• Welcome to Life In The Wilderness

    You are currently viewing the site as a guest and some content may not be available to you.

    Registration is quick and easy and will give you full access to the site and allow you to ask questions or make comments and join in on the conversation. If you would like to join then please Register

Chickens Are Overated!

mole trapper

Extremely Talkative
Messages
156
Likes
79
Points
450
#1
That should get a few hackles up!
We have decided were going to cut our chicken numbers down to a dozen or so and increase our ducks up to a couple of dozen.
A- because the chickens are inconsistent layers, we have hybrids, dual purpose and pure breds.

B- they rely too heavily on the feed we give them.

C- the damned cockerels call in every Fox for miles.

The ducks are a Fox magnet, but generally keep on the lake once foxy is spotted, they lay like there's no tomorrow, and they forage most of their feed.
Taken me twenty plus years to realise this is the way forward for us.
 

mole trapper

Extremely Talkative
Messages
156
Likes
79
Points
450
#3
Generally my lurchers indicate there's been one around, then I have a bait point exactly 100 yds from our bedroom window, the bait/ roadkill is attached to fishing line with a carrier bag attached inside our window, when the bag rustles I get up and go into the middle bedroom where one of my centerfires is already waiting with nv on top, shoot Fox go back to bed. So much less fuss and bother letting them come to me.
 

The Boogie Man

Quite Addicted
Messages
577
Likes
626
Points
710
#4
That should get a few hackles up!
We have decided were going to cut our chicken numbers down to a dozen or so and increase our ducks up to a couple of dozen.
A- because the chickens are inconsistent layers, we have hybrids, dual purpose and pure breds.

B- they rely too heavily on the feed we give them.

C- the damned cockerels call in every Fox for miles.

The ducks are a Fox magnet, but generally keep on the lake once foxy is spotted, they lay like there's no tomorrow, and they forage most of their feed.
Taken me twenty plus years to realise this is the way forward for us.
Plus Duck eggs taste great, and so the Ducks:whistle:
 

Ystranc

Moderator
Messages
2,369
Likes
2,188
Points
890
#7
As far as fox control is concerned I bait a box trap with a chicken or pheasant back. Check it twice a day...the good thing about baiting foxes is that there is no hurry to refresh the bait, stinkier the better.
I can clear the traps by confining the fox at one end of the trap with a trap comb and shooting it in the head with a .22LR at close range.
Since I have some land I keep sheep, I also trap and shoot...I havn't bought meat since I did a summer job at an abattoir as a kid.
 

hodgson

Extremely Talkative
Messages
169
Likes
239
Points
350
#8
Having kept ducks, chickens, turkeys and quail, my thoughts are:
Ducks, if you have khaki campbells they are prolific layers, the other breeds are rubbish. They have a dressed weight of about 4 pounds and are terrible mothers. Rearing ducklings is a matter of luck unless you take the eggs away and hatch and rear them yourself.
Turkeys are nice to show off at Christmas, the old breeds are grazers so will grow on grass alone, but not achieve much of a dressed weight. Rubbish mothers and the stags can be aggressive.
Quail are too small to be allowed out to forage for themselves so you have to feed them. They lay well but the eggs are too fiddly, they annoy me, I give them away. Same with eating the quail. They take almost as much time as a chicken to dress.
Chickens, you guessed, I prefer them. Get an old fashioned pure breed, I have orpingtons, and a cockerel to breed your own replacements. They are placid and don't fly. They lay ok, they grow over 9 months to a 5 or 6 pound dressed weight and they are fantastic mothers. Give them any sort of eggs and they will hatch and rear them for you, no trouble.
I think variety in our diets is important for morale if nothing else, so I would keep a few of them all, but mostly chickens.
Foxes? I can honestly say over the years I've lost very few poultry to foxes and at one time I lived in the fells. I always lock my chooks in before dark, never let them out until daylight.
 

Ystranc

Moderator
Messages
2,369
Likes
2,188
Points
890
#9
I just keep a few Warrens and white Cornish, both breeds free range with some older wiser mixed breed hens because it helps keep them healthy and they're far cheaper to rear like that.
 

Alanm

Extremely Talkative
Messages
132
Likes
93
Points
310
Age
52
#10
I keep Warrens and Colombian Blacktails. Just half a dozen.Lay like billy-o,and no trouble at all.Plenty of eggs,and muck for the compost too.As for foxes,I make sure the run is secure.I have had fox attacks in the past- and learned from it.A fox would need a shovel and angle grinder to get in now!
 

hodgson

Extremely Talkative
Messages
169
Likes
239
Points
350
#11
I wouldn't think warrens were suitable for preppers? They are hybrid, produced commercially by crossing purebreds. Their offspring would be less likely to lay as well as they do. You wouldn't be able to breed replacements and they are skinny little things, not much meat on them. I have a couple of rescue hybrids to bulk up my egg production but in the long run I think large bodied pure breds would be better. Rhode Island or Light Sussex have been bred for both eggs and meat and would breed true. The cockerals can be a bit aggressive though so that's why I keep Orpingtons. If you are rearing half a dozen cockerals for the table you don't want them chasing you every morning when you let them out.
 

hodgson

Extremely Talkative
Messages
169
Likes
239
Points
350
#13
Marans are a good all-rounder.
I like marans, love their dark brown eggs and a good meat bird but....they jump over the fence into the veggies. Tried clipping their wings but they still get over. Off course I could build a bigger fence but.....easier to keep a big fat fluffy hen that doesn't fly or jump.
 

Alanm

Extremely Talkative
Messages
132
Likes
93
Points
310
Age
52
#14
I keep hybrids as they are egg machines. Kept them for 20 years.I don't bother breeding them,too much hassle. However, I do breed rabbits. SHTF,I will trade bunnies with folks I know who rear poultry.I live in the sticks BTW.
 
Top