Raising Chickens

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Interested in raising chickens? Here’s our Raising Chickens 101 series—a beginner’s guide in 6 chapters. We’ll talk about how to get started raising chickens, choosing a chicken breed, building a coop, raising chicks, chicken care, collecting and storing eggs, and more. The author, Elizabeth Creith, has fifteen years of experience keeping chickens, ducks, geese and turkeys on her farm in Northern Ontario. She currently dreams of a new flock of fancy chickens!

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February 29, 2012

Learn what to do when your chickens stop laying eggs.  The final chapter in the oval of life. (This is the sixth and final post in our Raising Chickens 101 beginner series.) Sooner or later, your chickens will stop laying eggs. When depends on the chicken. Most of ours went “off lay” as the days grew shorter. They laid fewer and fewer eggs until one day they simply stopped. One or two continued to lay sporadically throughout the cold, dark days of winter, although most of those eggs froze and... more

February 28, 2012

Raising chickens for eggs? Let's talk about how to collect, clean, store, and hatch chicken eggs in this fifth installment of our Raising Chickens 101 series. Once you’ve eaten farm eggs, it’s hard to go back to grocery store eggs. Fresh farm eggs, free-range or not, are delicious, with bright yolks and firm whites. Give your hens ground oyster shell or a similar calcium supplement, available at farm suppliers, for strong eggshells. Collecting Eggs You’ll collect eggs every morning; hens... more

February 27, 2012

Want to learn how to raise baby chicks? Here's a beginner's guide to bringing up baby! (This is the fourth post in our Raising Chickens 101 series.) You can purchase chickens at several stages of development—it all depends on how long you’re willing to wait for eggs. Day-old chicks are available from hatcheries. Most farm suppliers do one or two chick orders a year, so you can get your chickens where you plan to get your feed. They’re usually under $3 each. You’ll have to wait about 6 months... more

February 20, 2012

Learn how to build your own chicken coop for your backyard. Here's beginner's guide to building a poultry palace! (This is the third post in our Raising Chickens 101 series.) Building a Chicken Coop The housing for your chickens can be as simple or fancy as your imagination and budget permit. The basic criteria will be dictated by the birds. First, decide on the size. You will need 2 square feet of floor space per chicken, and one nest box for every three hens. Nest boxes should be about a... more

February 13, 2012

Choosing a chicken breed is important. Here's the second post in a beginner's guide series to finding the right chicken breed for you. See the first post: How to Get Started Raising Chickens When it comes to choosing your chickens, there are more breeds than you can shake an eggbeater at. One of the delights of this step is learning some of the breed names: Silkie, Showgirl, Silver-Laced Wyandotte, Rosecomb, Redcap, and Russian Orloff, to name a few. Some things that you’ll want to consider... more

November 18, 2011

So, you'd like to get started raising chickens? Be sure you're ready to commit! Here's the first post of a beginner's guide. Let's “start from scratch,” so to speak. There’s a lot to like about raising your own chickens.The eggs are a real temptation—tastier and fresher than any store eggs and better for baking, too.The shells, along with the chicken poop, can be tossed right into the compost pile. Much of the day, the birds entertain themselves, picking at grass, worms, beetles, and all of the... more
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