Category Archives: Chickens

Baby chicks

I really can’t resist them, so when my Silkie hen began sitting on eggs, I isolated her and let her think she was hatching them. Three weeks later I went to the feed store and bought six baby chicks. That night … Continue reading

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Cream Legbars

This year I got my first Cream Legbar chickens. I have four. They are curious, friendly, and lay turquoise eggs. On top of that, they have adorable little feathery topknots. Definitely my favorite chickens of the moment.

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The Halal butcher

As my chickens get beyond laying age, I’ve been giving them to my Ethiopian friend who is willing to slaughter them for fresh meat. But today I decided to try something different. I took my two oldest hens deep into … Continue reading

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Chickenomics

Larry forwarded an article about the cost of backyard chickens today. Here’s the graphic overview. The graph on top is the price of a dozen commercial eggs (not organic BTW, you’d have to at least double, and in some cases triple that number … Continue reading

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The Angelina Jolie of Chickens

For years my flock has consisted largely of Americana chickens, docile birds who are good layers of green or olive eggs. But this year, diversity has been the theme. I just can’t seem to resist new breeds. In addition to … Continue reading

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Culling the flock

As a farmer, I have to treat my hens without sentiment; when they pass their peak laying year, they have to go. This week I took the oldest hens, the beautiful Black Australorps, and gave them to my Ethiopian friend, who eats them. … Continue reading

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Deep Litter

I have been raising my chickens in a large run covered in layers of various hay, straw, grass, etc.  This is called the “deep litter” method, that I read about in Juliette de Baïracli Levi’s Herbal Handbook for Farm & Stable, a … Continue reading

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New kids on the block

Once you have chickens (or at least once I do), it becomes tempting to want more exotic varieties. Four years ago I started out with six Ameraucanas, the friendly, puffy cheeked hens that lay pale green or olive eggs. Now … Continue reading

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Babies

Do you remember the seven eggs that the silkie hen hatched? Five of those chicks turned out to be  roosters! Beautiful as they were, they had to go. In their place, I got three 3-week old hens from Craigs’ list. Their breed … Continue reading

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Meanwhile, back on the farm

Many modern hens are too refined to set on a nest of eggs and hatch chicks. The instinct to get “broody” is bred out of them, because they stop laying. Commercial farmers would rather mange egg production and incubation.

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