Every Farmer Needs a ... Used iPad?

by Robert

My old first-generation iPad has mysteriously become the property of my son Karl, so I took a look at the price of a new one. Yikes! On the other hand, used, first-generation iPads have fallen to around $300, or about one-third the price of a new one… more »

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Big Turkey Payday

by Robert

Karen sold so many turkeys this year that she left the van behind because only the pickup was big enough to take all those coolers full of fresh turkey to the farmer's market! This has never happened before. Everyone who had pre-ordered a turkey showed… more »

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Jack and the Magic Beans: A Modern Fairy Tale

by Robert

Once upon a time, there was a lad named Jack. Jack lived with his mother, and they were very trendy. One day, Jack's mother said, "Take the cow to the market and sell her, because we're vegans now." Jack protested, because he was fond of the cow and… more »

1 comment

Comment from: Karyn [Visitor]
*****
SOOO TRUE! IT WOULD BE FUNNY EXCEPT THAT IT IS AN ACCURATE PORTRAYAL OF THE BETRAYAL WE HAVE EXPERIENCED BY THE POWERS THAT BE!
04/26/10 @ 16:02

Save Money on Chicken Feed

by Robert

Here's an old trick that not everyone knows about: If you feed your chickens out of two feeders, one full of grain and the other one full of chicken feed, you save money. Chickens have a reasonably accurate appetite for calories, protein, and other thin… more »

7 comments

Comment from: EJ [Visitor]
I a link to your blog to the coabc sendlist and received the following response:

I support the concept of choice-feeding for small poultry flocks, especially organic flocks, for the following reasons:
1. Poultry have some ability to balance their diets when allowed an appropriate choice of feeds.
2. The nutritional requirements of organic poultry have not been well defined.
3. The program is likely to be more profitable, as pointed out in this report.
4. Whole grain helps to promote optimal gut development, especially of the gizzard, which may assist in disease resistance.
4. Choice-feeding is closer to the natural way of eating for poultry.
If layers do well consistently when given the choice of grain or a 16% protein layer feed and consume about 30% grain and 70% layer feed, it follows that the 16% layer feed contains more nutrients than are needed by the birds in that particular flock. The possible drawback of this program is that the birds when in high production and possibly continuing to consume substantial quantities of grain may develop a nutritional deficiency.
In my book Nutrition and Feeding of Organic Poultry I have suggested a choice-feeding program based on grain and a Supplement (concentrate instead of a layer diet) as the 2 feeds. A Supplement provides all of the nutrients not provided by the grain and is therefore a safer choice than the layer diet. However producers may find it more difficult to purchase organic Supplement than an organic layer diet.
In either case producers should provide 3 feeders for the birds, the first containing grain, the second containing layer diet (or Supplement) and the third oystershell grit (for eggshell production).
The grain could be oats, wheat or barley etc. (or a mixture) and fed whole. Corn needs to be kibbled for feeding to poultry since the whole kernels are too large for the birds to ingest easily.
Bob

Robert Blair, DSc, FAIC
Professor Emeritus
UBC

08/08/08 @ 07:16
Comment from: Ivan [Visitor]
Hi Robert, have you tried feeding okara to layers? Thanks.


Not me. Okara has never been on my radar. I think it's a byproduct of soy milk production, and I'm over a thousand miles away from soybean country. Agriculture in my neck of the woods is dominated by the grass-seed industry, and its byproducts aren't very palatable to chickens.
08/11/08 @ 08:55
Comment from: J.R. Neumiller [Visitor] Email
*****
So along the lines of independent, sustainable farming, have you tried rotating your chickens with wheat or grain crops? Surely the rich soil would provide excellent feed for the chickens, as well as straw for litter.


Even at today's prices, it's a lot cheaper for me to sell my eggs at niche-market prices and buy my grain and straw at commodity prices than it is to grow my own. In the meantime, the pasture absorbs all the nutrients and is presumably making the topsoil deeper as well as richer. The fertility will be there when I want it.

A farmer we know used to grow grain on about ten acres, and fed it to cattle and chickens. But he was an old, experienced farmer who was wise in the ways of cranky old combines. I'm not sure grain on small acreage makes sense unless you already have that kind of experience.

