7020RE: [fukuoka_farming] Chickens???
- Jan 31, 2008I 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
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.
[mailto:email@example.com] On Behalf Of Garth & Kim Travis
Sent: Friday, 1 February 2008 3:55 AM
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
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.
Dieter Brand wrote:
> Kim,[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
> 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
> 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
> Dieter Brand
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