this, my dogs were still young enough to protect
      against all predators.

      Adult birds don't get killed as easy as chicks. Snakes don't bother the
      adults, they just steal eggs. Baby chicks are a snakes idea of a
      perfect snack. I have yet to figure out how to prevent the snakes from
      getting in the pens, so I can't let my birds propagate naturally. This
      is something I will continue to work on.

      From the hearsay of other bamboo growers in my state, I hear that the
      snakes don't like the bamboo groves. We have planted bamboo for many
      purposes and have one large area, 50'x600' that we will let grow into a
      real grove. If what they say is true, then our idea of keeping all our
      poultry in the groves will work very well. The bamboo will protect from
      hawks, provide shade and some food. I find it hard to believe the
      snakes won't love the place as well, as they do like any well shaded
      place I can find, but maybe the bamboo plants, roots or leaves are hard
      on their skin, I don't know.

      Many of the slower growing, beautiful chickens are on the endangered
      species list. Once you have your birds safe, and you understand what it
      is you need, you may considered keeping endangered birds, just to help
      them survive.

      I would send pictures of what I mean, but my phone line is a mess due to
      high rain and lousy service. My dial up is setting record lows for log
      on times [like 4.5] and pictures just constipate my computer to the
      point where it quits.

      Bright Blessings,

      Dieter Brand wrote:
      > Kim,
      > I haven't really figured out in detail how I'm going to do this,
      > but I don't intend to keep them in a 10' by 10' area.
      > We have 30 acres which it would be impossible to fence in,
      > well not impossible, but very expensive. At present, I tend
      > towards a movable chicken coop, perhaps on wheels, that
      > I can move from one area to another. Some places are good
      > in the Winter, while others would be preferable during the
      > Summer. Moving them to a new location, I would then use
      > movable or temporary fences to keep them in that location.
      > We are surrounded on all sides by vast forests which are
      > full of predators. Neighbours complain about chickens being
      > killed in broad daylight. And we are even more remote.
      > They wouldn't survive the first week if I were to give them
      > free-range.
      > Where can I find a description of those movable shelters
      > and movable fences you mentioned?
      > And what about feed? As I said, there is plenty of land
      > for them to look for food. Would they find enough on their
      > own? Or would I have to feed them additional grains or
      > something?
      > Dieter Brand
      > Portugal

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