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Sylvester Shupe

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since Dec 12, 2012
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Recent posts by Sylvester Shupe

Rez Zircon wrote:Trick to keep deer out (cuz 8 foot fences are not enough) is to make the fenced area long and narrow. They tend not to jump into narrow spaces. Has been working for my sister's fenced-off area in deer heaven, and it's only got a 4 foot fence around it. Fenced area is probably 15x50 feet.


Yep, small spaces make the deer nervous.  My daughter's 6-ft iron bars fencing is down at the bottom of a steeply sloping hill and the deer and bobcat, etc, don't like taking the chance to jump over the fence onto a slippery steep hill that slopes up sharply 40 or 50 feet.  She was thinking of terracing the steep hill but likes the deterrent it poses to wildlife and just keeps 4 tall deeply rooted trees on the hillside to keep hill soil from eroding.
3 years ago
I don't live in the desert.  However, I had a chainlink fence in the suburbs for 31 years and when I got backyard chickens realized it was not strong enough to keep out city raccoons, digging dogs, etc, so we finally installed block wall fencing buried almost 2 feet into the soil.  When we had chainlink we used rolls of 28-inch rabbit fencing to keep chickens in a contained part of the yard and that works well with chickens.  But to keep predators out it is useless.  What is really useless is 1-inch chicken wire which unravels from itself and predators can easily dig holes through it.  Hardware wire cloth buried about 18" into the soil will discourage most digging predators but you would need strong posts to adhere the hardware cloth -- 1/2 inch square hole hardware cloth is best, 1/4-inch is too weak.  As for deer, they can jump over 6-foot fences if they are really hungry for vegetation on the property.  A friend of mine on 40 acres has fenced off about an acre of property around her house with electric fencing and it seems to be working for her.  Still, there is the issue of rabbits that will dig/crawl under the fence.  Only buried hardware cloth will keep digging pests out.  My daughter's property butts against a nature preserve and she has iron fencing that really doesn't look bad in her vegetation preserve and it's been successful keeping out bear, mountain lion, bobcat, lynx, coyote, deer - but the smaller animals like rabbits, skunks, rats, mice, rattlesnakes, raccoons, possums, etc. still get in.  Her neighbor used hardware cloth around the base of their iron fence and have been successful keeping out the destructive rabbits from their garden.
3 years ago
Someone shared with me that vaccines for poultry aren't a priority because chickens are a cheap and plentiful commodity to replace should a commercial farm have to destroy their birds - only a 21-day hatch, chicks to brood until POL sometimes at 4 months old for some egg-laying breeds, and only a 2 month wait grow-out meat crosses DOA can't be bothered with hobbyists or the livelihood some make from their rare birds.. Sad isn't it?
4 years ago
Thanks for the post on the Jaerhon's personality and temperament. The feedback from owners is that they are a happy little breed and probably go well in a small backyard flock. With AI being so prevalent I won't be adding birds to my yard until the all-clear. I'll have plenty of time to ponder the little Jaerhon. Something that still bothers me is that they can lay LG eggs and lots of them. For a 3-lb bird that must nutritionally exhaust a hen, especially one that doesn't brood to give her body a rest.
4 years ago
Wow! Thanks Kat Roden for the info on your Jaerhons. Have any ideas about why they fly? It is said that Leghorns are flyers too yet ours has no desire to fly though she demonstrated that she is a good flyer when we first rescued her. She is content to toodle around the backyard with the 2 Silkies. She can easily jump a 2-ft garden box fence but respects the barrier. When we had the Marans, she respected the barrier also though she could easily fly upwards 8-ft without a problem.

Does a Jaerhon hen have the overwhelming desire to fly out of the yard or would she be content to stay put in a 4 or 5-hen backyard flock? Our hens free-range the backyard daily because we're home to watch them and they sort of watch for us to come out with treats so maybe that keeps the Leghorn from wanting to leave the yard. Backyards are so confining and I'm thinking to limit the hens to 4 rather than 5 and am still pondering to get a Jaerhon.

You mentioned that the Jaerhons are good with the Easter Eggers but I understand EE's get along with all breeds anyway. I'm favoring a Jaerhon blending instead with a non-setting, approximately 4-lb average-sized, aloof temperament, predator-alert, foraging, Mediterranean flock. I don't mind a skittish breed as they are usually smart, alert, intelligent, quick birds and good at hiding from flying predators like large crows, Red-tailed, or Cooper's hawks. I just can't keep a breed that wants to fly over fences. Is that what your Jaerhons do or are yours mellow enough to stay put in your yard? Over 50 years I've had mostly Leghorns with an occasional Rhode Island Red, Cuckoo Marans, or a couple of Silkies for fun. Silkies can't fly, they have a comical running jump, but all the other breeds we've had over the years that could fly never left our farming property or our suburban backyard (we don't have trees because of seasonal winds tearing up foliage so there are no trees to roost in). My preference has always been not to clip wings on any birds.

I suppose that is my major question about the beautiful little Jaerhon now - how overwhelmingly great is her ancestral desire to fly away from the safety of the free-range backyard flock? Has anyone experienced any annoyance with flight? or on the other hand, does anyone have Jaerhons that are content to stay grounded in an open yard and do you do anything in particular to entice them to stay grounded? Occasional treats and a backyard to forage works for keeping Leghorns earthbound but would that be enough for a lively Jaerhon?
6 years ago
I also was interested in Jaerhons. I am an advance planner and am researching what breeds would be similar in temperament and size to keep in a 5-hen flock - we can only have 5 and we're not zoned for roos so I am being especially careful in planning my next flock. We went nuts with 2 broody Silkies - they are the sweetest pets on this planet but they'll brood in a nest box on imaginary eggs to their death if you don't intervene. Since our Leghorn is an egg-laying machine and has no inclination to brood whatsoever, we decided on a Mediterranean flock next time around with an Exchequer, Brown Leghorn, Penedesenca, Cream Legbar, and an unknown 5th breed. Mediterraneans are not known for broodiness (of course there can always be an exception to the rule but mostly they're known for being non-setters). And most Mediterranean hens are lightweight in the 4 to 4.5 lbs range. Since the Jaerhon is a good forager, is alert, is lightweight, not known as a broody, and lays large eggs for an economical eater, we were considering this breed. However, as with non-broody Leghorn varieties, the Jaerhon will wear itself out laying large eggs. Leghorns are used in ovarian cancer research because 45% Leghorns die of it within their first 4 years of age. It's the way humans have bred the broodiness out of Leghorn strains that seems to make the Leghorn susceptible to this disease. I worry that the Jaerhon hen might suffer the same malady so we still haven't decided about getting one. Leghorns are 4 to 4.5 lbs and lay a large to XL eggs so I can't imagine a little 3.5 lb. Jaerhon wearing herself out laying large eggs - I personally feel she should only lay medium eggs for her size. Jaerhon is a gorgeous hen so it would be appreciated hearing more input from others who have experience with these little gems.
6 years ago