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Keeping Chickens Newsletter

Page 07

November 2011 Vol. 2

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November 2011
Vol. 2

attempt at a coop looks like Dr. Seuss dropped a hit of acid, blasted some Jefferson Starship and rolled around on the wire with every Who in Whoville. I think I'll keep it.

Inferior design aside, I ultimately learned a thing or two. The nesting boxes are supposed to be up off the ground. That is correct. For those of you keeping score you just spent two weeks cutting back the birds flight feathers only to hang their houses in the sky. It's just sick.

Higher than the nest boxes, you are to build a roost. This is where the birds crap at night so they do not crap on your breakfast eggs. Of course the roost is usually OVER the nesting boxes, so whatever you do, don't use those perforated plastic milk crates.

For young birds maintain a heat light in the hen house. Then on cooler nights an animal with a brain the size of a bulimic toe nail clipping will make the conscious decision to forgo your nest boxes, bypass the instinctual roost and leap into a tanning bed.

And finally there is the feed regime. I asked several experts and read up on feeding as well. Make sure to give your chickens starter formula, mash, growth formula, start & grow, brood formula, grit, no grit, scraps, no scraps, goat placenta, nothing suggested on the internet, tetramyaicn, no antibiotics, medicated starter, non-medicated starter and never, ever switch in-between.

I may not be Queen of the Coop yet, but I'm working on it. Though I am a zoologist and I still know Birds 101. Here are two myths I can help with. First, you do not need a rooster to get eggs. Most folk, especially those who have never owned chickens, will advise you on chickens. Each will insist you need a rooster for a while to do his manly duties. Then you can slip him in the pot. As appealing as this concept is, your pot is a separate issue.

Roosters are only needed to make fertile eggs. Hens are all that is needed to make breakfast eggs. Fertile eggs are just peachy if raising chicks was such a joy the first time you want to repeat the whole freakin' process. In addition there is always the risk of breaking a fertilized egg open and finding a 50% formed chick fetus hitting your hot skillet. Yum! Years of therapy will follow.


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Keeping Chickens Newsletter - Published November 2011 by www.Self-Sufficient-Life.com