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

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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...

Robert Plamondon’s Poultry and Rural Living

beth_feeding_small_barred_rock_pulletsI’ve been writing up practical poultry tips on this website since 1997. Somebody had to!

When we moved back to Oregon in 1995, we soon started raising free-range chickens. There was little information on free-range poultry back then, and most of it was wrong. I embarked on a literature survey of the past 100 years, to find out what ideas and techniques worked and what didn’t. We put the more likely ones into practice, and also wrote them up here on Plamondon.com.

Day-old Black Sex-Link chicks and an Ohio heat-lamp brooder.
Day-old Black Sex-Link chicks and an Ohio heat-lamp brooder.

We’re still raising grass-fed chickens, eggs, turkey, and pork on the same farm today, using the same techniques shown here. My monthly newsletter gives some news about the latest goings-on plus a to-do list appropriate to the time of year. read more...

How Coccidiosis Makes Your Chickens Sick [Infographic]

Life cycle of coccidiosis in chickensDo you need to protect your chickens against coccidiosis? And if so, how?

Coccidiosis, also called “bloody diarrhea” (eww!) is one of the few poultry diseases that give most chicken owners trouble, at least once in a while. It’s caused by coccidia, protozoan parasites with a complex life cycle: part of their life is spent inside the chicken and part of it is spent outside. The infographic shows the cycle and the danger points.

Oodles of Oocysts

In short, coccidia “oocysts” (think of them as eggs) are present in the droppings of infected chickens, and these droppings can infect other chickens, and also reinfect the same chicken. This last point is important, since coccidia can’t reproduce indefinitely inside the chicken: if the chicken stops ingesting oocysts, the infection stops. read more...

Your Chickens in May [Newsletter]

Robert Plamondon’s Poultry Newsletter

News from the Farm

The Corvallis outdoor farmers’ market is already in full swing, and sales are brisk! In addition to pasture-raised chicken and free-range duck and chicken eggs, we have frozen turkey. A while ago we offered poultry by the piece as well as whole, and this is all doing well.

Other farmers have early strawberries, asparagus, all kinds of greens, potted plants, and all kinds of meat and cheese products.

Our early pullets and broilers are doing well on pasture, and we just got six weaner pigs, cute as buttons! read more...

Put Your Eggs in the Right Basket

Let’s quickly review the three basic types of containers used for collecting eggs: wire egg baskets, galvanized buckets, and plastic buckets, and why you’re probably using the wrong one.

Plastic Buckets

don't use plastic buckets when collecting eggs
Don’t collect eggs in plastic buckets.

You could probably find something worse than a plastic bucket, but I don’t know what it would be.

Plastic buckets have flat bottoms, allowing the eggs to roll around freely, cracking each other. The bottoms are solid, so if you acquire some rainwater, or some eggs break, you get a yucky pool at the bottom of the bucket, dirtying up all the eggs on the bottom row. This is especially bad if the eggs sit in the bucket for hours or overnight before being washed or packed. read more...