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Old 05-27-2011, 01:59 PM
 
278 posts, read 694,303 times
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Default backyard chickens

Hello, I am considering the purchase of chickens for our backyard. We have a large lot in Dover, and from what I can see, residents are allowed to have up to 6 chickens (no roosters!). I was wondering if someone who keeps chickens could offer advice on this endeavor, especially addressing the difficulties of winter!
Any info is greatly appreciated...we would enjoy having fresh eggs, but it might be more work than I am up for!! Thanks in advance!
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Old 05-27-2011, 02:27 PM
 
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Great post, looking forward to hearing everyone's input.
I'm going to get some chickens too. I was looking at the different zoning ordinances for different towns, got pretty straight up answers from most (Hudson min 5 acres, Londonderry min 2 acres, others had no minimum). Seems the one town I couldn't get a straight answer from was Pelham. The Pelham code administrater even referred me to the police department's animal control for zoning ordinances, seemed odd to me.
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Old 05-27-2011, 04:28 PM
 
Location: Northern NH
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Ok we kept a chicken or two in Londonderry and my dad madea pen for harriet in the cellar during the winter. Ernie and Burt lived in the barn in the winter.
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Old 05-27-2011, 10:59 PM
 
Location: Southern New Hampshire
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The chicken discussion is becoming somewhat heated here in Londonderry. We currently have a 2-acre minimum, and zoning seems unwilling to change it to 1 acre. It's been brought up a number of times, and unfortunately, the gentleman who petitioned the board had to wait until nearly midnight to make his pitch (another loooong planning board meeting). I left at 11:15, along with many other people, not realizing that his request was on the roster for the meeting. With more people becoming interested in having chickens, hopefully he'll be back again next month.

Manchester is 1-acre min, Windham is 2-acres, Derry says that if you have less than 2 acres, your chickens must be in an enclosure with a wire-mesh cover.

Chickens not only provide fresh/organic eggs, but will keep the tick population down as well. Which will be my pitch to the Town of Londonderry.
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Old 05-28-2011, 02:50 PM
 
Location: Madbury, New Hampshire
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We're in Madbury just south of Dover. Many of our neighbors have chickens and we're raising our first ten now. Building the coop is quite a lot of work. This one took me 7 weekends + a few evening trips to Home Depot. However, as long as you have a robust coop, and 8+ chickens, you'll probably only need a heat lamp for REALLY cold nights, and a warming dish for their water to stop it freezing. They keep themselves warm most of the time. Make sure you've got hardy types.

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Old 05-28-2011, 03:18 PM
 
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I'm in Merrimack and Wendy Thomas, a local writer, writes a column in the Nashua Telegraph called Simple Thrift. She has 6 kids and practices frugality. She got into chickens a couple of years ago and is passionate about them. She went on the radio to talk to the Chicken Whisperer in Atlanta Georgia (apparently he is well know to chicken aficionados). She also talks at local book stores about how to raise chickens, and her chickens are all named after local authors who now know her.

I get my eggs from her and they are wonderful. I am sure she would be happy to "talk chickens" with you all! If you Google her name you will find her.
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Old 05-28-2011, 06:11 PM
 
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That picture above is the best I have seen for chickens. Very nice job.

Over the years I have known some who have attempted to have chickens for the eggs. And the cost is more then going to store. But if this is a hobby or education for children then this is a great idea.

The coop really has to be carefully thought out. There are all sort of critters that will go after chickens. And any attack or death of chicken can be traumatic for children at least.

I had one friend who did construct a coop and the next door neighbors dog broke down the chicken wire. And killed some of the chickens. And this happened twice. So it placed one neighbor against another. And hard feelings were aplenty.

So do think this all out. I do not think this is cost effective. But others may disagree.
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Old 05-28-2011, 07:35 PM
 
Location: Northern NH
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rmcewan View Post
We're in Madbury just south of Dover. Many of our neighbors have chickens and we're raising our first ten now. Building the coop is quite a lot of work. This one took me 7 weekends + a few evening trips to Home Depot. However, as long as you have a robust coop, and 8+ chickens, you'll probably only need a heat lamp for REALLY cold nights, and a warming dish for their water to stop it freezing. They keep themselves warm most of the time. Make sure you've got hardy types.

That is a great chicken barn!
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Old 05-30-2011, 08:29 AM
 
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agree that it's traumatic when they get killed - You need a really secure henhouse because weasels can squeeze through the smallest openings. They can also open doors that aren't locked.

The other problem is mites and lice. Once they are established, it's hard work to get rid of them.


There is nothing like good fresh eggs though and the occasional fresh chicken for dinner. lol
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Old 05-31-2011, 07:29 PM
 
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Someone told me there's a great working farm (Brookford Farm) in Rollinsford, just a few miles from Dover? Said their eggs, fresh milk, & produce are amazing...this might be a good alternative for me! I do love fresh eggs. (& I can't wait to try the fresh milk, either!)
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