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Anyone raise chickens??

I live on long island and we have ticks. I've heard chickens eat them as well as other pests. I'm considering getting some because we've had a mild winter and last year I found one on me. So, have you cared for chickens? ..and what was your experience?

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Asked by Farrahann at 5:06 PM on Apr. 24, 2012 in Pets

Level 22 (13,175 Credits)
Answers (9)
  • Farmlady. If she doesn't answer in the thread private message her. She is a wealth of knowledge.

    Answer by meooma at 5:08 PM on Apr. 24, 2012

  • Thanks.

    Comment by Farrahann (original poster) at 5:12 PM on Apr. 24, 2012

  • I have chickens. We don't have fleas or ticks, here, so I cannot speak to that. Chickens are interesting and dumber than dirt, although they seem to out smart us quite often. They can be smelly and you need to keep there coop fairly clean. They can and will poop everywhere including in their food and water. Ours are decent layers. And nice eaters of leftovers.

    this is a good website


    Answer by balagan_imma at 5:20 PM on Apr. 24, 2012

  • I have chickens ~ as well as ducks, geese, and guineas. I got the guineas for tick patrol, and they are awesome at it. We've got five acres, half wooded, and the guineas free range. I also have dogs and cats, rabbits, goats, a donkey, and piggies. In five years I've seen three ticks, and we check the dogs daily.

    Chickens eat ticks, but they prefer grubs and worms, etc. Guineas are noisy birds, which is fine with me because they are better than the dogs at letting me know when someone enters the driveway. On the other hand, they don't have a clue about property lines. My neighbors don't mind my birds eating their ticks or the noise. Depending on where you live, guineas may not work.

    One thing that DOES work is DE. Diatomaceous Earth (food grade). It's sea shells, and it gets ticks, fleas, spiders, etc. It's non toxic, safe for pets and kids, and you can feed it to any animal to worm them as well. Msg me if you like :-)

    Answer by Farmlady09 at 5:44 PM on Apr. 24, 2012

  • Wanted to add, chickens are relatively easy, and a couple of hens will also provide your family with eggs. I feed mine Layena, provide grit and oyster shells, and I sprinkle DE in their pens and on their food. The rest of what they eat is 'free' from free ranging during the day. They need a secure place at night, or a 'chicken tractor' if you can't free range, with a nest box or two. Since you're up north, check for cold hardy breeds. But definitely check out ... awesome site, info for just about every aspect of raising chickens, and always someone around to answer questions.

    Answer by Farmlady09 at 6:02 PM on Apr. 24, 2012

  • I had a chicken that I loved, wonderful pet. Then I came home one day and my grandma had cooked it for dinner. Keep them away from that generation! Then I had another one and a cat jumped the fence and took it. I chased after it but was not able to keep up.

    Answer by themodestgal at 6:38 PM on Apr. 24, 2012

  • Farmlady thank you. Themo... I didn't even think of the cat aspect. I get strays in my yard my DH hates it and wants to resort to violence. I'm sorry but I laughed at your grandmas cooking.

    Comment by Farrahann (original poster) at 7:14 PM on Apr. 24, 2012

  • Themodest, you need to get more than one chicken lol. I've seen mine mercilessly tree cats, chase the dogs, kill rat snakes, and once I found a youngish raccoon clinging frantically to the top of the covered run getting his behind pecked over and over like a furry tetherball. Adult raccoons can kill them, along with anything in the weasel family, dogs (some are just chicken eaters), cats, hawks, etc.

    I have two flocks that are for eggs and chicks (RIRs and Buff Os), and I raise roos for meat. The roos are always free ranging ~ and they all seem to have broken alarm clocks. I don't eat my hens, even when they quit laying, and I'll shoot a varmint if they threaten my 'hubby roos'.

    I enjoy them all though. The hens love a watermelon half filled with yogurt (or oatmeal on chilly mornings), and I hang cabbages and apples for them to play tetherball with (and amuse myself).

    Answer by Farmlady09 at 11:01 PM on Apr. 24, 2012

  • Before I wander away and forget ... again ... thank you meeoma :-)

    Answer by Farmlady09 at 1:30 AM on Apr. 26, 2012

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