I'm planning on trying kale, sunflowers, and corn next year, though, as much for their shade as their nutritional value for the chickens. We'll see what happens.
08/20/08 @ 10:58
Comment from: Debbie Apple [Visitor]
*****
Hello,
I am interested in getting the soy out of our feed for our chickens. They are pastured and the organic corn and wheat we feed is of excellent quality, (we grow it ourselves and our fields are regularly tested). I also have access to barley but it is not hulled, can I feed that to the girls. We have 200 hens right now and I hope to grow when I can get through these soy issues. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Debbie
10/05/09 @ 19:53
Comment from: Robert [Member]
I'm personally not impressed by the recent backlash against soy, just as I wasn't impressed by the pro-soy love-fest that preceded it. It's just a bean, when all is said and done.

It's not hard to eliminate soy from poultry diets, just expensive. Chickens need some kind of balanced protein supplement in their feed, and soy (plus some other stuff, since its protein isn't balanced) is by far the cheapest. Has been for over fifty years. Replacing the soy with meat is very easy from a nutritional point of view, since meat has complete protein and vitamin B12 and a lot of minerals that soy lacks.

Trying to raise chickens on grain alone is a recipe for failure -- you'll be lucky if all you suffer is low production, and not deficiency diseases.
10/08/09 @ 11:55
Comment from: lskena [Member] Email
I have your book Success with baby chicks and just love it. It was very helpful through my whole process. We even built the brooder light that you had the diagrams for. It works great. My hens are now laying and I'm enjoying it very much, since this is a first for my husband and I. My question is about feed. We were raising some meat birds for a friend of ours for the first 5 wks of their life. Now he has them on his property and is feeding them cattle feed because its cheaper and he has cattle also. My husband and I don't agree with this. Is this bad for the birds or are we worrying for nothing? I would appreciate the feed back.
05/15/11 @ 21:35
Comment from: Robert [Member]
Iskena,

It depends on the cattle feed, but cattle and chickens have very different digestive systems, so fiber that is digestible by cattle does nothing for chickens, while chickens want higher levels of proteins. They're omnivores by nature, unlike cattle.

Now if they were feeding pig food or dog food or Purina Human Chow, that would work better. It would still be more expensive and less nutritious than feeding a high-quality chicken feed, but it would likely be in the right ballpark if you're not too particular.

Robert
05/16/11 @ 15:28

Cold and Snow vs. Open Chicken Housing: Who Will Win?

by Robert

Chickens in the Snow. 7:30 AM, 18°F, Light Wind It's 18 F outside and there's about four inches of snow on the ground. My chickens are all in open coops that most people would consider suitable only for summer housing. All my feeding and watering… more »

22 comments

Comment from: Oogiem [Visitor]
Have you or anyone you know tried the same type of system when it's 5 or lower and a strong wind?

I've been locking the chickens up for winter once our temps start getting down that far. We always have a morning wind and an evening one, wind chills can really be significant here and I worry about my chickens. They are in an unheated barn but inside.

I do have heaters for the water, otherwise it freezes way too fast.
12/21/08 @ 06:55
Comment from: Robert [Member]
People can quote anything on my Web site if they give me credit and (if possible) a link back to my site.

As for temperatures of 5°F and lower, my own experience only goes down to about 15°F, but the consensus of the old-time poultry authorities seems to be that open housing is good down to zero. Below zero, you'd prefer it if one side weren't completely open. At twenty below, the hens start suffering no matter what you do.

I would think that in a barn, the hens would be fine if they can find places out of the wind to roost. If you left a couple of lights on, they would be willing to move from place to place to get out of the wind if it shifted.
12/21/08 @ 09:01
Comment from: Robert [Member]
Predators can be a serious problem. I use a two-strand electric fence of the kind used to keep raccoons out of gardens (one strand at about 4" off the ground and another at about 8-10"). This works pretty well, though I sometimes have to use snares on predators who insist on getting past the fence. Permanent fencing can be more reliable than this.

