|Posted by simplesolarhomesteading on April 18, 2011 at 12:12 PM|
I love raising chickens and have a flock of 6 hens that supply me with enough eggs plus extra for trading.
Chickens are relatively easy to raise and a simple coop or chicken tractor, a waterer, feeder, roost and laying boxes is all that is required.
Youcan get baby chicks at most farm supply stores in the spring or order them through the mail. You can even get fertilized eggs and hatch your own.
Chicks need to be kept warm and dry until they are feathered out which takes 2-3 months depending on the breed.
A simple chick brooder can be made from a wood box or kiddy poll covered with mesh cloth and a red brooder lamp.
Chicks should only be fed chick mash until they are feathered. grown chickens are fed laying mash and give them some oyster shell supplement for stronger shells. Chickens will start laying some time after 6 months old and first eggs will be small and soft.
Eggs do not have to be refrigerated if you will be eating them in 2 or 3 days. Do not scrub eggs and just brush and rinse them off gently.
Home grown chickens provide better meat nd can also be used for fertilizer for your garden but mix it with compost because chicken fertilizer is hot in nitroogen and will burn up plants.
So go get you some chicks!
Strombergs sells chicks by mail: http/www.strombergschickens.com/