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 Post subject: Re: chooks
PostPosted: Aug 12th, '12, 19:36 
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Sounds like 2 for and 2 against, mmm what will you decide Goritsuki?

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 Post subject: Re: chooks
PostPosted: Aug 13th, '12, 09:53 
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Hi Faye, call me Phil it's easier to type and pronounce :wave1:
I will probably give 1 or 2 a go but I will wait till spring as I don't fancy sitting outside in the cold/rain comforting a new chook :support:
This is a reply from an email I sent to them
Hi,
The most eggs a hen will lay is (which is only for about 10-15 weeks) one egg every 28-29 hours. This is what is called 98% lay rate. After this they will tapper down to about 80%. Of course this is with the optimum hen conditions (no stress, food and water there all the time, no diseases, not too many hens to feather peck each other, 18-23degC etc). Unfortunately this is not really achievable for free range so for free range you can probably expect around 50-60%.
There are things you can do to help hens be more comfortable which of course will give you more eggs, e.g. keep them indoors when it is quite cold (this is called barn laid) and let them out when it is warmer, provide a sprinkler or misters for them when it is hot (be careful for diseases - bacteria love moist warm conditions), keep food and water there 'all the time.' There are many other things you can do and there are many websites you can obtain info about hens also but I hope this is of some help for you to start with.
Also, our hens are not 'past' their prime, they are still laying quite well when we sell them to the public. They go through lay cycles. After their first malt, they merely lay bigger eggs. Roughly the same mass in kg over the year but just bigger eggs and less of them. As most people who come to us want the bigger eggs, they are perfect for the backyard free range.

best regards
Forrestdale Farm Fresh Eggs
588 Nicholson Road Forrestdale
Western Australia 6112

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 Post subject: Re: chooks
PostPosted: Aug 13th, '12, 11:42 
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They certainly sound better than the $2/head burnt out Isa browns that I have experienced, but that may well be just the marketing.

... After their first malt, they merely lay bigger eggs. Roughly the same mass in kg over the year but just bigger eggs and less of them. As most people who come to us want the bigger eggs, they are perfect for the backyard free range...

Forrestdale Farm Fresh Eggs


That is interesting that the hens are claimed to lay about the same weight of eggs in year two, but in a different format to their productive first year. I will have to pay more attention to mine because, over the years, all I have noticed is the decrease in the number of eggs laid. It is also interesting that these birds are not deemed economically viable to be kept a second year, even though heavier eggs command a higher price at the shop.
I don't suppose you can go far wrong if you get just one or two birds. For some reason I thought that you were talking about a larger quantity but then, if you live in the metro area, your maximum flock size is probably only 6-12 anyway.
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Plus you are giving them a happy retirement which would otherwise probably be an early death.
I remember that this aspect was quite gratifying. The downside was that some of the girls had their top beaks cut back so severely that they could not actually pick up something tasty that they uncovered as they scratched. I remember well my young kids hand feeding worms to a couple of these mutilated hens because that was the only way they could eat them.
I don't know if this beak cutting practice is still in vogue but, if so, then I suggest you choose birds with as long a remnant of top beak as possible.

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 Post subject: Re: chooks
PostPosted: Aug 13th, '12, 11:52 
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PLJ wrote:
The downside was that some of the girls had their top beaks cut back so severely that they could not actually pick up something tasty that they uncovered as they scratched.

thats so disturbing... what kind of human does that sort of thing

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 Post subject: Re: chooks
PostPosted: Aug 13th, '12, 12:04 
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Cutting the beak sounds awful but it may be necessary and is probably like cutting toenails. I have a rooster that needs his top beak trimmed and when I take a photo you will see that it's necessary and would be cruel to leave it as it is. Things are not always as they seem.

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 Post subject: Re: chooks
PostPosted: Aug 13th, '12, 12:32 
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oh ok... sorry I dont know much about chooks, thats a little more reasuring.

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 Post subject: Re: chooks
PostPosted: Aug 13th, '12, 14:42 
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faye wrote:
Cutting the beak sounds awful but it may be necessary and is probably like cutting toenails.

Faye, battery chooks were debeaked so that they didn't peck at themselves and each other. And why did they peck at themselves and try to cannibalise each other? Because, living under such cramped conditions in their tiny wire cages they had nothing else to do. They were bored sh**less, and often developed neuroses accordingly.
Of course, even with a munted beak a hen can still feed on commercial poultry food provided for it in a trough just a short stretch of its neck away.

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 Post subject: Re: chooks
PostPosted: Aug 13th, '12, 21:55 
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How fast do the beaks grow back?

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 Post subject: Re: chooks
PostPosted: Aug 13th, '12, 22:29 
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Sadly they don't, Phil. Consider it more akin to a circumcision than a toenail clip!

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 Post subject: Re: chooks
PostPosted: Aug 13th, '12, 22:39 
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PLJ wrote:
Sadly they don't, Phil. Consider it more akin to a circumcision than a toenail clip!



that's no good :(
I'll make sure the ones I get have an uncut pecker...

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 Post subject: Re: chooks
PostPosted: Aug 13th, '12, 22:41 
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:laughing3: :laughing3: :laughing3:
That is very clever, Phil! I will be chuckling all night, I am sure. :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: chooks
PostPosted: Aug 14th, '12, 07:07 
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:laughing3:

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 Post subject: Re: chooks
PostPosted: Aug 18th, '12, 21:43 
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:laughing3: :laughing3:

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