Before the fence, I discovered that predators would show up at dusk, before the chickens were willing to go inside for the night, so having a door I could close at night wasn't enough. Not unless I wanted to keep guard for an hour or so every night, until the last chicken went indoors. Since I'm not willing to do this (or to get up early to let the chickens out again), I don't put doors on my chicken houses.
12/31/08 @ 12:52
Comment from: Sandra Ross [Visitor]
*****
A wonderful website with lots of info for the beginning poultry keeper. That would be me.
Interestingly, I bought my 6 Buff Orpington hens and rooster from a man who has been farming his entire life. He lives north of Toronto in Canada where the temps probably range from 32 degrees down to 0 degrees throughout the winter, He raises heritage and endangered breeds, chickens, turkeys, and geese.
I have never seen such beautiful birds.

i was surprised though when I went to pick up my birds - all the housing was open on one side!
And there were chickens and turkeys housed together. He said that his birds are just healthier, and don't transmit disease.

Then I found your site. And bought the book.
Spring will be building season for the new chicken quarters - open of course.

Keep up the great work.

01/02/09 @ 18:53
Comment from: Debbi [Visitor]
*****
Robert, I am new to chickens as of June this year and am always on the lookout for practical, sensible information. You seem to have the info I am needing. I have been pleased with the A frame coops my husband designed and the ventilation is great. I am using the deep litter method and also using "stall dry" maybe every couple of weeks just sprinkled lightly over the litter and stirred in, which contains diatomaceous earth. It has a fresh scent and absorbs odors and dampness and is a natural deterrent to bugs. It is not harmful to animals. My chickens are happy free ranging to their hearts content. We are in north Texas and have had several freezing or below days so far. They all came through in fine shape. Keep up the good work.
01/02/09 @ 19:29
Comment from: Lynn [Visitor]
I live in Minnesota and we get a number of nights each year down to -20 degrees as well as a week or so of subzero highs. Last year we stopped using our enclosed chicken house in the winter and went to a type of open chicken tractor and were very pleased with the results. I have 3 pens that are set right next to each other. The top, north and half of the east and west sides of the pens are insulated and totally enclosed the rest is enclosed with cattle panels and chicken wire. When it starts to get really cold I set bales of hay to cover up the entire west and east sides and part of the southern sides. The doorway is always completely open. I do hang a trouble light in each pen since 9 hours of daylight just isn't enough. For water, I have a electric base that I set my waters on top of. The chicks and I were very happy with this set up. Clean up was great, I just moved the tractors at the end of the season.

Unfortunately this year I haven't had access to my lovely winter pens so my poor chicks have been stuck in their summer chicken tractors with just plastic tarps on the side and a wooden top. We had an unexpected cold snap that got down to minus 18 degrees and windy. They all survived (terrible egg production) except for one the low chick on the totem pole who refused to roost with everyone else. I set hay bales around the pens, and set it up like I did last year. Everyone is happy again. Wind seems to be a bigger issue than the actual air temp.
01/02/09 @ 21:12
Comment from: Janice [Visitor]
*****
Remarkably helpful, and timely, as I'm learning these same lessons just now with winter really setting in.

Just rounding out my first year of chicken raising here in NE Kansas, I dutifully insulated and sealed up my coop-extraordinaire, provided a milkhouse heater because we've already had two spells of week-long single-digit temps and 3-4" of snow and I didn't want frozen chickens. (Very odd for KS this early, yes.)

It took me awhile to learn effective anti-predator tactics, unfortunately, so I'm down to 2 roosters and three hens--buff orpington, red sex-link, and a white leghorn (all still laying one-a-day, along with the ducks!). They free-range all day, and I close them up at night to keep them from being eaten. Both roosters and the leghorn have large single combs, and all three now have frostbite, in spite of some vaseline, and keeping the coop above freezing.

So I'm beginning to understand the reason for the frostbite is not the cold temperature, really, but the humidity. I thought the coop had adequate ventilation, and it didn't seem damp to me, but clearly, that's the culprit. Interesting that "all the books" tell us to carefully seal up the cracks to prevent drafts, mention that adequate ventilation is required, but offer almost no details about how to seal cracks AND ventilate!

