This page contains information about raising chicken, how to buy hens, what type of chicken should you buy for your farm ... along with tips, instructions and useful techniques to help you start your own farm and living independently away from cities. Below are information about raising your own poultry. If that's what you're loooking for then this is the place for you. Below you will find the most important aspects related to raising chicken, just enough to get you started, if you have any question you can visit our forum and ask our expert farmers.
To raise chicken the humane and healthy way is to give them enough space to scrap, to perch, to flap their wings and take dust baths (which is not possible and cruel in a wire cage). If you want to have eggs all year then a couple of dozen of hens will do. Give each hen a handful of grain every evening and a handful or two of high protein food in the morning, and any scraps you can spare, and they will do the rest. They will eat a lot of grass and a lot of earwigs. They will hatch you out a clutch of pretty little chicks. Keep them out of your garden or they will play hell with it.
Always keep a cock among your hens, hens like having it off as much as we do. Let your chicken run right out into the fields and woods. They will be getting so much free food. Why go in for incubators and brooders when hens will do all that work for nothing for you?
All poultry need access to grit, insoluble grit such as crushed flint for use in their crops and if they are not running on limestone or other calcareous land a calcareous grit such as crushed sea-shells. It is a good plan to throw your used egg shells in the slow oven of the stove and then every few weeks pull them out and crush them up to power and feed the hens. Boiled fish offal is excellent food and if you get plenty of it, or meat offal, this is the cheapest answer.
Hens will be able to give you eggs from grain and household scraps alone, but not many. If hens are really to produce eggs they must have some protein.
How to buy hens?
Hens in batteries will only live about a year, even though they might be cheap, they will not do well in a farm, and they will not rear for you, because broodiness has been bred out of them by commercial broiler houses.
If you wish to rear your own chicks naturally, you will have to get some old-fashioned hens from another farm or hen specialist in the farming community.
What type of chicken should I buy for my farm?
The most popular types people buy are day-old chicks; however, pullets (young female chickens) are also available and you don’t have to worry about keeping them warm like you do for the baby chicks.
Another thing to consider is the sex of the chicks. When you buy chicks you can get them “straight run”, which means that you will receive half as hens and half as roosters. Also, your local feed store that sells chicks will give you an idea which chicks make better “layers” while others may make better meat chicks. If you’re lucky, they have some breeds that are good in both categories.
If you are looking for good eggs and a possible meat chicken you may want to try the Rhode Island Red breed. If it’s just eggs you’re after, Bantams/Silkies are something you want. The egg is a little smaller, but production is good.
If you liked this page, you might also be interested in this page about Raising Geese.
This page is just one of many pages dedicated to sustainable living through organic farming and living wisely. Raising chicken will enable you become one step closer to food independance. This is beneficial to your health, peace of mind and lifestyle, great for nature, and reduces your carbon footprint. You can really do it yourself, grow your own food, raise your own animals, from simple means. You can go back to nature and sustainability one step at a time. Today raising chicken, tomorrow something else. That's why we have many articles that you can find on the left side of this page to choose from. Each time try to add something to your farm. Sustainable living is your ticket to true freedom. Enjoy the rest of our pages.
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