GRIT Country Skills Series8 min de lectureDiet & Nutrition
Poultry on Pasture
There seems to be a widespread belief that poultry raised on pasture—call them open-range, free-range, or another buzzword—run around and meet all their protein and nutritional needs by eating only bugs and plant seeds. I often see this notion perpet
GRIT Country Skills Series4 min de lectureNature
DUCKS or GEESE for FARM POULTRY?
I’ve kept poultry for most of my life, and waterfowl have always been an important inclusion. Our farm currently has both ducks and geese, and both species are serving the farm in their own unique ways with their own special attributes. Ducks are yea
GRIT Country Skills Series2 min de lectureDiet & Nutrition
Nutritious Green Plants
While green plants cannot constitute the sole diet for pastured poultry (geese are one exception), it is important that the vegetation they do consume has a high level of digestible nutrients. If it does not, there is little reason to make pasturing
GRIT Country Skills Series2 min de lecture
A HISTORY OF GEESE as Guard Animals
Domesticated more than 3,000 years ago, geese were some of the first animals to become part of humans’ everyday lives. While they have been a barnyard constant since Roman times, geese have never gained the popularity of backyard flocks like ducks an
GRIT Country Skills Series2 min de lecture
Seven Safety Tips for FREE-RANGING CHICKENS
Chickens love to free-range, and many folks allow their chickens to roam freely around their yards, fields, and acreages to their heart’s content. Free ranging a flock has plenty of benefits, including access to pasture and bugs, and helps to prevent
GRIT Country Skills Series6 min de lectureNature
CHICKENS In The GARDEN
Fresh, nutritious eggs and homegrown roast chicken dinners are reason enough to raise your own poultry. If you use your chickens in the garden, you can also harvest rich manure to create homemade fertilizer, and put your flock to work mixing organic
GRIT Country Skills Series6 min de lectureNature
Feed the Flock
The old adage “You are what you eat” certainly applies to chickens. A strong foraging instinct gives chickens the ability to naturally thrive on a wide variety of plants and insects. However, some modern backyard birds aren’t lucky enough to range co
GRIT Country Skills Series2 min de lecture
Use Portable Pens and Tunnels to Manage Chicken Manure
To run chickens in your garden, install long, permanent chicken tunnels along one or more sides of the garden, connected to a coop where the birds sleep. Lay out dedicated garden beds using a standard width so that portable wire pens can be moved fro
GRIT Country Skills Series2 min de lectureInternet & Web
Grit.com
“Our rural postal carrier even took (the chicks) out of the box, put them under the heat lamp, and made sure they all had a drink!” —Suzanne Weber, via Facebook, on “Inside Look at a Hatchery” “A few things to know about guineas: They’re great tick a
GRIT Country Skills Series3 min de lecture
Affordable Ways to Keep Your FLOCK WARM
Keeping your birds warm in winter is critical. If you live in colder climates you will probably need to take some steps in the winter months to ensure that your hens stay warm. Chickens and other fowl are fairly cold hardy, but they still get chilly
GRIT Country Skills Series5 min de lecture
Organic Pest Control: Reader Reports of Poultry on Patrol
• We moved to our new home four years ago and got 12 hens. The waves of grasshoppers jumping in the yard have never come back, and we have never seen a tick anywhere, despite living in the bush and having a couple of bad years of ticks in our area. T
GRIT Country Skills Series2 min de lecture
Join the Conversation
“We had a beautiful rooster who hated EVERYONE except the little old neighbor lady who he would go up to for a hug and a cuddle. So strange. The garbage men left a note on the gate saying they wouldn’t collect the trash due to a vicious animal. Heck,
GRIT Country Skills Series2 min de lecture
What to Do About Poultry Remorse
One of the first things people get really excited about on their homesteading journey is adding chickens. They seem like an easy first livestock animal; small and easily managed, and they produce eggs and meat with minimal effort. Many towns and citi
GRIT Country Skills Series9 min de lecture
Deep Litter MANAGEMENT
Repugnance for what comes out the far end of an animal is not merely cultural conditioning—our senses are warning us of potential danger: Feces can be a vector for disease. Joel’s quote above implicitly advises us to trust that repugnance: If it smel
GRIT Country Skills Series2 min de lectureNature
Reader Blogs
By Kathryn Robles “Raising chickens is all the rage lately, and for good reason! Chickens are a great livestock for beginners and experienced homesteaders, and they can be raised in a variety of locations. Even if you have just a small flock, it can
GRIT Country Skills Series3 min de lecture