I'm convinced by this great writing of yours, Robert, and greatly appreciate your personal account here of the great open-sided-experiment! Tomorrow I'm opening up a good portion of the south side and will just put up wire mesh there. (Already I leave the large human-door open all day, but it's obviously not enough to dry the coop out properly. It's quite humid in Kansas anyway, but I forget that in the serious cold times.) So I'm thinking I'll gradually take down one portion at a time until that side is entirely wire mesh, and see how we do. (BTW, I've slathered the poor combs with antibiotic ointment, and both roosters are fine. The leghorn looks kind of pathetic, but seems fairly happy, eats well, and lays regularly.)

Interesting aside... I also have 7 guinea fowl, which originated in Africa, so of course ALL the books say they MUST be kept dry, and fairly warm. Well, they're a remarkably stubborn creature and once they're set in the trees for the evening, they're simply not coming in. Period. One night a couple weeks ago they insisted on roosting in the tree above the coop/yard in spite of heavy sleet turning to ice. I thought sure I'd come out to find them all frozen solid guinea statues, but instead they were running around (still believing there must be SOME ticks to eat somewhere!) They are quite hearty and healthy in spite of it. Perhaps a little less hard-headed, but I doubt it...

Thanks again for this great work. It's helping me and my birds tremendously!
01/02/09 @ 22:21
Comment from: Jill [Visitor] Email
*****
I too like this website and the helpful tips about the cold winter weather and chickens. I live in Iowa and we have had some very cold and snowy weather. I only have a few chickens, 8 laying hens, 1 big red rooster and about 10 bantams that wonder all over the neighborhood. Everyone is home to roost at night usually in the cold weather. I have an insulated house and use a heat lamp for 3 hours in the evening and 1 hour in the morning. My egg production went up once I started the heat lamp. I keep the food trays in the house full and I have a heated waterer in the house also. To avoid chick loss I shut the chickens in the house everynight and let them out in the morning.
It is fun to read how others take care of their chickens.
01/04/09 @ 07:34
Comment from: Terrie Webb [Visitor] Email
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My chickens have stopped laying since it has gotten cold and I don't understand why. Any suggestions.
01/05/09 @ 19:33
Comment from: Simone [Visitor]
*****
I live in Brooklyn NY and have 7 laying hens. The weather here is going to be very cold the next few days and I was thinking about putting a heat lamp in the coop overnight. I have an automatic chicken door, a heated waterer and my hens live in a coop that really was a kit I got at Lowes that was supposeto be a green house/ shed. I have been getting between 3 and four eggs a day and the hens go in and out as they please. Maybe after reading these posts I am thinking I really do not need that heat lamp later this week.
01/13/09 @ 19:25
Comment from: ANITA [Visitor]
*****
I came upon my leghorns from a school project and discovered that I LOVE my chickens! My questions are about their feet looking red in the cold temperatures, if the rooster will eventually attack me as his spur is getting longer, my one chicken coughs when I feed her dry food, and the black spots on the comb. I've got one rooster, two others were taken by a fox, and 9 hens. The chicken coop/run is now a fortress because we'd already lost two, with a nice long run so they have access to the ground. Lots of inside and outside purches. One of the hens, the smallest, seems to be last in the feeding order and frequently gets pecked. After