PDF The Complete Idiots Guide To Raising Chickens

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This site should contain everything you need to know about this fantastic hobby to get you started.

Everything You Need to Know to Care for Your Own Flock of Chickens

I have been keeping chickens for over 30 years, since I was a small child. For as long as I can remember before that, my parents used to keep 40 or so hens at the bottom of our garden. They were a constant source of amusement for us with their funny antics but for my parents, keeping chickens was mainly practical since they provided our family with a constant supply of fresh eggs.

I have memories of holding day old chicks as a child, but also opening the door of the chicken house to see all of our hens had been killed by a fox. There were good times but also bad times but what I realise now is that I was learning more and more about keeping chickens year after year. For a number of years, I have been helping friends get started into the wonderful hobby of keeping hens and I during this time, I had been toying with the idea of creating a small website specifically aimed at helping newcomers to get started with keeping a few hens in their garden.

There is, if truth be known no economic benefit in keeping chickens at home for eggs these days but the difference in freshness and quality beats shop bought eggs by a long way and the pleasure in seeing a group of hens scratching around the garden providing you with a daily dose of amusement as well as organic bug control makes them so worth while.

Beginners Guide To Raising BACKYARD CHICKENS

She also decided to escape and run away about five times over a three week span. This incident did beget the purchase of more, older pullets and the owner of the evil dog was gracious enough to compensate us for our financial loss but not our mental anguish. Yes, we anguished the loss of our dearly departed backyard chickens. We knew that chicken sexing is only a 90 percent proposition when we got our flock. We were also over-confident and hopeful that we would not get a rooster in our bunch for it is both illegal to have them within the city limits in Seattle and annoying as hell.

Raising Chickens

They are my nemesis. For weeks we happily raised our flock until one day, my wife pointed out that she thought the Rhode Island Red named Scarlett was a rooster. I scoffed at the notion until a couple of days later when I heard the beginnings of a nascent cock-a-doodle-doo at about a. Over the next few days he perfected this party trick and was aptly re-named Scarleto.

A Practical Guide to Keeping Chickens: Chicken Basics

Getting fresh eggs from the flock takes patience. I did my research on this. I even created a spreadsheet and highlighted the chicken breeds that should be laying early between 17 to 26 weeks. I bought those breeds. One has yet to lay a single egg and is now at the ripe old age of I have started to plant the seeds of her becoming dinner but once again have been rebuffed by the family. Perhaps if I send them all away on a trip and enjoy her all for myself? But I digress. There seems to be no rhyme or reason when backyard chickens will decide to lay eggs. They may lay every day for a month, then take a break for a few days, then lay every other day.

Has your kid ever had a nagging set of symptoms that you simply could not diagnose? Well, prepare to do the same with your chickens. You will spend hours reading, asking for and getting random advice from strangers on what to do with your chickens. You just might save the rest of your flock with this quick cure-all remedy. I mean — they smell. They poop everywhere and it accumulates like all get out. Yes, you can throw down more straw and even some diatomaceous earth D. Oh, and then there are the flies that come to the party. My backyard now consists of two fly traps that smell like dead fish , square feet of straw about three or four inches deep, and twice a week sprinklings of D.

This helps but the only true solution is cleaning and replacing your straw weekly.

Buying expensive products like Dookashi which may or may not help to solve the problem. To me, this is the number one reason to get backyard chickens. The eggs are supremely good. The yolks are bright yellow and they stand up nicely. Having a basket of fresh eggs on the counter to draw from is a lovely experience.

The colors of the shells are beautiful and picking them up, warm from the brooder, is the most positive sign of freshness one can imagine. Eating fresh eggs is a sublime culinary adventure. For this reason alone you should get your own chickens. I never thought I would say this but I like watching my chickens play together.


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They chase each other, push each other around, fly up in the air a few feet and drop down, roll in the dirt, scratch and peck, etc. Sitting on the porch and looking at them makes me happy for some reason. Either way, I like it. Hens have around two good years of laying before their production declines and they become freeloaders. When the cost of feed is greater than the money you save in eggs then you have a little mental cost-benefit analysis to complete. On a true farm, animals that are no longer useful are disposed of eaten. Since you are a gentleman farmer you can make a far more subjective decision that includes things like love for your birds and the value you place on them as pets.

That said, they are pretty tasty little morsels and stewed chicken and dumplings is pretty damned good.

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Plus, you can experienced the whole process all over again by buying new chicks to replace that old hen! Whatever you decide, no one will judge you for it. While the road was rocky along the way we have learned a lot in the process. Hopefully this will help you as you contemplate beginning your own backyard chicken adventure! Jason Price lives in Seattle, WA with his wife and children. Check him out at TheHungryDogBlog. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed. Or better yet, cut out the middleman and consider raising your own flock.

Chicken raising is not an easy job, but I like this job because it gives me great pleasure when I find chickens every day healthy. Raising chickens to provide you with eggs is a great way to ensure that your eggs are free range and the chickens […]. I am sure i will have lots of questions..