I’m sure you’ve noticed that real, grass-fed free-range eggs aren’t available in city supermarkets, and that they’re pretty rare even in the country. Not only that, but the few farmers who produce them rarely expand their operations. At best, they keep the same number of chickens every year.
Here’s an article that claims that chickens grow better if provided with music.
Is it true? Do chickens do better if they have the ability to put on an impromptu hoedown anytime the mood strikes them? Beats me, but no doubt there’s been research on the subject. Any poultry question that (a) comes up over and over and (b) can be researched cheaply has been looked into: our Extension Service is like that. And it’s not like putting a radio in a chicken house is very complicated.
We had a few hot days in a row, and Karen noticed that the broilers looked pretty stressed. It reminded us that modern hybrid broilers don’t like sunshine on hot days and often won’t leave the shade, even to drink. They can actually die of heat stress because of this.
Karen gently hosed down the birds to cool them off, and they recovered almost instantly.
Feed is way too expensive to waste these days, but try telling that to the chickens! How can we keep our chickens from wasting feed?
The biggest culprit is feeders that are too shallow. One of the old rules of thumb was to never fill a trough or feed pan more than one-third full. This is harder than it looks, because most of the readily available poultry equipment consists of glorified chick feeders — way too small for grown (or even half-grown) chickens.
Suppose you bought 100 pullets from the lowest-price hatchery you could find, and 100 pullets from an expensive hatchery. What do you think the results would be?
I don’t know if anyone has tried this recently, but I found this very experiment in an old British poultry magazine. The results went like this: