Bill Erickson wrote:Go to about 7:20 on the below video from Justin Rhodes. He shows you the spot to clip them, and he did it for the same reason you are.
John Polk wrote:
Clip on both sides instead of one?
No. Only clip ONE wing.
If you clip both, it will handicap them some, but they can just flap faster/harder and still fly.
Clipping ONE makes them lop-sided when they try to fly.
Kind of like trying to run if one leg was a foot shorter than the other.
You can probably clip back further...they don't really need to fly unless you have predator problems.
Tyler Ludens wrote:I've not tried paddocks yet but plan to this year. The main threat I see with paddocks is from hawks, but with the Chickshaw inside the paddock, the chickens can run underneath if a hawk appears.
Regarding the seed mixes, if you can afford to plant more than the suggested amounts you'll have better success, in my experience. I wish the seeds weren't so painfully expensive! Make sure you seed after a patch of ground has been cleared by the chickens, because the natives start much more successfully on bare soil. And yes, I'd go with a 50/50 combination of those two mixes. If I get my paddocks up and running by Fall (the best planting time) maybe I'll try seeding those mixes myself. Up to now we've mostly planted wildflowers (success!) and some grasses (not so much success). The secret seems to be to have a nice bare patch of dirt, a lot of seeds, make sure they are raked and pressed into the soil surface, and plant in Fall. And if possible protect from deer (and sheep, in my case).
Tyler Ludens wrote:Howdy, neighbor!
Personally I'd go with natives, if possible. I've tried growing alfalfa and clover with no success.
For bees: http://www.seedsource.com/catalog/detail.asp?product_id=4505
For nitrogen and forage: http://www.seedsource.com/catalog/detail.asp?product_id=1813
If you haven't tried raising chickens in the Hill Country before, you should be aware of the massive predator pressure we have here with raccoons, foxes, ringtails,bobcats, enormous snakes, and raptors all eager for a chicken dinner. Housing needs to be super tight, and you might need to keep an eye out for hawks if you do pasture paddocks.