Letter Re: A Newbie's Perspective on Raising Chickens

Thursday, Feb 21, 2013

Jim,

I wanted to comment on this article.  I thought it was a great play by play of getting chickens and keeping them for eggs.

Just a few comments about the article and some tips I've learned over the years (mistakes I made myself) that I figure could help Adventane and others reading the article.
 
1.  It's common for a group of hens to find a preferred nest and use it as a community nest.  I commonly find two hens in the same nest.
 
2.  The crumbles are great for smaller birds but unfortunately for larger laying hens and other mature birds they can be a waste of money. Chickens are notorious for scratching it all out to find the perfect grain.  Pellets are a better choice and reduce waste IMHO.  Scratch grain is more than necessary during the winter when some animals look for high sources of fiber (it apparently helps them warm).
 
3.  For keeping some grass growing inside runs you can always place a grazing frame inside.  This is small wooden frame with 1/2" hardware cloth covering.  The chickens can't scratch it up but they can take advantage of the grass peeking through.
 
4.  Unfortunately most hatchery chickens have had the broodiness bred out of them.  Adeantane should not be worried about introducing new hens.  The adaptation period is generally short and mostly painless.

Thanks, - Jason A.


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