Temperatures and Your Hens [Infographic]

What temperatures are right for your hens? What happens when temperatures are too high? What happens when they’re too low? This infographic shows you the effect of air temperatures on laying hens.

Temperature and Your Hens, from Poultry Production by Leslie E Card, published by Norton Creek Press.

Leslie E Card, Poultry Breeding and Management. Norton Creek PressThis infographic comes from Poultry Production: The Practice and Science of Chickens by Leslie E. Card, which I have reprinted under my Norton Creek Press label. It has hundreds and hundreds of pages of useful information like this. Like most of the really useful poultry books, this one was first published a while ago, in 1961. But it’s a gold mine in spite of (because of?) this. read more...

Better Than Chicken Tractors: Hoop Coops for Free Range Chickens

“A chicken house should either be small enough that you can reach into any part of it from outside, or big enough to walk around in.”
— Traditional poultry maxim

hoophouse chicken coop
The Mark I hoop coop, designed and built by Karen Black. The house is pulled by hand downhill to a new patch of grass, once or twice per day. The Mark II hoop coop (not shown) has the open end facing the direction of travel so the operator can see inside while moving the pen. This reduces the number of broilers that get run over by the back wall. A 2×4 ridge pole to supports the top of the hoop, which otherwise can collapse under snow loads or buckle under the weight of heavy hanging feeders.

My wife, Karen Black, invented these simple chicken houses in the Nineties, when she decided she wanted a pen she could walk around in, rather than the standard Salatin-style pens that are only two feet high. This is in keeping with a old-time poultry maxim: “A chicken house should be small enough that you can reach into any part of it from outside, or big enough to walk around in.” read more...

Your Chickens in June [Newsletter]

Robert Plamondon’s Poultry Newsletter, June 2016

News from the Farm

June is busting out all over. One sign: A couple of our White Hybrid 300 ducks snuck off and hatched 20 ducklings between them, and one of our Red Sex-Link hens did the same and hatched 10 chicks. All 30 are doing splendidly. Another sign of June is that the grass is as high as an elephant’s eye because our Ford 640 tractor chose this moment to need transmission work.

But back to the ducklings and chicks. The ducklings are on our main pasture with our mixed flock of geese, ducks, and hens. With baby chicks, this is bad news, because baby chicks are too fragile for the rough-and-tumble of flock life, and need to be kept away from any sizable flock for at least a few weeks. The ducklings are made of sterner stuff, and their mothers are aggressively protective, far more so (and more effectively) than mother hens! read more...

Aquamagic/Sani-Touch Egg Washer [Videos]

This advertisement ran in the January, 1960 issue of Pacific Poultryman. I have been using my own Aquamagic Model 60 egg cleaner since 1997. It’s a model very similar to the one shown above, though with a fancier candler. These water-spray-plus-brush cleaners are great. I’ve used two different kinds of immersion washers, and they don’t get the eggs very clean, and of course the eggs are still wet after washing. By combining candling, washing, drying, and grading into a single machine, the Aquamagic makes egg processing fast and convenient. read more...

Range Poultry Housing: Coops for Grass-Fed Chickens [Videos]

How can you give your chickens reliable access to grass, avoiding barren yards? There are different ways of doing this, and each method is associated with different chicken coop designs.Simple houses on free range


My wife, Karen, and I have been raising free-range hens in Oregon since 1996 and pastured broilers since 1998. We have 700 hens and will raise over 1,500 broilers this year. We have tried many different techniques, and I hope this will allow me to speak clearly about the key points and trade-offs in each of the major range management styles. read more...