GRIT Country Skills Series6 min gelesenNature
Feed the Flock
The old adage “You are what you eat” certainly applies to chickens. A strong foraging instinct gives chickens the ability to naturally thrive on a wide variety of plants and insects. However, some modern backyard birds aren’t lucky enough to range co
GRIT Country Skills Series2 min gelesen
Use Portable Pens and Tunnels to Manage Chicken Manure
To run chickens in your garden, install long, permanent chicken tunnels along one or more sides of the garden, connected to a coop where the birds sleep. Lay out dedicated garden beds using a standard width so that portable wire pens can be moved fro
GRIT Country Skills Series2 min gelesenInternet & Web
Grit.com
“Our rural postal carrier even took (the chicks) out of the box, put them under the heat lamp, and made sure they all had a drink!” —Suzanne Weber, via Facebook, on “Inside Look at a Hatchery” “A few things to know about guineas: They’re great tick a
GRIT Country Skills Series3 min gelesen
Affordable Ways to Keep Your FLOCK WARM
Keeping your birds warm in winter is critical. If you live in colder climates you will probably need to take some steps in the winter months to ensure that your hens stay warm. Chickens and other fowl are fairly cold hardy, but they still get chilly
GRIT Country Skills Series5 min gelesen
Organic Pest Control: Reader Reports of Poultry on Patrol
• We moved to our new home four years ago and got 12 hens. The waves of grasshoppers jumping in the yard have never come back, and we have never seen a tick anywhere, despite living in the bush and having a couple of bad years of ticks in our area. T
GRIT Country Skills Series2 min gelesen
Join the Conversation
“We had a beautiful rooster who hated EVERYONE except the little old neighbor lady who he would go up to for a hug and a cuddle. So strange. The garbage men left a note on the gate saying they wouldn’t collect the trash due to a vicious animal. Heck,
GRIT Country Skills Series2 min gelesen
What to Do About Poultry Remorse
One of the first things people get really excited about on their homesteading journey is adding chickens. They seem like an easy first livestock animal; small and easily managed, and they produce eggs and meat with minimal effort. Many towns and citi
GRIT Country Skills Series9 min gelesen
Deep Litter MANAGEMENT
Repugnance for what comes out the far end of an animal is not merely cultural conditioning—our senses are warning us of potential danger: Feces can be a vector for disease. Joel’s quote above implicitly advises us to trust that repugnance: If it smel
GRIT Country Skills Series2 min gelesenNature
Reader Blogs
By Kathryn Robles “Raising chickens is all the rage lately, and for good reason! Chickens are a great livestock for beginners and experienced homesteaders, and they can be raised in a variety of locations. Even if you have just a small flock, it can
GRIT Country Skills Series3 min gelesen
A Healthy Flock: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
From urban hens in Wisconsin to 4-H chicken projects in Florida, the backyard poultry revolution is sweeping the nation. Whether you raise chickens for meat or eggs, breed show birds or game birds, have a big flock or a couple of hens, health is an i
GRIT Country Skills Series1 min gelesenArchitecture
Bioactive Litter for a Micro-Flock: A Tip from My Friend Kate Hunter
I’m on my third year of housing my tiny flock of layers in my shed over the winter. I build a temporary 5-foot-by-6-foot enclosure with garden caging, which gives them exactly the same space in the shed as they get in their mobile pen (7½ square feet
GRIT Country Skills Series1 min gelesen
GRIT YouTube Channel
Whether you’re raising chickens in your backyard or running a larger scale operation, Editorial Director Hank Will explains the basics of what you should know to succesfully raise backyard chickens from brooder to coop. Not only do chicks provide you
GRIT Country Skills Series6 min gelesenNature
Get Smart: Protecting the Flock from PREDATORS
Chicken keepers understand, without a doubt, that a farm is a tenuous balance of predators and prey—nature’s checks and balances. Chickens, after all, look for ways to die. So unless you build the poultry version of Fort Knox, or imprison your birds
GRIT Country Skills Series2 min gelesen
You Can Raise Chickens IN YOUR BACKYARD
Did you know you can raise chickens in your own backyard? Whether you have a suburban backyard, a rural acreage, or an urban lot, you can keep a few hens and have fresh eggs that are significantly more nutritious than those you normally buy at the su
GRIT Country Skills Series3 min gelesenMedical
Chick Illness Prevent And Treat
With chick season right around the corner, I figured it would be a good time to talk about common chick illnesses. When it comes to chicks, the most important variable is timing. One moment they seem absolutely fine and the next they have perished. S
GRIT Country Skills Series1 min gelesen
Farm Dogs
The best general form of protection for your flock, and your farm in general, is a pair of good farm dogs. The definition of a good farm dog is any dog who challenges varmints on his turf—raccoons, opossums, rats, moles, squirrels, and even UPS and F
GRIT Country Skills Series5 min gelesen
Build the Perfect CHICKEN COOP
Chickens are every bit as fun and easy to care for as dogs or cats, plus they provide a steady supply of fresh eggs. The biggest challenge is keeping the birds safe from predators and, at the same time, allowing them to enjoy a natural diet of grains
GRIT Country Skills Series5 min gelesen
TREATING and PREVENTING LICE on CHICKENS
Lice come in two varieties: bloodsucking and biting. Bloodsucking lice attack only mammals. Biting lice attack both mammals and birds. Several species infest chickens—more, in fact, than affect any other bird—and a chicken may host more than one spec
GRIT Country Skills Series5 min gelesen
Breeds That Work For Your Needs
Australorp—A large heritage breed, an amazing layer, and the hen’s kind disposition make them one of my favorite breeds. I have not had great luck with the roosters of this breed; I have been chased down by more than one. Brahma—Another amazing herit
GRIT Country Skills Series3 min gelesen
Treating and Preventing CHICKEN FROSTBITE
I like to think that I am deliberate in tending to our flock of chickens during the winter, but it still happened! Yep, one of our chickens got frostbite on her comb. See black spots on your chicken’s comb or feet? That’s frostbite. Thankfully, our c
GRIT Country Skills Series4 min gelesen
The Best Backyard Chicken Breeds For Kids
Melissa Caughey, award-winning blogger and owner of Tilly’s Nest, makes it easy for kids to master the basics of chicken raising in her new book, A Kid’s Guide to Keeping Chickens (Storey Publishing, 2015). The following excerpt is from Chapter 2, “C
GRIT Country Skills Series9 min gelesenNature
RAISING Guinea Fowl on Your Farm
Poultry can make a great addition to your farm or small homestead. In How to Raise Poultry (Voyageur Press, 2011), Christine Heinrichs provides all of the information you need to successfully raise a flock of birds. This excerpt provides information
GRIT Country Skills Series9 min gelesen
Caring For Your New Chickens
It’s that time of year again. The sun is shining, the daffodils are blooming, and there is a distinct peeping noise at every farm store across the country. It’s time for chicks. If you’ve been wooed by those little fluffy yellow balls of cuteness you
GRIT Country Skills Series3 min gelesenNature
Stealing From Snakes
Oh, Spring! The snow in melting, and the sun is shining-or maybe it’s raining and gloomy… or you just got dumped with another foot of snow. Well, the weather might not be cooperating yet, but there is one thing that unites the spring experience for a
GRIT Country Skills Series4 min gelesen
Hatching A Plan
When Ryan Kelsey has nothing to do, he just goes to the henhouse and “talks” with his chickens. Lots of them. Ryan was a senior in high school in 2017, when this article was first published. At age 12, Ryan started Valley Farms Hatchery in Spring Val
GRIT Country Skills Series4 min gelesen
Build a Weatherproof, Pest-Proof Chicken Feeder
Whether you have a large laying flock or just a few backyard hens, keeping them fed is a regular chore (never mind the expense), especially if the feeder isn’t weatherproof and allows rodents and wild birds access. One way to keep the feed safe from
GRIT Country Skills Series3 min gelesenAgriculture
Why Raise Heritage Livestock?
Heritage breed animals are important elements of our farming history, and helpful additions to any small farm. Heritage breeds diversify a farm and the gene pool of their species, and often will add a colorful splash to your barnyard. In the poultry
GRIT Country Skills Series4 min gelesenNature
Home On The (Free-) Range
To free range or not to free range—for folks with a flock, that is the question. Several years of experience raising free-range flocks on my organic farm, Mama Tierra, in Bowdoin, Maine, has led to some useful, albeit hard-won, insights. I did some h
GRIT Country Skills Series9 min gelesen
From Total Loss to Sustainable Success
‘Hurricane Katrina was a wake-up call. It allowed us to see how close we are to dying. The hurricane is how I became a farmer.” —Yasin Muhaimin The Color of Food by Natasha Bowens, (New Society Publishers, 2015) teaches us that the food and farm move
GRIT Country Skills Series8 min gelesenNature
Breed Better Heritage Flocks
Many of us who keep backyard flocks are aware that industrial chicken breeds from commercial hatcheries aren’t the best option if we’re hoping to raise self-reliant birds. We prefer a heritage chicken breed that is capable of free-ranging and foragin
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