The images from factory farms can be very disturbing. Thousands of layer hens crammed into tiny cages, de-beaked as chicks so they don’t peck each other to death, their feet cramped as they walk on feces-covered wire mesh, and a constant stream of “feed” in front of them, sometimes made from the by-products of their fallen brethren. Even the “cage-free” broiler chickens are … [Read more...] about Broiler Chickens Are Bred to Be Lazy!
As springtime approaches, that tends to mean one thing around my homestead. The chickens, long self-confined to a smaller grazing ground have begun to range again, scratching their way through underbrush and tree, grass and, yes, even garden. As I’m watching them, I’ve begun to realize it’s been a little while since I last profiled any chicken breeds on here, so without further … [Read more...] about Chicken Breed Profile (Part 2 of ∞)
A topic we’ve covered regularly on this site, though perhaps not regularly enough, is that of poultry. Probably the most common “gateway stock” for budding homesteaders, chickens are relatively simple to care for, easy to acquire, and can be used for either meat or eggs. Read on for the first in what will be an irregularly running series with multiple installments, cataloguing … [Read more...] about Chicken Breed Profile (Part 1 of ?)
So you’ve got hens, a rooster, and not enough chickens. Should you order more chicks in the mail? Sure, that’s one solution. But if you’ve got all three of the above, its turns out nature has a free solution for you. Read on for a how-to on hatching your own chicks. Step 1: Feed The first thing you’ll need is … well … some eggs! Set aside a few eggs you want to hatch in a … [Read more...] about Hen Hatchery
Few things make one feel more like a farmer, and provide as much return, as a small flock of chickens. From the cock’s crow in the morning, to the contented chatter the hens provide throughout the day, to the obvious benefit of eggs and meat, raising poultry can be a very rewarding experience. However, as the experienced farmer knows, even if you’re not hatching your own, … [Read more...] about Breaking Up a Cock Fight