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CHICKENS

Discussion in 'Pets & Animals' started by tree, Oct 28, 2015.

  1. tree

    tree Blue/Green Staff Member V.I.P Member

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    Sometimes people like to talk about chickens.
    Here is a place to talk about your experiences
    or ideas/questions about chickens. :chicken:
     
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  2. tree

    tree Blue/Green Staff Member V.I.P Member

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  3. Mia

    Mia Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I've been thinking that maggots must somehow neutralize any pathogens upon ingesting them. If birds eat insects such as mosquitoes and fly larvae, there must be a mechanism that birds have that destroys its veracity. I'll have to look into it in a much more thorough way. I do wonder if their 'habits' have led to difficulties in countries that manifest with bird flu's and avian viruses in cross contamination.
     
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  4. tree

    tree Blue/Green Staff Member V.I.P Member

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  5. Mia

    Mia Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Fascinating tree Vultures are amazing creatures, but rather gross.

    "Further, vultures notably urinate and defecate all over themselves while they eat which, thanks to the highly acidic nature of their bodily waste, kills any bacteria that makes its way onto the vulture’s legs. This also has the side effect of sterilizing the area around the carcass, also stopping disease from spreading.":eek:

    Their highly acidic urine and feces must be the key. But they must stink and you could likely smell them when they are nearby. I've seen only one type of small vulture in the area that I live in, that live near the river. Large crows are the usual clean up crews here.
     
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  6. tree

    tree Blue/Green Staff Member V.I.P Member

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    Mia

    I think vultures may have been the inspiration for Harpies.
    Yes, they are stinky.
    They are well designed for their occupation, though.
    Notice the head/neck. 'Bare.' Excellent for poking into mucky carcass.
    Not much for yuck to get stuck on.

    There are crows here and ravens.

    Vultures & possums were the most popular heroes, when we
    had school at home. The amazing, scorned, homely underdogs
    that go to lunch where few want to go & do what others can't.
     
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  7. Spiller

    Spiller Just.. WEIRD!

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    I always thought that the 1.5ph of your stomach acid would be quite fatal to almost anything you might ingest.. can't remember if I was actually told that in biology class.. seems reasonable though.

    I had an interesting recent experience with chickens.. or rather parts of.

    I have a Black African friend who cooks traditional Zimbabwean meals, one of which is 'nyama ne huku tsoka', chicken feet. Once they've cooked for an hour in a savoury sauce they're lovely!
    You bite off the toes one at a time, suck off the skin, spit out the bones.. nice, tender mouthful of the middle of the foot for last and the shin for a handle.
    Mop up the gravy with sadza, a maize-grain dough rolled into balls and used to dip and mop up.

    I love to try new foods, though next times chicken-heads - with eyeballs - should be interesting.
    (I'm told the eyeballs just bob around in the gravy.)

    I've kept chickens - they're quite cuddly when you get to know them, just difficult to house train - for the eggs. Never killed and prepared one before, that's something I'd like to learn to do.

    Birds' faeces are very acidic - get 'em off your car quickly as they damage the paintwork.
    Many animals' faeces contain a lot of bacteria, but urine is sterile and contains ammonia which is an excellent sterilizer and very available.
    Used to be a trade in urine, collected and sold as a sterilizer.. the staler, the better.
    Also useful for compost heaps cultivated to produce saltpetre, an ingredient of gunpowder.
     
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  8. tree

    tree Blue/Green Staff Member V.I.P Member

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    Spiller

    I have killed 2, ever, in my life.
    It requires more muscle than what I expected.
    Eventually I think the hens just reached up with their cartoon
    arms/wings and removed their own heads. I was trying to be
    helpful that day and do my share.

    After that I kept to plucking feathers.

    No need for me to be pathetically inept.
    If I am supposed to kill somebody, I don't
    want to just annoy them.

    My mother, as a girl, envied her mother's mother's skill at
    wringing a chicken's neck. Whip it around and crack--- it
    was done. So she tried it one day and....Whip. Oops.
    The head and body were no longer together.
    Some finesse is required.

    As a grown person my mother butchered lots of chickens.
    She had a flock of 600. She kept her knife very sharp.
    No more neck wringing.

    I haven't tried killing any chickens since that time of the two.
    I don't eat my employees these days.
     
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  9. Spiller

    Spiller Just.. WEIRD!

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    I completely understand, tree, I just decided a while back that I'd take the opportunity to learn to look after myself if I ever had to - I like to be prepared.

    That said, I haven't killed a chicken yet.. if it takes ages that first time, I believe I might appreciate your reluctance.

    I've looked at roadkill - plenty of rabbits, squirrels, foxes.. I picked up a badger recently that looked ok, but was teeming with maggots the next day, so I took it back for the local ecosystem to deal with.

    I used to work on the railway and was accompanying a traindriver on a rural stretch of track thick with pheasants. He slowed a bit at a certain point, then came to a stop, jumped out of the cab and quickly returned with three slightly distorted looking birds (hit by the last train through) in hand, offered me one which I foolishly declined and we proceeded on our way.

    A little experience could provide some easy food.
     
  10. tree

    tree Blue/Green Staff Member V.I.P Member

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    Spiller
    Once one of our cats nabbed a partridge and
    brought it to us. Somebody (not me) cleaned it.
    I cooked it. We ate it.

    My mother used to clean chicken feet for people who
    asked for them, for Jewish style chicken broth.
    That isn't as fancy as the dish you describe.

    She had some guys once who bought a couple chickens
    from her and wanted to butcher them right there on her
    property. So she let them. They had to face a certain
    direction. I don't know what that was about. She didn't
    ask. Figured it was their business.
     
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  11. Mia

    Mia Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    How do you cats react to the chickens tree? Have a semi-feral hunting cat, a female, who I expect might decide to kill a chicken. If I were to keep them. If cats are raised with nearby chickens they would accept them, but my cats are all older one being seventeen. Wonder how they would react, prey or acceptance?
     
  12. tree

    tree Blue/Green Staff Member V.I.P Member

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    Mostly my cats have not cared to mingle with the chickens.
    Although the chickens weigh less than the cats, they are taller, generally.
    And can peck. Or flap their wings.

    Even when I had only 5 or 6 hens that strolled around the yard---freely---
    not just a chicken yard...the cats weren't interested in hanging out with them.

    Grown chickens, that is.

    If for some reason a lone chick were to appear, I think
    a cat would find that interesting.
    Which is why I don't allow that circumstance to arise.
     
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  13. Elemental

    Elemental Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I used to keep & breed poultry when living on a smallholding; they free ranged within a large fenced area. I particularly enjoyed sitting down & back to watch them go in to roost...the lowest pecking order ones would go in early & the rooster & most dominant hens, last. In the time since I left, the arrival of a sparrow hawk decimated a lot of what remained of the flock & there was a polecat wreaking havoc too until it was trapped. I'd like to keep a couple of hens again, we're the circumstances amenable; can't beat the eggs :)
     
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  14. Ste11aeres

    Ste11aeres Moderator Staff Member

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    The latest research indicates that that's probably a myth.
    In addition, after it leaves the body, it picks up more bacteria, and the staler it is, the more contaminated it is by various organisms and bacteria, some of which may be harmful.
     
  15. The Penguin

    The Penguin Chilly Willy The Penguin

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    Well I always heard about the story of the chicken crossing the road. Years ago when I was in Barbados, I finally saw the chicken crossing the road.
     
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  16. tree

    tree Blue/Green Staff Member V.I.P Member

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    What seemed, to you, to be the motivation for the trip? :chicken:
     
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  17. dragonwolf

    dragonwolf Well-Known Member

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    I don't know about the maggot conversation, but I learned that hornworms and dubia cockroaches are insectivore delicacies. Dubia cockroaches seems to be all-around good food, while hornworms make for a tasty, irresistible treat. I learned this while learning about raising bearded dragons, but apparently, chicken raisers love these feeders, too.
     
  18. Mia

    Mia Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Interesting chicken facts:)

    A hen can live up to 20 years. She will lay eggs her entire life, with the number decreasing every year from year one.

    Chickens lay different colored eggs, from white, to brown, to green, to pink, to blue. The color of a hen's first egg is the color she will lay for life. It takes a hen 24-26 hours to lay an egg.

    A chicken finds it very important to have a private nest. She builds her nest by first scratching a hole in the ground. She will then pick up twigs and leaves, which she will drop on her back. Back in the hole she will let the material slide off her back around the rim.

    It takes a chick 21 days to develop in the egg. It starts developing when it reaches a temperature of 88 degrees F. A mother hen begins bonding with her chicks before they are even born. She will turn her egg as often as five times an hour and cluck to her unborn chicks, who will chirp back to her and to one another.

    http://www.veganpeace.com/animal_facts/Chickens.htm
     
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  19. tree

    tree Blue/Green Staff Member V.I.P Member

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    The color of the egg stays the same, but the shade varies.
    The shade of the comb changes, too.

    The size of the egg varies within the laying cycle.
    The first egg a hen lays may be the size of a marble.
    The last couple of her life may be that small, too.

    Ha ha....yes, the private nest digging. With the material sliding off her
    back. I have seen hens acting pretty scornful, doing that.

    The number of eggs decreasing from year one is why the woman down the
    road from me always ditched her chickens when they were still quite young.
    For a dollar each she sold them, live, when they were less than 2 years old.
    We liberated a few each fall & brought them home. They were so skinny &
    nervous. She kept them in a lit coop, lit most of the time, because she was
    insistent that they must 'keep up production.'
     
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  20. Mia

    Mia Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Wish there was an interesting rating, for tree's experiences with chickens.

    Curious about wild turkeys. In the last five years I've seen many wild flocks of them in various rural areas in canada. Growing up there were never wild turkey's this far north, wonder how they adapted to the cold?

    They seem to gather in small flocks, but are not what I expected, smaller in body size to domestic chickens, with longer legs. They seem to be more the size of pheasants, with sparser plumage. Wonder if they migrate on foot, further south when it becomes colder? Encounter them in rural areas when the temperature drops below zero celsius.
     
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