isolating her at feeding time, she's got a nice comb, put on some weight and her tail feathers, which appeared to have been missing have come back. This has all been recreational but I enjoy them so much, I'd like to expand in the spring with more chickens. Do I make another fortress coop or put them with the existing flock. They are part-time free range as I have hawks sitting on the ground or in nearby trees during the day and other predators at night so they roam free when I'm outside and can keep an eye on them. Once while I was outside a group of vultures swirled around overhead and began getting closer and closer to us. It was freightening as I couldn't keep track of all of them to see if my chickens were being snatched up, luckily they all survived by hiding in the bushes.
Also, with the rooster around, I haven't been able to get the hens to allow me to pick them up. I can get close and they get close to me but when I reach for them, they go away. Any advise would be appreciated. Lovin' Leghorns!
02/05/09 @ 08:09
Comment from: John [Visitor]
****-
Living in Centeral Oregon where the temp goes to zero or below on a regular bases in the winter I am trying smaller enclosed coop with a covered pen. I am placing straw bales around three sides of the coop. I also leave a 100 watt light in the coop to ensure adequate light for them. The snow did freak them out, we found one hen outside but got her in time, so no loss. During the day we leave them out to wonder where ever. So far so good, temps have been in the high teens at night and low 40's in the day.
10/06/09 @ 07:28
Comment from: weez [Visitor]
*****
Thank you so much - I was undecided whether to get chickens now or wait till spring, but here in England it doesn't get nearly as cold, so I was worried for no reason. I knew they could survive an African winter, but it is good to know even in America you don't need fancy heating and insulation.
10/15/09 @ 21:36
Comment from: dianne bordieri [Visitor] Email
*****
Great info . Mychickens are near rice lake. My problem I go once a week. Will aquarium charcoal keep water fresher or is there anything you can suggest.Is light bulb better than water heater in pail? Last year plastic pail melted. Is eating snow harmful? Thank you. A while back I gave them away instead of stressing, I lost a good brooder, will or how can I get another from these?
10/16/09 @ 09:05
Comment from: Scott [Visitor]
*****
Great site. Very informative!
10/18/09 @ 17:04
Comment from: Roy [Visitor] Email
*****
We have started a flock this summer. My wife grew up in the city so it has been an adventure for her. We have a cam for our blog in our chicken house, this morning you can see a little snow that blew in but the chickens and guinea fowl do fine with it. My parents had guineas when I was growing up but they lost most of them to an ice storm. We trained ours to come in with the chickens and so we don't have to worry about it. Good job, I look forward to following your adventures in farming.
10/21/09 @ 13:29
Comment from: sheeplady7 [Member] Email
Hi Robert,
I am wondering if you have any ideas for chicken producers who live in actually really cold climates. I live in Northern Alberta where we get -40C which is the same as -40F every year. We also get extended periods of time where it is around -20C. I don't know what that is in F except it is really cold. I want to have a feed made up at the feed mill but I am not really sure what to have in it. I don't like to buy the small bagged stuff because I don't know what is in it nor do I like the price. this is the 2nd year I've had hens through the winter and they seemed fine last year I would just like them to be better this year.
Thanks
Chris
11/18/09 @ 05:46
Comment from: Robert [Member]
Chris,

