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!

Publishing News

Plotto Instruction Booklet. I’ve published one new book since last time: William Wallace Cook’s Plotto Instruction Booklet. This is a course in using Cook’s own Plotto plot-generation system. Plotto has been the constant companion of fiction writers for screen and print since it came out in 1928, but the system is quite hard to learn without the Plotto Instruction Booklet, which is quite hard to find. So I’ve republished it, both in print form and for the Kindle. (On the Kindle, it’s $4.99, or just $0.99 if you buy the paperback from Amazon, or free if you’re a member of Kindle Unlimited.)

Success With Baby Chicks. I’ve also created a Kindle version of my own book, Success With Baby Chicks. I’ve priced it at just $3.99 (or just $0.99 if you’ve bought the paperback from Amazon, or free if you’re a member of Kindle Unlimited).

May Poultry Notes

If you started most of your baby chicks in March and April, the amount of labor your chickens require is lower in May. The labor requirement will reach a minimum in the summer months (“Summertime, when the living is easy”), and picks up again as your pullets start to lay and you need to prepare for winter.

  • Market surplus cockerels (unless you buy only pullets!) Check Craigslist to see what unwanted roosters of various ages are going for in your neck of the woods: people who want live, old-timey chickens for traditional dishes can rarely find enough, so you can sell them as easily as you can give them away. Just bother with “free to good home” ads. No one wants your roosters more than you do.
  • Treat for roost mites (painting roosts and nest boxes with oil or spraying with lime-sulfur spray, malathion, or pyrethrins). Pick your poison, but don’t let a small mite problem turn into a big one: it’s not fair to the chickens.
  • Brood late chicks. Many people brood chicks as early as possible, but in most climates May brooding is easier than earlier brooding.
  • Gather eggs more often in warm weather.
  • Give range stock adequate feeding space. Chicks grow fast, and a set of feeders that was fine for your young chickens on range may be inadequate later on.
  • Move range utensils (feeders, waterers, maybe nest boxes) weekly. This prevents the area from becoming too muddy and prevents rats from taking up residence undernea th.
  • Hatch baby chicks. The mild weather of May (in most climates) makes it a good time for incubation.
  • Remove wet or soiled litter.

List inspired by a similar one in Jull’s Successful Poultry Management, McGraw-Hill, 1943.

Norton Creek Press Best-Seller List

These are my top-selling books from last month:

  1. Plotto by William Wallace Cook.
  2. Gardening Without Work by Ruth Stout.
  3. Success With Baby Chicks by Robert Plamondon.
  4. Feeding Poultry by G. F. Heuser.
  5. Fresh-Air Poultry Houses by Prince T. Woods, M.D.

All of these are fine books (I only publish books I believe in). If you’re like most readers of this newsletter, you’ll enjoy starting with Fresh-Air Poultry Housesand Success With Baby Chicks. These cover the basics of healthy, odor-free, high-quality chicken housing and zero-mortality chick brooding, respectively, and get good reviews.

I started Norton Creek Press in 2003 to bring the “lost secrets of the poultry masters” into print—techniques from the Golden Age of poultrykeeping, which ran from roughly 1900 to 1950. I’ve been adding an eclectic mix of non-poultry books as well. These include everything from my science fiction novel, One Survivor, t o the true story of a Victorian lady’s trip up the Nile in the 1870s, A Thousand Miles up the NileSee my complete list of titles.

Recent Blog Posts

Here are some posts since last time, from my various blogs:

Adventures in Social Media

And if that’s not enough, you can use social media to stay up to date:

This newsletter is sent out monthly by Robert Plamondon to anyone who asks for it. Robert runs Norton Creek Press.

Norton Creek Press
36475 Norton Creek Road
Blodgett, Oregon 97326

I Publish Books! Norton Creek Press

Thoughts? Questions? Comments?

I'm wondering what your thoughts are on this issue. Most of my posts are based on input from people like you, so leave a comment below!

Author: Robert Plamondon

Robert Plamondon has written three books, received over 30 U.S. patents, founded several businesses, is an expert on free-range chickens, and is a semi-struggling novelist. His publishing company, Norton Creek Press, is a treasure trove of the best poultry books of the last 100 years. In addition, he holds down a day job doing technical writing at Workspot.

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