Officialish Chicken Photo Thread! - Page 25 - The Horse Forum
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post #241 of 1037 Old 10-06-2012, 03:01 PM
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Rabbits are such gentle souls!

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post #242 of 1037 Old 10-06-2012, 03:46 PM
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That is absolutely adorable!!
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post #243 of 1037 Old 10-08-2012, 11:30 AM Thread Starter
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Just read this on Yahoo, keep on keepin those peeps gals, we are doing chickens and ourselves a great service!


So you don't eat foie gras, shark-fin soup, or even meat? You still might not be eating cruelty-free. The innocent little egg sometimes comes from hens who live in cages so small they can't even spread their wings. It's not surprising that the eggs from these hens, claustrophobic and living in their own waste, are up to 21 times more likely to harbor salmonella, according to a 2008 study from Belgium.

What's being done: Thankfully, things might be looking up for chickens. Congress is considering a new bill--H.R. 3798, or the Egg Products Inspection Act Amendments of 2012--that would give hens twice the amount of living space, prohibit excessive ammonia in the henhouses, and require labeling on egg cartons to list how the egg-layers lived. More than 8 million chickens are slaughtered each year in the U.S., according to the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service, so this could be big for the little cluckers. (Check out more on happier hens here.)

What to eat instead: Organic is a must for anything chicken-related, since poultry feed can have all kinds of bad stuff in it, from antidepressants to arsenic. Cage-free is nice, too, since those eggs don't come from chickens that are trapped in battery cages all the time. But the best option? Seek out eggs with the "certified humane raised and handled label," which means that your eggs underwent a voluntary, thorough inspection by an independent animal-welfare group. Or buy from a farmer you trust. Check out LocalHarvest to find truly sustainable farmers near you.

You can get a lot further with a ladder than you can with crutches!!
What do you mean what do I mean?
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post #244 of 1037 Old 10-08-2012, 12:51 PM
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I've noticed that a lot of people are recommending buying straight from the farmer these days, for everything from veggies to eggs to meat. I know I certainly do whenever I can. I have a guy I buy a whole beef from, he takes it to slaughter and I tell them how I want it. I'm talking to a guy about buying and raising my own pig, gotta learn a bit more about the piggies first though. I already buy and eat dual purpose birds for my layers. They aren't as meaty as the CornishX's at are used for meaties and their eggs aren't as big as the true eggs only birds, but they lay decently, get to a decent size and when they quit laying, they make dinner. Hubby and I are talking about putting up a Meaty coop and doing some small scale chicken raising.

We have a veg patch and, until this drought, I hadn't bought veggies or fruit in the stores for years. What a difference raising them yourself makes....WOW!
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post #245 of 1037 Old 10-08-2012, 01:20 PM
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Pigs are REALLY easy to raise Pat!

There's all sorts of theories on it but here's what I found works well for me.

I have a "pig house", looks like a horse run-in shelter only smaller, shorter and we put up a 4th wall that encloses 2/3 of the front. Fill it with straw (pigs do not soil the house, you never have to clean it, just add more straw as they eat/destroy/reduce it to dust).

I have a large enclosure, I believe pigs that have room to run, dig, chase balls and root around are healthier, happier and do not spend all their time trying to dig out. We used 6 wire hog panels, a 4 foot panel gate and made a rectangle using the horse pasture fence as the back fence (2 panels for each side, 2 panels for the front with the gate in the middle). The pigs dug a shallow hole in the middle of it, so I fill that with water as a mudpit/pond when it's hot out.

55gal blue plastic barrel for water, installed a metal water nipple a few inches from the bottom, cut 2' sections of 4x4x8 posts and it sits on top of them (keeps the nipple out of the mud the pigs create by dribbling water) and it is STRAPPED to the t-posts that hold up the fence panels.

Creep feeder that holds 50lbs of feed, it is wired in multiple places and CHAINED to the t-posts for the fence panels.

Piglets are cute, hogs can and will destroy feeders and waterers if they are not solidly chained/strapped and immovable.

That's it! Drop a caged heater in the barrel in freezing temps, give them an endless supply of water/feed, use a manure fork to clean the crap out of their pen (I save the vinyly feed bags, fill them with the crap and toss in dumpster) give them some rubber balls and play with them if they are friendly and you are good to go!
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post #246 of 1037 Old 10-08-2012, 02:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Delfina View Post
Pigs are REALLY easy to raise Pat!

play with them if they are friendly and you are good to go!
So.....do you get hogs vs sows? How long do you keep them before you prep them for slaughter? How much do they weigh when they're ready to slaughter? How much does one hog yield on average? What's the approximate cost to raise a pig to slaughter age?


And the Play with them IF they're friendly is one of the things that concerns me. I've heard they can be quite ferocious if they AREN'T friendly. How do you socialize them and make sure that they will be friendly?

Is it better to have one or more, kind of the herd thing?

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post #247 of 1037 Old 10-08-2012, 02:11 PM
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post #248 of 1037 Old 10-08-2012, 02:18 PM
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When I first started working for the Sheriff's Department, I had to sit at a pig farm and wait for the coroner on something very similar. Difference was, the guy had NOT been feeding his pigs and there was an open animal cruelty case on him, so his demise wasn't a big surprise. We also have a HUGE feral hog problem here in the south, so I'm well aware what hogs CAN do, but most of the domesticated ones here don't seem to be so aggresive. And those who raise their animals like I do, more like pets than livestock, tend to have less trouble even still.

I'm just not familiar with pigs in general and want to do thorough research before I commit to one or more.

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post #249 of 1037 Old 10-08-2012, 03:51 PM
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If I raised a pig for food, I would end up keeping it as a pet for years. I am not very good at eating things that I have raised. Except eggs.

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post #250 of 1037 Old 10-08-2012, 05:40 PM
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Ok, I will only raise females or castrated males (pre-castrated... I am NOT lopping off boy parts myself!).

Females are very, very friendly. Our last set would squeal with delight when I visited and flop over on their backs "ok, rub my tummy!". The loved to chase a rubber ball. The males are more standoffish. They aren't mean, just have zero desire to have their tummies rubbed (or even touched). The like to chase balls but would prefer you stayed outside the pen. The more you handle pigs, the friendlier they are. I handle mine enough that they either like me or have a healthy fear of me (as in I'm going to sit over here in the corner away from you and run like a bat outa hell if you touch me).

Intact males are MEAN. Hence why I won't have a thing to do with them.

You cannot raise a solo pig, they are herd animals. I raise 2-3 depending on how many people go in with me. I currently have 3 castrated males.

We like to butcher around 250-275lbs. Pig feed is HIGH due to the drought right now. My last batch of pigs all said and totalled I paid $2.99 a take home pound (everything from sausage to pork chops) that included all feed, all butchering costs, cost of the piggy and so on. Not bad for home-grown, organic pork.
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