A Healthy Flock: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
From urban hens in Wisconsin to 4-H chicken projects in Florida, the backyard poultry revolution is sweeping the nation. Whether you raise chickens for meat or eggs, breed show birds or game birds, have a big flock or a couple of hens, health is an i
GRIT Country Skills Series1 min de lectureArchitecture
Bioactive Litter for a Micro-Flock: A Tip from My Friend Kate Hunter
I’m on my third year of housing my tiny flock of layers in my shed over the winter. I build a temporary 5-foot-by-6-foot enclosure with garden caging, which gives them exactly the same space in the shed as they get in their mobile pen (7½ square feet
GRIT Country Skills Series1 min de lecture
GRIT YouTube Channel
Whether you’re raising chickens in your backyard or running a larger scale operation, Editorial Director Hank Will explains the basics of what you should know to succesfully raise backyard chickens from brooder to coop. Not only do chicks provide you
GRIT Country Skills Series6 min de lectureNature
Get Smart: Protecting the Flock from PREDATORS
Chicken keepers understand, without a doubt, that a farm is a tenuous balance of predators and prey—nature’s checks and balances. Chickens, after all, look for ways to die. So unless you build the poultry version of Fort Knox, or imprison your birds
GRIT Country Skills Series2 min de lecture
You Can Raise Chickens IN YOUR BACKYARD
Did you know you can raise chickens in your own backyard? Whether you have a suburban backyard, a rural acreage, or an urban lot, you can keep a few hens and have fresh eggs that are significantly more nutritious than those you normally buy at the su
GRIT Country Skills Series3 min de lectureMedical
Chick Illness Prevent And Treat
With chick season right around the corner, I figured it would be a good time to talk about common chick illnesses. When it comes to chicks, the most important variable is timing. One moment they seem absolutely fine and the next they have perished. S
GRIT Country Skills Series1 min de lecture
Farm Dogs
The best general form of protection for your flock, and your farm in general, is a pair of good farm dogs. The definition of a good farm dog is any dog who challenges varmints on his turf—raccoons, opossums, rats, moles, squirrels, and even UPS and F
GRIT Country Skills Series5 min de lecture
Build the Perfect CHICKEN COOP
Chickens are every bit as fun and easy to care for as dogs or cats, plus they provide a steady supply of fresh eggs. The biggest challenge is keeping the birds safe from predators and, at the same time, allowing them to enjoy a natural diet of grains
GRIT Country Skills Series5 min de lecture
TREATING and PREVENTING LICE on CHICKENS
Lice come in two varieties: bloodsucking and biting. Bloodsucking lice attack only mammals. Biting lice attack both mammals and birds. Several species infest chickens—more, in fact, than affect any other bird—and a chicken may host more than one spec
GRIT Country Skills Series5 min de lecture
Breeds That Work For Your Needs
Australorp—A large heritage breed, an amazing layer, and the hen’s kind disposition make them one of my favorite breeds. I have not had great luck with the roosters of this breed; I have been chased down by more than one. Brahma—Another amazing herit
GRIT Country Skills Series3 min de lecture
Treating and Preventing CHICKEN FROSTBITE
I like to think that I am deliberate in tending to our flock of chickens during the winter, but it still happened! Yep, one of our chickens got frostbite on her comb. See black spots on your chicken’s comb or feet? That’s frostbite. Thankfully, our c
GRIT Country Skills Series4 min de lecture
The Best Backyard Chicken Breeds For Kids
Melissa Caughey, award-winning blogger and owner of Tilly’s Nest, makes it easy for kids to master the basics of chicken raising in her new book, A Kid’s Guide to Keeping Chickens (Storey Publishing, 2015). The following excerpt is from Chapter 2, “C
GRIT Country Skills Series9 min de lectureNature
RAISING Guinea Fowl on Your Farm
Poultry can make a great addition to your farm or small homestead. In How to Raise Poultry (Voyageur Press, 2011), Christine Heinrichs provides all of the information you need to successfully raise a flock of birds. This excerpt provides information
GRIT Country Skills Series9 min de lecture
Caring For Your New Chickens
It’s that time of year again. The sun is shining, the daffodils are blooming, and there is a distinct peeping noise at every farm store across the country. It’s time for chicks. If you’ve been wooed by those little fluffy yellow balls of cuteness you
GRIT Country Skills Series3 min de lectureNature
Stealing From Snakes
Oh, Spring! The snow in melting, and the sun is shining-or maybe it’s raining and gloomy… or you just got dumped with another foot of snow. Well, the weather might not be cooperating yet, but there is one thing that unites the spring experience for a
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