My personal experience doesn't go below about +15F. According to the literature, chickens in reasonably windproof housing don't suffer until the temperature hits -20C or so.

Traditional wisdom is that heating the whole chicken house works, but is too expensive, and if you do it wrong the house tends to burn down (the chicken manure and ammonia tend to rot equipment, and feathers and straw are bad for fans and heating elements, etc.)

Grain and Exercise. The traditional method of keeping the hens warm is to have fluffy litter, usually of straw, and to scatter grain in the litter first thing in the morning and again before dark. In the daytime, the hens warm themselves through the exercise of hunting for the grain in the litter, and the grain provides the fuel to keep them warm. At night, the hens to to roost with a crop full of grain, which they digest throughout the night to provide readily available calories to keep them warm.

I haven't tried the following, but I suggest two methods of keeping the roosting area less frigid:

Aluminized bubble insulation above the roosting area This stuff goes by brand names like TekFoil and AstroFoil, and consists of a couple of layers of bubble wrap sandwiched with layers of aluminum foil. It reflects heat. Stapling this to the ceiling and back wall, above and behind the roosts, should make the area warmer.

Heated roosts. I've always meant to try this, but it's just not cold enough to be worth my while. Make roosts out of electrical conduit or galvanized pipe. Run heating cable down the inside of the pipe. Hook up to a thermal switch if the cable doesn't have one already. Plug in. In sub-freezing weather, the thermostat will turn on the heating cable, and the roosts (and the hens perched on them) will be warm.
11/18/09 @ 07:01
Comment from: Roy [Visitor] Email
Well our open air hens and guineas did just fine last night, it was down to -19 with a 15-20 mph wind, the wind chill was around -35. I do add some oil (black) sunflower to my scratch mix when it gets that cold, the oil give them a boost in energy. They will pass by all the other seeds to get the oilseeds first. My homemade water heater worked like a champ and so I know it is rated for at least -19.
12/09/09 @ 10:19
Comment from: Sue (England) [Visitor] Email
*****
I found your website when anxiously looking for advice about our 4 chickens - we have had them only 3 days and are experiencing an unusual cold snap with temperatures of -5 degrees celcius (which I think is around 23F - sounds really hot compared with what you are describing!). As the girls were Christmas presents for my 3 children we are keen for them to survive! Reading all this makes me think that we have nothing to worry about. I am just wondering where we can get hold of something to run up an open coop tomorrow - having of course just bought an expensive 'normal' one.

Oh well, you live and learn!

Greetings from the middle of the UK!
01/05/10 @ 13:06
Comment from: sue [Visitor]
***--
During very cold weather I heat up a housebrick & wrap it in an old towel. This I put in the hen's sleeping quarters to take the chill off overnight.
There is evidence that my hens snuggle up to the brick. Plenty of warm water & high enery foods seem to be keeping the girls going. They won't step on the snow & are content to stay in the run during the day - even when I clean the run & they could get outside...
01/07/10 @ 06:10
Comment from: trish [Visitor] Email
*****
we are awaiting our first chicks ever and I'm loving this site and all the input. We live in upstate NY near VT border-cold winters and would have closed up a coop way too much if not for finding your site, Robert. I love the hot brick idea. AS it is early spring, our first issues won't be cold but predators (hawks, coyotes, raccoons...) and preventing rats. We'll just use common sense on the latter and hope for the best but any advice appreciated from you more experienced types (we don't like rats)
03/28/10 @ 21:35

See You at the Corvallis Indoor Market

by Robert

The Corvallis Indoor Winter Market started a new season yesterday, with plenty of happy customers and vendors. We were there with grass-fed chicken and eggs, and a lot of other local farms were there, too, selling meat, cool-season vegetables, nuts, hon… more »

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Mixing New and Old Chickens

by Robert

Okay, so your baby chicks aren't babies anymore, and the brooder house is bulging, it's so crowded. Time to house the young chickens with the old. So how do you do that? This is an important question, because sometimes it goes horribly wrong: Yo… more »

3 comments

Comment from: Christine [Visitor]
*****
Thank you so very much! This information will be extremely useful in the coming year. Cheers!
12/04/09 @ 05:01
Comment from: Colin [Visitor]
*****
Thanks. This post answered several questions I had about planning for future chickens.
01/03/10 @ 10:29
Comment from: Chris [Visitor] Email
*****
It is nice to see someone sharing so much of the great knowledge from when I was a kid. Today it seems many people want to reinvent the chicken growing process but most have some pretty weird ideas about how to feed, take care of and in general care for chickens.

I started raising chickens when I was about 4 and have on and off for the last 60 years. Great information, thanks for the recovery process you are doing so well.
01/04/10 @ 09:50

Deep Litter for Healthier Chickens

by Robert

The "deep litter method" was one of the most important poultry developments of the Twentieth Century. It resulted in a dramatic drop in disease and a reduction in the amount of labor it took to keep a flock of chickens. It also gave an early example of… more »

2 comments

Comment from: Kelly [Visitor]
*****
Don't forget that at least part of the reason deep litter and not removing it all is good is that the manure makes heat which helps keep the litter dry.

This dryness might also contribute to controlling the coccidiosis. I use deep litter and have done many things not recommended and never had an outbreak, even when broody hens raise their chicks in the chicken house.

Great information by the way.
11/15/08 @ 17:11
Comment from: Robert [Member]
Yes, the deep litter keeps the house a lot drier. I think this works for at least two reasons -- the heat of composting and the extra depth, which lets it handle a lot more moisture without being soggy on the top.

If you shovel wet litter into the corner of the house, it's amazing how quickly this impromptu compost heap heats up, dries out, and becomes indistinguishable from litter that stayed dry the whole time. The same is true for litter that has become caked over with a layer of manure. Toss it in the corner, and in a few days it turns back into litter. So with almost no work, a nasty house can be turned into a nice one.

