I have had lots of people ask me questions about raising chickens. For us it is a very affordable way to get organic range fed eggs and chicken. I am definitely no expert, but my mom is. So, she has been kind enough to type up a ton of information about chickens. It is way too much information to put in one post, so I will break this up into several posts for you guys to enjoy.I will do my best to answer any questions that you guys may have, but I will probably have to defer to my mom. She knows more than I could ever hope to know about chickens. She does mention local stores in these posts, but I am sure that most of you will find similar stores throughout the country.
How to start with chickens……
I recommend buying two year old hens from a farm. They will be cheaper that way. They won’t lay as well as younger birds, but still have plenty of eggs to lay and will be experienced at raising their own young. The chicks are around $2 to order, but we like to have our own hens raise our chicks. It is a lot easier on us and the hens do a better job than we can. We started with some older hens and a rooster from a friend who wanted to down size for the winter. (Feed costs will increase in the winter due to the lack of forage.) These hens laid eggs, but not as many as younger hens, but they also hatched chicks for us in the spring. We bought chicks originally just for meat birds. Later we learned that we wanted a more docile breed than we had been given because of the grandchildren. At that point, we ordered buff orpington chicks from Ideal. The issue with ordering from a hatchery is that you must order a minimum of 25. We didn’t mind because we wanted a lot of chickens for eggs and eating.
Tomorrow’s post will cover specific breeds you can get and advantages and disadvantages of each.