Tag Archives: guinea

So You Want A Home Poultry Flock!

poultry Chickens are easy to raise and keep. They are mostly quite (No Roosters Please) and are easy to handle. Most breeds are non-flyers. With so many breeds available you are sure to find a breed that appeals to your eye.

Ducks Are easy to raise and keep on a small homestead or in a backyard. They are quit and easy to handle. Ducks breeds range from the tiny ornamental breeds to the heavy meat breeds. Most duck breeds are non-flyers.

Geese Are easy to raise and some breeds can reach a mature weight of 20 pounds or more. Geese are noisy and the males can become aggressive. Most geese after reaching adult weight are non-flyers. Geese are not recommended for gardeners/homesteaders with small children.

Turkey Require more hands on attention while small. Once they are 4 to 6 weeks of age they are easy to raise. Some breeds of turkeys can reach a mature weight of 45 pounds. Turkeys can be noisy and toms are often aggressive. Adult turkeys are generally non-flyers. Small children and turkeys do not go together well!

Guinea fowl are easy to raise active and alert birds. Smiling.. they make great watch dogs. Yes they are noisy birds and are not easy to handle. They are flyers. Guineas will try to roost on the highest limb of your tallest tree if allowed to roam free. To keep them in your your run the run must have a covered top. Guineas are excellent at insect control. Ticks will never be found on a homestead if you have a small flock of guineas.

Buying day old birds. Is the cheapest and in my opinion the best way to establish your homestead/backyard poultry flock. A $2.00 or $3.00 chick beats the heck out of a $12.00 or $15.00 pullet any day of the week.

However to raise day old chicks you will need a brooder of some kind. Unless you plan to raise chicks ever year or two it may not be worth the money, time and effort to raise your own day old chicks into mature birds.

I have seen brooders made from everything that can be found around the house or farm. Cardboard boxes, large plastic storage containers as well as many well built wood and wire brooders. Brooder size is important. Your brooder must be large enough for the number of chick you buy as well as having room for water and feed containers.
After you have decided what you will use as a brooder you will need something to cover your brooder top to prevent chick from jumping out of your brooder. Don’t be fooled by their size. Chicks can jump much higher than you think they can.

Last but not least. You must provide a heat source to keep your chicks from getting chilled and dieing. Use a good quality thermometer and set your heat source so the temperature 1/2 inches off the floor is about 97 or 98 degrees. Low temperatures can chill and even kill your chicks and will also hinder digestion of their food. Brooding Temperatures for Poultry Thank You ‘Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development’ website.
* Don’t panic about getting your brooder temperature perfect, if your brooder is large the chicks will move closer or move away from your heat source seeking their comfort zone.

Hint 100 or 150 watt ceramic emitter heat bulb – Cost about 12.00 to 15.00 each.
*The main advantage of ceramic heat emitting bulbs is that they will last 4 or 5 times as long as ‘standard’ heat lamp bulbs.
150 to 250 watt heat lamp bulbs – cost about $3.00 to $5.00 each.

Murry McMurry hatchery Is a great source for full color pictures and a short description of many breeds of poultry.

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Chicken Coop Poop – Poultry Coop – A Fall And Winter Project

The term chicken coop is a generic term. Your coop will work equally well for housing chickens, ducks, turkeys and geese or game birds.

Many people raise ornamental birds. When considering raising ornamental birds it is advisable to make your coop and outside runs at least 2 or even 4 times normal size to prevent plumage damage from outside run wire or a smallish coop.

If you put a poultry wire top on your outside run to prevent them flying out of your pen. You can also raise game type birds like guinea fowl, quail, pigeons, and pheasants. Some people refer to this arrangement as a fly pen.

When designing and constructing a fly pen don’t make the mistake of making it so low to the ground that you can not walk erect in the pen. Unless you are 3 foot 9 inches tall, a four(4) foot tall fly pen is way to low. Think about making your fly pen at least 6 feet tall.

Being frugal ‘Not Cheap’ I always start my new projects by visiting my local hardware (lumber) store. I ask them if they have any ‘Damaged’ lumber on sale at a bargain price. Warped or bowed lumber will work just fine in constructing your poultry house, outside run or fly pen. Damaged lumber can often be purchased for less than 1/2 the price of prime construction materials. Your poultry really will not care if you use a few damaged 2X4’s.

Don’t skimp on buying good quality hinges, latches and poultry wire. Using good quality hardware makes it much easier to keep predators like cats, dogs, racoons, skunks and such out of your poultry run and coop.

Sizing your coop to best fit your needs. Different birds have different space and roosting needs. Chickens benefit from having a roost. 12 inches of roost space per bird is recommended. Turkeys will seldom use an indoor roost. Ducks and geese are ground roosters and have no need for a indoor roost. With the exception of guineas most game birds are ground roosting birds.
Pigeons have quite different roost requirements. Please research their roost needs ‘before’ buying or trapping pigeons.

Chickens require at least 2 square feet of coop floor space. Ducks require 3 square of floor space and geese need 4 or more square feet of floor space.
A 4 foot by 8 foot 4X8=32 square feet. However you must remember some of that floor space will be occupied by roost, nest boxes, feeders and water containers. A 4×8 coop will house about 10 or maybe 12 laying hens. 8 ducks and about 4 turkeys or geese.
The outside run should be 2 or 3 times as large your coop floor space.

A coop that is 8 foot by 8 foot in size is a good size for the average backyard or tiny farmer. Healthy happy birds produce many eggs and quickly gain weight.

If you are unable to design your coop there are many University sites with fact sheets and design plans to assist you in designing and constructing you coop, outside run or fly pen.

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Why is common sense so uncommon?
Don’t be Shy. Leave me your comment(s)