|I think my kids learned the importance of greens in our diet from feeding our chickens grass and dandelion leaves.|
|There is nothing so sweet and tender as a child holding a baby chicken! It's worth raising them from chicks for this moment alone.|
|Just feathering out, our chicks safely explore the outside for the first time.|
Now that they are grown, the chickens get significantly less lap time. Though we still name each one, they are more farm animal than pet. They usually stop laying during the winter months when they don't receive enough daylight, but this year we took the plunge ($8 for the timer) and set up a compact fluorescent lamp in the coop that extends their "daylight" enough that we get an average of 2 eggs/day. Plenty enough to keep us from needing to buy any, so we maintain control of at least this aspect of our food supply!
|A beautiful variety. The blue one is from our Easter Egger, a cross between an Ameraucana and an Araucana, which can lay a variety of different colored eggs. One of our favorite breeds, they're very beautiful birds as well!|
By the way, we ordered our day-old "sexed" chicks from mypetchicken.com, but check if there's a farm co-op in your area, where you may be able to go in on a group purchase from a local farmer, which is a way more sustainable way to obtain chicks... Well, anything, really, is better straight from the farmer. There are also local farmers who raise chicks to the "pullet" stage and sell them to people who don't want the hassle of brooding chicks.
For my articles on how we feed our hens, check out Sprouted Grains for Chickens, and Making the Most of Veggie Scraps for Your Hens.
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How To Keep Natural Chickens
4/ 5Oleh Mellow De Tray