Just another way that Mother Nature can do our heavy lifting for us if we pay attention.
11/16/08 @ 11:01

How to Select Pullet Chicks at the Feed Store

by Robert

Sure, you want to buy baby chicks this year, but what if you only want pullet chicks? None of those nasty crowing roosters? If so, you're like a lot of people. Corvallis, for example, has an ordinance forbidding roosters in town, but hens are okay. T… more »

6 comments

Comment from: Marc Felton [Visitor]
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Robert, your blog posts are excellent. For this one it occurred to me though that I dont know the difference between a "well defined chipmunk stripe" and one that's not so much. A picture of a good one and a bad one would sure help. But, of course, we all have unlimited time for such things....
02/21/10 @ 09:13
Comment from: BackyardCoop [Visitor]
*****
From someone who's just getting started, I think that's a great tip, thanks!
02/21/10 @ 10:31
Comment from: Karen B in northern Idaho [Visitor]
*****
Great tip. My local feed stores do get all-pullet chicks in several popular laying breeds, as well as a few straight run batches. Bantams though come not only S/R but also all breeds mixed together!
02/21/10 @ 19:53
Comment from: Linda Morgan [Visitor] Email
*****
As soon as you can see the beginnings of pin feathers on wings (even on bantams this rule works), if the coverts sit directly on top of the primaries, they are roosters. If the coverts are layered in between the primaries, they are hens.
I haven't tried it, but was told this on a plane. The guy next to me owns a company that sexes chicks (his dad was brought over by Tyson in the 50's from Japan to do this). I hope I have the top and nestled sex part right. I'd hate to have it backward.
03/01/10 @ 06:50
Comment from: John Klimes [Visitor]
*****
Is it true that in golden sexlinks the males come out white? Or are they solid red?
03/02/10 @ 14:44
Comment from: Robert [Member]
I'm trying to remember ... well, that's not working, so I'm looking in up in "Genetics of the Fowl" (http://www.nortoncreekpress.com/genetics_of_the_fowl.html). The males come out with white down and the females darker.

One advantage of buying sex-linked crosses from hatcheries is that they can't get away with putting in so many males "by mistake," so you actually get the pullets you're paying for. In the feed store, of course, you can tell the genders apart easily and select what you want.
03/09/10 @ 21:06

It's Not Too Late For Fall Brooding

by Robert

Fall brooding is at least as easy as spring brooding, and maybe easier. The weather is usually drier. The season is winding down, so there are fewer demands on your time. And there's plenty of time for the chickens to become fully feathered and complete… more »

4 comments

Comment from: Debbie Galle [Visitor] Email
*****
I am really glad to see your post about fall chicks. I am getting a couple more batches soon. I didn't know about the smaller lights. Thanks for enlightening me!

My very first chicks came on Oct 1, 2008. I didn't know any different. I wanted what I wanted and just did it after reading your "Success with Baby Chicks" book and "The Dollar Hen". I got 200 that month. They all did great! Since then, I have raised over 600 more. I really enjoy the fall chicks the best.

I can't wait for the farming season to slow down a bit so I can read more of your books! I study something about chickens, turkeys, or other farm related EVERY day, but I want to read a whole book.

Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge and wisdom with us!
10/13/09 @ 17:24
Comment from: Pinoy [Visitor]
*****
I remember when I was still young, I would help my dad to raise chicks called Saso. These breed of chicken are pretty easy to raise and feed. Thank you for sharing such an interesting and informative article. - Pinoy
01/13/10 @ 18:36
Comment from: Pinoy Pride [Visitor]
*****
I definitely love reading your insight and learning from your blogsite. Thank you for the interesting and informative article. - Pinoy Pride
01/19/10 @ 12:00
Comment from: Tracy [Visitor]
*****
We use a brooder just like the one pictured in this article. We live in Wisconsin. We start our babies in April, May, and June. We seem to lose a lot in our April batch. I just read that you use two 125 watt bulbs. Is that in a brooder like the one shown?
03/26/10 @ 12:24

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